CD Selections

CD Reviews from NPR
9:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Joyce DiDonato: Sublime Singing Makes The Unreal Real

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Josef Fischnaller courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:24 pm

It's true — opera is totally over the top. Plots can strain even the barest semblance of credulity (too many cases of ghosts and mistaken identities to count), with characters that could get you thrown out of an introductory writing course, down to the blushing ingenues and the evil connivers who might as well be twirling waxed mustaches.

Read more
Music Reviews from NPR
1:26 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

The Mythic Power Of Bessie Smith

circa 1935: American singer Bessie Smith (circa 1894 - 1937), known as the Empress of the Blues. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)
Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:39 am

Vocalist Bessie Smith's musical career, spanning 1923-33, has been collected in a new 10-CD box set, Bessie Smith: The Complete Columbia Recordings.

Read more
CD Selections
7:43 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Maureen Malloy Suggests: Elegant Soul, The Life and Music of Gene Harris

The phrase "elegant soul" could describe numerous things: a person, a fashion, a way one deals with life. But after listening to Gene Harris' 1968 recording, I realized that the phrase perfectly describes Harris' style as a pianist. Beautifully accompanied by Andy Simpkins on bass and Carl Burnett on drums (the other "Two Sounds"), Harris plays in the classy way he has been known for, but this time he incorporated ribbons of gospel and maybe A dollop of funk. When you stir this all together, it equals Elegant Soul.

Read more
CD Selections
4:43 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace

Landing at No. 1 of a 2008 top-10 list of works by living composers in the U.K. was The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins. I was fortunate to be in the audience last fall as the Main Line’s Wayne Oratorio Society performed it in concert. I was transfixed.

Commissioned for the new millennium and premiered in 2000, The Armed Man uses the medieval French song “L’Homme Armé” (The Armed Man), the basis of innumerable 15th- and 16th-century Mass settings.

Read more
Music Reviews
3:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Elina Duni: Love, Lust And Albanian Folk Songs

On Matane Malit, the Elina Duni Quartet lays expansive instrumentation over traditional Albanian folk melodies.
Blerta Kambo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

The spread of formal jazz education has created a new breed of global musician: one who uses improvisation, and other devices associated with jazz, to transform folk and traditional music. The Albanian singer Elina Duni is part of this rising class. Her latest release, Matane Malit ("Beyond the Mountain"), offers a transfixing balance of old and new.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
12:29 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Esa-Pekka Salonen's Excellent Violin Adventure

Composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen's award-winning Violin Concerto receives its debut recording.
Mat Hennek Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:42 am

After 17 years molding the Los Angeles Philharmonic into one of the smartest and most adventurous U.S. orchestras, music director Esa-Pekka Salonen called it quits in 2009. Among his reasons for leaving the ensemble was to devote more time to composing.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:14 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Anat Cohen Bends The Spectrum On 'Claroscuro'

Anat Cohen's new album, her sixth as a bandleader, is called Claroscuro.
Jimmy Katz

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:57 am

Born in Tel Aviv, Anat Cohen came to New York two decades ago to study the masters of jazz. In so doing, the clarinetist and saxophonist started a bit of a stampede: Today, Israel is exporting some of the most vital jazz out there.

Read more
Music Reviews
12:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Ron Miles Finds Wide-Open Spaces On 'Quiver'

For Ron Miles, the better he knows how a tune works, the less he has to play to put it across.
John Spiral

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:19 pm

Teaching jazz history got trumpeter Ron Miles deep into the pleasures of early jazz, with its clarity of form and emphasis on melodic improvising that doesn't wander far from the tune.

Read more
The Record
12:50 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Diana Krall Brings Sexy Back In Time

Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:26 pm

When listening to Diana Krall's fun, smart new recording Glad Rag Doll, it's helpful to consider a question recently posed by Gyp Rosetti, the sensitive psychopath lending sparks to this season of HBO's Prohibition-era series Boardwalk Empire.

Read more
CD Selections
3:19 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Itzhak Perlman: A Video Preview of ETERNAL ECHOES

Violinist Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot

Legendary violnist Itzhak Perlman has released a new album:  Eternal Echoes: Songs & Dances for the Soul with Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. It features liturgical and traditional works in new arrangements backed by chamber orchestra and klezmer musicians. Mr. Perlman has said that his idea "was to do Jewish comfort music - everything that I recognize from my childhood is in this CD."

WRTI wishes all of our listeners celebrating the Jewish High Holidays a happy and healthy new year!

Read more

Pages