Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:29 pm
In the New York Times this week, Anthony Tommasini has a series in both print and video about those microcosmic musical moments like "a fleeting passage, a short series of chords, some unexpected shift in a melodic line — when something occurs that just grabs us." What links these diverse bits from Chopin to Puccini to Mahler together?
It's hard to write a biography of an artist with as many career and relationship arcs as Leonard Cohen has experienced in his 78 years on Earth. But that's exactly what celebrated music journalist Sylvie Simmons has done with I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen.
Kat Edmonson makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Originally from Houston, Edmonson relocated to Austin, where her classic jazz-inspired singing soon made her one of the town's most talked about musicians.
The drummer Pete La Roca, a top freelance drummer during New York's post-bop heyday in the 1950s and '60s, died early this morning in New York. The cause was lung cancer, according to Randa Kirshbaum, a former girlfriend. He was 74 years old.
If Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote a dull piece of music, I've not yet heard it. And even if there is a workaday piece or two lurking within his 300 keyboard sonatas, you certainly won't find it on this new album by British pianist Danny Driver, who deftly uncovers the surprising restlessness of the music.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 10:34 am
Our November edition of "Heavy Rotation" includes new favorite songs from public-radio stations across the country. Starting out west, Colorado Public Radio's OpenAir channel highlights one of Denver's most promising young voices, Esme Patterson. Kansas Public Radio's "Trail Mix" show is obsessed with folksinger Rayna Gellert. WEMU in Ypsilanti, Mich., is feeling blues belter Mary Bridget Davies. WXPN in Philadelphia recently added the wonderfully named Foxygen. And Vermont Public Radio is getting ready for winter with bassist Marcus Miller.
The rumors that had been around for a couple of years have finally been confirmed: At long last, there's a film in the works about the turbulent life of Nina Simone, otherwise known as the "High Priestess of Soul."
Simone was famous from the 1950s through the '70s for her music and her civil rights activism. And although she died in 2003, her voice remains popular on TV, movie soundtracks and commercials.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:13 am
Ben Taylor makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. As the son of Carly Simon and James Taylor, Ben Taylor writes songs steeped in folk and pop traditions, but he also moves easily through soul, country and funk.
A new book, a new recording and some old instruments, all addressing the most memorable phrase in music: the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
Matthew Guerrieri has written a book about this symphony, called The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination. Guerrieri writes about how Beethoven's piece resonated with everyone from revolutionaries to Romantics, and German nationalists to anti-German resistance fighters.