I have always been fascinated by Britten's unconventional, quirky treatment of the folksong traditions. Out of the four different types that Britten left us with, that I know, namely French, Scottish, Irish and English, Irish appeals to me the most.
She is wildly variable in her fancies although very talented. I have several of her recordings but I decided not to download this one.Let’s take the miss first. It was, surprisingly, their “Recording of the Month” from no less than one of the classical world’s current rocks stars, the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Pat Kop, a she is known, has been written about in a different post in the WTF and although she is relatively obscure, she is both very impressive and a phenomenal talent. So when I saw she was featured as this month’s recording of the month, I figured, how can I miss? Well, maybe it’s me, but I found this album called “What’s Next, Vivaldi” to be mostly a total train wreck. I understand that her approach and talent is unique. But when they describe her technique here as “edge-of-the-precipice’”playing, I’m afraid they didn’t do it justice. In fact, she is not only over the precipice, but so far over it that it’s just annoying. Not only does she miss hitting notes squarely left and right (which is very atypical for her), but the “modern” arrangements the reviewer applauds are often performed in other wordly tempi that make one want to scream “stop”!! If you can get through the first movement of first concerto without gritting your teeth, more power to you. But don’t say you weren’t warned.
She is wildly variable in her fancies although very talented. I have several of her recordings but I decided not to download this one.
Thank you Marty, this Sacred Veil brought on more than a few tears. Very potent music making it is honest and deeply heart felt and filled with grief and life and pain.A HIT and a MISS
I often get listening suggestions to stream from Stereophile. This month there were some noteworthy ones as usual, including a big hit and a big miss.
As far as the hit, it’s an extremely unusual and reflective choral composition by a fellow named Eric Whitacre called “the Sacred Veil”. It’s actually a choral song cycle between Whitacre’s music and poems written by his friend Charles Silvestri (with 3 verses by his wife) which describe their experience to the death of his wife, Julie, from cancer. A happy piece, it is not. It is a deeply solemn and sacred work. Accompanied by piano, and cello , the Los Angeles Master Chorale is magnificent as is the recording. But get out the Kleenex. You will need it. It’s not just the lyrics that are poignant and heart breaking (easy to read along in Roon). But the composition is just beautiful in a way not often seen in contemporary music. The movement “You Rise, I Fall” is breath taking in its creativity and style and is one of the high points of the album. It’s just extraordinary composing and well worth the listen. It’s one of those albums you almost can’t wait to be over because its so painful to listen to, but it’s also so beautiful you can’t stop listening. I would strongly recommend that you do not listen to this unless your environment is dead quiet. Any background noise will seriously distract from the listening experience. If you can shut out the world for an hour and listen in solitude, you will be transported to someplace very special indeed.
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Thank you Marty, this Sacred Veil brought on more than a few tears. Very potent music making it is honest and deeply heart felt and filled with grief and life and pain.
Earlier this year I lost my sister to cancer and so this music just took me completely in it’s stealth. Music can lay you bare. Perhaps this is why we have music.
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