Wall Street Journal: Jeremy Denk, Chris Thile Albums "Taking Bach to the Future"
Pianist Jeremy Denk and mandolinist Chris Thile have each recently released recordings of music by Bach on Nonesuch Records: Denk's recording of the Goldberg Variations with a companion DVD of video "liner notes," and Thile's Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1. The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout says both "stand out from the pack," finding Denk's "gorgeously and insightfully played ... enthrallingly involving" and that Thile's offers "a thrillingly new palette of instrumental colors." He concludes: "If I had to guess what the future of recorded classical music will sound like, I'd bet on Mr. Thile's Bach—as well as on Mr. Denk's video liner notes. That's the kind of fresh thinking of which we can never have too much."
Pianist Jeremy Denk and mandolinist Chris Thile have each released recordings of music by Bach within the past few months on Nonesuch Records: Denk's recording of the Goldberg Variations, including a companion DVD with video "liner notes," and Thile's Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1, which happen to include liner notes by Denk. In addition to timing and the repertoire that binds these two releases, not to mention that Denk was named a MacArthur Fellow this year and Thile the year before, a new article in the Wall Street Journal finds that both are able to "stand out from the pack" of other recordings of these pieces.
"Of all America's up-and-coming classical instrumentalists, Jeremy Denk ... might well be the most interesting," writes the Journal's Terry Teachout in the article. "A brainy virtuoso at home in the world of words, he plays with a striking blend of deeply considered expression and total technical command."
Writing of Denk's take on the iconic piece by Bach, Teachout says: "It's gorgeously and insightfully played, and I can't imagine any musician not wanting to hear what so thoughtful an artist has to say about so towering a musical monument ... I find Mr. Denk's interpretation of the 'Goldbergs' to be enthrallingly involving. He is one of our finest musical minds, and anything that such folk have to say about the classics is by definition worth hearing."
Calling particular attention to the DVD portion of the album, on which the pianist, also known for his original and insightful writing on music, demonstrates passages on the piano as he explains certain details of the piece, Teachout says Denk "speaks with uncommon perspicuity about how the piece is put together."
The article moves next to Thile's album, on which the mandolinist performs three Bach works written for solo violin: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001; Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002; and Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003.
"Mr. Thile, who is better known for the riotously creative music that he plays with the Punch Brothers, his progressive bluegrass-pop combo, is by no means a classical-music dilettante," Teachout explains. "His delicate yet propulsive interpretation of the G-Minor Sonata would be more than worth hearing on violin, and the pointed sound of the mandolin endows it with a thrillingly new palette of instrumental colors."
Citing Denk's liner notes commending the use of the mandolin on these violin pieces, Teachout concludes that the pianist "knows a good thing when he hears one, and so will you. If I had to guess what the future of recorded classical music will sound like, I'd bet on Mr. Thile's Bach—as well as on Mr. Denk's video liner notes. That's the kind of fresh thinking of which we can never have too much."
Read the complete Wall Street Journal article at online.wsj.com.
Friday, February 17, 2017Friday, February 17, 2017
Shye Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express will perform music from their album Junun as the opening act for Radiohead in select cities on the band's sold-out European tour: at the Spektrum in Oslo on June 6 and 7, Ericsson Globe in Stockholm on June 9, 3 Arena in Dublin on June 20, and Manchester Arena on July 4 and 5. Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express will also perform at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona on June 3 and Best Kept Secret in the Netherlands on June 18. The Times of London calls Junun "intriguing, sinuous, and essential listening."
Thursday, February 16, 2017Thursday, February 16, 2017
Rhiannon Giddens's new album, Freedom Highway, is due next Friday, February 24. But you don't need to wait till then to hear it: the album is streaming in full here as an NPR First Listen. It's a "rich collection, the latest chapter in the 40-year-old master folklorist, banjo virtuoso and vocal powerhouse's epic retelling of our history with its sins and sorrows—and joy born of resilience—fully reinstated," says NPR. "[H]ope comes back to life in Giddens' music."Journal Topics: Artist News