For Your Consideration: Kenneth Fuchs
The Arkiv Blog
by Jesse Bobick
6M ago
My seventh album for Naxos, Point of Tranquility (Seven Works for Symphonic Winds), recorded by the United States Coast Guard Band, is a dream-come-true recording project. I was first inspired to become a composer through my early exposure to band music in high school. Throughout the course of my career, I have composed a number of works for wind band, including overtures, concerti, and tone poems, and I knew that one day I would release an album devoted exclusively to these scores. I became a professional composer due to the profound musical mentorship I received from Bentley Shellahamer, ban ..read more
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Nina Kotova: Solo Cello | 50 Years of Delos
The Arkiv Blog
by Nicholas Stevens
6M ago
Somewhere in Germany in the early 1700s, a music director writes six unusual dance suites. In 1890, a Spanish teen finds this music, now obscure, in a shop. Cut to 2023: Bach's Cello Suites rank among the classical tradition's most beloved compositions. It takes openness, vision, and confidence to elevate unfamiliar repertoire the way Pablo Casals did with these works. With her stunning album Solo Cello, cellist Nina Kotova exhibits these qualities in abundance. Baroque works by Bach, Handel, and the viol virtuoso Marin Marais engage in rich dialogue with 20th-century tours de force by Ca ..read more
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Anthony Roth Costanzo on The Lord of Cries
The Arkiv Blog
by Nicholas Stevens
10M ago
When countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo strode onstage shackled at Santa Fe Opera in a 2021 operatic world premiere, everyone knew that the chains would soon fall away. By this point, audience members had seen Costanzo, in character as a Greek god, shapeshift. His lordly physicality likewise makes him seem unconfinable—and amused by the attempt. Then there's the matter of him taking the form of Dracula, ever so hard to pin down. Between 1991, when composer John Corigliano's first opera debuted, and 2021, when his second, The Lord of Cries, put Costanzo at center stage, society s ..read more
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"Let Music Swell the Breeze:" A Naxos x ArkivMusic Roundtable
The Arkiv Blog
by ArkivMusic Contributor
10M ago
  Let music swell the breeze / And ring from all the trees / Sweet freedom's song. / Let mortal tongues awake, / Let all that breathe partake, / Let rocks their silence break, / The sound prolong. Most people who learn "America," a schoolroom staple with the same melody as "God Save the King," never reach the verse quoted above, with its Orpheus-like evocation of people and inanimate landscapes united in song. However, lyricist Samuel Francis Smith saw fit to mention sound and singing several more times throughout, including the final line of the familiar first verse: "Of Thee I sing." I ..read more
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All Set(s): Sinclair & Swafford on Charles Ives
The Arkiv Blog
by ArkivMusic Contributor
11M ago
    Charles Ives was not just an insurance man and “weekend composer,” but the executive who arguably invented estate planning and—with music written deep into the night—became the fifth person to win the Pulitzer Prize in music. Not just a Connecticut Yankee, but a scion of a family that founded enduring local institutions and advanced abolitionism, on the page and on the battlefield. Not just a participant in avant-garde music in the United States, but virtually a one-man philanthropic trust supporting it. Not just a bringer of hymns, marches, and parlor songs into symphonies and ..read more
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Listening to Remember: Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Nourishing Souls
The Arkiv Blog
by ArkivMusic Contributor
1y ago
 In March 2023, ArkivMusic hosted a Live Q&A session with violin soloist and chamber musician Kelly Hall-Tompkins. She spoke about the album Forgotten Voices, devoted in its entirety to a collectively authored song cycle of the same title. 15 composers, from Kevin Puts to Errolyn Wallen and Angélica Negrón to Hall-Tompkins herself, contributed individual songs. The ever-ambitious "soloist entrepreneur" detailed the musical and logistical challenges of commissioning, rehearsing, and recording so many original works in a coherent set. However, we also discussed the sources of ly ..read more
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Insisting on Hope and Humanity: Lara Downes on Love at Last
The Arkiv Blog
by Nicholas Stevens
1y ago
  In March 2023, ArkivMusic hosted a Live Q&A session with piano soloist and arts advocate/activist Lara Downes. We were interviewing the interviewer, spotlighting someone who sheds light: Downes hosts NPR Music's Amplify web series, as well as Evening Music on KUSC and KDFC (where she is also Resident Artist). In 2022, the radio program Performance Today named her Classical Woman of the Year.   Yet as we discuss in this interview, Downes does not accept the label "classical," with its implication of a singular or isolable lineage, u ..read more
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Sinfonias Out of Silence: Missy Mazzoli + Peter Herresthal
The Arkiv Blog
by ArkivMusic Contributor
1y ago
  In March 2023, ArkivMusic hosted a Live Q&A session with composer Missy Mazzoli and violinist Peter Herresthal. In this interview, they spoke about their latest joint project: Dark with Excessive Bright, an album with the Arctic Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic, and respective conductors Timothy Weiss and James Gaffigan. Topics ranged from music education and how to inspire post-pandemic generations to Herresthal's in-progress career transition and Mazzoli's upcoming operatic projects. Thanks to our friends at BIS and our media partners at Naxos of America for their suppo ..read more
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Scaling the Heights of the Cello Repertoire: Carmine Miranda
The Arkiv Blog
by ArkivMusic Contributor
1y ago
Classical musicians often begin their recording careers with samplings from standard or new repertoire, showcasing versatility and promise. To scale the Everest of an instrument's literature is for mid- or late-career projects—or so goes conventional wisdom. Carmine Miranda launched his career on disc with Bach's Six Suites. He was just getting started. Rachmaninoff's dazzling Sonata represents a lofty peak in both the cello and piano literatures; Shostakovich's entry in the genre, while less known as a rite of passage, also poses daunting challenges. We asked Carmine, whose latest album inclu ..read more
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Root & Branch: Reijo Kiilunen and the Ondine Records Story
The Arkiv Blog
by ArkivMusic Contributor
1y ago
Over nearly four decades, Ondine Records has brought top-quality classical albums to the world from its Helsinki home base. A vital part of the "Finnish Classical Miracle" that made artists such as Karita Mattila, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Kaija Saariaho beloved around the world, Ondine has also maintained an international roster and profile from the start. In February 2023, an Ondine album entered the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart at #1 for the first time—just the latest of the label's many milestones. Who built this wondrous project? Reijo Kiilunen, whose vision and ambiti ..read more
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