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Music News 2/23/23
UPCOMING CONCERT: ON THE BREATH OF ANGELS
One of my favorite albums of the last decade is BREATHTAKING: A Cornetto and a Voice Entwined (Passacaille, $18.99). It features the magical duets of cornetto virtuoso Bruce Dickey and soprano Hana Blažiková, backed by Baroque violins, viola da gamba, organ/harpsichord, and theorbo (the wonderful Jakob Lindberg). The cornetto is a leather-covered wooden trumpet (with a very “vocal” sound), often seen in paintings of the period being played by angels. It is wonderfully paired with the soprano voice in works from the the 17th century by Scarlatti, Bassani, D’India, Palestrina, and others
On Sunday-Monday, March 12-13, as part of the Music at Dumbarton Oaks concert series, Bruce Dickey and Hana Blažiková bring the recording alive (and add new pieces) in a program called On the Breath of Angels. The duo and the Breathtaking Collective will play music by Palestrina, Cavalli, Carissimi, Bononcini, Scarlatti, Satie (a new arrangement of one of his Trois Melodies), and a newly commissioned work by Ivan Moody.
STEVE REICH: THE STRING QUARTETS (Deutsche Grammophon, $17.98) – Steve Reich’s first string quartet was the haunting Different Trains (1988). Mr. Reich (born in 1936) juxtaposed voices from his own childhood cross-country train journeys with those of Jews taking “different train.” He let those melodic vocal fragments construct and drive the melodies of his quartet writing, and results became an iconic work.
The Mivos Quartet play all three of Steve Reich’s quartets: Different Trains (1988); WTC 9/11 (2009-2010); and Triple Quartet (1999).
Vilde Frang, BEETHOVEN / STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTOS (Warner Classics, $18.98) – Violinist Vilde Frang writes about the Beethoven and Stravinsky Violin Concertos: “I’ve always felt an inexplicable relation between these two—both are so buoyant, almost like coloratura…” Ms. Frang is accompanied by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, conducted by Pekka Kuusisto.