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Music News 2/16/23
BIRTHRIGHT: A BLACK ROOTS MUSIC COMPENDIUM (Craft, 2 CDs, $25.98) – An “expansive overview of American Black roots music—from old-time banjo and traditional jazz to Mississippi hill country blues—demonstrating the pervasive influence of these styles on popular culture from country to hip hop. This rollicking ride through the joyful landscape of African American musical invention includes essays from musician/scholars Dom Flemons and Corey Harris. There are songs from Mississippi Fred McDowell,Carolina Chocolate Drops with Joe Thompson, Ranky Tanky, Etta Baker. Bois Sec Ardoin & Canray Fontenot. Lightnin’ Hopkins, Staple Singers, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, Clifton Chenier, Skip James, Bessie Jones,Joseph Spence, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Cedric Burnside, Amythyst Kiah, Lonnie Johnson, Leyla McCalla, Dom Flemons, Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’, John Lee Hooker, Professor Longhair. Mississippi John Hurt. Odetta, Rev. Gary Davis, and from the DMV, John Jackson, Cephas & Wiggins, and Sweet Honey in the Rock
PETER GARLAND: THE BASKETWEAVE ELEGIES (Cold Blue Music, $17.98) – One of my favorite new music works (and most contemplative) from the past few years has been Peter Garland’s Moon Viewing Music, for solo gongs. Mr. Garland follows this release with a beautiful solo vibraphone piece, The Basketweave Elegies, played by percussionist William Winant (who was also the soloist on Moon Viewing Music).
Patricia Kopatchinskaja & Fazil Say, JANÁČEK BRAHMS BARTÓK (Alpha, $19.99) – One of the most creative and adventurous violinists in today’s music, Ms. Kopatchinskaja joins pianist Fazil Say in three iconic works: Janáček’s Sonata for Violin and Piano; Brahms’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in D minor; and Bartók’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1.
Sandrine Piau & David Kadouch, VOYAGE INTIME (Alpha, $19.99) – Soprano Sandrine Piau sings selections from Liszt, Wolf, Schubert, Clara Schumann, Duparc, Lili Boulanger, and Debussy, with pianist David Kadouch.
Stile Antico, THE GOLDEN RENAISSANCE: WILLIAM BYRD (Decca, $14.98) – Honoring of the giants of Renaissance music, William Byrd (1540 – 1623), 400 years after his death. David Weininger wrote in the New York Times: “At its center is the Mass for Four Voices, emblematic of his late liturgical works: spare and compact in expression yet with an unmistakable inner glow. The ending of the Agnus Dei unfurls a chain of lush harmonic suspensions, underlining the fervency of the plea for peace by one who had seen his share of ecumenical conflict…Also included are a collection of other liturgical works and what Byrd called sacred songs, all sung with Stile Antico’s familiar blend of warmth, clarity and responsiveness to text.”