The Whole Note: ORBIT Review

September 1, 2015

In Brief: Over the long summer there was of course a plethora of other offerings that held my attention. Orbit – Music for Solo Cello (Pentatone PTC 1586) is a 3-CD compilation comprising material originally released over the past decade by Montreal-based Matt Haimovitz on his own Oxingale label. Even for an aficionado such as myself nearly four hours of nothing but the sound of a single cello in repertoire drawn from a single time period (1945-2014) might get to be a bit “much of a muchness,” but I must say that my attention did not wane. From the opening title track, Continue reading

Rhapsody: MATT HAIMOVITZ’S ADVENTUROUS CELLO

August 21, 2015

It’s easy (too easy) to think of any classical artist who is covering a pop song as a musician who is engaged in a little bit of opportunism. That’s because there is sometimes a little bit of pandering involved. But on other occasions, the crossover move really works. Click play on our mix, and you’ll hear one of those successes: cellist Matt Haimovitz’s scratchy-then-melodic cover of The Beatles’ iconic “Helter Skelter.” Aside from the performance’s ingenuity, it’s impressive that it also comes on Haimovitz’s new multidisc set of solo cello pieces (on which he plays music by Philip Glass as well as Luigi Dallapiccola). Continue reading

Orbit

Orbit

Orbit

Orbit

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Since the turn of the millennium, the solo cello recital has been a Matt Haimovitz trademark. Now, fresh off the release of his critically acclaimed BEETHOVEN, Period., a look back to period performance practice, Haimovitz reclaims his stake in the here and now with ORBIT, a new compilation of solo cello works from 22 contemporary composers. Comprised mainly of the solo tracks from five of his previous albums, this second release on the new Pentatone Oxingale Series also includes two new tracks: Orbit by Philip Glass and the world premiere recording of a new arrangement of the Beatles’ Helter Skelter by Luna Pearl Woolf. Featuring composers from Ligeti and Berio to Gilles Tremblay and Du Yun, ORBIT thrillingly charts Haimovitz’s 15-year journey of artistry, intensity, and adventure. The SACD HD surround sound release is available on August 14, 2015.

ORBIT draws from five thematic albums previously released on Oxingale Records: Anthem (2003), Goulash! (2005), After Reading Shakespeare (2007), Figment (2009), and Matteo (2011). The 3-CD collection also highlights Haimovitz’s remarkable partnership – in life and in art – with composer Luna Pearl Woolf, who produced almost all of the tracks, which have now been remastered for SACD HD surround sound.

“With the solo cello as our pilot, we steer headlong into the great musical debates of the past half-century,” says Haimovitz, “maximalist vs. minimalist; folk-rooted vs. abstract, absolute vs. narrative, tonal vs. atonal. In many ways, we live in a golden age of music. We can look back at the 20th century’s Tower of Babel and embrace its boldness, diversity, complexity, and its return to the natural order of harmony.”

Highlights of the collection include Haimovitz’s version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” recorded live at the now defunct New York City punk palace CBGB. Also from Anthem are commissions from David Sanford and Toby Twining, steeped in jazz and blues, and works by Osvaldo Golijov and Tod Machover with far-flung exotic influences from Argentina and India. Folk-infused compositions by György Ligeti and Adrian Pop represent Goulash!, while Ned Rorem’s suite “After Reading Shakespeare” is joined by literary-influenced works by Lewis Spratlan and Paul Moravec. The works from the album Figment spring from the two “Figments” of Elliott Carter, leading to further virtuosic selections from Du Yun, Serge Provost, Luna Pearl Woolf, Ana Sokolovic, and Steven Stucky. The tracks from the album Matteo – which celebrated the 300th birthday of Haimovitz’s Venetian Matteo Goffriller cello – highlight the Italian avant-garde with works by Luigi Dallapiccola, Luciano Berio, and Salvatore Sciarrino.

ORBIT will be launched at the Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz where Haimovitz will perform the west coast premiere of Philip Glass’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with violinist Tim Fain and conductor Marin Alsop, on August 15. The next month brings more Glass as Haimovitz performs alongside the Philip Glass ensemble for a screening of the 2002 film Naqoyqatsi at the Days & Nights Festival in Carmel, California on September 26. (Haimovitz has previously recorded Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2, which was adapted from the Naqoyqatsi score.) He can also be heard in a recent performance of Glass’ The Orchard, with pianist Christopher O’Riley, for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert here.

Having recently performed Vivaldi with Kent Nagano for his Musical Days Festival in San Francisco, Matt Haimovitz will also take on the Brahms Double Concerto with violinist Rachel Barton Pine at the Big Sky Classical Music Festival in Montana on August 9. Two weeks earlier, on July 26, he brings his all-cello ensemble Uccello to Napa Valley’s Festival de Sole for a performance of Angel Heart, a music storybook by Luna Pearl Woolf with a text by Cornelia Funke, also featuring singers Frederica von Stade and Lisa Delan. Come September, Haimovitz will open the concert season at Bourgie Hall at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, performing Ravel with violinist Andrew Wan and pianist André Laplante.

In October, Haimovitz will launch his new recording of the Bach Cello Suites for Pentatone with a special residency at Miller Theatre, Columbia University, in New York City.

Tracks

CD1

  1. Philip Glass: Orbit
  2. David Sanford: Seventh Avenue Kaddish (2002)
  3. Osvaldo Golijov: Omaramor (1991)
  4. Luciano Berio: Sequenza XIV (2002)
  5. Adrian Pop: Gordun (2005)
  6. Ana Sokolovic: Vez (2006)
  7. György Ligeti: Sonata for Violoncello Solo – I (1948-1953)
  8. György Ligeti: Sonata for Violoncello Solo – II
  9. Du Yun: San (2004)
  10. Toby Twining: 9:11 Blues (2003)
  11. Hendrix/Haimovitz: Anthem (2002)

CD2

  1. Lennon-McCartney/Woolf: Helter Skelter (1968)
  2. Elliott Carter: Figment (1994)
  3. Salvatore Sciarrino: Ai Limiti Della Notte (1979)
  4. Luigi Dallapiccola: Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio – Ciaccona (1945)
  5. Luigi Dallapiccola: Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio – Intermezzo
  6. Luigi Dallapiccola: Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio – Adagio
  7. Steven Mackey: Rhondo Variations (1983)
  8. Luna Pearl Woolf: Sarabande (2009)
  9. Elliott Carter: Figment No. 2: Remembering Mr. Ives (2001)
  10. Tod Machover: With Dadaji in Paradise (1983)
  11. Gilles Tremblay: Cèdres en Voile: Thrène Pour le Liban (1989)

CD3

  1. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Lear (1980)
  2. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Katherine
  3. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Titania and Oberon
  4. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Caliban
  5. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Portia
  6. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Why hearst thou music sadly?
  7. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Our minutes hasten to their end
  8. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Remembrance of things past
  9. Ned Rorem: After Reading Shakespeare – Iago and Othello
  10. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – I. Growth (2008)
  11. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – II. Humor
  12. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – III. Butterfly/Kangaroo
  13. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – IV. Procrastination
  14. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – V. The Heart
  15. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – VI. Night
  16. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – VII. We Are All Mad
  17. Paul Moravec: Mark Twain Sez – VIII. Day-dreaming
  18. Lewis Spratlan: Shadow – Shadows I (2006)
  19. Lewis Spratlan: Shadow – Rambo/Rimbaud
  20. Lewis Spratlan: Shadow – Variation and Sarabande
  21. Lewis Spratlan: Shadow – Shadows II

 

AngelHeart feature2

Angel Heart, a music storybook

Angel Heart a music storybook

Angel Heart
a music storybook

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Official website: angelheartmusicstorybook.com

 

Haunting, heady, and evocative, Angel Heart is a music storybook with Continue reading

Matteo: 300 Years of an Italian Cello

Matteo: 300 Years of an Italian Cello

Matteo: 300 Years of an Italian Cello

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Haimovitz interweaves Gabrielli’s Ricercari with music from Italy’s leading contemporary composers. Continue reading

Figment

Figment

Figment

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A sequel to his 50-State solo cello tour and recording, Anthem, released in 2003, Figment is a return to Haimovitz’s signature solo set, embracing the musical communities of his two home countries, the US and Canada. Inspired by Continue reading

Odd Couple

Odd Couple

Odd Couple

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Two powerhouse performers, cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Geoffrey Burleson, come together on Odd Couple, released September 16 from Oxingale Records.

Odd Couple Celebrates Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday Continue reading

After Reading Shakespeare

After Reading Shakespeare

After Reading Shakespeare

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Works for solo cello by Ned Rorem, Paul Morevec and Lewis Spratlan.

After Reading Shakespeare features literary-themed solo cello suites by three beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning American composers. These witty and lyrical suites bring to life characters and quotations from Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Continue reading

VinylCello

VinylCello

VinylCello

Click to listen and buy from: VinylCello is an album of new cello concertos written for Matt Haimovitz and unexpected ensembles–big band, choir, DJ and live electronics–along with Haimovitz’s new arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’s Machine Gun for solo cello and all-cello band. On VinylCello, Haimovitz brings together the first three commissions from his ‘Buck the Concerto’ series,by composers Tod Machover, Luna Pearl Woolf, and David Sanford, with his own arrangement of Hendrix’s Machine Gun. In the hands of Haimovitz and Uccello, his all-cello band from McGill University, this war song, with its epic electric guitar solo, becomes a concerto for solo cello and an orchestra of seven cellos. Continue reading

Après Moi, le Déluge

Après Moi, le Déluge

Après Moi, le Déluge

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September 5, 2006 – Oxingale Records releases Après Moi, le Déluge at the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The debut full length album of new music by composer Luna Pearl Woolf includes two world premiere recordings: Continue reading