Cellist Matt Haimovitz gets his kicks out of mixing it up, playing Arcade Fire at a pop-up concert one day, then restringing his instrument with gut strings to play period Beethoven the next. For tonight’s Toronto visit with the Ontario Philharmonic at Koerner Hall, he reaches into the heart of the repertoire with Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo. Continue reading →
“Angel Heart” was conceived by Luna Pearl Woolf and Lisa Delan.
“Do you hear it?”
At the beginning, there is only the voice of Jeremy Irons. Then, the sound of strings: high, sparkling filaments of sound that dance around the narrator’s voice like dust particles catching the light.
There is a whispering of wings in the silence of the night.
They’re coming. With feathers as white as snow and faces as bright as the moonlight:
“Angel Heart” is a tender and emotionally astute children’s story told in words and music. Last month it was released as an audiobook CD; on Monday it will be performed live at Zankel Hall with the actor Chris Noth as narrator. Continue reading →
After all the hundreds of musicals that have gone down the pike, take heart, there are still unlimited ways to tell a story in music. A very different way of telling, Angel Heart, charmed its first audience, of adults and children (lots of them) in UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall last Sunday afternoon. Continue reading →
If you close your eyes and listen to the music, you can picture the onscreen action: the young mother unnerved by the sudden departure of her baby’s nanny, the wily tramp finding the key under the mat and infiltrating the isolated house, the husband working to the ticking clock of office deadlines suddenly thrown into a different race against time when his wife’s frantic phone call to him is cut off, and the chase to the rescue in a stolen car pursued by the law.
Composer Luna Pearl Woolf conjures the pictures in your mind’s eye with the orchestral-sounding richness of eight cellos, a full complement of drums and a glockenspiel. Continue reading →
What happens when a pair of music professionals set out to create a CD to share with their kids? In the case of composer Luna Pearl Woolf and soprano Lisa Delan, they enlist author Cornelia Funke, actor Jeremy Irons, and Mirada Studios to help them turn their vision into a multimedia storybook and interactive iPad app. The result is Angel Heart, a CD in mini-hardcover packaging being released September 24 by Oxingale Records. An app is set to follow in early 2014. Continue reading →
The cellist Matt Haimovitz with a Bohemian cello from 1770. Photo by Stephen Woolf
PLAINFIELD, Mass. — On a recent sunny afternoon, Matt Haimovitz entered a carpentry workshop here that doubles as a music studio and gently pulled the door shut. The garden of the 19th-century farmhouse echoed with the shouts of children. But the newest family member was quietly leaning against the wall. It was darker than its sibling next to it and covered in pockmarks, but Mr. Haimovitz cupped his hand around its neck with loving pride: “This is my Beethoven cello.”
Mr. Haimovitz is one of the leading cellists of his generation and equally well known for his ardent interpretations of the classics as for boundary-pushing projects involving electronics and collaborations with unusual instruments. For 25 years, he has played a spectacular Goffriller cello made in 1710 that has a rich, golden sound. Continue reading →
Trinity Church Wall Street is an Episcopal parish in lower Manhattan with a charter dating back to 1697. Though its leaders supported the losing side in the Revolutionary War, Trinity’s congregants eventually included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and George Washington himself.
No less impressive than Trinity’s history are its wide-ranging music programs. They include organ recitals and lunchtime concerts, many of which are webcast or archived on the church’s website (trinitywall street.org). Composer, conductor and keyboardist Julian Wachner was named Trinity’s director of music and the arts in 2010. He and the splendid Trinity Choir recorded Bach’s complete motets for the Musica Omnia label last year. They head uptown to Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall for what promises to be an engrossing evening of spirituals and contemporary music.
Apart from those spirituals—including classics “Precious Lord” and “There Is a Balm in Gilead”—Laura Elise Schwendinger’s Seven Choral Settings (1994) are, wondrous to say, the oldest works on the program. Trinity’s St. Paul’s Chapel sheltered recovery workers after the 9/11 atrocities, and Luna Pearl Woolf’s Après Moi, Le Déluge (2006) commemorates another national calamity: the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. The electrifying Matt Haimovitz, Woolf’s husband, is the cello soloist. Wachner’s own Rilke Songs (2002) are renderings of animal-inspired poems, while the always-inventive Du Yun, whose media range from symphony orchestra to laptop, describes San (2003) as her “inner hearing” of a centuries-old song for qin (an ancient zither).—Marion Lignana Rosenberg
On the first Monday in May each year, schools across Canada celebrate the impact of music and music education with Music Monday. To mark the occasion, we invited several prominent Canadian musicians across a variety of genres to pen a letter to a music teacher who has greatly influenced their career. Then, when possible, we spoke to the teacher about the letter.