April 7, 2017 AKOKA: Reframing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time RECEIVES ITS FIRST INTERNATIONAL & REMASTERED SACD RELEASE ON THE PENTATONE OXINGALE SERIES First released in North America […]
March 28, 2017 Vancouver Bach Festival 2017 August 1–11 | Assorted venues Tickets and info: earlymusic.bc.ca Now is the time for classical music presenters to announce big plans. Next season […]
March 14, 2017 As a curator at C4NM, I am focusing my energies on presenting programs featuring women as primary creators. I recently connected with Luna Pearl Woolf, the Composer-in-Residence […]
February 9, 2017 We’re thrilled that OVERTURES to Bach has been nominated for a JUNO Award in the category of Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble 2017. […]
We are thrilled to announce the winner of our inaugural call for scores! Selected from nearly 150 applicants from around the world, Luna Pearl Woolf will write an original score to Samuel Beckett’s mime play […]
October 13, 2016 Matt Haimovitz, cello – “Overtures to Bach” – composed by PHILIP GLASS, VIJAY IYER, ROBERTO SIERRA, DU YUN, LUNA PEARL WOOLF plus The Six BACH: Cello Suites […]
December 2, 2016 “We’re looking for the event in the crypt,” I announced. “Where is the crypt?” Four alarmed eyeballs stared back at me. It was the second day of […]
September 28, 2016 Overtures to Bach Matt Haimovitz Pentatone Oxingale Series (PTC 5186 561) The following is an excerpt from Strings Attached (October 2016) which can be read in its entirety […]
September 1, 2016 Recently named Pentatone’s Artist of the Season, Matt Haimovitz has never shied from making waves in performance or recording. The Montreal-based cellist has already proven his Bach […]
September 15, 2016 On Monday night, cellist Matt Haimovitz played a CD release show in a luthier space in Toronto. He was surrounded by instruments — cellos, violins, violas, he […]
August 26, 2016 If you do not know, Matt Haimovitz is that enormously talented, accomplished and daring more-or-less young cellist who has embarked on a series of brilliant, genre bending […]
SONNTAG, 14. AUGUST 2016 im Bach glüht Alte Musik muss nicht in die Gegenwart übersetzt werden. Wenn Matt Haimovitz sie zum Klingen bringt, ist sie unser Jetzt Der Violoncellist Matt […]
August 1, 2016 Heitor Villa-Lobos called Bach “…a kind of universal folkloric source, rich and profound.” He mined a particularly rich Bachian vein throughout his career, as have so many […]
August 1, 2016 Matt Haimovitz’s continuously-evolving and intense engagement with the Bach Cello Suites reaches a new zenith with Overtures to Bach, six new commissions that anticipate and reflect each […]
July 2, 2016 Two classic collaborations from cellist Matt Haimovitz enjoy sonic glory in these restorations from Pentatone. SCHUBERT: Arpeggione Sonata in a minor, D. 821; String Quintet in C […]
March 8, 2016 You don’t usually expect to find a classical cellist at a rock club. But Matt Haimovitz isn’t your usual classical cellist.
January 7, 2016 Opera explores pivotal moment in American history in late 1890s Montreal composer Luna Pearl Woolf’s first opera, Better Gods, opens Thursday night for two performances in front of […]
February 29, 2016 Massachusetts-born composer Luna Pearl Woolf returned to Washington on Sunday for a concert devoted to her music: two chamber works, a semi-operatic piece and excerpts from an […]
Haimovitz gives thoughtful and well-considered performances of these seminal works in resonant sound that captures his baroque cello and cello piccolo (Suite 6) in terrific sonics. I won’t harp yet again on the felicities of recording solo and small ensembles in surround sound—often more than the largest Mahler symphony, these sorts of settings benefit from the finest sound, allowing the most subtle of expressions to come across as if one was sitting directly in the presence of these artists in the most intimate of listening spaces.
Offering something slightly more substantial than the 20-minute pieces shown last month, WNO premiered Better Gods, an hour-long work by composer Luna Pearl Woolf and librettist Caitlin Vincent on Friday evening. The subject is the fate of Queen Lili’uokalani, last monarch of Hawaii. In 1898, Lili’uokalani attempts to repudiate the U.S.-friendly constitution inherited from her predecessor and shore up Hawaiian sovereignty.
Washington National Opera’s Better Gods brings a mostly unknown chapter in Hawaiian history onto the stage at the Kennedy Center, telling the story of Queen Lili’uokalani, the island nation’s last monarch, with dignity and high artistic values. I imagine the Hawaiian “better gods” are happy.
Ms. Woolf’s gorgeous score is underlined by the use of traditional Hawaiian chants and her score utilized authentic instruments like the nose flute, Kala’au (percussive sticks), and Ili’ili (castanets), that are native to the island. Ms. Woolf’s score also uses Queen Lili`uokalani’s famous composition, “Aloha ‘Oe”, sung in gorgeous counterpoint by soprano Ariana Wehr.
This fascinating and heart wrenching story of Better Gods is a production worth seeing. The touches of Hawaiian authenticity, and the tremendous strength of the performers, make the new fascinating and heart-wrenching Better Gods from the Washington National Opera a powerful experience.
“In Matt Haimovitz’s impressive almost-two-and-a-half hour recording, we are taken on a journey through the dances most of us may have heard on separate occasions, one suite a a time, or programmed as stand-alone movements, but rarely had the opportunity to experience in such a neat unit. This rarity is a very special must-have for this reason. The album is full of Haimovitz’s personality, with distinctive expressive flourishes and quirks.”
“Haimovitz brings a beguiling lightness to the line that propels the listener from the sunny serenity of the Prelude to the moto perpetuo of the final Gigue, despite the deceptively complicated harmonic structure of that Suite as a whole. This, in turn, allows the almost preternatural control he displays in the Sarabande of the Fifth Suite to unravel it with all the desolation of a melodic line that has no hint of that previous complexity, and create the impact it should – as a profound statement of emotional isolation.”
Given his commitment to connecting with his audience, Haimovitz chose a unique way to share this passion with his listeners. He has commissioned preludes to the Six Solo Suites, created by contemporary composers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. “It’s a way to bring these suites into the 21st century,” he says, “to have living, breathing composers grapple with the materials, Bach’s musical building blocks, and find their own take on it.”
The six composers bringing contemporary vitality to Bach are Philip Glass, Luna Pearl Woolf, Du Yun, Vijay Iyer, Roberto Sierra, and Mohammed Fairouz. Haimovitz has encouraged them to draw on folk melodies, just as Bach did in his day. As we spoke, the pieces were still being written, and Haimovitz’s excitement and anticipation is contagious.
November 12, 2015 Matt Haimovitz’s attitude toward his 1710 cello is that “it’s survived 300 years, and if you take good care of it I’m not going to be afraid […]
November 11, 2015 After celebrating Matt Haimovitz’s recent recording of Bach’s unaccompanied Cello Suites (see October 13th posting) I was reminded that I had planned to cover his earlier unaccompanied […]
By DAVID ALLEN,photographs by MICHAEL GEORGE October 26, 2015 Matt Haimovitz and his cello case with staff members from the Miller Theater before his pop-up concert at Brad’s Cafe at […]
“If there’s anyone who can pull off a 3-disc compilation of contemporary music for solo cello spanning from 1945 to 2014, it most certainly is Matt Haimovitz. […] This is a compilation designed for curious minds, encouraging listeners to explore and question rather than to define or decide how contemporary music should sound.”
“For all that we get Haimovitz’s total artistry, a deep resonance to the cello not heard quite like this in standard versions, and an expressivity that is very palpable and rugged at times, without a romantic sort of rubato so much as a baroque one, which is to say that the sort of bravura of the post-Beethoven cello is replaced by a different sort of emotiveness, born of the resonance of the open strings and a restrained vibrato, with the up-down bowing dynamics of the flat bow and the phrasing of Anna’s version suggesting a performance of great clarity and zest. There is a rough-hewn, exuberant beauty to it all. And not a stitch of sentimentality.”
October 05, 2015 In a Strings exclusive, Matt Haimovitz has released a music video from his forthcoming album, The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena (Pentatone), of the Prelude from […]
September 2, 2015 “Orbit”: Music for Solo Cello (1945-2014) Matt Haimovitz, cello (Pentatone) In this fascinating three-disc survey of music for solo cello written since the end of World War […]
Available Now! Fresh off the heels of his revelatory period-instrument recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations with Christopher O’Riley, BEETHOVEN, Period., Haimovitz releases J.S. Bach: The Cello Suites […]
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 […]
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 […]
Over the course of three discs, Haimovitz takes the listener on a musical odyssey through time and space, from minimalism to maximalism, tonal to atonal, folk to avant-garde, abstract to narrative, and everything in between.
August 14, 2015 AllMusic Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars On this 2015 compilation of contemporary solo cello music, Matt Haimovitz presents a diverse program of past performances, drawn from his […]
August 13, 2015 Four Hours: ‘A Small Part Of The Repertoire’ You could do worse than play a 1710 cello made by the Venetian luthier Matteo Goffriller, but what Matt […]
August 10, 2015 I’ve got a cranium full of Matt Haimovitz at the moment, and have not yet reached capacity. Clocking in at 3.75 hours, the cello soloist’s latest release, […]
Available now! 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 […]
August 5, 2015 4/5 stars “a mighty triple CD with contemporary music for solo cello, is actually more of a quest…Orbit is named for the late and remarkably successful […]
July 9, 2015 Sometimes an artist’s most meaningful projects arise by chance, in everyday interactions, rather than through any grand plan. So, it seems, was the case with the intrepid […]
Sensitive, even soulful, playing by Haimovitz and crisp articulation of the piano part on a mellifluous Broadwood of Beethoven’s day.
April 15, 2015 The cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley are quick to emphasize that their recent venture into Baroque period instruments isn’t some fusty or antiquated pursuit. The […]
“Hearing these two gifted musicians working together with such pleasure and mutual understanding was like seeing two people collaborate on a challenging crossword puzzle, at high speed—fascinating in the moment, and, once the mind caught up to what they were doing, uncanny and dazzling.”
Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley play the living daylights out of these works. They lap up Beethoven’s combative style like hungry lions anticipating raw steak, relishing the composer’s frequentsubito dynamics, unpredictable placement of accents and over-the-bar-line phrase groupings
March 14, 2015 Whether it’s warranted or not, classical music wonks are perennially worried about the next generation of fans. It seems there’s less need to fret when you hear […]
February 19, 2015 In case you missed these on Facebook and Twitter, be sure to check out these videos with Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O’Riley from the iconic Tractor Tavern in the […]
April 18, 2017 HAYS– Tickets are now on sale for Matt Haimovitz: “The Bach Suites — A Moveable Feast,” the next performance of the 2016-2017 Encore Series. The performance is […]
April 14, 2017 Cellist Matt Haimovitz and clarinettist David Krakauer met at a klezmer gathering in Canada and discovered a shared interest in Henri Akoka, the Algerian-born Sephardic Jewish clarinettist who […]
March 21, 2017 György Ligeti | Credit: Co Broerse The accordion, Renaissance motets, and Samuel Beckett — it’s an improbable festival that brings these things together — but then, György […]
March 1, 2017 Often we think of a musical instrument’s properties in the context of ensemble performance, where it fits in an overall sonic tapestry with any or all components […]