Few composers have broader stylistic reach. But on a new album, “A Prayer for Lester Bowie,” he makes it all cohere. By Seth Colter Walls Oct. 15, 2021 It’s not a […]
Written by: David Olds June 30, 2021 One of the greatest challenges of editing DISCoveries is always how to do justice to as many of the fine recordings that come our way […]
Written by: Alexa Criscitiello May 17, 2021 The new digital album features the first fourteen of 81 new pieces written for Haimovitz. On June 11, 2021, multi-Grammy nominated cellist Matt […]
Par EMMANUEL BERNIER Consacré à la musique de chambre française du début du XXe siècle, l’album MON AMI, Mon amour réunit la pianiste Mari Kodama et le violoncelliste Matt Haimovitz, respectivement associés aux […]
Today, LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood has been nominated for a 2021 GRAMMY Award in the category of Best Classical Compendium. The composer-portrait album, released in February, encompasses 25 years of dramatic vocal and choral works and hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces by the innovative American-Canadian composer.
Has there ever been a year during which new albums were as vital to our survival as they were in 2020? CBC Music picks Canada best classical albums of the year, from solo piano to opera and everything in between.
With concert halls shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the arrival of new music – along with quarantine videos and live streams – was the closest we got this year to the thrill of live performance. And while records will never replace the concert experience, we’re grateful to Canada’s classical musicians for the profusion of new music they continue to release for our enjoyment.
Luna Pearl Woolf: Fire and Flood, a Pentatone Oxingale Series recording, has been nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Compendium. The composer-portrait album, released in February, encompasses 25 years of dramatic vocal and choral works and hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces by the innovative American-Canadian composer.
Last Week Intermezzo Host Chris Wolf had an opportunity to chat with cellist Matt Haimovitz about this marvelous new recording of French music for cello.
June 1, 2017 “Recorded live, AKOKA drives home the gravity and impact of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and affirms its relevance in the 21st century. As the […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“Haimovitz sets his cello free in a daring and dazzling jazz recital…“ Matt Haimovitz’s multi-faceted cello knocks down musical boundaries while scaling emotions from darkness to joy in Cello JAZZ, […]
“Luna Pearl Woolf trains a zoom lens on the collective experience, sometimes plunging us right into the midst of destruction and anarchy only to pull back, in one swoop, to a clear-eyed plane of compassion.”
March 1, 2019 American composer David Sanford (b. Pittsburgh 1963) came from a highly musical family. He always had a keen interest in jazz, big and music, and played the […]
July 2017 “Meeting of the Spirits” – jazz milestones re-imagined for a big band of cellos.PENTATONE SACD 518§ 659 TT: 51:06BUY NOW FROM AMAZON Matt Haimovitz is on the cutting […]
May 17, 2019 Afro-American composer David Sanford shows a musical Modernism with a healthy admixture of “Jazz” influences on his recent recording of orchestra works Black Noise (BMOP Sound 1063). The three […]
November 14, 2019 ALBUM REVIEW | David Sanford: Black NoiseClassical CD ChoiceBarry Forshaw Not for the casual listener, but those with a taste for the adventurous might give this unusual […]
May 3, 2019 In relation to music, noise occupies a particularly complex position in the history of African American musical cultures. Historically, white listeners musically and culturally disenfranchised enslaved African […]
October 16, 2019 All of the winners from this year’s Gramophone Classical Music Awards At the end of an electrifying evening of music-making and heartfelt speeches, Gramophone‘s Editor-in-Chief James Jolly closed […]