Bertrand Chamayou (pictured above) has won Gramophone‘s 2019 Recording of the Year Award for his album of Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 5 with the French National Orchestra and Emanuel […]
November 26, 2019 Leonard Cohen’s Polemic Masterpiece in a Kaleidoscopic Re-Imagining For Three Voices and Cello Composer Luna Pearl Woolf boldly reconfigures Leonard Cohen’s darkly ironic “Everybody Knows” for three […]
November 26, 2019 Gripping, harrowing and humorous, music for choir, solo voices and instruments by Luna Pearl Woolf comes together in a new composer portrait album due out on the […]
December 9, 2018 100 best albums of the year From Arctic Monkeys to Rachmaninov, via Cardi B and Melody Gardot, our critics select their favourite albums of 2018 Here we […]
AVAILABLE NOW! ANGEL HEART a music storybook created by LISA DELAN & LUNA PEARL WOOLF story by CORNELIA FUNKE music by LUNA PEARL WOOLF with new and traditional songs composed […]
October 23, 2017 Cellist Matt Haimovitz is known for expanding perceptions about his instrument. That includes a career-long championship of contemporary music, as well as performing in unexpected venues, such […]
June 24, 2017 SALEM — The timing of the premiere of Philip Glass’s Partita No. 2 for Solo Cello was crucial, said Orange Mountain Music’s Richard Guérin in a pre-concert […]
PUBLIÉ LE VENDREDI 26 MAI 2017 L’altiste et chroniqueur Frédéric Lambert parle des melleures parutions et des concerts à venir en musique classique. Il est question de l’œuvre phare d’Olivier […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
“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 […]