Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:08 pm
Polish pianist RafaÅ‚ Blechacz was just 20 years old when he swept all five top prizes at the 2005 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. His domination was so thorough the judges declined to award a runner-up.
The Australian folk-rock band Husky takes its name from frontman and chief songwriter Husky Gawenda, whose croon soars over the group's artfully crafted instrumentals. Husky is the first Aussie band signed to Sub Pop Records â€” and, with its lush harmonies and thoughtfully crafted lyrics, it fits right in with its labelmates and indie-folk contemporaries in Fleet Foxes.
Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:42 pm
If you've been watching the HBO series Treme with us, welcome back.
If you're new here, welcome in the first place. WBGO's Josh Jackson, a New Orleans native, and I have been watching the music-saturated program set in post-Katrina New Orleans for two years now. After every episode, we try to establish some context for the many musical references and live performances the show features.
Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard makes his 11th appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Hubbard first found success after writing "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers," which became a beer-joint jukebox anthem some 40 years before anyone thought about singing the praises of a Solo cup. A high-school classmate of Mountain Stage host Larry Groce, Hubbard even played with him in a band for a while.
Early fans of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More, had to wait a while for the London band's second release. Marcus Mumford, Country Winston Marshall, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane spent the last three years traveling the world and playing to increasingly huge crowds as their popularity bloomed.
Albums made by collections of professional studio players once had a bad reputation with the traditional rock audience. Such works were supposedly arid and chilly â€” more like the results of a board meeting than the recorded adventure of an organic group of fabulous friends. Some music fans may still feel that way, but they are few. Nowadays, a tight-knit gaggle of session musicians like the Analog Players Society gets points from traditionalists simply because the music is made by flesh and blood.
Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:25 am
Today, Sept. 25, 2012, would have marked the 80th birthday of Glenn Gould, and Oct. 4 is the 30th anniversary of his death. One can only wonder what Gould might have done had he lived a full life â€” he had many plans and spoke of them with customary enthusiasm â€” but I have no doubt that he would have loved the internet above all.
Cecilia Bartoli has a passion for musical archaeology: "I am the Indiana Jones of classical," she says jokingly to All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.
Bartoli rummages through music history to uncover forgotten opera composers deserving of her detailed and dramatic performances. Her new album, Mission, introduces her most recent "find," the late-17th-century Italian Agostino Steffani.
Singer-songwriter Dar Williams makes her seventh appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.V. A veteran of the New England folk scene, Williams emerged nationally in the mid-1990s, winning fans (including folk heavyweights like Joan Baez) with her idiosyncratic songwriting, acerbic wit and lovely soprano voice.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:17 am
In a ceremony and concert last night, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz recognized Jamison Ross, 24, as the winner of its annual competition for young musicians. The competition, the highest profile event of its kind, was open to drummers this year.