Sure, April First—April Fool’s Day, happens to be one of my favorite days of the year—you can guess that I’m quite the prankster. However, on this week’s World Music Show (4/1), the tracks we’ll hear will be no joke, in terms of world beat sounds that will make you happy to be alive (or, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch). However, because of stern upbringing in a family full of jokesters, you can expect the usual, albeit poorly executed attempts at some humor.
Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson pays tribute to the master of minimal music, Philip Glass, who recently turned 80 years old. Described by The New York Times as a “splendid pianist” and by Piano News as an “immense talent,” Ólafsson is much sought-after by international conductors, orchestras and artists as both a chamber and concert musician. In addition to the Etudes for solo piano, the album includes reworks of the originals for piano and string quartet.
Soprano Renée Fleming is joined by Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Selections include Samuel Barber’ “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” and “The Strand Settings,” a four-song cycle by Anders Hillborg which was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and is dedicated to Fleming. The album concludes with three new arrangements of songs by Bjork.
1) Samuel Barber: “Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24”
Renee Fleming, soprano
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Sakjari Oramo, conductor
I know that’s the quite the bold headline. I mean, just who am I to make such a declarative statement, right? But, if you tune into this week’s World Music Show (3/25), then you’ll forgive my platitudes, hopefully. Plus, that header is a reference for sounds to come.