As buds and birdsong usher in a long-awaited rebirth of outdoor life, the spring issue of Listen: Life with Classical Music celebrates the constant renewal of endlessly inspiring music.
Three of our most insightful pianists — Jeremy Denk, Stephen Hough, and Paul Lewis — grapple with finding a singular approach to some of the weightiest pieces in the canon. Jeremy speaks to Thomas May on the stakes of recording the Goldberg Variations and notes that “part of the joy of the Goldberg Variations is the outrageousness of some of the ideas Bach comes up with.” Stephen Hough revisits highlights of his discography and speaks frankly about Brahms, Chopin and his own work. Pianist Paul Lewis recently emerged from massive projects with Beethoven and Schubert, and spoke at length with Listen Editor in Chief Ben Finane. Hear the complete Paul Lewis interview at the Listen: Life with Classical Music podcast.
On the cover is cello champion and small-town hero Zuill Bailey who chats at length with Ben Finane about building an audience and a better world through classical music, avoiding the grapevine effect and keeping it together during the Elgar.
Listen resident scholar Jens F. Laurson tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the Mass (but were afraid to ask) accompanied by a chronological playlist that invites your ears to discover how the form went from Gebrauchsmusik to absolute music, from medieval polyphony to salsa, and why it endures today.
Also on the historical beat, Damian Fowler revisits the World War I centenary and the Germanophobia that swept the United States—including its concert halls and opera houses, carrying classical music to the margins of American pop culture and yielding generations of maverick composers. During this same time period, Leopold Stokowski became America’s premier maestro. Colin Eaton distills his colorful legacy and recounts how he “Stokowski-ized” orchestral music in the U.S.
Writer Mark Mobley strolls down memory lane with composer Paul Lansky, who has spent his career chipping away at his heady predilections for tone rows and computers to reveal a surprising musical voice that is usually tonal and acoustic.
Plus: Violinist Arnold Steinhardt writes a poignant love letter to his 1785 Storioni; Brian Wise takes us deep into the Ural Mountains where conductor Teodor Currentzis’s approach to Mozart can be as extreme as the region’s winter temperatures; Nick Frisch digs beneath the glossy surface of cross-cultural collaboration with regards to Chinese classical music in the U.S.; Jens F. Laurson memorializes Claudio Abbado; and, in print, Daniel Felsenfeld applauds John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, which finally brings us a biography of the composer that “throbs with life.”
Our critics plunge into a whopping 27 new recordings including Anne-Sophie Mutter’s superlative Dvorak collaboration with Manfred Honeck and the Berlin Philharmonic; a double shot of Diabelli from András Schiff, pitting modern piano against fortepiano; a classic Riccardo Chailly restoration of Brahms’s symphonies; an inaugural release from Les Arts Florissants’ in-house label featuring a bright and shiny version of Handel’s 1745 English oratorio Belshazzar; and an overflowing Ashkenazy box-set.
Plus, much, much more in the spring 2014 issue of Listen: Life with Classical Music.
A multi-award-winning print quarterly hailed by Library Journal as one of the best new magazines of 2009, Listen is the American voice of classical music. Now in its fifth year of publication, Listen delivers exclusive interviews with the world’s top musicians, feature articles, think pieces, festival coverage, insight into the masterworks and the unsung works of the classical canon, as well as recommendations on record, on screen, in print and online. No one covers the breadth and depth of classical music with greater elegance and zeal than Listen.
The magazine is available at Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores throughout the US and Canada or by subscription.
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About Steinway & Sons
Since its founding in New York in 1853, Steinway & Sons has been considered the world's premier piano manufacturer. Known for their exceptional craftsmanship, Steinway & Sons pianos are built in one of two company-owned and operated factories: Astoria, New York and Hamburg, Germany. Steinway & Sons pianos are still constructed primarily by hand, using many of the techniques developed over 160 years ago. Today, Steinway & Sons also offers the Boston and Essex piano lines, Listen, a magazine for music and culture lovers, and the Steinway & Sons record label. For more information, visit www.steinway.com.
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