Ticket Giveaway: ModernMedieval & Julianna Barwick at the Ecstatic Music Festival


The Ecstatic Music Festival continues to be one of the best places find and celebrate the ongoing synthesis between the classical and pop worlds. On April 19th, the festival will bring ModernMedieval and Julianna Barwick to the Kaufman Music Center stage.

Barwick is best known for looping her powerfully emotive voice to stunning effect. The festival has commisioned her for a collaboration with the trio ModernMedieval who seek to find and explore connections between medieval and contemporary music. The program will also feature commissions by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw and Caleb Burhans.

Feast of Music is giving away THREE PAIRS of tickets to the performance on April 19th at the Kaufman Music Center.

Here's how to enter:

1. Email robert@feastofmusic.com    -OR-

2. Retweet our post with the hashtag #freetickets    -OR-

3. Head to our Facebook page and COMMENT on our giveaway post! 

Good luck!


András Schiff at Carnegie Hall

by Nick Stubblefield
AJ Wilhelm for NPR.org
When a solo pianist can fill Carnegie’s two-thousand seat Stern Auditiorium, and has the clout to insist upon bringing his Bosendorfer concert grand to every recital, you know you're in for a world-class performance. On Thursday night, Hungarian-born Sir András Schiff performed a set of piano works that ran the classical gamut —Schumann, Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach — while bypassing the traditional applause breaks between pieces. The resulting seamlessness at first seemed to disorient the audience, but we adjusted, and Schiff did not relinquish his hold on us until he played the final note.
The opener, Robert Schumann’s Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24, set a restrained and thoughtful tone for the evening. The piece maintains a slow tempo and soft dynamics, developing the opening theme through a series of variations. The program noted that the composition reflects a manic-depressive period of Schumann’s life, and Schiff’s understated, gentle touch reflected a sensitivity to that context.
Some of the Brahms Intermezzos, extracted from his Three Intermezzos Op. 117 and his Klavierstücke, Op. 118 and Op. 119, peppered the program throughout. The Intermezzos remain popular with both pianists and audiences for their brevity and beautiful, soaring melodies. Schiff's sharp attention to balance on each Intermezzo delivered clear, distinct right-handed melodies underpinned with the left-hand arpeggiations. Melodies rose and fell like the breath and phrasing of a good singer. 

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Ravi Coltrane Trio plays the Jazz Standard

by Nick Stubblefield


The Jazz Standard is an ideal venue to hear jazz, thanks to its very dry acoustics and intimate confines. In the front row, you won’t hear artificial or natural reverb, and you won’t notice the amplification through the house PA, either. Instead, you’ll appreciate the warm, organic wooden resonance from the upright bass, the subtle, breathy vibrato from Coltrane’s tenor, and the extra sparkle from the ride cymbals.

Saxophone royalty Ravi Coltrane played the Jazz Standard this week, where he took on double duty playing melody and supporting harmonic fills. With the support from his rhythm section, he played a dynamic show that entranced, excited, and soothed.

There is something raw and bare-bones about a jazz saxophone trio. Without a keyboard or guitar to flesh out the chords and harmonic structure, the warm timbre of a tenor sax is more exposed to the listener. When the air passing through the instrument is more audible, the final sound is more humanlike, and in that the saxophonist can produce beautiful musical expression.

Coltrane’s trio got down to business straight away with an uptempo ditty that defied precise classification. There were elements of swing, funk, and bebop, but the groove of the tune just kept changing, which kept this listener engaged and guessing what might come next. It wasn’t “free jazz,” the brand his famous father sold, but that free-spirited, post-modern edge was present. It’s essential for improvisational musicians to stay communicative with each other, and Coltrane’s trio maintained a Vulcan mind-meld throughout the set — and some of the best use of body language I’ve seen in a group. At points, Ravi would even step off to the side to let his rhythm section shine, but would still face his bandmates, not the audience.

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"Qyrq Qyz (Forty Girls)" at BAM

by Steven Pisano

20180323-DSC06949(All photos by Steven Pisano.)

The epic story of Gulayim, a teenage female warrior from Uzbekistan who banded 40 female warriors together to fight off invaders, resonates with today's headlines of women fighting back against male power, even though it tells a partly historical, partly mythic story from Central Asia that is centuries old. "Qyrq Qyz" (pronounced close to "kirk kiz") has been passed down by way of oral tradition to the present day, and it is said that almost everyone who lives in one of the "-stans" knows some version of it.

At the Brooklyn Academy of Music this weekend, sold-out audiences were treated to a contemporary telling of the story directed by Saodat Ismailovaa theater artist and filmmaker who has shuttled her work between Tashkent and Paris. With music composed by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky that combines traditional folk motifs from the region  with more modern ambient music, the production featured musicians on stage, playing traditional instruments and singing.

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