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Music News 07/23/2014

Local Music

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Grace Griffith, Passing Through (Blix Street Records, $16.98) – Last Sunday at the Birchmere, there was a CD release celebration and fund raiser for singer Grace Griffith. Local stars of folk and Celtic music such as Tom Paxton, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Zan McLeod, Al Petteway and Debi Smith, among others, raised funds for Grace, who has been battling Parkinson’s disease for 17 years. Grace recorded Passing Through in short sessions when she was able to over the last few years; the album showcases her beautiful voice, with spare instrumentation.

Capitol Steps, How to Succeed in Congress Without Really Lying (Capitol Steps, $14.98) – The latest from the long-running musical political-parody group, who perform downtown at the Ronald Reagan Building. Songs include: “Everybody Must Get Droned,” “Livin’ La Vida Marco,” “When IRS Guys are Smiling,” “Pope and Change,” and “Getting Snowden.”


New Jazz

CD CoverDave Douglas and Uri Caine, Present Joys (Greenleaf Music, $14.98) – Two years ago, trumpeter Dave Douglas explored hymns and folk songs with his quintet plus vocalist Aoife O’Donovan on his wonderful album, Be Still. On Present Joys, he explores more traditional songs, this time in a duet with pianist Uri Caine. They play five songs associated with the shape-note repertoire (from such “tunebooks as The Sacred Harp, The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion), and five tunes by Douglas inspired by these 18th and 19th-century hymns. The beautiful cover was done by Peter Schumann, founder of the Bread and Puppet Theater.

NOTE: If you can make it to Baltimore, Dave Douglas and Uri Caine will play at An Die Musik this Saturday, July 26.


New & Recent Classical

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Vigilate! (SDG, $18.99) – John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Vigilate!, brings together six English composers of the 16th and 17th centuries: Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Thomas Morley, Robert White, Peter Philips, and Thomas Tompkins. The BBC Magazine stated that Tallis and “his pupils and successors—from Byrd to Tomkins—existed uneasily between Catholic traditions and an intermittently Protestant state. Vigilate (“Be Watchful”) is exactly how they must have felt.”

Glen Dicterow Collection (New York Philharmonic, $16.98) – The recently retired concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic playing concertos by Bruch, Bartók, Korngold (plus a famous movie theme by John Williams). Three of the conductors that Mr. Dicterow worked with—the late Lorin Maazel, Alan Gilbert, and David Robertson—lead the Philharmonic in these works.

Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis, The Silver Album (Deutsche Grammophon, 2 CDs, $19.98) – A 2-CD set celebrating the long partnership of violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis. There are world premier recordings of sonatas by Penderecki and Previn, and a gathering of old favorites by Beethoven, Brahms, Kreisler, Mozart, Fauré, Ravel, Massenet, and Debussy.