Second Inversion hosts share a favorite selection from this Friday’s playlist. Tune in during the indicated hours below on Friday, August 12 to hear these pieces. In the meantime, you’ll hear other great new and unusual music from all corners of the classical genre 24/7!
Daniel Wohl: 323 (Transit) on New Amsterdam Records
Like so much of what we play on Second Inversion, “323” by Daniel Wohl is difficult to categorize. It’s an exuberant piece full of interesting sounds, found noises, and jangly percussion that I’m fairly sure is pots and pans yet the overall feel of the piece can be summed up with the word “radiant.” It’s music that pulsates and cuts into your tympanic membrane with its soft edges. “323” is like if drone and a junkyard gave birth to… a solar system? It’s confusing, but it is a bold confusion that truly works and inspires. – Rachele Hales
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 1pm hour today to hear this recording.
Darcy James Argue: Phobos (Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society) on New Amsterdam Records
If you’re someone who is immersed in (small ‘c’) classical music most or all of the time, it can be refreshing (and necessary) to bend your ears on something that really challenges you to think about what makes music “classical.” Where are the boundaries of the art form? Darcy James Argue’s track Phobos can help you grapple with (if not answer) these questions. This is first and foremost jazz, but it has so many elements more closely associated with other types of music that it really forces listeners to ask themselves some tough questions (if they are insistent on classifying the music at all!). Among the shades of minimalism and post-rock, those big-band “jazz” chords begin to sound like tone clusters… Listen to the barriers fall! Wonderful! – Seth Tompkins
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 4pm hour today to hear this recording.
Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for a New Dark Age (Victoire, Lorna Dune, and Glenn Kotche) on New Amsterdam Records
The Western classical music tradition as we know it began in the Church. And both the Church and the Western classical music tradition have historically excluded women from positions of power and authority.
Which is a big part of what makes composer Missy Mazzoli’s 30-minute masterwork Vespers for a New Dark Age so striking, so liberating, and—for lack of a better word—so brilliant. Performed with her all-female new age art pop ensemble Victoire, electro keyboardist Lorna Dune, and rock drummer Glenn Kotche, the piece reimagines the traditional vespers prayer service in the modern age, replacing the customary sacred verses with the haunting and elegant poetry of Matthew Zapruder.
The result is a 21st century version of the vespers service which explores the intersection of our modern technological age with the old-fashioned formality of religious services. Oh, and I guess it could also be heard as a feminist assertion of women’s immense (and too often forgotten) contributions to the classical music tradition. – Maggie Molloy
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 6pm hour today to hear this recording.
Kevin Puts: River’s Rush (Marin Alsop, Peabody Symphony Orchestra) on NAXOS Records
With its churning arpeggios and big, muscular orchestration, this piece reminds me of hurtling down the Salmon River in Idaho on a whitewater rafting trip. The tremendous excitement that the opening music generates is matched by the beauty of a lushly-orchestrated, flowing middle section. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his opera Silent Night, Puts is known for his flute and piano concertos and four symphonies, but this stand-alone work might be my new favorite. – Geoffrey Larson
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 9pm hour today to hear this recording.