STAFF PICKS: Friday Faves

Second Inversion hosts share a favorite selection from this Friday’s playlist. Tune in during the indicated hours below on Friday, July 1 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!

Derek Bermel: Three Rivers; Alan Pierson, Alarm Will Sound (Cantaloupe Music)

artworks-000034193045-rcfdyx-t500x500Derek Bermel’s “Three Rivers” sounds almost more “big band” than “chamber ensemble.”  In this piece inspired by a trip he took to Pittsburgh, where he spent several hours mesmerized by the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers, he’s crafted over eleven minutes of pure swagger.  It’s angular and almost bawdy.  If it doesn’t put you in mind of an abstract version of West Side Story then you probably haven’t seen West Side Story. – Rachele Hales


Tune in to Second Inversion in the 2pm hour today to hear this piece.

Bruce Adolphe: “My Inner Brahms: An Intermezzo” performed by Orli Shaham (Canary Classics)

8Brahms is not easy. Brahms is not easy to learn, not easy to play, not easy to perform, and certainly not easy to imitate. But composer Bruce Adolphe rose to the challenge when his former Julliard student Orli Shaham commissioned him to write a Brahmsian solo piano piece for her album Brahms Inspired.

And rise up he did—in “My Inner Brahms (An Intermezzo),” Adolphe channels the Romantic master’s trademark lyricism and profound depth. He echoes Brahms’ famously thick, dense harmonies and cascading arpeggios, his searing poignancy and that unmistakable sense of yearning. Like Brahms, there is a quality in Adolphe’s writing that is tragic, traumatic, and so incredibly vulnerable.

The piece completely surrounds and engulfs you in its swirling arpeggios and elusive melodies—and after a while you begin to lose yourself entirely to that bold, unmistakably Brahmsian lyricism.

No, Brahms is not easy—but he is so incredibly worth it. – Maggie Molloy

Tune in to Second Inversion in the 3pm hour today to hear this piece.

Suphala: Eight and a Half Birds (Tzadik Records)

MI0003637669If you weren’t paying attention, you might think this cut is just another track of house music that samples some “world music” sounds…  But, that would be a shame, because with this track, the beauty is in the details.  In Eight and a Half Birds, Suphala fuses danceable beats, nature sounds, piano samples, electronics, and her own tabla mastery into something very special, with the texture evolving and morphing in a deeply fascinating manner that’s also just subtle enough to fly right by the ears of the inattentive.  So, just what should we call this?  I’m going to choose to call it “post-minimalist post-house,” but labels don’t really matter when the music is this good.  This cut is music for squinting slowly into the sun on a bright, hot summer day and loving every second of it.

Tune in to Second Inversion in the 7pm hour today to hear this piece.