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, June 17 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!

Frédéric Chopin (arr. Chad Lawson): Prelude No.20 in C minor, Op.28 (Hillset Records)
Judy Kang, violin; Rubin Kodheli, cello; Chad Lawson, piano
coverSometimes, modern re-interpretations of older music yield a product that would not necessarily strike the unguarded listener as terribly modern or even slightly derivative. Chad Lawson’s release The Chopin Variations is one such project. Specifically, the Prelude No.20 in C minor, Op.28 strikes me as a highly successful example. This track is not so much a re-imagining as it is a modern re-hearing of the original. This track is a tangible manifestation of the way Chopin’s original might be internally experienced by a modern listener, filtered through fields of distraction, memories of alternative styles, and competing musical influences. Lawson infuses the Prelude with shades of minimalism, new-age music, and gentle rhapsodic fragments that seem to naturally flow from the original, organically replicating a potential internal mashup that might occur inside the head of modern listener. Maybe modern distraction isn’t an entirely bad thing, after all. – Seth Tompkins

Tune in to Second Inversion in the 9am hour today to hear this piece.

Patrick Laird: The Farewell (Break of Reality)

a3228272509_10Cello rock!  Heck yeah!  You may already be familiar with Break of Reality if you’re one of the 11 million people who have viewed their “Game of Thrones Theme” cello cover on YouTube (it’s badass!), but this group was totally unknown to me until recently.  If you like metal you’ll dig this.  If you like tribal beats you’ll dig this.  If you like classical you’ll dig this.  “The Farewell” is cinematic, textural and so beautifully harmonious. – Rachele Hales

Tune in to Second Inversion in the 1pm hour today to hear this piece.

Cindy Cox: “Playing A Round” performed by Keynote+ (Albany Records)

unnamedI’ll be honest: I don’t really like harpsichord. Even when I hear really good harpsichord music, my first thought is still always “Wow, but imagine if that was played on piano instead!”

Suffice it to say, there are very few harpsichord pieces on my new music playlist. To me, most harpsichord works belong squarely in the pure and polite “early music” category.

Or at least, that’s what I thought—until I discovered a most unusual (Read: GENIUS!) multi-keyboard project called Keynote+, comprised of Jane Chapman on harpsichord and Kate Ryder on prepared piano. In this recording from a concert at UC Berkeley, the two each lend their ten fingers and tireless musical talents to a piece called “Playing a Round” by Cindy Cox.

Across five short movements, the piece blurs the line between Baroque harpsichord and 20th century avant-garde piano idioms, at times making it difficult to tell where one instrument ends and the other begins. Together, Keynote+ envelops the listener in a gorgeously percussive and richly colored orchestra of sound—and all with just two keyboard instruments and 20 very quick fingers. One’s thing for sure: these keyboardists are not playing around. – Maggie Molloy

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