Thursday, February 23, 2012

Anne Akiko Meyers

A new album has been added to the collection: Air - The Bach Album by Anne Akiko Meyers. Unique to this album is Meyers' rendering of the D Minor Double Concerto in which she plays BOTH parts, using both (yes, she owns two of the things) of her Stradivariuses, one from 1697 and the other from 1730. Purportedly, the former was once owned by Napoleon and the latter by the King of Spain. I have several examples of the Bach violin concerti in my musical archives (my favorite up to now being the 1980s Academy of Ancient Music version, with the Double Concerto played by Jaap Schroder and Christopher Hirons), but this is my go-to recording now. I also downloaded from HDTracks a high-resolution 24-bit/96mHz edition -- you can get conventional 16-bit versions from Amazon and other sources -- and the sound quality is stunning.

For more of Meyers, visit her site and her blog. Now check out this pre-release performance of the Bach title piece on the album:

Also, you can read/hear NPR's interview of Meyers here, which has a video clip of her appearance on Johnny Carson's TV show at age eleven.

Finally, I will also share with you a interview of a few years ago, where I first came upon this terrific artist, when I was actually trying to track another of my violin favorites, Hilary Hahn. And here is that site's latest on Meyers and her new album. Whew!

UPDATE: I see that tonight Billboard's Classical Chart shows the Meyers album at #2.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

La Grande

Just picked up Laura Gibson’s new album, La Grande, and heard it last night. You might be interested in the backstory — yes, it does have to do with the very La Grande some of us know well — and watch this music video:

More here and here.