Mark Padmore and fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout combine here to perform two of Schumann’s major cycles to words by Heine. They also throw in a selection of five Heine settings by the largely forgotten Franz Lachner (1803-90) from his Sängerfahrt (Singer’s Journey), which include the same text – ‘Im wunderschönen Monat Mai’ – with which Schumann’s Dichterliebe begins.
Commissioned by the city of Mannheim (Germany) for its 400th anniversary, UTP was co-composed by Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto) and Ryuichi Sakamoto. The work, whose title is deducted from the word "utopia," is scored for electronics, piano, and chamber ensemble, the latter being Ensemble Modern. It consists in extremely slow-paced tableaux of stretched out octaves and skeletal motives, a Butoh-like performance. The piece is solemn and entrancing, like Morton Feldman's music – more elegant, perhaps. It marks a new step in the evolution of Nicolai and Sakamoto's music, together and apart, as neither of them had yet concocted something this sparse, this naked.
Following the success of 2014’s Birdman, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu pushes the limits of film making with the survival epic The Revenant. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and shot in the frozen Canadian wilderness with only natural lighting, The Revenant is a story of loss, revenge and resilience in the face of impossible odds against the furies of man and nature itself. The film is heavily favored to be a critical darling as awards season gets under way. Director Iñárritu has chosen to forgo almost all dialogue in favor of a gorgeous soundscape and a sweeping score. A film of this magnitude deserves a composer who understands creative artistry and unbridled passion. Japanese master and Oscar winner Ryuichi Sakamoto (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor) fits the bill perfectly. Along with fellow Yellow Magic Orchestra member and frequent collaborator Alva Noto, Sakamoto has created a gripping soundtrack that is sure to be a treat for the winter crowds. Bryce Dessner (writer for Kronos Quartet and the LA Phil) also supplies additional music.