City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where greats cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is a quiet afternoon moment on a bench in Baltimore, a highway in Seattle at night where the distant houses look like tiny flames and a bottle of red wine being drained on a bridge in Paris. City Music is a bus pulling into St. Louis at dawn where the arch looks like a metal rainbow reflecting the days early sunlight…. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mould. As he puts it: “It is a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.”
One of the more flamboyant characters in Paris in the latter half of the 19th century, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de St. George (1739?-1799) was known as a championship fencer and a brilliant violinist. It is not a surprise then that his violin concertos exhibit a swaggering solo part. What you won't find is much motivic development. What you will discover are gorgeous melodies, lots of them. Although they populate all his work, they especially saturate his lyrical middle movements, one of which appears to be the basis for the haunting oboe theme from the popular BBC series, "Foyle's War".
Franz Ignaz Beck is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most forward-looking and inventive of mid-eighteenth-century symphonists. A student of the celebrated Johann Stamitz, Beck was trained in Mannheim, a focal point of new approaches to orchestral writing. Although small in scale, his Op. 2 set includes some of the most striking and harmonically daring works of their kind from the period.
Fireworks are intrinsically fleeting, transitory, fugitive. Their power lies in the brutality of their transience: dying the instant of their birth, consumed in the act of consummation. There is something ironic, even poignant, then, in the attempt to render permanent through the medium of art a phenomenon as ephemeral as fireworks. …