In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, students, and business people—both seasoned and new—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.”
The music on this recital was specifically written or arranged for duo violinists Angela and Jennifer Chun. It highlights the personal and professional connections between Philip Glass and Nico Muhly, a longtime colleague and admirer of Glass's work. Glass's miniaturist works, Mad Rush and In the Summer House, create a maximum effect when paired with Muhly's minimalist Four Studies and Honest Music.
Born in Chelyabinsk in 1973, Lera Auerbach defected from the former Soviet Union to the United States while still in her teens, and she has since garnered much attention as both pianist and composer, notably in her recent work with Gidon Kremer. Written in 1999, Auerbach's 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano amply showcase her stylistic leanings and wide emotional range. Clearly, she's imbibed from the Shostakovich/Schnittke watering hole, as we hear in the frequent sparse textures in extreme registers, petulant dynamic shifts, obsessive pedal points, and caustic, folk-oriented tunes. Auerbach also has figured out what makes Astor Piazzolla tick, and manages to personalize his sultry harmonic idiom. The most interesting moments occur when the composer's original voice pushes her influences out of the way, as in the sudden, unexpected violin cadenza that immediately follows Prelude No. 15's unrelenting dance. This leads to a threnody that gradually dematerializes into a high-register mist, and before you know it, Prelude No. 16 is over. The Postlude and solo violin piece also typify the ease with which Auerbach communicates her ideas. Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe push their collective virtuosity sky-high. Such big playing requires the larger-than-life engineering BIS provides.
Responsible for surely the only concept album based around cricket, the Duckworth Lewis Method is the side project of Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon and Pugwash frontman Thomas Walsh. The duo, named after the complicated cricket scoring system, formed in 2008 after Hannon and Walsh met at Father Ted writer Graham Linehan's wedding in Ireland. After Walsh asked Hannon to contribute to a Christmas charity record, the pair discovered a mutual appreciation of ELO and cricket, and decided to combine the two to record an album together. Their self-titled debut was released two days before the 2009 Ashes through Hannon's own label, and reached number 40 in the U.K. charts.