Paul Lewis performed all the Beethoven piano sonatas on tour in the USA and Europe between the 2005 and 2007 seasons, in parallel with his complete recording of the cycle for Harmonia Mundi. His interpretation of the Lizst sonata was distinguished by the prestigious Edison Award, while his recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas received two Gramophone Awards in 2008.
Schubert's Winterreise offers what likely is the darkest, most tormented, aesthetically and emotionally compelling journey in the repertoire of Romantic song-cycles. Any singer who takes it on (most often baritones, but frequently tenors and occasionally a female voice) must make the effort to immerse himself in Wilhelm Müller's poetry and Schubert's magnificently moody, unreservedly honest representation of its darkly human sentiment.
Following their exceptional Winterreise and now this equally fine Die schone Mullerin, tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Paul Lewis may be on their way to cornering the Schubert Lieder franchise for the foreseeable future. Besides being the most lyrically beautiful modern rendition of this oft-recorded cycle, the recording is a model of clear, natural presentation of voice and piano in a very complementary acoustic.
The darkly lit cover photo may convey some of the desolation of Franz Schubert's Schwanengesang, but to appreciate the full range of emotions of this posthumous song cycle – which shift from the hopeful passion of Liebesbotschaft and the giddiness of Frühlingssehnsucht to the heartbreak of Ihr Bild and the horror of Der Doppelgänger – listen to this exceptional Harmonia Mundi release by tenor Mark Padmore and his accompanist, pianist Paul Lewis.
Three siblings from North London, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have set the British roots rock scene on its ear with their infectious energy and authentic approach to rockabilly, vintage country, and first-generation rhythm & blues – not to mention the fact that the youngest member of the trio hadn't yet reached her teens when they released their first single in 2005. Kitty Durham, Lewis Durham, and Daisy Durham were born into a musical family – their father, Graeme Durham, is a guitarist who is also a top engineer at one of London's leading record mastering facilities, the Exchange, while their mother, Ingrid Weiss, played drums with the pioneering post-punk band the Raincoats. In 2002, while attending an afternoon rockabilly gig hosted by Big Steve and the Arlenes with their parents, Lewis was invited to sit in with the band on banjo, while Kitty hopped behind the drum kit and kept time. The next time Big Steve played at the Durhams' local pub, Lewis and Kitty were once again brought up to the stage, while Daisy joined in on accordion, and the kids decided it was time to form a band of their own.
Four-disc monument to the Killer, containing no filler… What with one thing and another, it took the Grand Ole Opry a while to invite Jerry Lee Lewis to make his debut. Sixteen years, in fact, from his first hits (“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On”, “Great Balls Of Fire” ) to finally ushering the Killer onto the stage of Nashville’s Ryman auditorium in January 1973. The high temple of the country music establishment had their reasons for hesitating. Lewis was not known for family-friendly behaviour, unless one counts as such already having three families by this point – one, to the detriment of his box office, with a cousin he’d wed when she was thirteen. But he’d grown up, surely. He was pushing 40. He’d married for a fourth time, to someone old enough to vote. And he was reinventing himself as a proper country singer – he’d had hits with versions of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee”, Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting For A Train” and Ray Griff’s “Who’s Gonna Play This Old Piano?”. The Opry prepared to formally welcome the black sheep to the fold.