As one-third of the composer-collective Bang on a Can, David Lang is something of a genial father figure of the indie-classical scene. Talk to any of the world's main players and you're likely to hear them tell you about their life-changing stint in Bang on a Can's summer festival, which has acted as a sort of feeder school and incubator for the group's try-anything mentality. Lang's music has undergone many stylistic shifts over the years: In the 80s, he wrote bristlier stuff, but in the last decade or so, he's shifted quietly into a more pensive register. The Little Match Girl Passion, his 2008 work that won him a Pulitzer, was written for only four voices and some hand bells. This Was Written By Hand, his most recent recording, is a collection of short solo piano works played by the British pianist Andrew Zolinsky. The album holds the same, sustained melancholy mood: thoughtful, searching, elegiac, minimalist. Lang's way with repetitive phrasing doesn't feel like that of minimalists like Glass or Reich's, though.
The ultimate tribute to one of the most prolific musical careers of the last four decades, Squeeze Box features all 14 of Weird Al s studio albums remastered on CD, 150-gram vinyl and digital, spanning from his debut album "Weird Al" Yankovic (1983) to Mandatory Fun (2014). Mandatory Fun was not only the first comedy album in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard chart, but also the first to even reach that lofty position in over 50 years. Altogether, the albums included in Squeeze Box have earned multiple Grammy awards, as well as dozens of gold and platinum records in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Whether for its historical associations or its sonic possibilities, the piano has featured prominently at all stages of Maurizio Kagel’s career. This collection gathers together most of his piano compositions: as so often with Kagel, the medium in itself does not constitute a generic body of work so much as music for one particular ‘sound source’ out of many.