Review: ‘The Trump Card’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Mike Daisey
DC Metro Theater Arts

A searing punch in the gut to rival any leaked Access Hollywood tape…the current production, which only runs through October 30th, is an updated version of the same blistering show that Daisey performed at Woolly back in August. But so much has happened in the last two months that it is well worth a visit even if you saw the last production. Smack dab in the middle of the zeitgeist, The Trump Card is hysterical, uncomfortable, sobering, and terrifying. In other words, it is the perfect reflection of the 2016 presidential contest.... But as we trudge through the final scorched weeks of this Dali-esque election, there is no doubt that we could all use a good laugh, a good cry, and some much needed wisdom. 'The Trump Card' provides all three, and so much more.

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Alexandre Thauraud's Recording RACHMANINOV 2 Named October's "Editor's Choice" in Gramophone!

Alexandre Tharaud

Another ‘Rach 2’ dropping on to the doormat makes the heart rather sink. Except…the pianist is the wonderfully gifted Alexandre Tharaud, and the orchestra is the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and, let’s see, the conductor is the excellent Alexander Vedernikov. This might be special.

So it proves. After the famous introductory bars – following the score rather than the composer’s recording – the sweeping first subject enters faster, thankfully, than Richter’s celebrated account but with the same majestic assurance. Various boxes are ticked as the movement proceeds, including a properly swaggering alla marcia, emphasised by the piano’s forward placement in the sound picture. The clarinet solo in the Adagio is as tender and vulnerable as you’ll ever hear (with or without its association with Brief Encounter, this one is particularly poignant), and so to the finale, notable for the soloist’s exemplary clarity and the orchestra’s alternately lusty and sensitive playing. On the last page, Tharaud and Vedernikov decide to share the battle honours and storm home as equal partners to thrilling effect. ... »

New York Polyphony Travels To Eternal Rome

New York Polyphony
Early Music America

Founded in 2006, New York Polyphony has racked up mountains of well-deserved praise. Over the last decade, the ensemble has developed a world-class reputation for stellar musicianship and programming dedicated to both early and contemporary music. On their sixth album, Roma Æterna, the singers—countertenor Geoffrey Williams, tenor Steven Caldicott Wilson, baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert, and bass Craig Phillips—break with their own tradition and return to the past, focusing for the first time exclusively on early music.

The thematic connections between the compositions, and even the album’s name, run deep. Rome was (and still is) the “eternal city,” a melting pot of international styles in various musical establishments and yet a conservative papal stronghold. Both Palestrina and Victoria worked in Rome; Palestrina was summoned by Pope Julius III to become the magister cantorum at the Cappella Giulia in 1551, later joining the Sistine Chapel Choir. Thanks to a later marriage, he had the financial stability to continue composing into his later years: over 100 masses, more than 300 motets, and a great number of other sacred and secular compositions survive. ... »