GYA Summer Playlist

July 21, 2021

Need something to listen to this summer? Five of our Gilmore Young Artists (GYA) put together a playlist for you! With over 15 hours of music, you can find it on Spotify and hear about their choices below.


 

2010 GYA Charlie Albright

Do you have any recent projects on Spotify we can check out?

Charlie Albright: In 2020 during the pandemic, I released the second of a three-part series of all-Schubert recordings which were recorded live-in-concert. Over the three part series, I’ve covered all three of Schubert’s finale Sonatas, all impromptus, and the Moments Musicaux, with each concert ending in an improvised encore. My debut recording,
Vivace, is also now available. All of the recordings were a blast to make (especially the live-in-concert ones)!

When you’re looking for inspiration, what musicians do you listen to?
CA: I’ve got too many favorite classical musicians to name, from Murray Perahia, Russell Sherman, and Richard Goode, to Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, and Joshua Bell. The same goes for jazz — I often listen to Dave Brubeck, as well as many others! 

What kind of music do you listen to for fun?
CA: I am half-Korean and have been listening to Korean Pop music since I was a little kid. Whenever I’m in the car, that’s usually what is on!

 

2014 GYA Andrew Hsu

Do you have any recent projects on Spotify we can check out?

Andrew Hsu: At the moment, I do not have any projects on Spotify, but you should definitely check out my brother Daniel Hsu’s (2016 Gilmore Young Artist) album of live performances from the 2017 Cliburn Competition! I particularly love his playing of the Bach/Busoni Chaconne; it is full of mysterious power and lyricism without ever losing its connection to the original for solo violin. Also on the CD is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, op. 110, Marc-André Hamelin’s Toccata on L’homme armé, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

When you’re looking for inspiration, what musicians do you listen to?

AH: Where to begin, but with the maître du piano himself! Alfred Cortot’s recordings of Chopin are legendary, of course, but I believe they call for further careful listening in today’s modern performance culture. Chopin’s third impromptu is a whirlwind of emotion captured within the most delicate figuration—the epitome of Chopinesque elegance—encapsulated in time by Cortot’s flexible rubato and grandiose spirit. The mournful minore theme in the left hand is played with such heart-aching expression before it magically melts back into the opening material once again. In an era of precision and accuracy, Cortot’s inimitable style and sound are a sense of enlightenment and a breath of freshness.


AH: Ligeti’s eighteen
Études de concert continue the legacy established by Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Debussy. Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s 1997 studio recording of the entire set is one of the crowning achievements of modern piano performance, yet a recording from his 2002 Carnegie Hall recital of Autumne à Varsovie is perhaps even more powerful and moving. Freed from the clinical nature of the studio, his clear rhythmic voicing and always impeccable touch is crystal clear and an inspiration for all pianists. Stark contrasts and unnerving drive holds on to the listener and never lets go!

 

What kind of music do you listen to for fun?

AH: As time passes, we each find ourselves drawn, perhaps obsessed, with different kinds of music for a certain period of time. For the past couple of months, I have been utterly consumed by pieces from Fauré’s late style. In each piece, there is a sense of purity of purpose and expression; it is an inspiration both for performance and composition. A notable example here is the Chant funéraire from the second cello sonata; a more perfect piece would be difficult to find!


AH: The music of Unsuk Chin has always been a deep inspiration for me. Perhaps I am feeling nostalgic these days, but I find myself reexamining old favorites; Chin’s first violin concerto is an absolute masterwork. Her mastery of the craft and musical inventiveness are on full display. It is difficult to imagine that this piece is already twenty years old!


AH: My good friend and violinist Alexi Kenney introduced this album to me a couple summers ago at the Marlboro Music Festival. Dan Tepfer engages with the
Goldberg Variations like no one else. In the album, he intersperses improvisations between the variations, providing an eclectic and surprisingly personal listening experience.

 

2016 GYA Micah McLaurin

Do you have any recent projects on Spotify we can check out?

Micah McLaurin: I published an album of live performances last year. The performances were from 2012-2019 and were some of my favorite pieces and performances. I am also releasing a studio album of Chopin, which I recorded during the pandemic in Brooklyn at Skillman Studios. It should be out by the end of the summer.

When you’re looking for inspiration, what musicians do you listen to?

MM: I had some jazz lessons and recently discovered Beegie Adair. I really love her style and playing, because she is always melodic and has beautiful embellishments in everything she does. 


MM: I’m a big fan of light music and Carmen Cavallaro is a fantastic artist. His arrangements of pop songs from the early to mid 20th century are all so beautiful, with many embellishments and ornamentations. My grandmother used to play this song on the piano, so I was familiar with it since childhood. 


MM: One of the classical pieces I always like listening to is Robert Schumann’s Intermezzo from
Faschingsschwank aus Wien played by Magda Tagliaferro. She was a student of Alfred Cortot and an important pedagogue in France in the 20th century. Her rubato in this performance is so perfect – it falls into what I call the equilibrium, meaning that though she takes time, she gives the time back just the right amount so that the heartbeat or larger beats of the piece never fall out of place. Her sound is very round and vocal, with a ping. 

 

What kind of music do you listen to for fun?

MM: I love this song and have been listening to it a lot. It’s from Kylie Minogue’s new album
Disco.


MM: Lady Gaga’s latest album,
Chromatica, was a huge success and I love every song on it (really, I love every song she’s ever done). 911 is my favorite song from Chromatica, and it is especially effective to listen to the orchestral interlude just before it, Chromatica II, because it connects to 911 in a very magical way. 


MM: I’m a diehard Lady Gaga fan, but also started to love Cher lately.
Strong Enough is my favorite song of hers. 

 

2018 GYA Wei Luo

When you’re looking for inspiration, what musicians do you listen to?

Wei Luo: The performances in this playlist by cellists Shafran and Du Pre, pianists Lupu and Perahia, and conductor Kondrashin touch the deepest and most sensitive part of my heart. Compared to other cellists, I especially love the unique sound and special musical aesthetic of cellist Shafran — and it’s a shame that he is not more heard from the audiences throughout the world.


WL: For pianists Lupu and Perahia, their sound has that kind of “magic” — it’s soul purifying. It can be as beautiful as a ray of sunshine in the morning, or as pure as the sound of ice from the glaciers millions of years ago.

 

What kind of music do you listen to for fun?

WL: During my free time, I love listening to atmospheric music that unwinds me after the intense stress of travel and concertizing. Music by Joep Beving and Max Richter helps me to calm down.


WL: I love listening to joyful and rhythmic Pop songs for working out, exercising and having fun with friends.

 

2020 GYA Maxim Lando

Do you have any recent projects on Spotify we can check out?

Maxim Lando: I actually don’t have any projects on Spotify – pretty much all of my main projects are on Youtube. Here are two criminally underplayed pieces that I performed this past year.

ML: I remember listening to an old recording of this very folky theme in the second movement. As soon as I heard the melody, I could not get it out of my head for a very long time. My only hope was that the rest of the piece was as catchy as the melody, and sure enough I was hooked!

 

ML: I was looking for a piece that had elements of some memories at my family’s house in Madison, Wisconsin. There is an old train track a couple minutes walk from my grandma’s house. The moment that I heard the first movement of this sonata, I instantly knew that it perfectly captured the industrial energy that I always pictured with the train. As I continued learning the piece, I was amazed at the progression from this industrial sound, to the descent of humanity in the third movement. It truly took me on a journey. 

 

When you’re looking for inspiration, what musicians do you listen to?

ML: This is possibly my favorite concerto of all time, being performed by one of my favorite pianists. How can you go wrong! Rach 3 is full of the most beautiful earworms that know exactly how to get to your core. Argerich has a way of playing this masterpiece, where every single note leaves an impact. I can listen to this recording all year round until I’m blue in the face, and still never get sick of it. 


ML: I had not fallen in love with Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 until I heard this recording of Sokolov. Brahms 2 is truly a collaboration with the orchestra more than any other concerto. Brahms plays around with soulful harmonies while having wit and playful charm. Sokolov found a way to make you hit every emotion possible to mankind. You’ll be guaranteed to start dancing and singing along with this recording. 


ML: The Liszt
Transcendental Etudes are anything but your ordinary dose of daily exercises. Each of these etudes have very distinct stories that are perfectly complemented by an hour of ear popping music. Hearing these etudes live, is the closest thing possible to going to a rock concert in my opinion. From tales about men dragged to almost the point of death by horses, to flickering lights, to snow storms, the transcendental etudes have it all. In Mazeppa, you can hear the horse dragging the man with Liszt’s pouncing rhythm across the piano. Berezovsky’s live recording in 2002, shows not just the stories coming to life, but this haunting quality of something more that lingers on. 


ML: One of the first live concert experiences that truly made me emotional was listening to Lang Lang performing [Tchaikovsky’s]
The Seasons at Carnegie. Maybe it was just because I was holding hands with my crush, but I felt a lot of magic in the air that night. Much like the Transcendental Etudes, The Seasons all represent a story and specific setting. This is truly the best piece to play all year round, since each number is a different month of the year. Every time I both listen and perform these seasons, I can’t help but think back on all of my memories. This is the most nostalgic piece to my ears. Pletnev brings out this feeling more than any other performer that I’ve heard for The Seasons

ML: If you haven’t caught onto the drift yet, I love following a story. What better story than Scheherazade! I had never been a huge fan of orchestral pieces in the past. I always thought that solos were more exciting and addicting. This was until I heard several orchestral works during long car rides. Scheherazade was one that truly caught my attention. It had themes that made me rush out of my seat, and harmonies that soared around my heart. Listening to the conductor Leif Segerstam bring out new elements to Scheherazade just made the performance all the more enchanting. 


ML: Here we have a contemporary piece by a living composer. Marquez shows off the flair and different tricks of rhythm, to create a brand new style of sound. I will bet anyone any amount, that you will have this stuck in your head after a first listen. The
Danzon No. 2 is incredibly approachable to the ear, and shows off what every instrument in the orchestra is capable of. Dudamel brings out a passion and burning drive that will be sure to make you come back for more. 


ML: I became introduced to
Caravan from watching one of my favorite movies of all time, Whiplash. The moment that I heard this jazz masterpiece, I felt something that I had never felt before. This was a new feeling of total bliss. Every single harmony, rest, note, and swell filled my head. I was almost in a trance of total groove. 


ML: I first met Chick at Carnegie Hall several years ago. Ever since our performance together, we quickly established a friendship that I will treasure for my entire life. Chick opened up my view on what music is. He made me think about the endless possibility of what you can do with music, and how music has no boundaries. One of my favorite memories was playing Chick’s Children’s Songs, and hearing the inspiration behind each one. I have always been told that in “Classical music” you follow what the composer writes to the T. Well, I was hearing from Chick himself, that he prefers for people to change up his music. He always told me that you do what you want with the tunes. Make whatever you can imagine out of them. And always create.

 

What kind of music do you listen to for fun?

ML: It could’ve been any Billy Joel song, but I picked
The Stranger for the sheer drive and impact that has on me every time I listen. I really never paid any attention to pop or rock and roll until I went to a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. After hearing Billy perform the songs that my parents and I had grown up hearing, I could not contain my excitement. The Stranger is a song that has a very catchy bass line with this Long Island flair. It reminds me of the same energy and passion that I feel every time I’m about to perform. 


ML: Right before the movie came out, I finally discovered
Bohemian Rhapsody which made me question everything I had known about music. I heard sounds, effects, and an energy that I had never heard before. When I saw the video of Queen at Live Aid, I knew that this is what I want to do for my whole life. I want that crowd, those fans, that excitement, I want it all. 


ML: If someone asked me what my favorite song of all time is, I would have a hard time saying anything but
Imagine. Imagine is exactly what the world needed in the past, needs in the present, and needs in the future. 

 

Thank you to our Gilmore Young Artists for their excellent suggestions. We hope you’ll listen to their picks!

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