Singing in the Dead of Night: D Lang, M Gordon, J Wolfe | Cedille Records CDR90000195

Singing in the Dead of Night: D Lang, M Gordon, J Wolfe


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Label: Cedille Records

Cat No: CDR90000195

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 10th July 2020



Groundbreaking new-music sextet Eighth Blackbird, winners of four Grammy Awards for their previous Cedille Records albums, are heard in the world-premiere recording of a collaborative, all-instrumental programme of intensely rhythmic works written expressly for the Chicago-based ensemble by the founders of the celebrated Bang on a Can composers collective.

Each piece on Singing in the Dead of Night takes its name from Paul McCartney’s lyrics to The Beatles song “Blackbird” – but this music exists in another realm altogether.

Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe’s title track conjures a dark, silent solitude from which creative inspiration emerges. Michael Gordon’s music melds “the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism” (The New Yorker). In The Light of the Dark, he evokes the wild spontaneity of an uninhibited, late-night jam session. Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang’s three-movement These Broken Wings, a “glamorously beautiful suite” (The Guardian), takes flight via Eighth Blackbird’s boundless stamina and high-voltage virtuosity.

Eighth Blackbird sequences the component pieces in the unconventional, composer-approved concert order they’ve employed since the collaborative work’s 2008 premiere: they play the Gordon and Wolfe works in between movements of the Lang, whose piece thus frames the programme.

San Francisco Classical Voice praised the ensemble’s “electrifying” local performance of Singing in the Dead of Night and hailed it as “a delectably adept piece for this high-energy – and high-execution sextet.”

Eighth Blackbird first gained wide recognition in 1998 as winners of the Concert Artists Guild Competition. They’ve commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers such as Bryce Dessner, Jennifer Higdon, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, and Steve Reich. Eighth Blackbird was named Musical America’s 2017 Ensemble of the Year. In 2016, the ensemble received Chamber Music America’s inaugural Visionary Award and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

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