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Joel Frederiksen
20th - century
United States of America / Germany
Picture
J. Frederiksen
Joel Frederiksen (20th century), an American-German bass, one of an impressive parade of American-born early music performers who have moved to Europe in order to realize their talents fully, here takes on repertory that is usually associated with a specific sound -- with an English countertenor, accompanied by a gently brushed lute, aimed at a refined sort of melancholy. It takes a certain kind of drive to think through a whole new interpretation and to sound relaxed delivering it, and Frederiksen succeeds on both counts. For one thing, he's a bass, with a relaxed, sonorously rounded tone. In the matter of accompaniment he directs his Ensemble Phoenix Munich toward rhythmically active interpretations, oriented toward percussion, that reflect the freer approach Jordi Savall has brought to a range of Renaissance repertory but that few have tried with English music.
Requiem for a Pink Moon
Period:21st century
Composed in:2012
Musical form:fragments
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:a Tribute to Nick Drake (1948-1974)
Label(s):harmonia mundi HMC 902111
"I was deeply affected by Nick Drake's music from the moment I first heard it, in 1982, just eight years after his death. The union of the plaintive voice, the intricate guitar accompaniments, and the moving lyrics in songs like Time has told me spoke to me. From the recordings I learned to play some songs, performing them from time to time with my guitar... The idea for 'Requiem for a Pink Moon' had to wait a good long time. Once in a while, when I did find a guitar in my hands, I played 'Time has told me', and noticed how people responded to Nick's music. Then, very surprisingly, in 2000 I heard the song 'Pink Moon' in a movie theater as part of a Volkswagen ad, and was struck again by Nick's particular art. It is an art filled with melancholy, a feeling and a concept uniting him with the singersongwriters of the Elizabethan age. I kept running into people of all ages who knew about Nick and eventually had the idea of a Requiem. The idea of juxtaposing old and new appealed to me. I decided that I would perform portions of the Gregorian Requiem Mass (the Mass for the dead) alongside Nick's songs arranged for early instruments... Rest in peace, Nick, and thank you for the beautiful music." Joel Frederiksen Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on 19 June 1948. Principally influenced by Bob Dylan and the bluesman Josh White (the emblem of US protest song), he developed a very personal style blending British folk traditions and Black American blues. He was spotted by young American producer, Joe Boyd, who signed him to his label Witchseason (licensed to Island Records). He was soon regarded as a highly gifted songwriter. However, none of his three albums: 'Five Leaves Left' (1969), 'Bryter Layter' (1970) and 'Pink Moon' (1972), was a commercial success. The same was true of his concerts, with the result that he gradually stopped appearing in public. Nick Drake's fragile health was further undermined by his addiction. He died prematurely of an overdose on 25 November 1974. It was only several years after his death that he gradually came to be seen as an icon of the musical counterculture of the '70s with a Rimbaud-like aura as a počte maudit. His music was rediscovered in the early 1980s when groups such as R.E.M. and The Cure cited him as a key influence.
Requiem for a Pink Moon, An Elizabethan Tribute to Nick Drake contains inter alia:
- Requiem aeternam (arr. Joel Frederiksen) - 3:54
- Requiem in F (Horn) (arr. Joel Frederiksen) - 2:27
- Requiem II (arr. Joel Frederiksen) - 1:23