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12-18-2013 | Music Releases
Concert pianist Johnoscar has emerged from the studio with his new release, Christmas: a unique and biographical album that weaves traditional and non-traditional Christmas music together and takes the listener on aholiday journey. Johnoscar's musical voyage draws from a complex pallet of emotions to tell its story by juxtaposing a variety of genres: Baroque, classical, jazz, popular, rock and opera into a meaningful musical progression. The album pulls together composers and song writers as diverse as Richard Wagner, John Lennon, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Stevie Nicks.
Christmas marks Johnoscar's successful and energetic return to the stage and studio after a long illness. The musical challenges Johnoscar faced on this project were closer to those of a conceptual work, more like a Pink Floyd album or a Robert Wilson opera rather than the usual Christmas compendium. It includes the first recording of what Johnoscar believes to be the best piano transcription ever written from Wagner's Parsifal. It also melds music written by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Stevie Nicks into a single track, representing the "flip side" of White Christmas which he calls"Landslide in C-sharp minor." The album is a work of artóborn from experience, pain and, ultimately, the ecstasy of a transcendent triumph over a dark destiny. Johnoscarís performance on a 1913 Steinway was the only voice employed to tell the story.
Could the late release date cause Christmas to become overlooked this holiday season? Maybe,but it also demonstrates Johnoscar's confidence that this recording is more than a one-year wonder. This is an album able to stand the test of time, an album destined to become a classic. Johnoscar debuted the entire album on a 1936 Steinway, in early December, at the Radford School in El Paso, Texas. Additional concerts have followed. As Johnoscarís first independent release under his Villa-Brant Muzik label, the album has already inspired its own holiday miracle. Plans for a summer concert to benefit victims of the devastating typhoon in the Philippines at theMondavi Center for the Performing Arts at University of California in Davis are underway. "If it wasn't for Christmas, I don't believe this concert as currently planned," Johnoscar has said, "would ever have come about." Johnoscar is slated to be the sole performer at the event , which organizers anticipate will raise $250,000 to aid the survivors. Johnoscar is expected to perform excerpts from Christmas, which may give the album--forged by fires of adversity--even greater meaning.
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