Blackstar ‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore Lazarus Prelude to Sue Sue (Or in a Season of Crime) Girl Loves Me Dollar Days I Can’t Give Everything Away

If listeners approach cellist Maya Beiser and conductor/arranger Evan Ziporyns reimagining of Bowies final album, Blackstar, with trepidation, its understandable: Classical and rock have often been combative bedfellows. But Ziporyn understood the challenges of interpreting this hallowed album, recognizing that Bowies four-octave vocal range was a fine match for the cello and reimagining Blackstar as a cello concerto. Beiser skilfully echoes Bowies vocal inflections, whether in the menacing Girl Loves Me, the anguished Lazarus, or the mystical, epic title track. Her electric and acoustic cellohowling, lamenting, comfortingsoars and wheels over Ziporyns deftly crafted, unexpected orchestral textures. Its an astonishing homage that brings Bowies extraordinary musical inventiveness into sharp relief.

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