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Riley Reviews: John Lennon and Brahms

Journalism Associate Professor Tim Riley has two reviews out in Copper Magazine.

In “White-Knuckling It: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band — The Ultimate Collection,” Riley reviews the 50th anniversary reissue of Lennon’s debut solo album. Riley writes:

“The songs’ irreducible simplicity masked oceans of complicated feelings expressed with utmost economy, impossible to grasp in a single hearing. This makes it the most unconventional of rock classics: not swift, digestible and expedient pop, but burdened, dense, difficult, and hard to fathom even fifty years on…”

In “Born-Again Brahms,” Riley takes on Hungarian-British pianist Andras Schiff’s recording of Brahms concertos on period-appropriate instruments.

“This recording begs new questions: how much of the heavy, molten Brahms we’re accustomed to came from the industrial scale of instruments he never wrote for? When we encounter this new Brahms, this more original and detail-oriented line writing provides new appreciation for the originality of his voice and a more relaxed conversation with history. “

Read Riley’s review of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band — The Ultimate Collection and Johannes Brahms: Piano Concertos.

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