Flutist duo Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara make a rousing return with their rendition of the hit “You Raise Me Up”. Popularized in the early to mid 2000s by tenor all star Josh Groban, the duo transform this familiar song from a maximalist powerhouse into a minimalist wonder all without losing any of the power or beauty of previous iterations. The pair are joined by Grammy Nominee and classically trained pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti whose talents are understated but still wildly effective. It was a smart move to scale back from other covers which embrace the over the top near operatic quality of Groban’s hit, which has effectively rendered the previous cover versions as nothing more than cheap imitations. The trio with a more nuanced and quiet sound create something intimate and captivating, but still leaving the impression of something larger in its wake.

WEBSITE: https://www.lazzarkoff.com/

The fact that they were able to do this as solely an instrumental with no lyrics makes it an even more accomplished feat. The song also takes on a new meaning tonally as it sounds less like an empowering ballad or a declaration of affection and instead it sounds more reminiscent of introspection on the impact one can have on another’s life. It never becomes morose or dark, but there is a lingering feeling of melancholy well after the track ends. Lazzara and Markoff’s relationship once began as teacher and pupil respectively and it shows Lazzara having the commanding influence over the song keeping its structure grounded and tight, while Markoff’s youthful playing energy has time to flourish and move about with a charming sense of wonder.

If you’re a fan of classical orchestrations this is highly recommended, and for those looking to venture out into that territory I’d say this is an easily accessible start that never devolves into the sounds of “muzak.” I don’t know exactly what this would do for those not so inclined to these types of sounds, but I believe the pair have the ability to punch through any preconceived notions on what classical covers can be. They’ve taken a modern day hit and transformed it into something wholly new. It might not hit the highs of say Hendrix covering Dylan, but it’s not aiming to.

HEAR NOW: https://lazzarkoff.hearnow.com/

It’s wholly unpretentious and focused entirely on delivering a sonic landscape that can transport you, carry you and ultimately leave you listening to the originals in a new light. The pair previously collaborated on the 18 track album “Timeless” which boasts many covers that are exceptionally executed and you can look forward to their new album “Romances in Blue” later this year. There’s a palpable delight to hearing something familiar but also feeling like you’re hearing it for the first time all over again, and Markoff and Lazzara have achieved such a feat. The confidence the pair exude (and why wouldn’t they as Lazzara is a Carnegie Hall veteran) is textural and it’ll leave you listening to them over and over again, rediscovering other nuances and continuing to transform iconic work into something that’s theirs alone. 

Nicole Killian

The music of Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

About The Author

Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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