The Quiet Violence of Peter V. Swendson’s Seasons and Weather

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Allusions to Seasons and Winter," from composer Peter V. Swendsen and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, opens with a processed tenor recorder emulating a bird call. Live electronics buzz like distant cicadas and a buried sine wave rises and falls. Stream the entire album all this week.

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Richard Reed Parry Taps Performers' Inner Metronomes in 'Music for Heart and Breath'

Monday, July 21, 2014

Richard Reed Parry, a composer and member of the rock band Arcade Fire, writes classical compositions based the actual pulse of the performers themselves. Stream his "Music for Heart and Breath" all this week. 

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wild Up's 'Feather & Stone' Spotlights Los Angeles Composers

Monday, July 14, 2014

Los Angeles-based ensemble wild Up's new album "Feather & Stone" presents an unexpected mashup of pieces, ranging from jazz to a collage of found sounds. Stream the album all this week. 

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Robert Kyr's Mystic Exploration of Love and Transcendence

Monday, July 07, 2014

The latest recording by the prolific composer and educator Robert Kyr features a pair of cantata-like works, The Cloud of Unknowing and Song of the Soul. Stream the entire album on demand all this week.

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Violinist Roman Mints Wrestles with Time in 'Dance of Shadows'

Monday, June 30, 2014

Roman Mints's new album blurs present and past with pieces by Ysaÿe, Piazzolla, Schnittke, Silvestrov and Dobrinka Tabakova. Stream the full album all this week. 

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Johann Sebastian Is One of the Cool Kids in 'Red Hot + Bach'

Monday, June 23, 2014

The AIDS fundraising organization Red Hot has turned its focus to J.S. Bach. Stream "Red Hot + Bach," a collection of the baroque master's sounds re-imagined by artists like Gabriel Kahane and Shara Worden.

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World Premiere Recording of Per Nørgård's Robust, Brilliant Eighth Symphony

Monday, June 16, 2014

Per Nørgård's Eighth Symphony shows how the young composer has evolved into a mature, unmistakably contemporary artist. Stream the entire album all this week. 

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Alexander Melnikov Exudes Warmth in Shostakovich's Preludes & Fugues

Monday, June 09, 2014

Pianist Alexander Melnikov's rendition of Dmitri Shostakovich's 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87, just reissued in a recent Harmonia Mundi recording, present the music of Shostakovich at its most agreeable. Stream the entire album all this week. 

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Peter Eötvös's 'Kosmic' Take on Bartók and Zappa

Monday, June 02, 2014

On "Kosmos," a new compilation of Peter Eötvös's music for piano and percussion, the Hungarian composer draws inspiration from his heroes Béla Bartók and Frank Zappa. Stream the full album all this week.

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Western Wind Vocal Ensemble Delivers Buoyant Meredith Monk and Eric Salzman

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble’s latest album, featuring music by Meredith Monk and Eric Salzman, employs theatrics that reveal the sextet's unique sound. Listen to the entire album all this week.

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David Lang Sets Many Subtle Heartbreaks in 'love fail'

Monday, May 19, 2014

David Lang's love fail is a sort of micro-opera about subtle heartbreak and based on the legend that inspired Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Listen to the entire album, featuring Anonymous 4, this week. 

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Seattle Symphony Launches Record Label with Focus on Contemporary Music

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lots of things have been going right for the Seattle Symphony lately, not least being a commission that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. Listen to the freshman release on their new record label all this week. 

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From Fingerboard to Fretboard: Philip Glass's String Quartets on Guitars

Monday, May 05, 2014

The cool, restrained interpretations of the Dublin Guitar Quartet performing arrangements of Glass's string quartets speak more like a virginal harpsichord with an unusually sweet voice. Listen to the entire album. 

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Venerable Label Makes Bold Move with Emerging Composer Jacob Cooper

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jacob Cooper's "Silver Threads" helps Nonesuch Records close a certain hipness gap between their venerable roster and the composers of his generation. Listen to the album in full all this week.

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Julia Wolfe Bores a Hole Through the Mountain with 'Steel Hammer'

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Steel Hammer," the new album by Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe, features a musical retelling of that great American tall tale of John Henry. Stream the album in full all this week.

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Gabriela Lena Frank Draws on Dances, Dreams and Sacrifice

Monday, April 14, 2014

For her most recent album, "Compadrazgo," California-born composer-pianist Gabriela Lena Frank focuses on her Latin side, with references to her travels in South America. Stream the album all this week. 

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Alfred Schnittke's Piano Music and Crushingly Unhappy End

Monday, April 07, 2014

Simon Smith's new collection of Alfred Schnittke's complete piano music offers a harrowing biographical portrait of the composer. Stream the entire album all this week.

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Kronos Quartet Distills 40 Years of Exploration into a 'Thousand Thoughts'

Monday, March 31, 2014

Kronos Quartet's new 40th anniversary compilation, "A Thousand Thoughts," takes a well-earned victory lap by bringing together a generous helping of their globe-trotting musical excursions.

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Michael Gordon Goes for Broke with 'Rushes' for Bassoon Septet

Monday, March 24, 2014

Why is it that so many composers are reticent to write for the bassoon? Stream Michael Gordon's fiendishly difficult 'Rushes' for bassoon septet all this week and find out.

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Glenn Kotche's Colorful, Infectiously Rhythmic 'Adventureland'

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Adventureland" is the latest release from Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, and features music for the Kronos Quartet, Gamelan Galak Tika, and "two pianos vs. percussion." Stream the entire album all this week.

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