A Vibrant Ceremony of Benjamin Britten Carols

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Christmas holiday may be in our rear-view mirrors but Britten's A Ceremony of Carols remains a wintery staple. A new recording captures the work’s harmonic and melodic ingenuity and narrative power.

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The Ingenuity of Lei Liang's Delicate Musical Dramas

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stephen Drury's Callithumpian Consort, pipa star Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet make a powerful case for Lei Liang, a composer whose music marries features of the European avant-garde to his Chinese heritage.

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Oliver Knussen Strikes Cadences of Memorial and Elegy

Friday, December 14, 2012

Oliver Knussen’s recently released album of eight short works that have never been recorded before is swathed in the cadences of memorial and elegy. Stream the entire album in full for this week only.

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The London Sinfonietta's New Music Show

Monday, December 10, 2012

"New Music Show" features the talents of five British-based composers with backgrounds as disparate as the London club scene, noise rock and installation art as well as so-called classical music.

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A Terribly Beautiful, Cold Blue Anthology of New Music

Monday, December 03, 2012

Cold Blue Two presents 14 distinctive ways to make clear, "pretty" music, by composers including Harry Partch, John Luther Adams, Ingram Marshall and others.

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The Long Overdue Reissue of Laurie Spiegel's 'Expanding Universe'

Monday, November 26, 2012

Composer Laurie Spiegel had something like a career year in 2012, at least so far as attention goes. Stream for this week only the reissue of her classic 1980 album, "The Expanding Universe."

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The Transcontinental Travels of Derek Bermel and Alarm Will Sound

Monday, November 19, 2012

Like an only slightly lower-strung version of Carl Stalling's Looney Toons scores, Derek Bermel's music often changes its mind halfway through a phrase, doubles back and becomes something completely different.

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San Francisco Symphony Refreshes 'American Mavericks' Franchise

Monday, November 12, 2012

If you thought the San Francisco Symphony's promotion of American "maverick" composers has gotten tiresome, this collection of Cowell, Varèse, Harrison and Cage may make you reconsider.

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Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar

Monday, November 05, 2012

Listeners familiar with the music of Missy Mazzoli are unlikely to be shocked by her latest CD, Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt, which suggests the gentle, queasy motion of an ocean liner.

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The Volatile, Maverick Music of Michael Harrison

Monday, October 29, 2012

The word “maverick” is overused in the contemporary music world. But in the case of composer Michael Harrison and cellist Maya Beiser, the descriptor is deserved.

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The Vocal Octet Roomful of Teeth Sets the Bar Unfairly High

Monday, October 22, 2012

The a cappella octet Roomful of Teeth have trained in non-Western traditions and have collaborated with several fashionable composers. Hear the results on their debut album.

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Mystery and Scientific Exploration in Nordic Cello Concertos

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cellist Jakob Kullberg and the New Music Orchestra present cello concertos by Saariaho, Norgard and Nordheim.

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Celebrating the Female: The Choral Works of Imogen Holst

Monday, October 08, 2012

A new recording of Imogen Holst’s choral works provides a valuable introduction to an area of the musician's life that has until now been woefully neglected.

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Eighth Blackbird Brings Adès, Hartke and Etezady to Life

Monday, October 01, 2012

The prominent new music sextet called eighth blackbird performs music by Stephen Hartke, Thomas Ades, John Adams and Missy Mazzoli, featuring instruments like the flexatone and harmonica.

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Valgeir Sigurðsson's 'Architecture of Loss'

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sigurðsson’s latest release, "Architecture of Loss" was conceived as an accompaniment to choreographer Stephen Petronio’s ballet of the same name. The album is at once cinematic and intimate, alternating moments of textural ambiance and intense lyricism.

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Cellist Mariel Roberts's 'Nonextraneous Sounds'

Monday, September 17, 2012

The music on this disc, by a range of rising young composers, is nothing short of gripping from the first note to the last, and it's thanks largely to the intense focus of these highly individual musicians.

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Einstein on the Beach

Monday, September 10, 2012

This live 1984 recording of Glass's Einstein is nothing close to complete. However, it's a (smartly) edited 77-minute highlight reel from the opera, paired with a DVD of the documentary produced during the same run.

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'The Passion of Ramakrishna' by Philip Glass

Monday, September 03, 2012

Philip Glass began composing for organ early in his career, and in a way, he never really stopped: His orchestration bears a resemblance to the tradition of Bruckner or Franck, treating the sections of the orchestra like the stops on an organ.

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Piercing the World of John Cage

Friday, August 24, 2012

While somewhat overwhelming to stomach in a single listen, pianist Joshua Pierce's “John Cage: A Tribute” is one of the most powerful and listenable cross-sections of Cage’s work to date.

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The Almost Unbearable Heaviness of Viktor Ullmann

Monday, August 20, 2012

As the circumstances of composer Viktor Ullmann's life became more brutal, his music only became lovelier, more polished, and more playful this new recording indicates.

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