The Pacifica Quartet is Back in the USSR

Monday, June 18, 2012

Two’s company and three’s a crowd, but four is a string quartet: An epitome of balance and dialogue that subsequently gives composers a curious amount of freedom for how limited they are in size and scope.

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The Evolution Apparent in Anthony Paul De Ritis's 'Devolution'

Monday, June 11, 2012

Listening to Anthony Paul De Ritis’s Devolution is somewhat akin to watching a Tarsem film: The mixture of influences, references and textures is both blindingly apparent and blindingly gorgeous.

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Francesco Tristano Gives Us a Compactly Comprehensive Berio Compendium

Monday, June 04, 2012

"Complete works" albums, even those centering on music written for one instrument, are usually sprawling box sets that often double as doorstops. Odd, then, that Luciano Berio's complete works for piano fit onto one single disc. More contradictory still is finding that 80-minute album to be representative of the composer's decades-long career.

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50 Years and Five CDs with Wergo's 'Music of Our Time'

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fifty years ago, art historian Werner Goldschmidt and musicologist Helmut Kirchmayer joined forces to capture the musical zeitgeist in the early 1960s. Half a century later, Wergo Records assembles reissues by Rihm, Ligeti, Cage and Stockhausen into a four-CD set. 

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Michael Mizrahi Fashions a Cabinet of Curiosities on 'The Bright Motion'

Monday, May 21, 2012

A founding member of NOW Ensemble, pianist Michael Mizrahi is one of those musicians who is endlessly fascinated by everything (his undergraduate studies were a three-pronged focus in music, religion and physics) and is, as a result, endlessly fascinating himself.

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Rued Langgaard's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Monday, May 14, 2012

A new recording puts the spotlight on the late-Romantic Danish composer Rued Langgaard. He died virtually unknown in 1952, but is increasingly respected for his anguished symbolism and Wagnerian gestures.

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The Natural and Supernatural Collide in John Luther Adams's Songbirdsongs

Monday, May 07, 2012

A new recording of John Luther Adams's Songbirdsongs is a breath of life into a work considered seminal for its spontaneous performance instructions and strict adherence to birdcalls. Stream the entire album here.

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The Secret Chords that Arvo Pärt Plays to Please Someone (if Not the Lord)

Friday, April 27, 2012

With a relationship that extends beyond artistic collaboration and goes firmly into friendship, each Paul Hillier and Arvo Pärt recording is a reason to let out a praise-worthy “hallelujah,” even if such ebullient exclamations are anathema to Pärt’s Baltic brand of introspectively limned melodic lines.

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The More-than-Bearable Heaviness of Ethel

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ethel last went into the studio for its 2006 Light, and while the fearless foursome has since been heard on discs like Oshtali, a collection of new works by Chickasaw student composers, it took them six years to return with their next solo album, the complementary Heavy.

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The End of Evan Ziporyn's 'Big Grenadilla/Mumbai' is Its Beginning

Monday, April 16, 2012

Evan Ziporyn’s newest album on Cantaloupe pairs two concertos for unconventional solo instruments -- bass clarinet and tabla -- which is "akin to a mental yoga exercise, finding balance in extremes."

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C'est si bon on Claire Chase's Terrestre

Monday, April 09, 2012

Exceedingly versatile and at times beguilingly gamine, flautist Claire Chase's newest album, Terrestre, has much to recommend it with works by Saariaho, Boulez and more. 

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So Percussion Dances with John Cage

Monday, April 02, 2012

Spending an evening listening to So Percussion’s Cage 100 Bootleg Series is somewhat akin to sitting up all night in college, drinking red table wine, smoking Parliaments and discussing what it all means.

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The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Gets Vibrantly Vocal

Friday, March 23, 2012

The power of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music aside, it's composers like Jennifer Higdon, Andrea Clearfield and James Primosch that help to make Philadelphia the sixth borough of New York.

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While Sounding at Home, American Composers Orchestra Nevertheless Goes Big

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Under the leadership of George Manahan, the ACO has renewed its commitment to the next generation of young compositional voices. Find out how and get a download from Kati Agóc's album opener, Pearls.

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Anna Clyne Flutters to Life in 'Blue Moth'

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In her early 30s, composer Anna Clyne has already carved out an enviable niche for herself as a genre-defying composer. Hear what she's all about on her new disc for Tzadik, and get a free download this week only of "Fits + Starts."

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Bang on a Can Celebrates its Silver Anniversary with a Gold Standard

Saturday, March 03, 2012

It's a big (and beautiful, perhaps scary but far from dark) year for Bang on a Can, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. True to form, the cabal's All-Stars have heralded the birthday in style with this rollicking two-disc set. Read on for more and to snag a free download, this week only, of Matt Damon.

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Alison Balsom is Classily Brassy on 'Seraph'

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A historically-neglected soloist instrument in the classical rep, the trumpet gained steam in the 20th and now 21st centuries. Alison Balsom highlights some of the instrument's recent successes with Seraph, an album that includes a world-premiere recording of the title work.

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The Kronos Quartet Displays the Duality that Drives Vladimir Martynov

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In a release presciently appropriate to the current clashes in Russia, the Kronos Quartet lays down three dramatic works by Muscovite composer Vladimir Martynov.

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The Addictive Rhythms of Eric Moe Come to a Head in 'Kick & Ride'

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why should Eric Moe's Kick & Ride, Q2 Music's Album of the Week, come with a warning? Read on to find out, and to snag a download (this week only) from the title concerto.

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Jonathan Harvey's Bird Concerto with Pianosong

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Almost 10 years after its premiere, Jonathan Harvey's enchanting and haunting Bird Concerto with Pianosong finally gets a recording. Read on to find out why this is long overdue, and to snag a free sample from this 30-minute work this week only.

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