Robert Black Taps into His Bass-ic Instincts

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The bass gets its due with a meaty double-album from Bang on a Can All Star Robert Black. Read how he makes so much rep work and to grab a free download (this week only!) of George Perle's Monody II.


Praise Canada: The Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Scores Big

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our neighbors to the north have it all right with this new recording of works by Nico Muhly, Jonny Greenwood and Richard Reed Parry. Snag a free, limited-time download of Muhly's Wish You Were Here.

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A Captivating Sextet of Chamber Works from Mohammed Fairouz

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A composer whose star is on the rise, Mohammed Fairouz celebrated the release of his first solo disc last month. Read on for more and to grab a free download from Four Critical Models.


A Tempestuous Trio from Kaija Saariaho

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Kaija Saariaho is omnipresent in New York this season. Get a taste for three of her newest works on this beautiful and haunting new disc from Ondine, and grab a free download from Leino Songs.


David Lang Goes Back to Basics with 'this was written by hand'

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Has David Lang abandoned the aura of enfant terrible? Perhaps, but this pairing of works written roughly 10 years apart shows that he's still the same ear-rocking composer. Grab a free download of the track wed.


Gregory Spears's 'Requiem' Merges Early with New

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sinner or saint, dead or alive, there's much to love about this arresting debut from composer Gregory Spears. Read on for more and grab a free download for this week only of the track Postlude.

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Eighth Blackbird Shacks Up in 'Lonely Motel'

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Can one call recording that is selections from a larger theater work a “concept album?” Or is such a term redundant when every theatrical recording is more or less conceptual in its inherent unifying themes? Read on for more about an album at the center of this debate, and grab a free download for this week only of the track Addiction.

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Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Rhizoma Bridges the Gap Between Mystic and Mythic

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

If, as the adage goes, every snowflake is different, then every note in Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s intricate debut album, Rhizoma, is equally unique. Grab a free download for this week only of the track Hrim.

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A French Quartet Dives Head-First into American Music

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Diotima Quartet delivers a trio of American works from the last century, painting a varied portrait of our age-old new-music scene.

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The Lincoln Trio Aims Less at Girl Power and More for Sonic Power

Monday, October 17, 2011

With works by Lera Auerbach, Jennifer Higdon, Joan Tower and more, tokenism and affirmative action go out the door on the Lincoln Trio's all-female composers disc, Notable Women. Read on for more and to grab a download of Higdon's "Fiery Red."


yMusic Tempers Indie and Classical with 'Beautiful Mechanical'

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Clarice Jensen's fiery cello line that kicks off the opening track you get the sense listening to Beautiful Mechanical that you're sitting in some funky loft kitchen listening to your best friends engage in an impromptu jam session. That's not to say that yMusic doesn't infuse their debut album with a great deal of work and backbone -- that's an obvious fact from the first lines as well. However, the collaborative cabal makes it all look so effortless and off-the-cuff that it's certain to rouse that rare balance of admiration and envy.


'It is Time' for So Percussion and Steve Mackey

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

So Percussion's latest recording for Cantaloupe Music does for time what the quartet did for cities in 2009's Imaginary City.


Pain is Pleasure with itsnotyouitsme

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

With their third studio album, itsnotyouitsme treads deeper into the realms of Gavin Bryars and John Luther Adams. Read on for more provocatively-titled songs and ambient shoegazing, andgrab a free download for this week only.


Rachael Elliott Falls into an Atmospheric Solo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rachael Elliott, a founding member of Clogs and one of the sharpest executors of new-music currently on the scene, didn't have to look far when it came to assembling her debut album Polka the Elk, which features three tracks by fellow bandmate Padma Newsome cozied up to tracks by Tawnie Olson and David Lang. Learn more and grab a free download for this week only. 


Steve Reich's WTC 9/11: How Good is Too Good?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Here’s the problem with Steve Reich’s newest work to hit recording WTC 9/11: While you want it to be good as a means of doing justice to the tragic events it musically marks, t’s also hard to see the piece turn out to be too good, because listening to a work of such cathartic and unsettling power has to be, like a bottle of Scotch old enough to vote, a judiciously parsed-out experience both to ensure potency and minimize the raw feeling you’re left with at the end of this 16-minute work.

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The Discreet Charm of Jody Redhage

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

It takes about a full minute before you first hear Redhage sear into her instrument on the opening track, I Dreamed I Was Floating, which starts with an atmospheric ambient sound that carries the listener into a seamless 47 minutes of tracks commissioned and curated by Redhage, representing a cavalcade of bright young composers including Anna Clyne, Wil Smith and Derek Muro. For this week only, grab a free download of the song A Thousand Tongues by Missy Mazzoli.


Michael Gordon's 'Timber' Speaks Softly and Carries a Loud Stick

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How exactly do you keep a composition for six 2'x4's from sounding stiff? Find out how Michael Gordon does just that, and get a free download from his new CD this week only.

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The Grit and Grace of Tan Dun's Martial Arts Trilogy

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tan Dun is one of those mercurial composers that’s impossible to pin down—is he a film composer (see: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)? A maestro of opera (see: The First Emperor)? An Eastern musician blending western idioms (see: Ghost Opera, performed by the Kronos Quartet with Wu Man)? A symphonist (see: the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s performance of his Water Concerto)? Read on to nab a free download of the title track from the film The Banquet, as performed by Lang Lang.


The Absolute Ensemble Goes Multiculti with Arabian Nights

Monday, August 15, 2011

Q2's Album of the Week relives a 2007 Town Hall concert that bridges East and West, old and new, courtesy of the Absolute Ensemble and Kristjan Järvi. Read on to get a free download.


A Stunning Menagerie from Arlene Sierra

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

At times, composer Arlene Sierra’s catalog reads more like an inventory of the Museum of Natural History with titles like Insects in Amber, Cricket-Viol, Cicada Shell and Birds and Insects, Book 1. Even her inclusion in the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural CONTACT! series in December of 2009, Game of Attrition, was based on Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Likewise, Sierra’s works are full of feline cunningness, birdlike chirps, beastly savage turns and serpentine seduction.