Key Concepts with Michael Mizrahi, Orion Weiss and More

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This week on the New Canon, we get hammered with the NOW Ensemble's pianist Michael Mizrahi, whose solo recording "The Bright Motion" is our Album of the Week and available this month from New Amsterdam Records.

As a solo instrument, the piano has—especially in the hands of Mizrahi and with the music of album contributors such as William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein and Mark Dancigers—a really nifty ability to be at once introspective and extroverted, which is a theme we look at on a number of new recordings this week before we stream The Bright Motion in its entirety.

Also on the pianistic side, we'll hear a bang-up recording of Bartók's 14 Bagatelles, a piece that made Busoni giddy over its revolutionary leanings, made for Bridge by Orion Weiss. The instrument also comes into play in chamber pieces like Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen's Bencharong, written for flute, piano and cello. And even when we go big—as we do with Alan Gilbert leading the Orchestre National de France and soprano Renée Fleming in Dutilleux's Deux sonnets de Jean Cassou, there's still a bit of chamber quality against all of that sonic opulence.