The London Sinfonietta’s Writing the Future program commissions two pieces each year from a handful of emerging composers. Each of the composers works closely with the Sinfonietta musicians throughout their compositional process. The selected results, presented on the album “New Music Concert,” are fresh and vibrant creations that seem to clearly reflect the personalities of both the composers and the performers they collaborated with.
Kurt Rohde’s thoughtful and emphatic works for chamber ensemble have been collected on a CD titled “One,” featuring performances by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Empyrean Ensemble and additional soloists. The album title is fitting, considering Rohde’s talent for synthesizing disparate elements in a single piece - mixing baroque and modern forms in his Concertino, popular and classical styles in Four Remixes, and the acts of speaking and playing in One for speaking pianist.
Two recent releases from the Erased Tapes label, “A Stillness” by Michael Price and “Screws” by Nils Frahm, share a warm, approachable aesthetic. Price’s compositions for string quartet feature the polished tonality one might expect from a composer who has assisted on scores for films such as James Bond: Quantum of Solace, but there is also a stark honesty and vulnerability in the music. Frahm’s short, simple songs are made captivating by the recording method – microphones placed inside a felt-dampened piano, picking up every little creak and thud of the mechanism.