New Releases by Giuliano Carmignola, Christopher O'Riley & the Cremona Quartet

Email a Friend

Editor's Note: You'll notice that we're highlighting three albums this week instead of just one, as has long been our practice. We've decided to expand our Album of the Week feature in order to give you a greater mix of new recordings to sample throughout the day. Please check out the first three installments below and share your reactions in the comments box. Enjoy!

Vivaldi con moto
Giuliano Carmignola (violin), Accademia Bizantina/Dantone
Available at

There’s nothing like a grizzled Italian on a motorbike to get our attention here at WQXR. But rest assured, the musical substance of “Vivaldi con moto,” by violinist Giuliano Carmignola and the Accademia Bizantina, lives up the high-octane cover shot. The six concertos here are all late works by Vivaldi. One, the Concerto in E Major RV 283, has never been recorded before, and two others (RV 187 and 281) are presented in reconstructed versions. Carmignola is a master stylist, shaping each work with expressive dynamics, fleet tempos and a crisp bowing technique. Conductor Ottavio Dantone is right there with him in capturing the music’s extravagant gestures.


O’Riley’s Liszt: Christopher O'Riley, piano
Available at

Christopher O’Riley is one of classical music's most visible populists, as host of NPR’s “From The Top” and as an arranger and performer of tunes by Radiohead, Nick Drake and Elliott Smith. His interest in pop and rock adaptations seems to flow naturally to his latest project, which consists entirely of Liszt transcriptions – an adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni; Schumann’s “Spring Song;" the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and two lieder by Schubert. The second disc is devoted entirely to Liszt’s gaudy arrangement of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. O’Riley has a field day with it all, making him an inheritor to the tradition of the late Earl Wild.


Quartetto Di Cremona: Beethoven: Complete String Quartets Vol. 1
Available at

The Cremona String Quartet was established in 2000 at the Stauffer Academy in Cremona, Italy, where the members now teach. The musicians all use instruments made in the locale of their name, which New York audiences recently got to see up close when the group performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in March. Their latest recording is the first installment of a complete Beethoven set, and it mixes and matches his three periods. There’s the sixth of the Op. 18 set, the searing Op. 95 (“Quartetto Serioso”) and the final quartet, the Op. 135. All are played with a good deal of polish and Italianate warmth.