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Bryn Terfel’s new album 'Sea Songs' presents a rich and diverse repertory of traditional music with sea shanties, spirited sailor songs and maritime folk tunes in brand new arrangements. Featuring guest stars Sting, Sir Simon Keenlyside, Fisherman’s Friends and Calan.
Kali Malone’s anticipated new album “All Life Long” is a collection of music for pipe organ, choir, and brass quintet composed by Kali Malone, 2020 - 2023. Choral music performed by Macadam Ensemble and conducted by Etienne Ferschaud at Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-L’Immaculée-Conception in Nantes. Brass quintet music performed by Anima Brass at The Bunker Studio in New York City. Organ music performed by Kali Malone and Stephen O’Malley on the historical meantone tempered pipe organs at Église Saint-François in Lausanne, Orgelpark in Amsterdam, and Malmö Konstmuseum in Sweden.
Kali Malone composes with a rare clarity of vision. Her music is patient and focused, built on a foundation of evolving harmonic cycles that draw out latent emotional resonances. Time is a crucial factor: letting go of expectations of duration and breadth offers a chance to find a space of reflection and contemplation. In her hands, experimental reinterpretations of centuries-old polyphonic compositional methods become portals to new ways of perceiving sound, structure, and introspection. Though awe-inspiring in scope, the most remarkable thing about Malone’s music is the intimacy stirred by the close listening it encourages.
Malone’s new album All Life Long, created between 2020 - 2023, presents her first compositions for organ since 2019’s breakthrough album The Sacrificial Code alongside interrelated pieces for voice and brass performed by Macadam Ensemble and Anima Brass. Over the course of twelve pieces, harmonic themes and patterns recur, presented in altered forms and for varied instrumentation. They emerge and reemerge like echoes of their former selves, making the familiar uncanny. Propelled by lungs and breath rather than bellows and oscillators, Malone’s compositions for choir and brass take on expressive qualities that complicate the austerity that has defined her work, introducing lyricism and the beauty of human fallibility into music that has been driven by mechanical processes. At the same time, the works for organ, performed by Malone with additional accompaniment by Stephen O’Malley on four different organs dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, underscore the mighty, spectral power that those rigorous operations can achieve.
All Life Long simmers in an ever-shifting tension between repetition and variation. The pieces for brass, organ, and voice are alternated asymmetrically, providing nearly continuous timbral fluctuation across its 78-minute runtime even as thematic material reiterates. Each composition’s internal framework of fractal pattern permutations has the paradoxical effect of creating anticipated keystone moments of dramatic reverie and lulling the listener into believing in an illusory endlessness. On an even more granular level, the historical meantone tuning systems of each organ used, and the variable intonation of brass and voice, provide further points of emotional excavation within the harmony.
The titular composition “All Life Long” appears twice on the album, first as an extended canon for organ and again in the final quarter, compactly arranged for voice. In the latter, Malone pairs the music with “The Crying Water” by Arthur Symons, a poem steeped in language of mourning and eternity. For organ, “All Life Long” moves with a patient stateliness, the drama concentrated in moments when shifting tonalities generate and release dissonance and ecstasy. For voice, each word is saturated with feeling, the singers swooping gracefully downward to capture the melancholy of the narrator’s relationship to the timeless tears of the sea. “Passage Through The Spheres,” the album’s opening piece, contains lyrics in Italian pulled from Giorgio Agamban’s essay In Praise of Profanation. In it, Agamban defines profanation as, in part, the act of bringing back to communal, secular use that which has been segregated to the realm of the sacred, a process Malone enacts each time she performs on church organs.
This is not music of praise, or of spiritual revelation, but it is an artistic enactment of translating the indescribable. It carries the gravity of liturgical chant, and its fixation on the infinite, but draws its weight from the earthly realm of human experience. A music that draws the listener into the present moment where they can discover themselves within the interwoven musical patterns that can come to resemble the passage of days, weeks, years, a lifetime.
Lang Lang presents with this album a treasure trove of musical discoveries. Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was recorded with a stellar cast, the Gewandhausorchester and Andris Nelsons and is for Lang Lang a true romantic masterpiece that rivals the greats like Rachmaninoff or Tchaikovsky.
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary Edition of Olafur Arnalds For Now I Am Winter, the album has been remastered for vinyl and pressed in a limited edition clear color with exclusive art prints inside.
What happens when the illustrious brass sections of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic come together? The answer is The Philharmonic Brass. This debut album is conducted by Tugan Sokhiev and includes virtuoso arrangements of some of the best-known overtures including Verdi’s La Forza del Destino and Gershwin’s Cuban Overture.
On SLEEP: Tranquility Base, composer Max Richter reworks material from his celebrated eight-hour magnum opus SLEEP. Referencing the 1969 moon landing site in the title, Tranquility Base offers a glimpse at the original material from a more electronic perspective.
For his first album as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, 2021 International Chopin Competition winner Bruce Liu has compiled an enthralling survey of 200 years of French keyboard music, from Baroque to modern. The phenomenal young Canadian pianist has subtly adjusted the action of his instrument to highlight the differing musical styles. The album’s title WAVES alludes not only to the nature theme that runs throughout the program, but also to the sheer spontaneity of Liu’s music-making.
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Marking the debut orchestral recording of legendary Lang Lang’s illustrious career, this Telarc classic includes the pianist’s performance of Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra from Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 2001, as well as his solo performance of a variety of Scriabin’s Etudes. Mastered from the original Soundstream tapes by Paul Blakemore, cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, and pressed on 180-gram LP pressed at Optimal.
Vinyl: $29.98 Buy
CD: $24.98 Buy
Hitchock and Herrmann, Spielberg and Williams, Zemeckis and Silvestri, Burton and Elfman, Fellini and Rota. There’s a certain kind of magic that happens when a director and composer work together for an extended period; their imaginations are fuelled by an artistic sensibility which becomes, inevitably, entwined. Such deep understanding between two artists has proffered memorable, even legendary, cinemusical experiences. But there’s another of these partnerships we must honour and mention in the same breath, that of director Hayao Miyazaki and composer Joe Hisaishi.
Rob Grant will release his debut album, Lost At Sea, on June 9, 2023. An accidental recording artist, Grant has never had a lesson on any instrument in his life, but when he sits down at a piano, something magical happens. Father of international icon Lana Del Rey, he enlisted an array of talent to contribute to the making of the album. Features and writing credits include Lana Del Rey, while production credits include Jack Antonoff, Luke Howard, Laura Sisk and Zach Dawes.
CD: $16.98 Buy
The Blue Hour is a song cycle written collaboratively by the composers Rachel Grimes, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider with the chamber orchestra A Far Cry (Shara Nova also is featured as vocal soloist). Set to excerpts from Carolyn Forché’s epic poem On Earth, the music follows one woman’s journey through the space between life and death via thousands of hallucinatory and non-linear images. Exploring memories of childhood, of war, of love, and of loss, The Blue Houramplifies the beauty, pain, and fragility of human life from a collective female perspective.
CD: $14.98 Buy
Nonesuch Records releases the first recordings of Steve Reich’s Runner (2016) and Music for Ensemble and Orchestra (2018), performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by Susanna Mälkki, available on CD on September 30, 2022; a vinyl LP version will be released on December 2.
Reich says Runner is written “for a large ensemble of winds, percussion, pianos, and strings. While the tempo remains more or less constant, there are five movements, played without pause, that are based on different note durations. First, even sixteenths, then irregularly accented eighths, then a very slowed-down version of the standard bell pattern from Ghana in quarters, fourth a return to the irregularly accented eighths, and finally a return to the sixteenths but now played as pulses by the winds for as long as a breath will comfortably sustain them. The title was suggested by the rapid opening and my awareness that, like a runner, I would have to pace the piece to reach a successful conclusion.”
“Music for Ensemble and Orchestra is an extension of the Baroque concerto grosso where there is more than one soloist,” the composer continues. “Here there are twenty soloists—all regular members of the orchestra, including the first stand strings and winds, as well as two vibraphones and two pianos. The piece is in five movements, though the tempo never changes, only the note value of the constant pulse in the pianos. Thus, an arch form: sixteenths, eighths, quarters, eighths, sixteenths. Music for Ensemble and Orchestra is modeled on my Runner, which has the same five movement form.”
Everybody loves a party, and who better to serve as the master of ceremonies than global superstar cellist HAUSER.
With the Dedicated Tour marking the end of a remarkable 10-year run for 2CELLOS, HAUSER is ushering a new era as a solo artist and visual concept creator on his new album THE PLAYER, accompanied by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Steven Mercurio, released on September 16, 2022 on Sony Music Masterworks.
Whether it is captivating reimaginations of timeless world music classics such as “Bésame Mucho,” “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás” and “Historia de un Amor,” or his take on modern-day hits such as Ricky Martin’s Latin Pop smash “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita,” Camila Cabello’s “Señorita,” and Shakira’s 2010 Official 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Song “Waka Waka,” HAUSER traverses from genre to genre with ease, inviting fans of all ages and backgrounds to join him for a global dance party extravaganza.
HAUSER uses his irresistible charisma and musical stylings to take listeners on a whirlwind adventure of romance and excitement, a trademark for HAUSER that has made him an international star. The success of HAUSER himself extends far beyond his many, many millions of social media followers with a devoted, international fan base that continues to grow. With more than a billion audio streams across the globe and more than 4 billion video views, the Croatian cellist is a phenomenon that is one part virtuoso and the other, that of sheer, animal magnetism. For HAUSER’s fans, perhaps it is simply his ability to unify generations of music lovers.
HAUSER. He is a magician of the cello…and this is only the beginning.
Nonesuch Records releases Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award–winning composer Caroline Shaw’s Evergreen, performed by Shaw and Attacca Quartet, on September 9, 2022. Evergreen is five original works by Shaw: two suites written for string quartet—Three Essays and The Evergreen—two pieces written for string quartet and voice, and one piece written solely for string quartet. It also includes an interpretation of a twelfth century French poem, which the Quartet performs with Shaw on vocals.
Following 2019’s Orange, which featured six of Shaw’s pieces for string quartet and earned Attacca Quartet a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, Evergreen was built around the titular four-song suite, first performed by the Viano String Quartet in 2021. Shaw describes the work as an offering to one particular tree in an evergreen forest on Swiikw (Galiano Island), off the west coast of Canada. The album also includes Three Essays, a suite written for and premiered by Calidore String Quartet that addresses language’s power to stir emotion and spread information and ideas through written, spoken, and digital forms; And So, a piece composed for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale and mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter as part of Shaw’s Is a Rose trilogy; Blueprint, a work originally composed for the Aizuri Quartet and relating closely to an early string quartet by Beethoven; Other Song, a piece written for the National Symphony Orchestra and originally released on Shaw's 2021 solo vocal debut, Let the Soil Play Its Simple Part; and an interpretation of Cant voi l’aube, a poem by twelfth century trouvère, Gace Brulé.
Bob Marley with the Chineke! Orchestra reimagines some of Bob Marley’s most recognized and listened to songs with contemporary classical orchestration. The Chineke! Orchestra provides opportunities to a diverse range of up-and-coming and internationally respected classical musicians.
CD: $19.95 Buy
"The 94-year-old elder statesman of classical music" (The New York Times) joins forces with the Gewandhausorchester for a Schubert program of Symphonies No. 8 (Unfinished) and No. 9 (The Great), timed for his 95th birthday on July 11, 2022. He is the world's "longest-serving" conductor and still one of the most vital as heard on his late DG debut.