Best of 2020: Michi Wiancko

(Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing some of my favorite recordings of 2020. -CC) Michi Wiancko Planetary Candidate New Amsterdam Violinist-composer Michi Wianko’s recording Planetary Candidate presents a selection of solo violin works by Wianko and several of her composer contemporaries. They are “solo” in the sense of having a singleContinue reading “Best of 2020: Michi Wiancko”

Best of 2018: Instrumental and Recital CDs

Best of 2018: Instrumental and Recital CDs Best Recital Hanging Gardens Works by Claude Debussy, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern Jacob Greenberg, piano with Tony Arnold, soprano Rather than the customary bifurcation, Impressionism and Expressionism are related to one another on Hanging Gardens, pianist Jacob Greenberg’s loving curated, beautifully performed double CD. HeContinue reading “Best of 2018: Instrumental and Recital CDs”

Best of 2018: Orchestral CDs

Best of 2018 – Orchestral CDs   In ictu oculi Kenneth Hesketh BBC Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Christoph Mathias Mueller Paladino   Three large orchestra works by British composer Kenneth Hesketh are attractively scored in multifaceted, often muscular, fashion. Hesketh’s unabashed exploration of emotionality, imbued with strongly etched motives and intricate formal designs, providesContinue reading “Best of 2018: Orchestral CDs”

Best of 2018: Holiday CD and Opera Recording

Best of 2018: Holiday CD, Opera Recording Best Holiday CD Nine Lessons and Carols: 100 Years King’s College Choir, Stephen Cleobury, Director Choir of King’s College label   2018 is the hundredth anniversary of Lessons and Carols at King’s College (and ninetieth year of radio broadcasts of the event). In order to celebrate, the ChoirContinue reading “Best of 2018: Holiday CD and Opera Recording”

Best of 2018: Composer Portrait CDs

Best of 2018: Composer Portrait CDs   2018 saw the release of a bevy of excellent recordings of music by contemporary composers. These were the portrait CDs that most frequently captivated my ear and captured my CD player. Ipsa Dixit Kate Soper Wet Ink Ensemble (Erin Lesser, flute; Ian Antonio, percussion; Josh Modney, violin) NewContinue reading “Best of 2018: Composer Portrait CDs”

Best of 2018: Compilation CDs

Best of 2018: Compilation CDs (Various Genres) Wet Ink: 20 Wet Ink Large Ensemble Carrier Records   Wet Ink Ensemble has been performing music for twenty years. To celebrate, they have released Wet Ink: 20, a collection of pieces by frequent collaborators, most from within  the ensemble. Intensity is the order of the day onContinue reading “Best of 2018: Compilation CDs”

Best of 2018: Orchestral CDs with Voices

Best of 2018: Orchestral CDs with Voices   Requiem John Harbison Nashville Symphony Chorus and Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor Naxos Records   John Harbison’s Requiem Mass had a long and fragmented gestation, but it certainly sounds of a piece. This debut recording by Nashville Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, led by Giancarlo Guerrero, emphasizesContinue reading “Best of 2018: Orchestral CDs with Voices”

Best Chamber Music CDs of 2018

Best Chamber Music 2018  Danish String Quartet Prism I ECM Records Prism I is the first of five CDs by the Danish String Quartet, each featuring a work by Bach, a work by Beethoven, and a complementary piece. The key of E-flat is the central focus of this recording. J.S. Bach’s Fugue in E-flat majorContinue reading “Best Chamber Music CDs of 2018”

Best of 2018: Best Violin Concerto

Best of 2018 – Best Violin Concerto Michael Hersch end stages, Violin Concerto Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin, International Contemporary Ensemble, Tito Muñoz, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra New Focus Recordings fcr208 Composer Michael Hersch consistently writes music with emotional immediacy that explores aching vulnerability with consummate eloquence. His Violin Concerto is like a wound still raw. Soloist Patricia KopatchinskajaContinue reading “Best of 2018: Best Violin Concerto”

Best Chamber Portrait CD and Best New Recording Artist 2017

Scott Wollschleger, Soft Aberration (New Focus, 2017) Longleash, Passage (New Focus, 2017) Scott Wollschleger’s compositions are written in an amalgam of different styles, onto which he puts a personal stamp, creating pieces that are full of savory surprises. Wollschleger’s debut portrait CD on New Focus, Soft Aberration, contains five pieces that show his eclecticism toContinue reading “Best Chamber Portrait CD and Best New Recording Artist 2017”