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”

Ora Singers – Spem in Alium.Vidi Aquam (CD Review)

Spem in Alium. Vidi Aquam Ora Singers, Suzi Digby Harmonia Mundi, 2020 English choral group the Ora Singers, led by Suzi Digby, present Thomas Tallis’s magnificent forty-part motet Spem in Alium on their latest Harmonia Mundi recording. Split into eight choirs of five apiece, the singers are given many opportunities to overlap in successive entrances,Continue reading “Ora Singers – Spem in Alium.Vidi Aquam (CD Review)”

Anna Höstman’s Harbour (CD Review)

Anna Höstman  Harbour  Cheryl Duvall, piano  Redshift Records, 2020  Harbour, a recital recording of Anna Höstman’s piano works played by Cheryl Duvall, reveals an emerging composer who both synthesizes her research interests – she has written about Feldman and Linda Caitlin Smith – while developing a significant voice of her own. Thus, gradually developing fieldsContinue reading “Anna Höstman’s Harbour (CD Review)”

Ralph van Raat Plays French Piano Rarities (CD Review)

French Piano Rarities Ralph van Raat, piano Naxos 8.573894 I was fortunate to hear the US premiere at New York’s Weill Recital Hall by Ralph van Raat of Pierre Boulez’s early work Prelude, Toccata, and Scherzo (1944). Composed when he was just nineteen, the piece is a substantial one, twenty-seven minutes long. Unlike Boulez’s worksContinue reading “Ralph van Raat Plays French Piano Rarities (CD Review)”

Spektral Quartet (Recording review)

Spektral Quartet Clara Lyon (violin), Maeve Feinberg (violin), Doyle Armbrust (viola), Russell Rolen (cello) Experiments in Living New Focus Records (digital release) The Spektral Quartet takes advantage of the open-ended playing time of a digital release to create effectively a double album for their latest recording, Experiments in Living. While double albums often suffer fromContinue reading “Spektral Quartet (Recording review)”

Liza Lim on Kairos

Liza Lim Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus Sophie Schatleitner, violin; Lorelei Dowling, bassoon; Klangform Wien, Stefan Asbury and Peter Rundel, conductors Kairos CD 00140220KAI Composer Liza Lim’s creative projects have long embraced a variety of ecomusicology. The environment in her home country Australia and the treatment of indigenous peoples there have featured in several works.Continue reading “Liza Lim on Kairos”

Two composer portrait CDs on Sono Luminus (CD Review)

Páll Ragnar Pálsson Atonement CAPUT Ensemble, conducted by Guðni Franzson, Tui Hirv, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir Sono Luminus CD/Blu-ray (2020) Halldór Smárason Stara Siggi String Quartet, Emilía Rós Sigfúsdóttir, Geirþrúður Ása Guðjónsdóttir, Helga Björg Arnardóttir, Tinna Thorsteinsdóttir, Gulli Björnsson Sono Luminus CD/Blu-ray (2020) In recent years, the prominence of Icelandic composers on the international stage hasContinue reading “Two composer portrait CDs on Sono Luminus (CD Review)”

Jonathan Powell Plays Sorabji (CD Review)

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Sequentia Cyclica – Super Dies Irae ex Missa Pro Defunctis Jonathan Powell, piano Piano Classics PCL10206 (7 CD boxed set; digital) Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892-1988) was the composer of some of Western classical music’s most intricate, extended, and ambitiously virtuosic works to date. His output encompassed seven decades, from 1914-1984. The serialContinue reading “Jonathan Powell Plays Sorabji (CD Review)”

Two Recordings by David Felder (CD Review)

David Felder Jeu de Tarot Irvine Arditti, violin; Ensemble Signal, Brad Lubman, conductor; Arditti Quartet Coviello CD COV91913 David Felder Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux Laura Aikin, soprano; Ethan Hesrchenfeld, bass; Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor BMOPsound CD 1069 David Felder has taught for a number of years at SUNY Buffalo, running the JuneContinue reading “Two Recordings by David Felder (CD Review)”

Barbara Hannigan – La Passione (CD Review)

La Passione Barbara Hannigan, soprano and conductor; Ludwig Orchestra Alpha Classics La Passione is soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan’s second CD with Ludwig Orchestra. Their first collaboration, Girl Crazy, won a 2018 Grammy Award. Like Girl Crazy, the selections on La Passione are disparate, but they cohere into a convincing program. Whether she is performingContinue reading “Barbara Hannigan – La Passione (CD Review)”