Matthew Shipp (Best of 2020)

Matthew Shipp The Piano Equation Tao Forms CD Jazz pianist Matthew Shipp turned sixty this year and celebrated in part with the solo release The Piano Equation. Shipp is an extraordinarily prolific recording artist, with dozens of releases as leader or co-leader and numerous more as a supporting musician; his solo catalog alone is extensive.Continue reading “Matthew Shipp (Best of 2020)”

Scelsi revisited (Best of 2020)

Scelsi Revisited Klangforum Wien, Sylvain Cambreling, Johannes Kalitzke, conductors Kairos 2XCD A number of prominent European composers took part in Scelsi revisited, a festival, documented on this double-CD, celebrating Giacinto Scelsi’s music. Their tribute pieces were based on unrealized tapes of Scelsi playing the Ondiola, a three-octave tube synthesizer that was his preferred instrument forContinue reading “Scelsi revisited (Best of 2020)”

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)”

Ashlee Mack – Bagatelle for Piano (Video)

Ashlee Mack has just posted a performance video of my Bagatelle for Solo Piano. It is one in a set of three, the others being for alto flute and then a duo for alto flute and piano. You can stream or purchase a studio recording of the whole set via the Bandcamp embed below. ThreeContinue reading “Ashlee Mack – Bagatelle for Piano (Video)”

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)”

Andy Kozar: A Few Kites (CD Preview)

On Friday, Andy Kozar released A Few Kites, a trumpet and electronics solo album on New Focus Recordings. It features works by Paula Matthusen, Ken Ueno, Scott Worthington, Eve Beglarian, and others. A plethora of extended techniques, including deconstructing the instrument itself, are pitted against imaginative electroacoustic vistas. Recommended.