Harold Shapero on BMOP (Best of 2020)

Harold Shapero Orchestral Works Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor BMOP Sound Composer Harold Shapero (1920-2013) was a central figure during the mid-twentieth century. A member of the Boston neoclassical group of composers, he was one of the first professors hired by Irving Fine for a new composition program at Brandeis University. Shapero hadContinue reading “Harold Shapero on BMOP (Best of 2020)”

Not Our First Goat Rodeo (Best of 2020)

Not Our First Goat Rodeo Stuart Duncan, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile Sony Music Masterworks Not Our First Goat Rodeo, a second album for the grouping of fiddler Stuart Duncan, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer, and mandolinist Chris Thile, adopts a popular hybrid: bluegrass meets classical. The past three decades have seenContinue reading “Not Our First Goat Rodeo (Best of 2020)”

Piano Concertos on DG (Best of 2020)

John Adams Why Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? Yuja Wang, piano; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Deutsche Grammophon Thomas Adés Adés Conducts Adés Kirill Gerstein, piano: Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano, Mark Stone, baritone;  Boston Symphony, Thomas Adés, conductor Deutsche Grammophon This year saw the release of two formidable new piano concertos onContinue reading “Piano Concertos on DG (Best of 2020)”

Cappella Amsterdam (Best of 2020)

Roland de Lassus Inferno – Motets for Six and Eight Voices Cappella Amsterdam, Daniel Reuss, director Harmonia Mundi CD Roland de Lassus (1530-1594)  – also known as Orlando di Lasso – was one of the most important vocal composers of the sixteenth century. His extant catalog contains more than 2,000 pieces in nearly every sacredContinue reading “Cappella Amsterdam (Best of 2020)”

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)”

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”

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)”

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)”