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Symphonic Music - To be released August 6, 2021 | Centaur Records, Inc.

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Solo Piano - Released July 23, 2021 | PM Classics Ltd.

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Symphonic Music - Released June 25, 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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In this installment in "an ongoing Shostakovich survey", Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra bookend the composer's brilliant, often turbulent symphonic career. Nearly half a century lies between Shostakovich's triumphant debut with the First, premiered before his 20th birthday, and the Fifteenth, an inventory of influences written under the shadow of his own mortality. Penned just two years earlier, the Fourteenth is a symphonic song cycle, and the Chamber Symphony is a skillful adaptation of his tragic String Quartet No. 8. © Deutsche Grammophon
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Classical - Released June 25, 2021 | Supraphon a.s.

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Karel Husa - a Czech-born composer whose name resonates more on an international scale than in his native country : the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Grawemeyer Award (other recipients include Boulez, Adés, Dun and Ligeti), he was commissioned to write music for the New York Philharmonic, and other distinguished orchestras and artists. The centenary of Karel Husa's birth is a unique opportunity to recall his remarkable fate and oeuvre. During World War II, he lived in Nazi-occupied Prague. Following his graduation from the Prague Conservatory, with a concert performed with the Prague Symphony Orchestra (1944), Husa left for Paris to study composition with Arthur Honegger and Nadia Boulanger. The performance in Prague of his Three Frescoes with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in 1949 made it evident that Husa's music no longer fitted the Communist ideologues' pigeonholes. A domestic critic opined: "Taking lessons from Honegger in Paris has served to worsen rather than improve Husa. His technical proficiency is sufficient, so he should come back home quickly, so as to tune into the pulsation of the local life; otherwise he will get lost beyond recovery in the jungles of decadent obscurity". Yet Husa did not return to his homeland, opting instead to continue his studies abroad. Later on, he settled in the USA. When it comes to the Warsaw Pact armies' invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, he got to hear about it on Detroit Radio. Husa expressed his dismay in Music for Prague 1968. The piece contains a quotation of the 15th-century Hussite war song Ktož jsú Boží bojovníci, by which the composer also referenced Václav Talich's emotional performance of Bedřich Smetana's My Country in Nazi-occupied Prague. Husa could only begin freely visiting his beloved Prague in the wake of the November 1989 Revolution, yet he pointed out that he kept strolling the city streets in his dreams and works. The present album maps Husa's creative periods between 1947 and 1983, and it features the very first studio recording of his Three Frescoes. Conducted by Tomáš Brauner, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, closely connected with both Karel Husa and Prague, made the recordings at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House in Prague. © Supraphon
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Tango - Released June 25, 2021 | Accentus Music

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The accordion is an instrument that is deeply rooted in Lithuanian folk music. Today, the accordion is also recognized as a versatile instrument of classical music, a change in perception that has largely been promoted by Martynas Levickis, one of the most internationally sought-after musicians in his field. With its lightness and melancholy, Astor Piazzolla’s music has fascinated the young accordionist from an early age, and so it goes without saying that he is dedicating himself to this exceptional composer in his anniversary year. Together with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra he recorded Aconcagua live in concert. For conductor Modestas Pitrenas, Piazzolla's Concerto - named posthumously after the highest mountain in the Americas - "conveys the climb to the roof of the earth in all its facets and symbolism: freedom, longing, loneliness, pain, transfiguration, peace". Levickis has a long and close collaboration with the chamber orchestra Mikroórkestra. Together they present their interpretation of Las Cuatro Estaciones Portenas, Piazzolla's timeless masterpieces of many styles that capture in music the four seasons in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires. © Accentus Music

Classical - Released June 25, 2021 | Arion

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Classical - Released January 15, 2021 | Larghetto

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released November 20, 2020 | Naxos

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The Laudario di Cortona is a collection of monophonic laude, dating from the second half of the 13th century but rediscovered only in 1876. They're far from common on recordings, and some listeners will gravitate toward this recording for this reason alone. They will also get much more from director Paul Hillier and Ars Nova Copenhagen, an ensemble that Hillier has honed to a precise edge rivaling that of the legendary Hilliard Ensemble. The Cortona songs are semi-popular praise songs, probably sung by monks in the street, and the singers of Ars Nova Copenhagen modulate their style in a slightly folkish direction, with attractive results. The rest of the program fits exceptionally well with these unusual items. Much of it consists of music by Arvo Pärt, a Hillier specialty, to be sure, but these are late Pärt works from the 2000s and 2010s that have a new simplicity. The segue from the Lauda novella sia cantata to Pärt's Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima, a seemingly folkish piece that blooms steadily into a rich polyphony, is delightful. There are also straightforward but entirely original works by Caroline Shaw and Julia Wolfe. The whole album is unusually coherent, even by Hillier's high standards, and it will linger in the mind. Hillier is ably supported by Naxos engineers, working at the Garnisonkirken in Copenhagen; the sound is clear and rich. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Accentus Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte
He was "tremendously" impressed, Arvo Pärt recalls of the moment he stood in front of Anish Kapoor's Marsyas for the first time at London's Tate Modern. "Suddenly I found myself in a position from where I saw my life in a different light. At that moment, I had the strong feeling that I wasn't ready to die yet," said then-67-year-old Arvo Pärt. This was the creative impulse for Lamentate. Arvo Pärt, who celebrates his 85th birthday on September 11, 2020, seems to have often been inspired to compose by external circumstances. This is demonstrated in the selection of works for or with piano, which Onute Gražinyte chose for her first recording. Für Alina is particularly important to the Lithuanian pianist. In 1976, Pärt dedicated it to a young woman who had decided to leave the Soviet Union for England. "I know Alina's mother personally and can sympathize with her indescribable pain", says Onute Gražinyte. The pianist was baffled by Pärt's simple musical notation. "First you ask yourself: What is this?" Her playing reveals: She understands". Arvo Pärt has reached the core. It's no coincidence that he dedicated many piano pieces to children and that he intended the Vater Unser to be sung by a boy soprano. It's the ideal, the purity that children are born with and the composer has found it again". © Accentus
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Chamber Music - Released July 15, 2020 | MSR Classics

Recorded: [1-4]: January 2014, at Towson University Center for the Arts [5-7]: August 2016, at Grusin Music Hall, University of ColoradM Boulder [8-12]: May 2018, at Powell Methodist Churchm Ohio
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Secular Vocal Music - Released June 19, 2020 | SFS Media

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This 2020 release was Michael Tilson Thomas' final album as conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. That he chose to present his own music suggests that he considers it underexposed, and he makes a good case. The two works were written 30 years apart, and although they share a common use of tonality, ranging from conventional to atonal, they are entirely different in most ways. From the Diary of Anne Frank was composed in 1990 for actress Audrey Hepburn in connection with her United Nations work. Frank's words are spoken, in melodrama fashion, over an illustrative orchestral background, and the fine reader here is Isabel Leonard, in an unaffected American accent. Meditations on Rilke was composed in 2019, and it hardly sounds like anything you might imagine from the title. From the opening passage of honky-tonk piano, recalling a small-town sojourn of Rilke's father, the score is startlingly eclectic. The reference point here is the orchestral songs of Mahler, and the cycle suggests a 21st century version of that composer. That sounds odd with poetry by Rilke, which has a certain specific mood, but somehow it works, and the cycle has a pleasing quality of being jam-packed with ideas. The San Francisco Symphony plays with total commitment to the occasion, and this release might easily stimulate interest in Tilson Thomas' other music. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 15, 2020 | Disques Triton

 
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Secular Vocal Music - Released April 3, 2020 | Philharmonia Baroque Productions

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Historically oriented ensembles have long had an affinity for contemporary music, rooted in an anti-Romantic aesthetic common to the two musical scenes. Many groups have premiered new works of a more or less modernist bent, but the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra takes a new approach in this pair of works from composer Caroline Shaw: the group asked for music that specifically used the resources offered by historical instruments, genres, and performance techniques. The result is a highly accessible pair of works that don't sound quite like anything else out there. Is a Rose is a cycle of three songs written for mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, sounding fabulous as she enters senior citizenhood. With "rose" texts by Gertrude Stein, Robert Burns, and contemporary poet Jacob Polley, the three works were premiered at different times but cohere as a set, making one hear Baroque features such as a harpsichord in new ways. The half-hour The Listeners draws on the Baroque oratorio genre but is entirely original in conception, inspired by that of the so-called "Golden Record" carried into space by the U.S. Voyager probe in 1977. Shaw draws on texts from Tennyson and Walt Whitman to contemporary poet Yesenia Montilla, together with vintage messages from Carl Sagan and United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim. Broadly appealing and rooted in the past, yet entirely novel, these works show why Shaw is becoming one of the most popular new composers. © TiVo
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released March 20, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
The starting point for Barbara Hannigan’s third recording for Alpha is a work by Gérard Grisey (1946-98) that is particularly close to her heart. Grisey wrote: ‘I conceived the Quatre Chants pour franchir le seuil (Four songs for crossing the threshold) as a musical meditation on death in four parts: the death of the angel, the death of civilisation, the death of the voice and the death of humanity... The texts chosen belong to four civilisations (Christian, Egyptian, Greek, Mesopotamian) and have in common a fragmentary discourse on the inevitability of death’. Luigi Nono (1924-90) was a politically engaged composer. His stunning monody Djamila Boupacha, a heart-rending cry for solo soprano, pays tribute to a freedom fighter tortured by French paratroopers during the Algerian war; Picasso also portrayed her in charcoal. Once again Barbara Hannigan both sings and directs this pair of twentieth-century works with her friends of the Ludwig Orchestra. She has chosen to couple them with a Classical symphony by the master of the genre, Joseph Haydn, which also deals with the theme of the Passion. Her interpretation is extremely intense and highly personal. © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released March 13, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 étoiles de Classica
Erkki-Sven Tüür, born in Estonia in 1959, writes music that is characterised by intense energetic transformation. The intuitive and rational approach is synthesised into a complete organic system. He is the composer of nine symphonies, ten concertos, numerous chamber works and an opera. Dedicated to his compatriot Paavo Järvi and composed to mark the centenary of the Estonian Republic in 2018, Tüür’s Ninth Symphony is entitled "Mythos". According to the composer, this refers to the myths that arise about nations and how they have acquired their independence, and also deals with the long history of the Finno-Ugric peoples. Paavo Järvi and his Estonian Festival Orchestra have made the world premiere recording of this work, along with The Incantation of Tempest (2004), dedicated to the Estonian composer Veljo Tormis, and Sow the Wind, composed in 2015, inspired by climatic ‘gusts of wind’ and ‘whirlwinds’. © Alpha Classics
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released March 6, 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
A major work by Luciano Berio, Coro brilliantly fulfilled his encyclopedic ambition: a unique meeting of world folklore that gathers texts and melodies borrowed from Italian, Croatian, Jewish, Persian, Gabonese, Polynesian, Chilean, Peruvian, Navajo, and Sioux traditions, centered around the poem Residencia en la Tierra by Pablo Neruda. Written in 1976 for forty singers and forty-four instrumentalists seated together in pairs, at times functioning as soloists, at others as part of a whole, Coro is a manifesto that's both political and musical. Described by its author as "neobaromanticosymbodialectostructuralist", Coro is a grandiose accumulation of texts and sounds that sets out to abolish borders by marshalling a gigantic musical catalogue and elements re-written by Berio in a great cultural exchange lasting over an hour. The work becomes a streetmap of an "imaginary city, which is realised on different levels and generates, assembles and unifies different things and persons, revealing their individual and collective characters, their distance, their relationships and conflicts within real and virtual borders" (Berio). Conducted by its artistic director Grete Pedersen, the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir has made highly acclaimed recordings ranging from Norwegian folk songs to Xenakis, Hildegard von Bingen, Bach and Brahms. Joined by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, it gives a rendition here of one of the greatest choral works of the last half-century. This recording concludes with Cries of London for eight voices, which was composed at the same time as Coro , for the King's Singers. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 24, 2020 | B Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released January 17, 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 3, 2020 | CPO

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 29, 2019 | Paraty

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason