Traditional: The Mountains of Rhùm (2:37); Farewell to Ireland / Highlander’s Farewell (3:42); We’ll Rant and We’ll Roar (3:17)
Apollo’s Fire / Jeannette Sorrell
Following the popular album ‘Come to the River,’ which conjured early 19th-century rural Americana, Apollo’s Fire presents an award-winning program created by director Jeannette Sorrell. It follows the joys and sorrows of Celtic immigrants who settled in Appalachia. Sparkling fiddle tunes and haunting ballads of the British Isles mingle with American shapenote hymns and African spirituals, creating the soulful music known as Appalachian.
Glass: The Hours: Morning Passages (6:09)
Valentina Lisitsa, piano
Cutting-edge pianist meets trendsetting composer: Valentina Lisitsa releases a double album of works for solo piano by Philip Glass, whose brand of minimalism has made him one of the most influential composers of our time. Lisitsa explores the range of Glass’s work over three decades. While some of the works were composed for the piano, many were originally conceived for multiple instruments or a full orchestra.
Glass: Violin Concerto No 2, The American Four Seasons: Movement IV (6:59)
Gidon Kremer, violin; Kremerata Baltica
Following his recording of the first Glass Violin concerto, a staple in Deutsche Grammophon’s contemporary music catalog, Gidon Kremer returns to the Yellow Label after more than a decade with the new recording of Philip Glass’ Second Violin Concerto, The American Seasons. Kremer’s first solo concerto album in many years, New Seasons also features works of Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli and Shigeru Umebayashi, performed with Kremerata Baltica.
Barber: Piano Concerto, Op 38 (25:05)
Keith Jarrett, piano; Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra / Dennis Russell Davies
For much of the 1980s, Keith Jarrett balanced his improvisational activities with performances of classical music and contemporary composition. On this disc, with concert recordings from 1984 and 1985, he is heard playing Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto and Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No 3, and rising to the challenges of these major works. After the Tokyo Bartók performance, Jarrett returned alone to the stage to play a touching improvised encore, also documented on this recording.
New Release of the Week
Gershwin: Promenade (3:11); Lullaby (7:26)
The Nash Ensemble of London celebrates its 50th anniversary during the 2015/16 season. On its latest recording, the group offers a program of original chamber works and arrangements by American composers. Included are rarely heard pieces by Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman, who are best known for their music for films. Center stage is Gershwin’s Song-book, arranged by the composer for solo piano in order to present the songs ‘as George Gershwin plays them himself.’
AR Thomas: Radiant Circles (9:15)
University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra / Donald Schleicher
Part of a major series of recordings of works by Augusta Read Thomas being released by Nimbus Records, this CD originates from a concert by musicians of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The event was envisioned and organized by conductor Donald Schleicher and took place at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on December 9, 2014, in celebration of Thomas’ 50th birthday.
Rodgers & Hammerstein: The King and I: Overture; Scene 1; Scene 2 (13:45)
Kelli O’Hara (Anna); Jake Lucas (Louis); Ashley Park (Tuptim); Orchestra / Ted Sperling
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “Hello Young Lovers” and “Shall We Dance.” Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the relationship that develops between the King of Siam and a British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens. This critically acclaimed revival, starring Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe, received an impressive nine Tony Award nominations.
Horner: Pas de Deux (Double Concerto): Part II (13:44); Part III (4:43)
Mari Samuelsen, violin; Hakon Samuelsen, cello; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko
Pas de Deux (2014) was the first concert work in 30 years from the late Academy Award-winning composer James Horner (Titanic, Avatar). The Concerto for Violin and Cello was commissioned and performed by the brother and sister duo of Mari (violin) and Hakon (cello) Samuelsen with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko. The album is completed with works by Pärt, Sollima and Einaudi that pair with Horner’s post-minimalist soundscape.
Mahler: Symphony No 9 in D major: II, Im Tempo eines gemächlichen Ländlers (15:07)
Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer
The Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer continue their Mahler cycle with the Symphony No 9. In the liner notes, Fischer writes that Mahler’s Ninth is ”a most complex, extremely forward-looking, visionary symphony… [with] the most tragic and beautiful ending Mahler ever composed. What he shares with us is his fading awareness of our beloved world.”
M Haydn: String Quintet in C major (23:31)
Salzburg Haydn Quintet
Michael Haydn, brother of Franz Joseph, has been a special focus for the CPO label. Following the symphonies, CPO has now released a group of five works for a quintet ensemble, entertaining court music on the highest level, consisting of two violins, two violas, and cello. The Haydn Quintet of Salzburg performs on historical instruments in a historical setting – the Kuenburg Palace in the heart of Salzburg.