Timothy Corpus: Breath (6:48)
Breath is the first major release by Chicago-based composer Timothy Corpus. A selection of three works for strings, this album features three very different pieces. The Grant Street String Quartet performs String Quartets 1 and 2. The orchestra for Breath includes the Grant Street String Quartet and various artists. The project was funded by an Individual Artist Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Amos Gillespie: 1001 Afternoons in Chicago: Clocks and Owl Cars (Story by Ben Hecht) (9:44)
Strawdog Theatre Company; Palomar / Francesco Milioto
In 1921 Ben Hecht, who would later become known as the ‘Shakespeare of Hollywood,’ was a journalist for the Chicago Daily News. Wanting to get into story writing, he asked his editor if he could write a short story every day for a year and publish it in the newspaper. It was a remarkable achievement and the best of the stories are still in print as 1,001 Afternoons in Chicago, a singular portrait of the people who inhabited Roaring-’20’s-era Chicago. Access Contemporary Music has teamed up with Strawdog Theatre Company to turn 6 of the best stories into a radio play for voices and live music.
Greene: Overture No 6 in E-flat major (7:22)
Baroque Band / Garry Clarke
British-born Baroque violinist and conductor Garry Clarke and his Baroque Band, Chicago’s period-instrument orchestra, highlight orchestral overtures by 18th-century English composer Maurice Greene, who is otherwise best-remembered for his choral music. The ensemble has selected a program of delightful works with what Clarke calls “whistleable melodies, easy harmony, and inventive counterpoint” that evoke “the charm of the English countryside and the frivolity of the English 18th century.”
Handel: Jephtha: Act III, Scene 2 (15:54)
James Gilchrist, tenor (Jephtha); Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano (Storgè); Sophie Bevan, soprano (Iphis); Robin Blaze, countertenor (Hamor); Matthew Brook, bass-baritone (Zebul); The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
Renowned for their Handel interpretations, Harry Christophers and his award-winning choir, The Sixteen, add to their catalog of Handel discs with this new recording of Jephtha. When he undertook his last oratorio, Handel had composed operas, odes and oratorios, 100 cantatas, over 40 pieces of church music and more than 100 instrumental works. Jephtha is the harvest of his decades of investigation into individual character, the human condition, the natural world and the nature of God. For many listeners, it is the masterpiece among his oratorios.
Bach: Orchestral Suite No 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 (22:59)
Academy of Ancient Music / Richard Egarr
At the end of its 40th anniversary season, the Academy of Ancient Music — described as “the finest period-instrument orchestra in the world” by Classic FM — releases a significant new recording of J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suites, directed from the harpsichord by Richard Egarr. Performed with single strings and at a low, “French” pitch, this recording offers a unique, chamber-like interpretation of Bach’s virtuosic suites.
Handel: Rodelinda: Vivi, tiranno (5:52)
Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor; La Nuova Musica / David Bates
Founded in 1719 as the first opera company in the English-speaking world, the Royal Academy of Music commissioned and premiered some of the finest 18th-century operas, including Handel’s Giulio Cesare. On this new album, renowned American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo is joined by La Nuova Musica and David Bates for a snapshot of the Academy’s hits circa 1725, featuring arias by Handel, Ariosti and Bononcini.
Arensky: String Quartet No 2 in A minor, Op 35: II, Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky (13:32)
Philippe Quint, violin; Lily Francis, viola; Claudio Bohórquez & Nicolas Altstaedt, cellos
Celebrated violinist Philippe Quint is back with a release pairing Tchaikovsky’s popular Violin Concerto with Arensky’s seldom recorded String Quartet No 2, dedicated to the memory of Tchaikovsky. For the first time, the last movement of the Concerto is presented twice on CD: once in Tchaikovsky’s original scoring and, as a bonus track, the condensed version of the third movement by Leopold Auer.
Glenn Kotche: Ping Pong Fumble Thaw (6:09)
Brooklyn Rider celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall with a multi-disciplinary project called the Brooklyn Rider Almanac, beginning with a new album of specially commissioned works from a diverse group of composers. In the cross-disciplinary spirit of the “The Blue Rider,” the European artistic collective that is the group’s namesake, each work is inspired by a creative muse of the composer’s choice from the past half-century, ranging from Stravinsky to James Brown to William Faulkner and Mark Morris.
Poulenc: Organ Concerto in G minor (22:38)
James O’Donnell, organ; London Philharmonic Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Poulenc’s Organ Concerto is an extraordinary mixture of high drama and tongue-in-cheek music, interspersed with beautiful reflective episodes. Scored for just strings and timpani accompaniment, it nevertheless packs a dramatic and emotional punch. By contrast, Saint-Saëns’ ‘Organ’ Symphony uses the instrument as part of a full orchestral palette. Both works were recorded during the Pull Out All The Stops Festival launching the refurbished Royal Festival Hall organ, complete for the first time since 2005.
Satie: Je te veux (4:18); Cancan grand-mondain (2:04)
Léo Ferré: On s’aimera (4:18)
Patricia Petibon, soprano; Susan Manoff, piano; Nemanja Radulović, violin; Christian-Pierre La Marca, cello
Patricia Petibon makes a welcome return to French repertoire, exploring the fascinating world of French art song in this new album. The program features music by Satie, Faure, Poulenc, Reynaldo Hahn, Manuel Rosenthal and Léo Ferré. The selection takes the listener on an exciting journey of discovery: from the cabarets of turn-of-the-century Paris to the 1960s. Petibon is joined by her accompanist and partner of many years, pianist Susan Manoff, and a number of guests stemming from diverse musical backgrounds and influences.