Ilya Levinson: Urban Night Suite: Different colors of the night (10:11)
Ian Maksin, cello
Cellist and composer Ian Maksin has gained international acclaim for his distinctive style, taking the cello outside its conventional scope. “Soul Companion” is a compilation of Maksin’s original music for solo cello inspired by jazz, blues, folk music from around the world as well as by music of Sting. The album also includes several works Maksin has commissioned from award-winning New-York-based composer Paul Yeon Lee and Chicago’s own Ilya Levinson and Seth Boustead.
Granados: Valses poéticos (9:51)
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
For his second solo album on Decca, Benjamin Grosvenor has assembled a typically imaginative and appealing program of piano music inspired by the dance form. The album is a virtuosic display of solo works for piano from Bach, Chopin, Granados, Albéniz, Scriabin and others. The recording was inspired by a letter from the great pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni to his pupil Egon Petri proposing a “dance program” as a theme for Petri’s recitals, a concept Grosvenor expanded on for his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut recital in 2012.
Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem: Dirge for Two Veterans (10:02)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / Robert Spano
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 4 in F minor: I, Allegro (8:51)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra / Robert Spano
World War I had not only a profound and deep impact on the world, but on Ralph Vaughan Williams as well. Robert Spano and the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus delve into three pieces that reflect the composer’s view on the war and the time itself. The program features the cantata Dona nobis pacem (with soprano Jessica Rivera and baritone Brett Polegato), Symphony No 4 and The Lark Ascending (with violinist David Coucheron).
Schumann: Symphony No 4 in D minor, Op 120 (29:35)
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Robin Ticciati
Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra embark upon their first symphonic cycle together in a program that they performed in concerts across Scotland. This is music that is very close to Ticciati’s heart; he describes Schumann as one of his favorite composers and has often spoken about how important poetry, color and story are to Schumann’s music. The SCO’s smaller forces bring a lightness of touch and a clarity to the counterpoint and a sense of movement.
Dvořák: Legends, Op 59: No’s 1-5 (21:32)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / José Serebrier
As part of his complete survey of Dvořák’s Symphonies on Warner Classics, José Serebrier conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the 8th Symphony. The album also features the rarely-heard Legends, which Dvořák wrote originally for piano four hands. He later orchestrated them at his publisher’s request. The ten pieces depict strong emotions, but there is no narrative, no programmatic story attached to them.
Bach: Cello Suite No 3 in C major, BWV 1009 (23:11)
Nina Kotova, cello
Russian-American cellist Nina Kotova showed early promise when studying at the Central Music School Pre-Conservatory. She was accepted into an adult class of the Moscow Conservatory at the age of 7, and was just 15 when she won First Prize at the Prague International Competition. Since her London debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1996, she has performed in venues such as the Barbican Centre, Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Kotova made this recording of the Bach Cello Suites on the 1679 “Du Pré” Stradivarius cello.
Pink Floyd (Waters/Gilmour): Wish You Were Here (7:03)
Maya Beiser, cello
Cellist Maya Beiser’s latest recording is an album of classic rock tunes re-imagined and re-contextualized in stunning and multi-layered performances. Consisting almost entirely of Beiser’s multi-tracked cello with drums and bass added by collaborators Glenn Kotche (Wilco) and Jherek Bischoff, these “uncovers” — in new arrangements by Evan Ziporyn — breathe new life into works by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf, King Crimson, Muddy Waters and AC/DC.
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 3 in C major, Op 26 (28:28)
Behzod Abduraimov, piano; RAI National Symphony Orchestra / Juraj Valcuha
When pianist Behzod Abduraimov won First Prize in the 2009 London International Piano Competition at the age of 18, critics and audiences were united in their conviction that here was a young artist to watch. He signed exclusively to Decca, and released a recital disc of Prokofiev, Liszt and Saint-Saëns which established him as one of the rising stars of his generation. Now, he releases a recording of the work which brought his triumph in London, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 3, coupled with a dazzling performance of Tchaikovsky’s First.
Kirchner: L.H. (for Leon Fleisher) (7:13)
Kern, arr Prutsman: All the Things You Are (4:50)
Leon Fleisher, piano
In 2014, Leon Fleisher, approaching his 86th birthday, completed the present recording, consisting largely of works for left hand, including one of the pianist’s specialities—Bach’s Chaconne, arranged by Brahms. The album also features works composed for Fleisher by George Perle, Leon Kirchner, and Dina Koston as well as arrangements of favorite songs by Gershwin and Kern. ‘All the Things You Are’ is Fleisher’s first solo album in nearly a decade, and is a testament to the enduring musicianship of a great artist.
New Release of the Week
Ulvi Cemal Erkin: Dance Rhapsody, Köçekçe (9:47)
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra / Sascha Goetzel
Since it was founded, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra has worked to develop not only as an orchestra but as a showcase for music from different traditions. Their first two CDs reflected this philosophy, combining music of composers from different backgrounds with a similar musical language. They now embark on another exploration of the Eastern musical roots of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with works by Russian and Turkish composers.