Subcategories

The London Steve Reich Ensemble - Steve Reich: Different Trains; Piano Counterpoint; Triple Quartet (2011) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
The London Steve Reich Ensemble - Steve Reich: Different Trains; Piano Counterpoint; Triple Quartet (2011) [Re-Up]

Steve Reich: Different Trains; Piano Counterpoint; Triple Quartet (2011)
The London Steve Reich Ensemble; Kevin Griffiths, conductor; Vincent Corver, piano

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 301 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 161 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Contemporary, Minimalism | Label: EMI Classics | # 50999 0 87319 2 0 | 00:54:43

The hook for this terrific recording of three of Steve Reich's most attractive works is the use of alternate versions of the several pieces that differ from the original recordings on Nonesuch. This recording has Reich's imprimatur; he enthusiastically recommends the performances in a program note. The most radical departure from the original version is Piano Counterpoint, Vincent Corver's arrangement of Six Pianos for a single live pianist with the other five parts prerecorded. This allows the piece to fit nicely into Reich's "Counterpoint" series, which includes Vermont Counterpoint for flutes and New York Counterpoint for clarinets. Corver also speeds up the tempo so the piece has an even more propulsive aural energy, although in live performance it's hard to beat the visceral excitement of six pianists on-stage. The London Steve Reich Ensemble version of the Triple Quartet, unlike the Kronos Quartet's premiere recording, uses three live quartets, and is one of three performance options that Reich specified in the score, the third being an orchestral version with 36 players. This is the first commercial recording of this version.

David Leisner - Music of the Human Spirit: Ginastera, Sculthorpe, Winslow, Glass, Harrison, Poulenc, Rorem (2002)

Posted By: Designol
David Leisner - Music of the Human Spirit: Ginastera, Sculthorpe, Winslow, Glass, Harrison, Poulenc, Rorem (2002)

David Leisner - Music of the Human Spirit (2002)
Alberto Ginastera - Peter Sculthorpe - Richard Winslow
Philip Glass - Lou Harrison - Francis Poulenc - Ned Rorem

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 286 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 185 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Contemporary, Guitar | Label: Azica | # 71218 | Time: 01:05:57

David Leisner is on extraordinarily versatile musician with a multifaceted career as electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher. Regarded as one of America’s leading classical guitarists, his superb musicianship and provocative programming have been applauded by critics and audiences around the world.

Nigel Kennedy - Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons (2014) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Nigel Kennedy - Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons (2014) [Re-Up]

Nigel Kennedy - Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons (2014)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 344 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 151 Mb | Scans included
Classical Crossover, Contemporary | Label: Sony Classical | # 88875076722 | Time: 01:01:21

If anyone has earned the right to mess around with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons it is Nigel Kennedy, the violin world’s Marmite violinist. Remember how fresh he made this music sound on his recording of a quarter-century ago? This latest version offers a ferment of all he’s played since – concertos, jazz, Jimi Hendrix. It’s affectionate and irreverent in equal measure, and Kennedy and his Orchestra of Life never sound less than riveting. Pretty much all Vivaldi’s notes are there; around, above and in between them come interjections, overlays and linking passages involving guest musicians from jazz and rock: Orphy Robinson, Damon Reece, Z-Star and others. Spring is welcomed in by a distant-sounding intro on an electric-guitar. Summer’s storms bring forth bursts of crazily sampled static. Autumn tears off at a cracking pace, but with a jazz trumpet sauntering lazily over the top. It all sounds like a colossal jam session from the inside of a Botticelli painting.

Joan Jeanrenaud (ex- Kronos Quartet) - Metamorphosis (2002)

Posted By: Designol
Joan Jeanrenaud (ex- Kronos Quartet) - Metamorphosis (2002)

Joan Jeanrenaud - Metamorphosis (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 307 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 146 Mb | Covers included
Classical, Contemporary, Chamber | Label: New Albion | 01:02:33

Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud's first solo album since leaving her 20-year gig with the celebrated Kronos Quartet finds her exploring areas that aren't exactly a huge departure from the type of edgy modern music she played with her old group, but it does show what she can do when given her own space to work with. The results are impressive. Most of the compositions are for solo cello with looped cello parts captured digitally or on tape, while one is written for cello and computer-generated sounds and another for cello and "electronics." The composers are a combination of names familiar (Steve Mackey, Philip Glass, Hamza el Din) and new (Mark Grey, Jeanrenaud herself), and while the pieces aren't all equally interesting there are several works of stunning beauty here. One of the most engaging is el Din's "Escalay + 17:10," with its looped Egyptian melodies, and another is Jeanrenaud's own "Altar Piece," which makes extensive use of electronic tone alteration and layering, and on which she exercises masterful control of whispery artificial harmonics. But the album's highlight is a piece by Karen Tanaka entitled "Song of Songs." Inspired by the Old Testament book of the same name, which is essentially an extended love song, Tanaka builds a sweet, simple, and beautifully textured work out of cello and computer-generated sounds. As always, Jeanrenaud's playing is virtuosic but never showy. Highly recommended.

University of Kansas Wind Ensemble; Paul W. Popiel - Philip Glass: Concerto Fantasy; Mohammed Fairouz: Symphony No.4 (2013)

Posted By: Designol
University of Kansas Wind Ensemble; Paul W. Popiel - Philip Glass: Concerto Fantasy; Mohammed Fairouz: Symphony No.4 (2013)

Philip Glass: Concerto Fantasy for 2 Timpanists and Orchestra
Mohammed Fairouz: Symphony No.4 'In the Shadow of No Towers'
Ji Hye Jung & Gwendolyn Burgett (timpani), Jānis Porietis (trumpet)
University of Kansas Wind Ensemble; Paul W. Popiel, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 299 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 152 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Contemporary | Label: Naxos | # 8.573205 | Time: 00:57:45

Philip Glass’ Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, composed in 2000 and transcribed for wind ensemble by Mark Lortz in 2004, is a significant addition to the repertoire of large-scale works for timpani. The work is rhythmically galvanizing, sonically alluring, and features virtuoso cadenzas for both soloists. Symphony No 4 ‘In the Shadow of No Towers’ is Mohammed Fairouz’s first major work for wind ensemble, and its inspiration is the provocative comic book by Art Spiegelman, written shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Spiegelman himself has commented: “I’m moved by [this] scary, somber, and seriously silly symphony…I’m honored that the composer found an echo in my work that allowed him to strike a responsive chord and express his own complex responses to post 9/11 America. He emerges from the rubble with a very tony piece of high-brow cartoon music.”

Bruce Brubaker - Inner Cities: Music for Piano by John Adams and Alvin Curran (2003) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Bruce Brubaker - Inner Cities: Music for Piano by John Adams and Alvin Curran (2003) [Re-Up]

Bruce Brubaker - Inner Cities: Music for Piano by John Adams and Alvin Curran (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 279 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 214 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Contemporary, Minimalism | Label: Arabesque | # Z6776 | Time: 01:19:06

Bruce Brubaker artistic skill and understanding of this music is beyond reproach and will thrill any fan of the collected composers work on this CD. The sound quality is outstanding as well. Bruce Brubaker has recorded two CDs on the Arabesque label in a continuing series exploring modern American piano music. The most recent, Inner Cities, was released in September 2003, and includes Brubaker's transcription of Pat Nixon's aria from Adams's opera, Nixon in China. The previous CD, Glass Cage , with pieces by Glass and Cage, was named one of the ten best releases of 2000 by The New Yorker magazine.

The Crossing, Donald Nally, Prism Quartet - Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century (2016)

Posted By: Designol
The Crossing, Donald Nally, Prism Quartet - Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century (2016)

Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century (2016)
The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally; Prism Quartet

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 172 Mb | Artwork included | Time: 00:50:12
Classical, Contemporary | Label: ECM | # ECM New Series 2405, 481 4495

A deep yet unsentimental emotional resonance and a patient, contemplative view of time whether relating to harmonic rhythm or human experience are complementary characteristics that run through his instrumental, vocal and theatrical catalog like a red thread, the composer inspired by disparate spirits from Wagner and Satie to Cage and Silvestrov. The ECM New Series released multiple recordings of Bryars music in the 1980s and early 90s, including the classic albums After the Requiem and Vita Nova. The first full ECM album from Bryars in decades is The Fifth Century, which includes the seven-part title work: a slowly evolving yet immediately involving setting of words by 17th-century English mystic Thomas Traherne, performed by the mixed choir of The Crossing with saxophone quartet PRISM. The album also features Two Love Songs, luminous a cappella settings of Petrarch for the women of The Crossing. The music within words, the humanity in breath, the sense of eternity within a moment or of a moment in eternity all are at play in Bryars latest music on ECM.

Katrin Zenz - John Cage: Complete Works for Flute, Vol. 1 (2015)

Posted By: Designol
Katrin Zenz - John Cage: Complete Works for Flute, Vol. 1 (2015)

Katrin Zenz - John Cage: Ryoanji; Two; Three Pieces for Flute Duet; Music for Two (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 229 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 158 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Contemporary, Avant-Garde | Label: Naxos | # 8.559773 | Time: 01:02:50

This first volume of John Cage’s complete works for flute spans a fifty year period, from the Three Pieces for Flute Duet of 1935—deft studies in chromatic writing—to the 1984 Ryoanji, which involves the use of pre-recorded flutes and percussion with resultant diverse and intricate textures. Two is the first of Cage’s important ‘number’ series and is edgily ruminative, while Music for Two, written for any combination of the 17 different instrumental ‘parts without scores’ provided by the composer, is heard in an arrangement described by Katrin Zenz as a ‘new piece for flute and piano’.

Ragazze Quartet, Slagwerk Den Haag, Kapok - Four Four Three: Music of Terry Riley (2016)

Posted By: Designol
Ragazze Quartet, Slagwerk Den Haag, Kapok - Four Four Three: Music of Terry Riley (2016)

Ragazze Quartet, Slagwerk Den Haag, Kapok - Four Four Three: Music of Terry Riley (2016)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 235 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 134 Mb | Artwork included
Classical, Contemporary, Minimalism | Label: Channel Classics | # CCS37816 | 00:57:28

The Ragazze Quartet with its classical roots, Slagwerk Den Haag with the sounds of today, and the idiosyncratic jazz trio Kapok… Contrasting contours, but a common denominator: none of our three ensembles belong to a specific category. All three push the boundaries of our genres in our quest for new forms and adventurous joint projects. It is through this inquisitive musicianship that the unusual combination feels so wonderfully natural. The choice for Riley’s repertoire gave another stir to our boundary reconnoitre. For Riley’s music allows considerable space for creativity and improvisation. The tension that arises through freedom within strict frames means that every performance is different. And it brings with it that the music has a strong sense of spontaneity and joie de vivre. In In C, performed by the Ragazze Quartet and Slagwerk Den Haag, the dynamic range is enormous. Long, melodic lines as well as short, rhythmic motifs may be employed, producing an effect of both tranquil contemplation and pulsating explosiveness. Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector was originally written for string quartet. But the Ragazze Quartet invited jazz trio Kapok to make a new arrangement together.The mix of string quartet and horn, electric guitar and percussion, all expanded with electronic effects, offers a rich pallet of timbres.

Lavinia Meijer - Passaggio: Ludovico Einaudi By Lavinia (2013)

Posted By: Designol
Lavinia Meijer - Passaggio: Ludovico Einaudi By Lavinia (2013)

Lavinia Meijer - Passaggio: Ludovico Einaudi By Lavinia (2013)
XLD | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 199 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 139 Mb | Scans included
Label: Sony Classical | # 88883784082 | Time: 00:57:56
Modern Classical, Contemporary, Crossover, New Age

Passaggio, Lavinia Meijer's first release on Sony, is an album of the crossover music of Ludovico Einaudi, an Italian composer and pianist who encouraged the Dutch harpist to record some of his most popular pieces. The playing on this 2013 album is highly polished and appealing, and Meijer demonstrates considerable powers of concentration and precision in performances of her harp transcriptions of Einaudi's keyboard music. Some will find Meijer's renditions emotionally communicative and mood enhancing, and most of the credit for their effectiveness belongs to her, because Einaudi's modal harmonies and conventional patterns tend toward a bland prettiness, or pretty blandness, that's all of a piece. Simple melodies and repeated arpeggiated chords have the instant attraction of minimalist music, and simplicity is often a virtue in the proper context. Sony's recording is clear and close-up, and Meijer has presence in a fairly resonant studio space.

Alarm Will Sound & Ossia, Alan Pierson - Steve Reich: Tehillim, The Desert Music (2002) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Alarm Will Sound & Ossia, Alan Pierson - Steve Reich: Tehillim, The Desert Music (2002) [Re-Up]

Alarm Will Sound & Ossia, Alan Pierson - Steve Reich: Tehillim, The Desert Music (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 445 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 225 Mb | Scans included
Contemporary, Minimalism, Vocal | Label: Cantaloupe Music | # CA21009 | 01:14:44

Alarm Will Sound's recording of Steve Reich's monumental orchestral/choral works The Desert Music and Tehillim, released on the Cantaloupe label in 2002, greatly benefits from the group's close connections with the composer: the ensemble's conductor, Alan Pierson, and several of the performers studied at the Eastman School with Brad Lubman, a conductor frequently enlisted by Reich. Also, Pierson's arrangements, which reconcile the chamber and orchestral versions that exist for both works, were prepared in close consultation with the composer; thus, this may well be the definitive recording of these pieces. Brilliantly sonorous in their climaxes – the burst of light near the end of Desert Music, the "Alleluias" that close Tehillim – the players also articulate Reich's intricate canonic textures with nimble precision.

BBC SO, London Sinfonietta, Oliver Knussen - Magnus Lindberg: Aura; Engine (2000)

Posted By: Designol
BBC SO, London Sinfonietta, Oliver Knussen - Magnus Lindberg: Aura; Engine (2000)

Magnus Lindberg: Aura (In Memoriam Witold Lutosławski); Engine (2000)
BBC Symphony Orchestra; London Sinfonietta; Oliver Knussen, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 261 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 125 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Contemporary | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 463 184-2 | 00:51:21

Magnus Lindberg burst onto the contemporary music scene in the 1980s with his early work Kraft (as in "power", and not the American food conglomerate and inventor of Velveeta cheese by-product substance), an avant-garde spectacular that took the "sound mass" procedures of Berio or Xenakis and wedded them to an explosive rhythmic energy. He's broadened his style since then, taking in tonal elements and even the occasional tune, but the rhythmic vitality remains, and his coloristic gifts, his ear for ever new and remarkable instrumental sound combinations, have only increased. Aura is a four-movement symphony as indescribable as it is a joy to hear. Dedicated to the memory of Lutoslawski, the piece shows its composer similarly possessed of a vibrant, communicative personal musical language. Although it plays continuously for about 37 minutes, newcomers to Lindberg's sound creations should start with the finale, a sort of dance that begins with simple tunefulness before finding itself in a sort of riotous minimalist hell. It's hugely fun, as is the entire work.

Yves Prin, Karl-Anton Rickenbacher - Tristan Murail: Gondwana, Desintegrations, Time and Again (2003)

Posted By: Designol
Yves Prin, Karl-Anton Rickenbacher - Tristan Murail: Gondwana, Desintegrations, Time and Again (2003)

Tristan Murail: Gondwana, Désintégrations, Time and Again (2003)
Orchestre National De France; Ensemble De L'Itinéraire; Yves Prin, conductor
Orchestre Du Beethovenhalle De Bonn; Karl-Anton Rickenbacher, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 262 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 136 Mb | Scans ~ 53 Mb | 00:55:59
Classical, Contemporary, Avant-Garde, Spectral Music | Label: MO 782175 | # MO 782175

Known for his scientific explorations of timbre and his innovative syntheses of acoustic and electronic techniques, Tristan Murail is regarded as a composer of the "spectral school." He accepts untempered sound as the basis for his expansive musical language, far removed from tonality, serialism, and aleatoric procedures. Gondwana was developed from electronic music concepts, and its expanding and contracting bands of complex sounds are analogous to those generated through a synthesizer. Shimmering clusters, washes of color, and massed, low sonorities evoke the slow shifting of continents. The Orchestre National de France, directed by Yves Prin, delivers this work with primordial grandeur and astonishing depth. Because of its smaller forces, Désintégrations is more focused and intense than Gondwana, though no less cosmic in its implications. The Ensemble de l'Itinéraire blends effectively with the electronic tape, so it is difficult to distinguish acoustic from synthetic sounds. Time and Again is a departure from the familiar practice of slowly unfolding processes, for its chopped-up material is jumbled, as if sequential events were reordered in a time machine.

Markus Hinterhauser - Galina Ustvolskaya: Piano Sonatas (1998)

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Markus Hinterhauser - Galina Ustvolskaya: Piano Sonatas (1998)

Markus Hinterhäuser - Galina Ustvolskaya: Piano Sonatas (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 239 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 180 Mb | Scans included | 01:13:01
Classical, Modern, Avant-Garde, Contemporary | Label: col legno | # WWE 1CD 20019

They say that Galina Ustvolskaya led a very secluded life, that she was a loner. It is amazing, though, how distinct an image of her emerges from the almost meditative way in which she immersed herself in structures, dynamics and combinations of pitches. And not only that. You can hear the concentration on her work and the contrasts within the scope of an existence, some even say you can hear St. Petersburg. Markus Hinterhäuser plays Ustvolskaya’s sonatas as though it were the music of an intimate friend. The piano is vibrating, the music seems nearly torn apart with the tension. The pieces characterized by extreme dynamics, economy and cluster blocks are interpreted by Hinterhäuser with great intensity.

Kronos Quartet with Joan Jeanrenaud - Music of Vladimir Martynov (2012) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Kronos Quartet with Joan Jeanrenaud - Music of Vladimir Martynov (2012) [Re-Up]

Kronos Quartet with Joan Jeanrenaud - Music of Vladimir Martynov (2012)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 322 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 196 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Contemporary | Label: Nonesuch | # 529776-2 | Time: 01:08:47

Vladimir Martynov, born in 1946, is one of the cohort of composers that includes Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, and Valentin Silvestrov, who grew up under the influence of the former Soviet Union and abandoned the modernism of their youth to embrace a tonal language of greater simplicity with an aesthetic informed by an intimate spirituality. In spite of the similarities in their backgrounds and journeys, each has a distinctive sound, and Martynov, who is perhaps the least well-known in the West, brings a new perspective to the tradition of European music shaped by mysticism and minimalism. On the surface Martynov's music doesn't have an immediate resemblance to minimalism (apart from the directness of its tonal language), but like minimalism it uses repetition as a structural element and it is concerned with the perception of the passage of time, which it tends to stretch out with almost unbearable poignancy into what commentator Greg Dubinsky describes as "a prolonged state of grace." His harmonic vocabulary is characterized by the fecund tonal richness of post-Romanticism without the angst or decadence sometimes associated with the music of that era.