• Commotio – organ music from the interwar period

    Organist Christian Wilson chose an unusual program for his latest release, Commotio. Subtitled “organ works of the interwar period,” it features compositions written between 1924 and 1931. Wilson’s choices demonstrate the wide variety of styles in play during that tightly circumscribed time frame. Some composers are familiar, others less so. Olivier Messiaen and Maurice DuruflĂ© […]

  • Sibelius – Complete Works for Mixed Choir

    This two-CD set of Sibelius’ mixed choir works encompasses the composer’s entire career, ranging from student works of the 1880’s to his final choral composition in 1947. The works are in a general chronolical order. The first disc focuses on works written between 1888 and 1902, while the second covers mainly 20th century compositions. Listening […]

  • Vytautas Bacevicius – A welcome rediscovery

    Lithuanian composer and pianist Vytautas Bacevicius lived and worked mostly out of the spotlight. Exiled from his homeland by the Second World War, he eventually settled in New York City. Bacevicius resisted assimulation into American culture. Though born in Poland, he celebrated his Lithuanian heritage, even changing the to the Lithuanian spelling of his name […]

  • David Crumb – Red Desert

    “Red Desert” presents four world-premiere recordings by David Crumb. Crumb is a self-professed intuitive composer, letting the music take him where it will. It gives his work a spontaneity that’s quite attractive. To my ears, Crumb’s style seems post-tonal. That is, he’s not afraid of using triads and consonant harmonies, but he’s also not bound […]

  • Sulla Lira – The Voice of Orpheus

    The change in musical style from the high renaissance to the early baroque around 1600 hinged on an ideal — to return to the purity of music of Ancient Greece. The concept of playing al modo d’Orfeo (in the style of Orpheus) actually arose around the early 1500’s, and continued to gain traction in Italy […]

  • George Crumb – Voices from the Morning of the Earth

    “Voices from the Morning of the Earth” is subtitled “American Songbook VI” and for good reason. The songs are a collection of folk songs, most African-American, some cowboy, and two popular folk tunes — Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” The songs’ melodies are left intact […]

  • Aaron Jay Kernis: Three Flavors of Exuberance

    This album presents three works by American composer Aaron Jay Kernis. They were all written between 2002 and 2007, providing a snapshot of Kernis’ evolving style. And that style is engaging, accessible, and exuberant. Three Flavors began life as a concerto for toy piano and orchestra. While Kernis revised the work for a grand piano, […]

  • Heinichen Masses show Italian Influences

    This release features the final two surviving masses of Johann David Heinichen, written in 1728 the year of his death. Heinichen spent several years Venice learning the Italian style, and it shows. When he returned to Germany in the employ of the Crown Prince of Saxony, he wrote Italianate operas and other large-scale choral works. […]

  • Finely-Crafted Symphonies by JCF Bach

    Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach never enjoyed the fame of his siblings Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian. Yet he was indeed a son of Johann Sebastian Bach. While his music may not be as innovative as his brothers’ it is well-crafted and creatively rich. The three symphonies on this album come from different phases of […]