• Barbara Harbach – Portraits in Sound

    This volume brings listeners up to date with Barbara Harbach’s symphonic output. It features symphonies No. 7-10, composed between 2014 and 2015. Harbach is an economical symphonist — the works are uniformly short, focused, and efficiently orchestrated. All four symphonies follow a straight-forward 3-movement fast-slow-fast structure. Yet with all these constraints, Harbach shows a great deal […]

  • Italian Lute Virtuosi of the Renaissance – Jakob Lindberg

    There’s an art to putting a release together, especially one for a solo instrument. With only one instrumental timbre, the tracks can blend together into an uninteresting blur. But change up styles too much, and the album can sound disjointed. Lutenist Jakob Lindberg is a past master of program sequencing, and his latest album Italian […]

  • Tasmin Little & Roxanna Panufnik – Four World Seasons

    It’s an interesting program, coupling Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with Roxanna Panufnik’s modern take on the same subject. And it’s one that works very well. The connective thread is the talent of violinist Tasmin Little. Little’s performance of the “Four Seasons” with the BBC Symphony Orchestra is a spirited one. Her solo work is beautifully crafted […]

  • The Modern Sounds of Dario Castello

    What was the big hit of the publishing world of 1623? It wasn’t Shakespeare’s First Folio (which came out that year), but rather the omnibus of Dario Castello’s sonate concertate. Over the next 40 years, they would remain continually in print, becoming a cornerstone of every major music library. Thanks to this new recording, I […]

  • Trios from Our Homelands

    The Lincoln Trio present an intriguing program with this new release. “Trios from our Homelands” presents modern three composers — Rebecca Clarke (UK), Arno Babajanian (Armenia), and Frank Martin (Switzerland). These trios are all top-drawer compositions, with a lot to offer the listener, especially as played by the trio. The Lincoln Trio is on fire […]

  • Weinberg Symphonic Trilogy Completed

    This release includes the world premiere recording of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s 1950 Suite for Orchestra. And what a delight. The Suite includes a Ravel-like Romance, a Rossini/Tchaikovsky hybrid Humoresque, a Prokofiev-inspired Polka, and concludes with a raucous circus band Galop. While enjoyable for its own light-hearted merits, the Suite also provides a welcome emotional balance to […]

  • Von Reznicek Violin Concerto – Post-romantic goodness

    In 1928, musicologist Alfred Einstein named the three leading German composers of their generation: Richard Strauss, Hans Pfitzner, and Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek. While Strauss’ compositions entered the basic repertoire, those of Pfitzner and von Reznicek didn’t fare as well. And that’s too bad. All three composers wrote in a lush, post-romantic style and yet […]

  • Hans Gál Clarinet Music Spans Career

    Austrian composer Hans Gál had a promising career in the 1930s. His opera Die heilige Ente (premiered under George Szell) received multiple performances, he was appointed the director of the Mainz conservatory on the recommendations of Wilhelm Furtwängler and Richard Strauss, his compositions won awards and critical acclaim. But it all disappeared once the Nazis […]

  • Les Witches – Musical Europe at the Court of Christian IV

    Alpha’s reissue series continues with this landmark 2008 recording from Les Witches. The recording was built around a program of music that would have been heard by Danish king Christian IV around 1600. Christian IV was a patron of the arts, and his home Konge Af Denmark became a cultural center for Scandinavia. Les Witches […]