• John Rutter – The Gift of Life

    If you like John Rutter, then you’ll enjoy his latest album, “The Gift of Life.” Rutter’s style has remained stable and consistent for decades, and these new works run true to form. That consistency can be a plus or a minus, depending on how much you like Rutter’s basic style, that can be either a […]

  • Danish Romantic Piano Trios

    If you’re familiar with Denmark’s rich musical heritage, then you might already be pre-disposed to give this release a listen. If not, then let me encourage you to do so. These works compare favorably (I think) to those by the famous composers that inspired them — Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Wagner. Peter Lange-Muller was a […]

  • Kaija Saariaho: Let the Wind Speak

    The cover for this release perfectly represents its contents. It’s a photograph of Camilla Hoitenga playing her flute. The image has been manipulated, though, with added layers and textures. And it’s been slightly distorted, giving the flute a very gently S-curve. Saariaho’s music for the flute seems to do the same — it ever so […]

  • WTJU & The Prism Present Harpeth Rising at C’Ville Coffee, Jan 22 – POSTPONED

    WTJU is pleased to join The Prism Coffeehouse in presenting chamberfolk trio Harpeth Rising at C’Ville Coffee on Friday, January 22 (details). Harpeth Rising will in fact stop by WTJU that afternoon around 4 (est) for a live performance. Harpeth Rising chose to name themselves after a river because water is both dynamic and powerful. […]

  • Schmitt – Antoine et Cléopâtre

    Up until about 1940, Florent Schmitt was one of most frequently-performed living French composers. Although his music virtually disappeared from the repertoire after the Second World War, recent recordings (like this one) have helped a new generation rediscover this remarkable composer. The two orchestral suites Florent Schmitt extracted from his 1920 musique de scène “Antoine […]

  • Larsson series continues with strong entry

    I was favorably impressed by the first volume of Lars-Erik Larsson on all counts (see Andrew Manze leads Larsson revival). The music was well-constructed, the conductor and orchestra played with authority, and the SACD recording was superb. Volume 2 reinforces my initial impressions, while further fleshing out my understanding of this still relatively-uniknown composer. Lars-Erik […]

  • New Orford – New Brahms

    I found this to be a deceptively simple recording. Last count Arkivmusic.com had 58 recordings of Brahms’ Op. 51 quartets, so competition’s stiff. The first few times I listened to the New Orford recording, I thought it sat somewhere in the middle of the pack — well-played, but not especially noteworthy. But then I started […]

  • Blue Heron – Christmas in Medieval England

    “We want to make a CD of 15th-century music of Advent and Christmas, and seek funding for recording three imminent concerts.” That’s how Blue Heron described their Kickstarter campaign. They exceeded their modest goal of $7,500, and so that recording is now available for all to enjoy. And I’m glad it is. The program is […]

  • Welcome to the Symphony

    Welcome to the Symphony text by Carolyn Sloan, illustrated by James Williamson (Workman Publishing Co. 2015/$24.95) The lament frequently heard is that music education is sorely neglected in this country. While that observation is less apt in Charlottesville than elsewhere, the fact remains that the level of musical understanding among young people generally is very […]