Christos Hatzis Departures; Gallois; Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra; Myrat; Naxos 8573091; 1 CD:
- Christos Hatzis' music bears influences of Christian spirituality, Byzantine music and popular idioms, and is marked by a strong identification with his source material.
- Two of his most prominent interpreters join forces on this recording. Departures a memorial piece; its appeal driven by the composer's unique and eclectic style.
- Overscript a commentary on Bach’s Concerto in G minor for Flute, which is ingeniously quoted in full but fragmented form within Hatzis’ own composition.
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Passionate Diversions; Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; Miami String Quartet; Tree; Robinson; Azica ACD-71292; 1 CD:
- A CD release of three chamber works celebrating American composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.
- The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio's more than 30 years together began with their debut at President Jimmy Carter's inauguration. They remain one of America's finest, internationally renowned ensembles.
- A quartet for more than 20 years, the Miami String Quartet's programmatic diversity, performance poise and musical clarity have kept them at the forefront of today's quartet ensembles.
Julia Wolfe Steel Hammer; Bang on a Can All-Stars; Trio Mediaeval; Cantaloupe Music CA21099; 1 CD:
- Inspired by her love of Appalachia, Julia Wolfe based her text for Steel Hammer on over 200 versions of the John Henry ballad.
- Steel Hammer features the alternately haunting and playful vocalizations of Norway’s renowned Trio Mediaeval, and stretches the standard instrumentation of the Bang on a Can All-Stars with wooden bones, mountain dulcimer, banjo, clapping, clogging and more.
- “...a musical archaeology of a familiar tale―one that preserves, even enlarges, its central mystery.” –Alex Ross
Bora Yoon Sunken Cathedral; Bora Yoon; innova INN880; 1 CD:
- Sunken Cathedral is a multimedia album release by Korean-American composer, vocalist and sonic surrealist Bora Yoon. Designed as an architectural journey through the chambers of the subconscious, each track on the album illuminates a different sonic “space,” excavating memories, insights and intersections that hold our greatest diamonds and demons.
Monk Basket Rondo | Salzman Jukebox in Tavern of Love; Vasilevski; Western Wind Vocal Ensemble; Labor Records LAB7094; 1 CD:
- Basket Rondo by Meredith Monk and Jukebox in the Tavern of Love by Eric Salzman and Valeria Vasilevski were both created especially for the six singers of The Western Wind. Both explore new areas of vocal technique and expression while retaining the deep expressive appeal of the human voice at its most basic.
- Celebrating its 45th anniversary, The Western Wind, noted for its performances of early music, is also a leader in the performance of new work, much of it written especially for the group.
Olga Bell Krai; New Amsterdam Records NWAM055; 1 CD:
- The new album from Russian-born composer Olga Bell (Dirty Projectors, Bell, Nothankyou) is a song cycle that explores every sense of the term.
- Each track on the album transports the listener to a different Krai, lyrically painting a picture of the vast Russian landscape. On the album’s opening track, “Krasnodar Krai,” set in the krai where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held, Bell sings about the changes that have swept the region: “Ancestral glory is gone; New people are here.”
- Her striking voice is multitracked on top of itself several times over, embodying the disaffected mood she describes.
Richard Causton Millennium Scenes; Hallé; Collon; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Cornelius; Wigglesworth; NMC NMCD192; 1 CD:
- Richard Causton's Millennium Scenes is scored for large orchestra plus car horns and whistles.
- Causton frequently employs unusual instruments, like the huge steel tube chimes in The Persistence of Memory. Notturno explores evocative night landscapes, As Kingfishers Catch Fire exploits the colors of woodwinds and strings, and finally, Chamber Symphony juxtaposes ideas of the mechanical and natural.
- "Causton is one of the finest of the new generation of British composers." –The Guardian
Undance; Mark-Anthony Turnage; UNDANCE Band; Murray; Rambert Orchestra; Hoskins; NMC NMCD194; 1 CD:
- UNDANCE (2011) was inspired by the work of photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge.
- Turnage's musical style is perfect for choreographers and dancers; this release showcases recent collaborations with two of Britain's leading contemporary dance companies, Rambert and Sadler's Wells.
- Sadler’s Wells is a world leader in contemporary dance, presenting a vibrant program of dance of every kind. Rambert, the national company for contemporary dance, is renowned for its use of live music.