Liquid Melancholy, featuring virtuoso clarinetist John Bruce Yeh of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, exudes a kaleidoscope of colors and moods while showering listeners with attractive melodies in a program of music by James M. Stephenson, one of America’s most popular and prolific present-day composers.
Flourishing American composer Stacy Garrop’s first album of orchestral music features the world-premiere recording of her Mythology Symphony, a five-movement work inspired by famous female figures from Greek mythology. Characterized by Garrop’s talent for lyricism and vivid storytelling, the symphony receives a typically vibrant and compelling performance by Billboard-charting international conductor Alonda de la Parra leading the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Symphony Orchestra of Roosevelt University.
The seductively charming sound of the Baroque-era viola d’amore takes center stage in this new, all-Vivaldi recording with Billboard classical chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the veteran Chicago-based period instrument ensemble Ars Antigua, making its Cedille label debut.
British-born Baroque violinist and conductor Garry Clarke and his Baroque Band, Chicago’s period-instrument orchestra, highlight unfamiliar and thoroughly enjoyable orchestral overtures by 18th-century English composer Maurice Greene, who is otherwise best-remembered for his choral music.
Renowned violinists Jennifer Koh and her distinguished mentor Jaime Laredo illuminate captivating connections between student and teacher, and composers across the centuries, in Two x Four, an album of four double-violin concertos, performed with the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble conducted by Vinay Parameswaran.
Billboard chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine joins forces with Germany's distinguished Göttinger Symphonie Orchester and its acclaimed principal conductor, Christoph-Mathias Mueller, to present Mendelssohn's celebrated violin concerto alongside the great, though lesser-known, concerto by Robert Schumann, plus Beethoven's elegant Romances for violin and orchestra.
On Haydn & Mysliveček Cello Concertos, American cellist Wendy Warner, a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich, and Camerata Chicago, conducted by its British-born founder, Drostan Hall, present Franz Joesph Haydn’s essential C Major and D Major Cello Concertos.
Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta’s first recording with its new music director, award-winning conductor Mei-Ann Chen, does what this singular ensemble does best: it captivates listeners of all ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds through irresistible music and superb musicianship. On Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta, a standard-bearer for racial diversity in the orchestral world, works its magic through a one-of-kind program featuring music for string quartet and orchestra, with guest artist, the Harlem Quartet.
Rarely heard in concert or on disc, 20th-century Mexican composer Carlos Chávez’s spectacular Piano Concerto, completed in 1940, receives an insightful and compelling performance from Mexican-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, with his native country’s flagship orchestra, the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and its music director, the dynamic young conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto.
The Pulitzer Prize in Music, established in 1943, is perhaps the most coveted award in American concert life. This new CD with Chicago's Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar presents three Pulitzer Prize-winning works from the competition's earliest years: William Schuman's Secular Cantata No. 2, "A Free Song"; Aaron Copland's Suite from Appalachian Spring; and Leo Sowerby's The Canticle of the Sun for chorus and orchestra. These are the world-premiere recordings of the Schuman and Sowerby cantatas.
Chicago’s "stylish and exciting period-instrument group" (Chicago Tribune), Baroque Band presents works by Bohemian-Austrian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber.
On Beethoven & Clement Violin Concertos, American violinist Rachel Barton Pine ("a magnetically imaginative artist" --Gramophone), with Jose Serebrier and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, presents the world premiere recording of the exquisite 1805 Violin Concerto in D Major by Franz Clement -- the Viennese virtuoso for whom Beethoven wrote his own concerto a year later. Recently rescued from obscurity by enterprising British musicologist Clive Brown, this delightful work offers new insights into the Beethoven: according to Brown, "Individual figurations in Beethoven's Violin Concerto . . . appear to allude directly to passages in Clement's concerto."
This offering from Carlos Kalmar and the acclaimed Grant Park Orchestra includes the first full-scale orchestral recording of Kernis's Symphony in Waves (1989). Waveforms -- wind and water, sound and light -- are the undercurrents of this enchanting 40-minute spectacular of unusual sonorities and orchestral effects. The New York Times called it "remarkable," the product of the composer's "fearless originality and powerful voice."
All of Cedille Records' recordings of American music with the Grant Park Orchestra (ensemble in residence for Chicago's summer Grant Park Music Festival) and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar have garnered raves and awards for their spirited performances and spectacular sound. This one features exhilarating works by Barbara Kolb, Aaron Jay Kernis, Michael Hersch, John Corigliano, and John Harbison.
"Jennifer Koh is a risk-taking, high-octane player of the kind who grabs the listener by the ears and refuses to let go. . . . A scorching talent that should on no account be missed." - The Strad
This CD celebrates the life of innovative American composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004), whose accomplishments spanned the worlds of jazz, dance, pop, film, television, and classical music.
Rachel Barton Pine's disc of Celtic flavored works is the first to present Bruch's beloved Scottish Fantasy in an insightful and virtuosic interpretation that highlights its Scottish roots. The album also features Sarasate's Airs Ecossais and two pieces by Scottish composers: Mackenzie's Pibroch Suite and McEwen's Scottish Rhapsody "Prince Charlie." Ms. Pine's own Medley of Scots Tunes,* arranged and performed with famed Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser is also included. As a bonus, the package includes a video documentary on the making of Scottish Fantasies.
Flutist Mathieu Dufour and oboist Alex Klein -- current and former principal players of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra -- shine as soloists in a CD of neglected gems from the early Romantic era. Charming virtuosic showpieces by Mendelssohn contemporaries Wilhelm Bernhard Molique and Ignaz Moscheles astound with their fresh melodies -- and with the jaw-dropping technique and expressive range they elicit from the wind soloists. Opening the program is a jewel of the high Classical period: Domenico Cimarosa's beloved Concerto for Two Flutes (played on flute and oboe).
Alex Klein presents world premiere recordings of two works written expressly for him: fellow Brazilian native Marco Aurélio Yano's vibrant and exotic Oboe Concerto (1991) and Polish composer Pawel Sydor's dramatic "Virtuti Militari" (1992), a musical fable of individual heroism under social repression. Completing the program is a cornerstone of twentieth-century oboe repertoire, Bohuslav Martinu's 1955 Concerto: a thoroughly distinctive, neoclassical delight.
American composer Robert Kurka was on the threshold of a major career when cancer cut his life short in his mid-30s. "[A] splendid sampling of Kurka's orchestral works. . . . The pieces recorded here reveal a prodigious imagination coupled with relentless energy." (La Scena Musicale)
"While Joachim essentially looks backward to the late-Classical models, Brahms charts entirely new grounds in form and substance. What a difference two decades makes. Particularly in the two finales, Barton makes them appear to be two sides of the same coin. Her performances in these works are so memorable... Barton brings a breath of freshness as soon as she enters." -The Strad
Works by four leading Black American composers comprise the third and final installment of Cedille Records' acclaimed African Heritage Symphonic Series. Volume III features compositions from the last quarter of the 20th century performed by the Chicago Sinfonietta led by maestro Paul Freeman, "one of the finest conductors our nation has produced" (Fanfare). Freeman spearheaded the landmark Black Composers Series of Columbia LPs in the 1970s, which inspired the new undertaking.
American Works for Organ and Orchestra offers a sonic extravaganza of neglected masterpieces by noted American composers. Here are four works that showcase the spectacular sonority of full organ combined with large symphonic ensemble.
Not since the LP era of the 1970s has there been anything like Cedille Records' African Heritage Symphonic Series.
Combine Schubert's gift of melody with Beethoven's flair for drama, and you have the music of their respected friend and colleague -- the Bohemian composer Jan Václav Hugo Vorísek. Unlike his better-known contemporaries, Vorísek (pronounced VORH-zheh-shek) composed few large-scale works in his tragically short lifetime (1791-1825), but what gems they are. His exquisite Mass in B-flat Major is a perfectly proportioned Classical masterpiece in the tradition of the great masses of Haydn and Mozart. Surprisingly, this new CD is the only readily available recording. Vorísek's only symphony, the Symphony in D Major, is "a work of impressive confidence and command, firmly constructed and colourfully scored" (Gramophone). If you love the great Viennese classicists, you'll adore Vorísek.