A Series of Indecipherable Glyphs
NakedEye Ensemble/Ju-Pin Song
New Focus Recordings FCR 338
Total Time: 68:03
Performance: ****/**** The NakedEye Ensemble is a chamber ensemble from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that blends classical and rock styles into what might be a sort of “fourth stream” style of avantgarde electro-acoustical music. The latest collection of new music features works, many written for or arranged for the group, by seven composers.
The latest period drama from the UK is the britbox series Hotel Portfofino from creator Matt Baker (Professor T). It is set against the developing fascism of Mussolini’s Italy. The glamorous characters navigate these political winds of change. Stefano Cabrera (Lovers; Suspect) crafts a score that is undoubtedly intended to recall the likes of popular British historical dramas (Downtown Abbey) but brings a fine sense of thematic development and orchestral color often remini
Strange Behaviors (1981) is one of those horror thrillers whose one claim to fame is that it was the first screenplay for director Bill Condon. He co-wrote it with director Michael Laughlin (Strange Invaders). The title refers to the scientist who is using teens to experiment on to see if he can turn them into murderers. Tangerine Dream (Wavelength; Dune), the German electronica band, was still fresh off their work on Sorcerer (1977) building on their use of electronics an
Barry Gray is a composer who provided some of the soundtrack for my young life. For me it was the backdrop for the engaging Space:1999 which was shown sporadically in syndication here in the states when I was in elementary school. The sound of that television series of course builds on much of Gray's past work which has been getting a number of releases on the Silva Label. This year’s Barry Gray classic score release from Silva is for the short-lived The Secret Service (1
Zina Schiff, violin.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Avlana Eisenberg
Total Time: 60:03
Performance: ****/**** Naxos’ American Classics series has been gifting advocates of this music a host of recordings mining some of the rich repertoire that has been relegated to mere mentions in music history. Music both from the earliest days of American music to more contemporary works have increased awareness of many ignor
Williams: Violin Concerto No. 2/Selected Film Themes
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin.
Boston Symphony Orchestra/John Williams
Total Time: 50:59
Performance: ****/**** One of the many highlights for Boston-area music fans in 2021 was a return of the live concerts at Tanglewood, the orchestra’s summer home. Among the many programs, was the premier of a new violin concerto by John Williams. The work had been mentioned as he and Ann-Sophi
Songs of Love
Jenny Q Chai, piano.
Divine Art 25228
Total Time: 51:09
Performance: ****/**** Pianist Jenny Q Chai’s new album is a change of pace for the artist who is known for her performances of avant-garde and contemporary music. Songs of Love is intended as a tribute to her teacher/mentor Seymour Lipkin (1927-2015) who taught at the Curtis Institute. Lipkin’s core repertoire revolved around the early romantics and Bach. It is from those core
I thought I'd celebrate this holiday with a little imaginary concert program of American music. I sort of think of this as "if I had a pops orchestra to conduct what would a concert look like?". Here is my 2022 July Fourth "Pops" Concert First Half: Dudley Buck's: Festival Overture on "The Star-Spangled Banner" (7 minutes)
I have no idea why this is not on holiday programs as you can't get much more patriotic than this. Peggy Stuart Coolidge: Pioneer Dances (12 minutes) I
There is not a lot of music that stood out this past month as we awaited the arrival of the summer blockbusters. There were a couple of releases of older John Williams scores to fill things out for fans. Earlier this month I reviewed his Space Camp score here. For the most part, that new Intrada release will now be the one to have for the completist. Though admittedly the previous album soundtrack that was issued a few years ago should suffice for those who want the best m