August traditionally has been a slow month and tends to be the dumping ground for films. But streaming competition means that the "Fall Season" surprises come earlier sometimes and that is the case in a couple instances in music from the past month. Perhaps the standout score for the month David Buckley's work on The Sandman for Netflix. He has crafted a strong main title theme that then floats about the score as it progresses. He captures that sense of darkness, magic, an
Chaussson/Ysaye: Music for Violin, Cello, and Piano
Bruno Monteiro, violin.
Miguel Rocha, cello.
Joao Paulo Santos, piano.
Etcetera KTC 1729
Total Time: 60:12
Performance: ****/**** Music from the Fin de Siecle is often overlooked by the appearance of Debussy’s new musical style. But the late French Romantic composers continued to build on the grand style of Berlioz and the developments of Liszt and Wagner’s chromatic innovations in music that
New Focus Recordings 332
Total Time: 64;24
Performance: ****/**** Founded in 2008, the contemporary music ensemble loadbang is a mixed group that features new music for trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and baritone voice. The unique combination has led to some 400 new works created for the ensemble by its own members, new composers, and more established familiar names. Roughly half the works on this fourth release on New Focus is
Andrew Garland, baritone.
Javier Abreu, tenor.
Jeremy Reger, piano.
Art Song Colorado Production DASP 005
Total Time: 68:32
Performance: ****/**** Baritone Andrew Garland teaches at the University of Colorado and it is there where he has performed as part of the Art Song Colorado (Denver) Project. The present recording focuses on music that transcends cultural boundaries blending Spanish or South and Central American musics. Three of
Sarah Plum, violin.
Yvonne Lam, violin.
Blue Griffin Records 619
Total Time: 65:18
Performance: ****/**** Sarah Plum currently is on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago, but it was while she was Professor of Violin and Viola at Drake University (2007-2018) where many of the works on this new release had their start. Plum focuses on music that connects electronic composition with acoustic performance and the commissions sh
It is the middle of the summer and the time to start casting eyes onto a hopeful Fall performance season! On the composing side of things, there have been a couple of nibbles but nothing firm which is a bit disheartening. One orchestral opportunity is still dangling out there a bit to be firmed up in the Fall at this point. We will see if anything comes of it. Last week I was reflecting a bit on the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Hard to believe, but eight years ago was one of
Mozart: Piano Sonatas, volumes 2 & 3
Orli Shaham, piano
Canary Classics 21
Disc One: Total Time: 61:11
Disc Two: Total Time: 69:34
Performance: ****/**** In 2020, Canary Records released the first volum of what is apparently going to be a complete survey of Mozart piano sonatas by pianist Orli Shaham. The recordings were made in the historic Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA, in August of 2019, and in September 2020. Shaham is proving to be the lat
Wenting Kang, viola.
Sergei Kvitko, piano.
Blue Griffin Records 609
Total Time: 70:52
Performance: ****/**** In her debut solo album, violist Wenting Kang draws together a variety of French and Spanish music from that fruitful period around the beginning of the 20th Century. Kang is currently principal violist with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Madrid and also teaches locally while leading masterclasses in her instrument and chamber music arou
Eric Huebner, piano
New Focus Recordings FCR 340
Total Time: 40:00
Performance: ****/**** Pianist Eric Huebner pulls together a collection of thirteen piano miniatures from West Texas composer, Stephen Barber. Barber was a bit of a prodigy having collaborated with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Christopher Cross as a teenager. His band, The Electromagnets, opened for the Bongo Fury show featuring Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart in Austin in 1975! He
The midsummer is a bit of a slow down in releases so the past couple weeks I decided to take some time to rest a bit and get ready for what plans to be a busy Fall! So, apologies for a week or so of no content here. Now let's catch up with some of the film music that appeared over the last month for review. There have been a lot of these "older" scores finding their way to new expanded editions. Perhaps the most anticipated was Intrada's release of Horner's Willow. I have