Grétry’s Raoul Barbe-Bleue — the story of the original lady-killer, Bluebeard — receives its world premiere recording and it’s splendid.
Is it any wonder? An opera that angered Louis XIV in 1677 brings enormous pleasure in 2020.
This San Francisco Symphony release proves to be a fitting send-off for music director Michael Tilson Thomas; there’s much to admire in the Seattle Symphony’s playing of Carl Nielsen’s first two symphonies; fiery energy from both violinist Arabella Steinbacher and the excellent Münchener Kammerorchester make their new disk a gem.
For fans of David Lang and/or one of the country’s best choirs, this is a can’t-miss release; Christopher Rouse’s Fifth is about as fresh and engaging a Symphony as the composer wrote; Hub New Music plays the daylights out of Robert Honstein’s Soul House.
Music in Eight Parts is a welcome and inviting addition to the Philip Glass canon; the Summer of Thomas Adès continues with a stirring new recording of the British composer’s keyboard work; Anna Clyne’s Dance is, without a doubt, one of the finest pieces I’ve heard this year.
Our opera-loving reviewer contrasts his own pieces, written 48 years apart, on the same Offenbach operetta.
It wasn’t until 2009 that a trove of Florence B. Price scores was discovered in a dilapidated house in down-state Illinois and a revival of interest in this most remarkable of composers began in earnest.
It’s Beethoven’s 250th birthday year: reviews of four sets of the complete piano concertos from, respectively, Paul Lewis, Stewart Goodyear, Inon Barnatan, and Stephen Hough.
An impressively original release from violinist Lara St. John and pianist Matt Herskowitz; a tremendous Ligeti performance from the Jupiter String Quartet; Justin Badgerow releases a finely curated and played survey of mostly 20th-century solo piano music from Brazil.
Pianist Thomas Adès proves himself a sympathetic champion of Czech composer Leoš Janáček; it’s not often that a Schumann-Mendelssohn album focuses on the music of Clara and Fanny (rather than Robert and Felix); Jenny Lin’s performances of piano pieces by Philip Glass don’t lack for style or technical command.