• The Mayor of MacDougal Street

    The Mayor of MacDougal Street

    The “Early-60s Folk Music Revival” incubated gigantic talents that reshaped popular music forever—Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell being the most prominent. A whole world of rock and pop music, “singer-songwriters,” and hybrid folk-rock Americana is ...
  • “The Music Formerly Known as Classical”

    “The Music Formerly Known as Classical”

    As all classical music fans know, the era of giant, long-established labels like RCA, Columbia, Deutsche Grammophon, Mercury, Decca, Delos, and Telarc pouring out new releases by American orchestras has waned. Most new orchestra recordings ...
  • Modern Jazz Quartet: Pyramid

    Modern Jazz Quartet: Pyramid

    This pristine vinyl reissue of MJQ’s 1960 Pyramid will be welcomed by all who value the most exalted productions of midcentury-modern artistry. It’s also an ideal demonstration of what made the group—here just the four ...
  • The 1960s Folk Music Revival

    The 1960s Folk Music Revival

    The current popularity of “Americana” is only the most recent phase in the long history of American folk music. Indeed the folk music in and of our country has been “discovered,” or “revived,” several times ...
  • Bruckner: Symphony 9

    Bruckner: Symphony 9

    Conductors have long experimented with widely disparate tempos in Bruckner’s symphonies, perhaps because the music is so exalted that no one performance can ever fully encompass its dark mysteries and celestial heights. Rémy Ballot’s reading ...
  • Norman: Play

    Norman: Play

    What would the music sound like if the composer thought of the orchestra not as an ensemble of carefully balanced instrumental voices, but rather as a marvelous noise-making toy? Andrew Norman’s three-movement, three- quarter-hour-long Play ...
  • Dutilleux: Tout Un Monde Lointain

    Dutilleux: Tout Un Monde Lointain

    Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) is France’s greatest composer since Debussy and Ravel. His oeuvre is not large; he was satisfied only with masterpieces. His magnificent 1970 cello concerto, Tout Un Monde Lointain (“A Whole Distant World”), ...
  • Hoffer: Violin Concerto

    Hoffer: Violin Concerto

    Bernard Hoffer’s 2012 Violin Concerto begins with the unaccompanied violin announcing the work’s germinal motive: repeated staccato notes followed by a longer-held chord. Soon the soloist and his orchestral partners are tossing it back and ...
  • Tango For Ears

    Tango For Ears

    The tango was born in the late 1800s in Buenos Aires, where it was first danced in grimy bars and brothels. It began as a souped-up habanera, a slower dance made famous in 1875 (and ...
  • Box-Set Bonanza

    Box-Set Bonanza

    If the compact disc is (as some say) dying out as a storage medium, it’s going out with a bang, at least as far as great recordings of classical music go. For the past dozen ...
  • The Great American Symphony

    The Great American Symphony

    We’ve all heard nominations for “The Great American Novel,” whether it be Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, An American Tragedy, The Great Gatsby, or The Sound and the Fury. And for “The Great ...
  • Charpentier: 72 Etudes Karnatiques

    Charpentier: 72 Etudes Karnatiques

    Jacques Charpentier is a French composer (born in Paris in 1933) who adopted a musical-philosophical aesthetic derived from his mentor Olivier Messiaen: mystical, visionary, ecstatic, “Eastern,” cosmic. His 72 Etudes Karnatiques is an expression of ...
  • Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 3

    Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 3

    Brahms was famously casual about performance instructions for his own compositions. And, following Bach and Beethoven before him—both of whom recast their violin concertos using keyboard protagonists—he wasn’t at all averse to arrangements of his ...
  • Prokofiev, Gabriel: String Quartet No.1

    Prokofiev, Gabriel: String Quartet No.1

    New “classical” compositions on vinyl? Yep, here’s the First String Quartet by Gabriel Prokofiev, London-based grandson of the great Sergei. There’s a polycarbonate release of the complete quartet, but the vinyl incarnation includes only two ...
  • Mortensen: Symphony

    Mortensen: Symphony

    One of the few Scandinavian symphonic rivals to Sibelius’ seven, Finn Mortensen’s monumental 1953 Symphony—four movements totaling 38 minutes of brawny turmoil and serene exultation, and a work of authentically Brucknerian heft and solemnity—here gets ...

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