Following the success of her discs of Romantic and Late Romantic repertoire, Vilde Frang has recorded Mozart’s Concertos Nos. 1 and 5 ‘Turkish’ and the Sinfonia Concertante K364, enabling music lovers to hear the Norwegian violinist perform Classical repertoire on disc for the first time. The impetus for this album was a 2012 orchestral tour of Asia conducted by Jonathan Cohen in which Vilde performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. The vibrancy of their musical collaboration was something both artists were keen to repeat and commit to disc. Jonathan’s Cohen’s chamber orchestra, Arcangelo, proved the ideal partner, joined by violist Maxim Rysanov in the Sinfonia Concertante.
The seventh album from Israeli-born saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen, 2015's Luminosa showcases the N.Y.C.-based artist's eclectic mix of acoustic post-bop and Brazilian choro-influenced jazz. The album follows up her similarly inclined 2012 effort, Claroscuro, and provides a further showcase for her adroit improvisational skills and layered, sophisticated arrangements. Joining Cohen here is a bevy of equally gifted musicians, including keyboardist Jason Linder, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Daniel Freedman. Luminosa also features a handful of guest artists including guitarist Romero Lubambo, percussionist Gilmar Gomes, and accordion player Vitor Goncalves. As with most of Cohen's recordings, Luminosa is a highly engaging, sophisticated, and romantic album.
On Soli, Tamsin Waley-Cohen's 2015 release on Signum Classics, the violinist explores modernist repertoire composed between 1944 and 2005. Because these solo violin pieces by Béla Bartók, George Benjamin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Elliott Carter, and György Kurtág are challenging for both the player and the listener, one should approach this CD with some awareness that they reflect different phases of the avant-garde movement that dominated music in the last half of the 20th century. In quieter selections where the moods are primarily brooding or lyrical, Waley-Cohen produces a vibrant tone and smooth phrasing that make her playing easy to appreciate, even when the music isn't recognizably tonal. However, in louder, dissonant passages, notably in sections of the Bartók Sonata, Benjamin's Canon for Sally, Carter's Remembering Aaron, and Kurtág's Anziksz Kellerannanak, the close microphone placement makes her bowing sound overly resinous and scratchy, which can be hard to enjoy. Even so, few violinists dare approach this bracing material, and Waley-Cohen is to be commended for devoting a whole album to such cutting-edge pieces solely on her terms, without making compromises.
Composer Edouard Lalo's work encompassed the period of Romanticism that witnessed the evolution of the romance de salon genre into the melodie francaise or French art song. It is an injustice of posterity that only Faure, Duparc and Debussy acquired true fame in this genre. This collection from baritone Tassis Christoyannis and pianist Jeff Cohen featuring the two scenes de salon for voice and piano, the seven romances and the 23 melodies, shows that Lalo easily stands alongside his more well-known countrymen.
“Silver Kobalt” is an album of so many beautifully placed sounds that it’s hard not to be left in awe. The new album of the native Tyrolean Hang player and composer captures the listener from the very first tone and offers something exciting and new with each listen. The sounds of the percussionist encapsulate and touch the soul in the gentlest manner, the refined melodies have a very warm note, and the complex arrangements in which he embeds the songs are full of suspense and extremely varied…
Box set from WARLORD includes reissues of their three original albums, each featuring the latest remastering, SHM-CD format, and cardboard sleeves. Also comes with a DVD with entire footage of a gig held in 1984.