Rossini, Riley And Remixes: New Classical CDs

Amid reports of insolvent symphony orchestras, lackluster box-office receipts and sagging CD sales, classical music is still very much alive. Classical blogs, social-media sites and listservs are only a few of the many resources fans are using to share and discover new and old music. And, despite declarations that the classical recording industry is stagnating, the flow and variety of appealing CDs remains strong — a few dozen discs cross my desk each week. Below is a sample of the many recent, intriguing classical releases.

Cover of IN C remixed i i
Innova Records
Cover of IN C remixed
Innova Records

Rossini, Riley And Remixes: New Classical CDs

lislevand

La Perra Mora

  • Artist: Rolf Lislevand
  • Album: Diminuito
  • Song: La Perra Mora (El Cancionero de Medinaceli)

This anonymous tune from Spain packs a surprisingly hip groove, given that it's about 450 years old. Lutenist Rolf Lislevand arranges the piece in a jazzy way, with fellow musicians taking solos as if they were playing in a jazz combo. Listen for the funky solo (about 30 seconds in) by Bjorn Kjellemyr on the Colascione, a low-pitched member of the lute family. The organ follows along, note by note, in a higher register.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
La Perra Mora (El Cancionero de Medinaceli)
Album
Rold Lislevand: Diminuito
Artist
Various
Label
ECM Records
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Chopin

Waltz in B minor, Op. 69

  • Artist: Ingrid Fliter
  • Album: Chopin: Complete Waltzes
  • Song: Waltzes (2) for piano, Op. 69, CT. 215-216 [No. 2 in B minor]

This young Argentine pianist has been slowly acquiring fans -- and a modicum of fame -- since winning the Gilmore Artist Award in 2006. Chopin, for me, is all about rubato -- how pianists stretch or shrink notes and phrases. Too much rubato and the music collapses under its own weight. Too little, and it becomes mechanical and lifeless. Fliter's rubato brings out the poet in Chopin.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Waltzes (2) for piano, Op. 69, CT. 215-216 [No. 2 in B minor]
Album
Chopin: Complete Waltzes
Artist
Ingrid Fliter
Label
EMI Classics
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Rossini

D'Amor al dolce impero (from Armida)

  • Artist: Joyce DiDonato
  • Album: Rossini: Colbran, the Muse
  • Song: D'Amor al dolce impero (from Armida)

The "Yankee Diva," as she calls herself on her blog, got a lot of press last summer when she soldiered on for three hours after breaking her leg in the first act of The Barber of Seville in London. But with her excellent Handel album last year, and now this all-Rossini disc, DiDonato is finally getting the worldwide recognition she deserves, for her voice -- a natural-sounding instrument of cream and brushed silver. Listen to what she can do with a single word, like "feconde" in this aria from Armida.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
D'Amor al dolce impero (from Armida)
Album
Rossini: Colbran, the Muse
Artist
Joyce DiDonato
Label
Virgin Classics
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

bates

Terrycloth Troposphere Masonic

  • Artist: GVSU New Music Ensemble + remix artists
  • Album: IN C remixed
  • Song: Terrycloth Troposhere Masonic

If it weren't for YouTube, far fewer people would know about the GVSU New Music Ensemble, quietly ensconced amid the cornfields of western Michigan at Grand Valley State University. The group's videos have attracted more than 500,000 views. This new 2-CD set features a "straight" version of Terry Riley's minimalist classic IN C, plus 18 remixes of the music by such classical genre-straddlers as Nico Muhly and Mason Bates.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Terrycloth Troposhere Masonic
Album
IN C remixed
Artist
GVSU New Music Ensemble + remix artists
Label
innova
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.