NOW Ensemble's new album Awake features five so-called indie classical composers.
Dire predictions about classical music keep coming, and yet so do excellent recordings from all corners of the classical realm — a fact happily reflected in an eclectic mix of sounds that NPR Music's Tom Huizenga spins for Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. Judd Greenstein's music cheerfully percolates with well-blended flavors from many genres. He's among the so-called indie classical composers who also heads up his own ensemble and record label. Then there's the awesomeness of French pianist Alexandre Tharaud, whose new Scarlatti disc ranges from ravishing to rollicking. The German tenor Jonas Kaufmann may be the opera geek's candidate for the next Placido Domingo; he's got matinee-idol looks and a rich, strong and charismatic voice to match. And finally, a forgotten Pole named Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, whose "Rebirth" symphony stands as dense and majestic as the composer's beloved Tatra Mountains.