This spring heralds a number of new recordings from Boosey & Hawkes composers, including Carter, Chin, Daugherty, MacMillan, Marsalis, Janácek, Rorem, and Rouse.
Daugherty/Rorem/Rouse – American Spectrum (BIS 1644)
Grant Llewellyn leads saxophonist Branford Marsalis and the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra in four works, including Michael Daugherty’s Sunset Strip (1999), Ned Rorem’s Lions: A Dream (1963), and Christopher Rouse’s Friandises (2005).
Unsuk Chin – Violin Concerto (2001) / Rocaná (Analekta B001H5GK42)
Kent Nagano leads l’orchestre symphonique de Montreal in the premiere recording of Unsuk Chin’s Grawemeyer-winning Violin Concerto (2001) and Rocaná (2007).
Press for Violin Concerto:
"...this is a score of enormous beauty, rhetorical force and structural ingenuity; by rights it should become a staple of the concert landscape."
– San Francisco Chronicle
"…the first masterpiece of the new century."
– Alan Rich
Press for Rocaná:
“The piece is a knockout. It begins with a gnarly, clattering, explosion…Then comes a pattern of background harmonies, always simmering, eerily quiet and pervasive. But throughout the work, jolts of energy keep happening: leaping lines, ominous 12-tonish themes that pierce the tranquil background buzz, outbursts of wailing brasses and metallic strings that come at you like a musical flamethrower.”
– The New York Times
MacMillan – St. John’s Passion (LSO Live audio CDs)
Sir Colin Davis leads baritone Christopher Maltman, the London Symphony Chorus and the London Symphony Orchestra in MacMillan’s new St. John’s Passion.
Press for St. John’s Passion:
“…a blazing blockbuster, a piece as fiercely communicative as anything the 48-year-old MacMillan has written before … Davis gripped this new challenge with ease. But MacMillan won the night’s Oscar for making contemporary music matter. He undoubtedly deserved his standing ovation…”
– The Times (UK)
“The spectre of Bach hovers over any attempt to refresh the Passion story, but MacMillan, a devout Catholic, is equal to the challenge, such is his reverence for the material and his mastery of choral writing.”
– The Observer (UK)
Marsalis – He and She (Blue Note Records)
He and She combines spoken word with music from his quintet, tempered with flashes of humor and plenty of swing centered on the relationship between a man and a woman and the elusiveness of romance.
Press for He and She:
“The compositions are magnificent, and the performance sparkles...”
– The Boston Globe
“…music with taste and spacious arrangements, full of historical knowledge and Mr. Marsalis’s trademarks: hocketing between horns, supercharged trumpet growls, tambourine accents.”
– The New York Times
“This is Marsalis at his sweetly epic best.”
– Philadelphia Inquirer
Janácek – Operatic Orchestral Suites, Vol. 1, arr. P. Breiner (NAXOS 8.570555)
The operas of Leoš Janácek have been gaining their rightful place in major opera houses the world over. First staged in 1904, Jenufa, a powerful tragedy set in a Moravian village, launched Janácek’s operatic career. The Excursions of Mr Broucek, which had its premiere in 1920, is his most candidly satirical opera, rich in high jinks as the bumptious Prague publican travels to the Moon and back to the 15th century.
Peter Breiner, who created the compelling orchestral suites heard on this disc, leads violinist Vesa-Matti Leppanen and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in these world premiere recordings.
Press for Janácek – Operatic Orchestral Suites, Vol. 1, arr. P. Breiner
"The operas of Leos Janacek (1854-1928) are heard more frequently in the theater than ever, but he didn’t write many standalone orchestral pieces. This invaluable disc -- the first in a series devoted to orchestral suites from the Czech’s stage works -- gives even opera-resistant listeners the chance to experience the piquant melody and shimmering texture that make Janacek a one-of-a-kind composer. Although an unsettling drama on stage, Jenufa feels more like a bittersweet fairy tale in conductor Peter Breiner’s’ orchestral suite --the music having that swirling, magical Janacek sound. The Excursions of Mr. Broucek is a fantastical satire, and its music evokes a surprising, luminous and, again, bittersweet world. With the New Zealand orchestra punching way above its weight, this is a disc to set on repeat."
– Newark Star Ledger
Carter – A Nonesuch Retrospective (Nonesuch 510893)
Elliott Carter: A Nonesuch Retrospective, a four-disc set featuring the recordings of the composer's works made for the label from 1968 to 1985, was recently released in celebration of the Carter's 100th birthday.
Press for Elliott Carter: A Nonesuch Retrospective:
"Among tributes to the centenarian master, few are as nicely judged as this set of recordings made for Nonesuch."
– The Sunday Times (UK)
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