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Fairouz: No Orpheus
Various artists
Naxos 8.559783

Mohammed Fairouz has rapidly become one of the most highly regarded composers of his generation, receiving wide acclaim for works such as Native Informant and his Symphony No. 4 "In the Shadow of No Towers". Setting texts from ancient times to World War II, the songs on this new album represent a decade of writing for the human voice. ; Refugee Blues addresses powerful social issues while sensual celebrations of being human and alive are explored in After the Revels. The theme of loss is also compellingly expressed in the intense, distilled narrative of No Orpheus, a portrait of departed family members, and Edgar Allan Poe's last completed poem, the hauntingly mournful Annabel Lee.



Ravel: L’Heure espagnole
Orhcestre National de Lyon
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Naxos 8.660337

The stage works of Maurice Ravel are as delicate and poised as one could imagine. In the Spanish-shaded L’Heure espagnole, Ravel gives new vitality into the opera buffa by making the comedic element human, and giving the plot poignancy.; Ravel wrote clear vocals, harmonic magic, and radiant orchestration. He imbues Cervante’s famous character with blue-blooded Spanish swagger, while still giving him a sort of heroic kindness and openness.



Scriabin: Piano Music
Soyeon Kate Lee, piano
Naxos 8.573527

Tolstoy described Alexander Scriabin’s music as “a sincere expression of genius” while Scriabin described himself as “all impulse, all desire…”; His virtuosity rivaling that of Rachmaninov, the young and colorful musician and composer found inspiration in his idol, Chopin, while still touching his compositions with Russian darkness and sensuous passion.; This album of his less-popular compositions also includes the child prodigy’s Canon in D minor, composed when Scriabin was only 11 years old.




Divine Karina
Karina Gauvin, soprano
Various artists

ATMA Classique ACD2 3017

Karina Gauvin, Canadian soprano known for her interpretation of Baroque music, delivers this stunning compilation album featuring airs by Mozart, Handel, Purcell, and Vivaldi, all drawn from her ATMA Classique discography.; Gauvin has won enthusiastic commendation across North America and Europe over the past twenty years. The name of this album, “Divine Karina,” is drawn from words that Montreal music critic Claude Gingras used to describe Gauvin.; Perhaps one of the most noteworthy recordings on this album is the samba-inspired song, “You, My Sister,” composed by Tyler Williams, with lyrics written by Karina and her sister, Nathalie Gauvin, who is an exceptional singer in her own right.



Buratto: Live at Honens 2015
Luca Buratto, piano
Honens HON201601CD

Ten pianists from seven countries between ages 20 and 30 received an invitation to Calgary to participate in the semifinals of the 2015 Honens Piano Competition. Each artist performed a solo recital and a collaborative recital. After three finalists moved on to the finals, Luca Buratto was named Honens Prize Laureate. This live recording features his semifinals performances; Buratto has been called a pianist of “fiery imagination and finesse.” ( Musical America) He first caught the attention of the public in 2003 when he performed music of his grandfather Renzo Massarani at the Conservatory of Milan’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.; This two disc set contains works from Schumann, Ligeti, Debussy, Prokofiev, and Mozart to name a few.



Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Chorus
Valery Gergiev, conductor

LSO Live LSO0696

Ravel was commissioned in 1909 by Serge Diaghilev to compose the music for Daphnis et Chloé. The complete work is an orchestral showpiece, although he subsequently prepared suites of the score. Ravel described the composition as a symphonie choréographique, although it is fundamentally an extended tone poem.; In contrast, Pavan pour une infant defunte is reminiscent of the simplicity of eighteenth century music of Rameau. The piece was written while Ravel was a student of Gabriel Fauré.; Boléro is one of Ravel’s final works, and is a fiery masterpiece, showing his Spanish influences and the passion that invades his work.; In 2011 LSO released these pieces on 1 SACD. Now, LSO Live presents this release with the addition of a DVD.



Shuffle. Play. Listen.
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Christopher O’Riley, piano

Pentatone PTC5186546

Matt Haimovitz is considered a musical pioneer. A Grammy-nominated cellist, he is renowned for his visionary approach, innovative collaborations, and groundbreaking recording projects. He also regularly tours and mentors at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music.; Christopher O’Riley is a pianist who has stretched the instrument far beyond its conventional boundaries. He regularly transcribes the likes of Radiohead, Elliot Smith, and Nick Drake. His transcriptions of Radiohead earned him four stars from Rolling Stone.; The first disc of this set contains well loved pieces from standard repertoire. Bernard Herrmann, Leos Janacek, and Igor Stravinsky are featured here.; The second disc is intriguing, featuring O’Reiley’s arrangements of Radiohead, Arcade Fire, and A Perfect Circle.



Handel: Complete Harpsichord Music
Michael Borgstede, harpsichord
Roberto Loreggian, harpsichord

Brilliant Classics BRI95235

Like his colleagues Scarlatti and Bach, Handel was an impressive keyboard player. His first biographer John Mainwaring described him as having “an uncommon brilliancy and command of finger.” Despite the composer’s primary interest in oratorio and opera, his harpsichord music is also held in high regard. Handel’s 8 great suites are his most famous works for harpsichord. He also wrote a great deal of fugues, preludes, dances, lessons, and chaconnes. On this 8 CD set, Michael Borgstede and Roberto Loreggian perform Handel’s complete harpsichord works.



500 Years of Organ Music
Various artists
Brilliant Classics BRI95310

In this extensive 50-disc set, Brilliant Classics presents 500 years of organ music. The pieces presented here offer a survey of diversity, value, and historical importance. The first portion of the set is devoted to pieces from the early period. Groundbreaking organ composers such as Cavazzoni and De Macque, who developed the capriccio and canzon forms and composed complex counterparts to the period’s vocal music, are featured here. The Baroque and Classical eras are represented in this set by the likes of powerhouse composers Mozart, J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Handel, Telemann, and Haydn. Alongside these monumental names, however, are several undiscovered artists, such as Padre Davide da Bergamo, who despite his ambiguity, composed over 2,000 organ pieces.



Best Wishes from Cecilia Bartoli
Cecilia Bartoli
Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Franz Wesler-Most
Gabrielle Ferro

Arthaus 109176

Italian coloratura soprano Cecilia Bartoli, who will celebrate her 50th birthday in 2016, has been one of the foremost opera singers for more than two decades. In this outstanding three disc gift set, she is seen in three Italian opera classics: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Il Turco in Italia, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. These recordings are taken from some of her best live performances. Il Barbiere di Siviglia is a 1988 recording from Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele, Il Turco in Italia was recorded at the Zurich Opera House in 2002, and Don Giovanni at the Zurich Opera House in 2001.




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7:24:26 AM, 15 February 2016
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