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JUNE 2016
Sadie Harrison: The Rosegarden of Light
Cuatro Puntos, Ensemble Zohra, Junior Ensemble of Traditional Afgan Instruments
Toccata Classics TOCC0342

This release is a joint project between American string sextet Cuatro Puntos and student ensembles from Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), opened in Kabul in 2010 after a period of Taliban rule in which instruments were destroyed and musicians were outlawed.

The special goal of ANIM is on supporting the most disadvantaged members of Afghan society, many students are orphans and street vendors.
Cuatro Puntos is based in Hartford, Connecticut. The ensemble is a non-profit organization centered around global peace and cooperation achieved through the writing, teaching and performance of music across the world.

The title work is by composer Sadie Harrison; in recognition of her unique integration of modern composition and traditional Afghan folk music, she was given the honor of being named a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, London. This album is the result of her time there.

The Rosegarden of Light alternates between interludes performed by the Ensemble Zohra, the ANIM all-girls ensemble and fantasies on their material performed by Cuatro Puntos. "At a time when we are bombarded every day by images of the world in crisis, The Rosegarden of Light is a joyful celebration of musicians who share a fundamental right to express themselves through the universal language of music." - Blackmore Vale Magazine

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Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos. 3-5
Henning Kraggerud; Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Naxos 8.573513

Mozart wrote his Violin Concertos in 1775 while still living in his home town of Salzburg and in service to Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo. Mozart had already toured internationally and found his parochial environment restricting, but as ever he rose above circumstances to create sublime and thrillingly unconventional masterpieces filled with wit and elegant charm. The finely sustained melodic expression of each concerto’s slow center provides the perfect foil for inventive sparkle in outer movements that include a cheeky reference to the opera Il re pastore in K.216 to an exotic ‘Turkish’ moment in the finale of K. 219.

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Keys to the City
Kondor; Tosca; Sussman; Hyman; Whitty; Stritch; Renzi; Owens; Shaffer; Roven; Musiker; Kander & Ebb; Fleisher
Roven Records RR99999

Never has such a stellar cast of International Super Star Pianist been assembled before. Hear Leon Fleisher, Dick Hyman, Paul Shaffer and more pay tribute to the city that nurtured them as they each perform in their own inimitable style one great New York Song. Also on the CD are legendary jazzers, Frank Owens, Lee Musiker and Mike Renzi, cabaret star Billy Stritch, Axel Tosca, from the New York Studio Scene, Robbie Kondor, Bette Sussman, George Whitty, Glen Roven, and topping it all off is the ORIGNAL DEMO recorded by Kander and Ebb of their greatest hit, Theme from "New York, New York."

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Glassworlds, Vol. 4
Nicolas Horvath (piano)
Grand Piano GP692

This volume focuses on love, one of Philip Glass’s most glorious themes. The timeless melancholy of his BAFTA award-winning music for The Hours forms an organic suite driven by the film’s three powerful characters, here complete with unpublished tracks. The breathtakingly energetic Modern Love Waltz expands the limits of minimalism by combining Glass’s style with Viennese dance tradition, while his transcription of Notes on a Scandal is a recording première. Steve Reich described the iconic Music in Fifths as being “like a freight train”.

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La Rondine
Dinara Alieva; Charles Castronovo; Alexandra Hutton; Alvaro Zambrano; Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Roberto Rizzi Brignoli
Delos DV7011

A dazzling video of Puccini’s seldom-performed masterpiece from one of Europe’s top opera houses, directed by Rolando Villazón and starring Dinara Alieva and Charles Castronovo.

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Hymns from King's
The Choir of King's College, Stephen Cleobury
King's College Choir KGS0014

One of the world's foremost choirs, The Choir of King's College, Cambridge has produced several professional singers, and numerous critically-acclaimed albums, such as their recent English Hymn Anthems, which was an Editor's Choice for Gramophone. This release is a collection of hymn arrangements by the conductor of the ensemble, Stephen Cleobury. The entire church year is covered in these hymns, including Christmas and Easter. Some of the world's most popular and best-loved hymns are included in this release, such as Thine be the Glory, Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken, and Come, ye Thankful People.

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David Lang: The National Anthems & The Little Match Girl Passion
Cantaloupe CA21119

Currently a member of the Yale School of Music faculty, David Lang is a composer who writes modern pieces inspired by minimalism, modernism, and rock. This album serves as an overview of Lang’s evolution as a composer across recent years. The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s recording of ‘the national anthems’ is partnered in this release with Lang’s acclaimed work ‘the little match girl passion,’ which scored him the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. The pieces work together in a beautiful way to make a statement about our place in the world that we all share. In the words of Lang: “Both pieces try to use music to show us how we could be or should be better people. ‘the national anthems’ scours the anthems of all the countries in the world, hoping to find common ground that might allow us to understand each other…’the little match girl passion’ is an attempt to ennoble the idea that it’s important for us to notice the suffering of people around us.” The Calder Quartet is featured on this release alongside the Los Angeles Mater Chorale. The ensemble has been lauded as proof that “… the time-honored string quartet still provides fertile ground for innovation and surprise.” (The New York Times)

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Abrazo: The Havana Sessions
Ansonica Records AR0001

This new release, Abrazo: The Havana Sessions, highlights works for jazz combo, big band, chamber ensembles, and even choir. Bunny Beck, Roger Bourland, Donald Bowyer, Margaret Brandman, Timothy Miller, John Carollo, Mel Mobley, and Michael Murray are all composers featured on this album. All of these works are performed by current or former members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, Irakere, Buena Vista Social Club, and many more. CEO Bob Lord says of this project, “We went right to the source, and sure enough they brought a totally new dimension to the music- a Cuban dimension, a feel and a sound and a perspective unlike anything else in the world.”

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The Union of Sinners & Saints
The Union of Sinners & Saints
Suite 28 Records STE008

The Union of Sinners & Saints features members of Petra, and Whiteheart, two of the best-selling Christian rock bands of all time. The project features ten new compositions and updated versions of Petra's Beyond Belief, and Whiteheart's Independence Day. Collectively the Union of Sinners & Saints have generated more that 25 #1 songs and earned more than 15 GRAMMY® and 40 Dove nominations and awards . The project also features new artist Jason Fowler on guitar and vocals. The self-titled release was produced and arranged by Billy Smiley for Cul De Sac Records & Suite 28 Records.

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Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata in A Minor, D. 821 (Arr. for Cello & Piano) & String Quintet in C Major, Op. 163, D. 956
Pentatone Music PTC5186549

This new release is the fifth album in the Pentatone Oxingale series. Two of Franz Schubert's great masterpieces are combined here: his Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano in A minor D821, and the String Quintet in C Major, D956. Grammy-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz performs the arpeggione part, alongside pianist Itamar Golan.

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Schumann & Dvorák: Cello Concertos
Naxos NV6034

Venezuelan-American cellist Carmine Miranda is a renowned international soloist and recording artist. He studied first at the Carabobo State Music Conservatory in Venezuela, then at the Latin-American Academy of Violoncell, the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Music, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. For this release, Miranda has chosen cello concerti by Schumann and Dvorak. When Miranda was only twenty two and twenty three years old, he recorded Bach’s Six Cello Suites, as well as Alfredo Piatti’s 12 Caprices for Solo Cello. He was one of the youngest in the world to ever record these works. “It’s natural, then, that Miranda’s performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto sounds like a love letter—attention is paid to moments of delicacy and tenderness.” (Huntley Dent, Fanfare Magazine)

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Duke Ellington: Sacred Concerts
Rondeau Production ROP6112

The most important thing I've ever done - this is how Duke Ellington thought about his Sacred Concerts for choir, soloists and big band. With these three concerts, of which many songs have since become standards, the grandmaster of jazz made history. Duke Ellington conceived his Sacred Concerts between 1962 and 1973 and they resemble a wonderful musical autobiography of the composer. Only very few jazz musicians were able to fill their music with such strong emotions as Ellington could. Both happy moments and strokes of fate have their share in the Sacred Concerts. Above all, Ellington's unshakeable confidence in God makes the Sacred Concerts a very personal creed. Duke Ellington is considered one of the fathers of the big band sound and shaped this genre like no other: down to the present day, jazz orchestras around the world have been trying to emulate the so-called Ellington Effect. The Fette Hupe big band, which has been committed to Ellington's style for a long time, joined forces with the Junges Vokalensemble Hannover, a perfect partner for staging the monumental Sacred Concerts with all their original power and expressiveness. With this very rarely recorded cycle, Fette Hupe and the Junges Vokalensemble Hannover close an important gap in the repertoire.

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