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Sufjan Stevens, Timo Andres & Conor Hanick | Reflections (2023)


“I’m constantly thinking about bodies moving through space when I’m writing for ballet – that is what has informed this music, first and foremost,” says Sufjan Stevens on Reflections, his latest collaboration with choreographer Justin Peck. Originally commissioned and performed by Houston Ballet in 2019, Reflections was written for two pianos and eleven dancers. A studio recording of the seven movements is now available; engineered, mixed and mastered by Ryan Streber with performances by pianists Timo Andres and Conor Hanick. Released via Asthmatic Kitty Records, Reflections is, in Stevens words, about “energy, light and duality.” This piece follows on from several scores Stevens has created with Peck, including Year of the Rabbit (2012), Everywhere We Go (2014), In the Countenance of Kings (2016), The Decalogue (2017) and Principia (2019). “We have been working together for many years now,” says Stevens. “We respect and trust each other’s work.” Peck and Stevens are currently collaborating on a dance theater piece based on Stevens’ songs from the acclaimed album, Illinois, to premiere at Fisher Center at Bard in June of 2023. Asthmatic Kitty

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Danish String Quartet | Prism V: Beethoven, Webern, Bach (2023)


From conception to completion, the Danish String Quartet’s Prism project has been almost eight years in the making: “our string quartet ritual of passage”, as the players now look back upon it, a process of discovery. Lines of connection are drawn in the five Prism volumes, from a Bach fugue through one of the late Beethoven quartets to the music of a subsequent composer: “A beam of music is split through Beethoven’s prism,” in the Danes’ words. Throughout the series the DSQ have emphasized that “late Beethoven is not a disconnected island in music,” but rather “a continuation from Bach and the old masters,” which, furthermore, points toward the future. Previous recordings in the series have addressed the influence of late Beethoven on Shostakovich, Schnittke, Bartók and Mendelssohn. On Prism V, Bach and Beethoven are heard alongside Anton Webern, and musical affinities are newly illuminated. ECM Records

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Claudio Abbado | The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon & Decca (2023)


Claudio Abbado inspired levels of commitment and communication from his musicians which resulted in performances and recordings that have stood the test of time. Every new Abbado recording became an event, something special in and of itself. Paying homage to his extraordinary career and marking what would have been his 90th birthday in 2023, Deutsche Grammophon releases a limited and numbered edition of his complete recordings for DG, Decca and Philips. The box set, including 257 CDs and 8 DVDs, brings together the output of one of the greatest conductors of all time. Abbado and Deutsche Grammophon had a unique partnership over 30 years and in that time he recorded over 250 albums which are all in this box set. Deutsche Grammophon

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Hans Zimmer | LIVE (2023)


Hans Zimmer LIVE features more than two hours of new reimagined arrangements of some of the most popular compositions by the iconic L.A.-based composer. The album was recorded during the highly successful same-named concert tour in Europe in spring of 2022. Zimmer created new “suites” from some of his most recognizable themes and melodies from the Oscar®-winning scores for Dune and The Lion King, as well as such contemporary classics as The Dark Knight, X Men: Dark Phoenix, Dunkirk, Gladiator, Inception, Interstellar, The Last Samurai, Man of Steel, No Time to Die, Pirates of the Caribbean and Wonder Woman 1984.  Sony Classical
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Stephen Hough – Mompou: Música callada


‘Having earned his credentials on an earlier disc of Mompou, Hough has returned to the composer with more exquisitely judged playing. With individual headings such as ‘Placide’, ‘Très calme’ and ‘Tranquillo’, these miniatures might be thought to limit a pianist’s scope, but Hough’s precision and crystalline sound quality pay dividends. It is an irony of Mompou’s music that the durations of these pieces should be so tiny, yet their visionary quality seems to invoke far distances of time and space’… Financial Times
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Erik Hall – Canto Ostinato (Simeon ten Holt)

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Canto Ostinato is the new volume of classical minimalism from musician and producer Erik Hall. Written for four pianos from 1976 to 1979 by the late Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, the piece is freshly framed as an intimate, hour-long solo performance consisting of multitracked grand pianos, electric piano, and organ. The second album in a trilogy of reinterpretations, Hall’s Canto Ostinato is modern yet warm, ethereal yet tangible, and it expertly bridges a revered piece of meditative concert repertoire with a tactile and highly personal studio setting.
Chicago-born and Michigan-based, Erik Hall is known as a multi-instrumental pillar for the groups NOMO, Wild Belle…  Western Vinyl
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Max Richter – SLEEP: Tranquility Base EP

Max Richter is returning to his celebrated eight-hour magnum opus SLEEP with a new EP – SLEEP: Tranquility Base. Referencing the 1969 moon landing site in the title, the EP offers a glimpse into some of the original material from an electronic perspective. Including remixes from Kelly Lee Owens and Alva Noto, the new music will also be added to Richter’s popular SLEEP App. Richter returns to his celebrated eight-hour magnum opus SLEEP with this new EP which offers a glimpse into the original material from an electronic perspective. “Tranquility Base” is the site on the Moon where, in July 1969, humans landed and walked on a celestial body other than Earth for the first time. With this in mind, the EP functions as a vessel that disconnects and travels through the body of work, allowing art to provide something which resembles peace within ourselves.
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Gianluigi Trovesi, Stefano Montanari – Stravaganze consonanti

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“The need to tell my musical story derives from a long period of artistic activities connected to both classical and jazz circles. This story to be my own must speak of my home and my multiple musical loves; it must contain my cultural identity, employing the vocabulary that forms my musical language.” Gianluigi Trovesi
More than 20 years ago Umberto Eco singled out “the quest for ancient timbres and classical echoes” that contributed, alongside “original inventions” to the special character of Gianluigi Trovesi’s art. The clarinets and saxophone of the reedman from Italy’s Lombardy region have spoken a sort of polyglot tongue almost from the outset, and each of his ECM albums has differently combined, contrasted and blended ingredients of diverse idioms. ECM Records
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Ruth Killius / Thomas Zehetmair / Royal Northern Sinfonia | Bartók, Casken, Beethoven

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This powerful New Series album represents “a résumé and a departure” for Thomas Zehetmair, a summing up of his work with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. In his years as Music Director of the British chamber orchestra, Zehetmair was noted both for bringing compelling new music into the repertoire and for insightful performances of classical and modern composition, qualities very much in evidence on this concert recording from The Sage, Gateshead. The album opens with John Casken’s double concerto That Subtle Knot, written in 2012-3 for Zehetmair, Ruth Killius and the Northern Sinfonia. Inspired by the poetry of John Donne, the composition establishes a broad arc between the English Renaissance and music of today. Ruth Killius shines in a revelatory performance of Bartók’s Viola Concerto, and Zehetmair as conductor fully brings out what liner note writer Giselher Schubert describes as “the juggernaut propulsive thrust” of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. ECM Records

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