Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantOrchestral

Philip Spratley (b.1942): Orchestral Music, Vol. 2...

Despite the fact that an illustration of a piano keyboard is their logo, and the term “toccata” is most often associated with music for keyboard, Toccata Classics is not just a “piano label”. In addition to the many revelatory premiere recordings of keyboard music the...

Highly Atonal or DissonantChamber Music

Music of Allan Gordon Bell – Gravity & ...

Gravity and Grace from the CentreDiscs label is the first album devoted entirely to the chamber music of Canadian composer Allan Gordon Bell. I have wanted to recommend this extraordinary disc for several months now, but sometimes, reviewing contemporary music comes with a unique set of...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantOrchestralChamber Music

Christopher Gunning: Symphony No. 5; String Quarte...

There’s some wonderful music here! British composer Christopher Gunning, best known for his award-winning film and television scores, has produced a substantial body of music for the concert hall, which includes seven numbered symphonies. This new CD from the Discovery label contains the...

Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantConcertoSolo Piano

John Musto: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Two Concer...

While several important areas of music by American composer John Musto can be heard on CD, including samplings of his chamber music, opera, and a considerable selection of songs, nothing of his orchestral oeuvre has been made available until the release of this Bridge Records CD. Bridge has...

Tonal and ConsonantOrchestralConcerto

Górecki: Works for String Orchestra / Rajski Wojci...

While there are many similarities between the music of Mikołaj Górecki and that of his father, Henryk, the younger Górecki has clearly (and in all likelihood, with a purpose) developed his own distinct sound, producing highly nuanced, interesting and compelling music. This title from the...

Tonal and ConsonantSolo Piano

Ian Venables (b.1955): Complete Works for Solo Pia...

I’ve listened to this CD many times and have enjoyed it more on each successive hearing. There is much beautiful music here. When it came time to select a track to feature as a sample, it wasn’t easy because I have many favorites. This New Naxos CD contains the complete solo piano...

Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantOrchestral

Jan Van Der Roost: Sirius; Sinfonia per Orchestra;...

Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost was born in 1956 and currently teaches counterpoint and fugue at the Lemmensinstituut, the Belgian conservatory in Leuven. From Navona Records comes this program of three of Mr. Van der Roost’s orchestral pieces: Sirius (2003), a brilliant thirteen...

Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantSolo Piano

Mark Isaacs: Children’s Songs on Soundbrush ...

Listening to and reading about this cycle of piano miniatures titled “Children’s Songs”, written and performed by Australian composer Mark Isaacs, you can’t help but be mindful of a similar and much loved cycle from Robert Schumann, his Scenes from Childhood. The...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantChamber Music

Olivier Greif: Sonate de Requiem; Piano Trio

Originally released in 2006, Harmonia Mundi has returned this recording of Olivier Greif’s Sonate de Requiem and Piano Trio to the active catalog as part of their mid-priced HM Gold line. Not having heard the initial release, I feel fortunate that I didn’t miss this powerful and...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantOrchestralConcerto

Salvador Brotons: Symphony No. 5 “Mundus Nos...

In the notes for this Naxos CD, composer Salvador Brotons, who is also the conductor of this performance, explains that his Symphony No. 5 ‘Mundus Noster’ has a form “nearer to that of a symphonic poem than to pure music.” I read these notes as I began my second...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantOrchestral

Music for string orchestra by Moryto, Gorecki, Twa...

The unifying features of the works on this DUX CD are that they are all by Polish composers, were either written or transcribed for string orchestra, and come from the later half of the twentieth century. The are all also similarly challenging to the ear; none stick out as being particularly...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantHighly Atonal or DissonantOrchestral

Søren Nils Eichberg: Before Heaven, Before Earth; ...

This Dacapo CD presents the world premiere recording of symphonies nos. 1 and 2 by Danish-German composer Søren Nils Eichberg performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Christoph Poppen. A recipient of first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in...