Tonal and ConsonantChoir

Carson Cooman: ‘In Beauty Walking’ ...

I had not encountered the music of American composer and organist Carson Cooman prior to picking up his most recent release on CD, 2014’s In Beauty Walking. After thoroughly enjoying this selection of music for string orchestra and deciding to recommend it on Expedition Audio, I set about...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantOrchestralConcerto

Stephen Paulus (1949-2014): Concerto & Orches...

For those listeners not familiar with the work of the American composer Stephen Paulus, this recent release from Naxos serves as an excellent introduction, offering superb performances of Paulus’s orchestral music from Giancarlo Guerrero and his Nashville Symphony. Paulus was born in Summit,...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantVocal SoloistOrchestral

Kenneth Fuchs: Falling Man; Movie House; Songs of ...

September 11, 2001 was a day never to be forgotten. It was unspeakably devastating, and a tragically surreal day for all who witnessed the events unfold. I was there that day, hearing incessant sirens, watching in disbelief as the North Tower crumbled, smelling the stench and wandering in all...

Tonal and ConsonantChoir

New American Choral Series: Music of Stephen Carac...

Stephen Caracciolo writes beautiful music. However, as pleasurable as the music is of its own accord, to hear it without at the same time taking in a full understanding of the sung texts is to miss the true essence of the music. It is Stephen Caracciolo’s consummate writing for chorus...

Somewhat Atonal or DissonantOrchestral

Xavier Montsalvatge: Works for Orchestra / Marta M...

A quick query shows that the music of Xavier Montsalvatge is best represented on the Naxos label. Recordings prior to this release include some of the Catalan composer’s piano music and chamber works. Performed by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Victor Pablo...

Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantChoir

‘Preisung’ / Sjaella women’s cho...

This is a gem. It’s one of those rare albums where, hearing only the opening few measures, you become completely absorbed in the beauty of what you are hearing. Simply titled Preisung (German for “Praise”), the music is sung by Sjaella, a group of six extraordinary young...

Vocal SoloistChamber MusicSomewhat Atonal or Dissonant

Out of Darkness – An Opera of Survival by Ja...

Jake Heggie is one of the today’s outstanding composers. He has written many fine works and is perhaps this country’s greatest living opera composer. Heggie made a big splash with Moby Dick and was greatly praised for Dead Man Walking. Working again with his long-standing librettist,...

Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantConcerto

Samuel Zyman: 3 Conciertos / Marisa Canales, flute...

Mexico’s leading classical music label, Urtext Digital Classics, offers a catalog of well over a hundred titles, most of which feature artists and composers from The Americas. This recent release titled 3 Conciertos from March of 2014 offers a trio of concertos by Mexican composer Samuel...

Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or DissonantSolo Piano

Arvo Pärt: ‘Für Anna Maria’ – Co...

As it is played here, the complete piano music of Arvo Pärt takes about two hours to perform and fits neatly on these two Brilliant Classics CDs. I’ve qualified this statement with “as it is played here” because some of the music is rather improvisatory, leaving much to the...

Tonal and ConsonantConcerto

Igor Raykhelson: Orchestral Music, Vol. 3 – ...

The two concertos dating from 2007 and 2010 on this Toccata Classics CD sound, for the most part, as though they could have been written over a century ago. The music is by the Russian born American classical and jazz pianist and composer Igor Raykhelson. It is the third release of the...

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...