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FREDERIC D'HAENE/Music With Silent Aitake's: Showing what's going on in Belgium beside Brel, D'Haene is a contemporary classical composer who works mainly on commission and finds that sweet spot here where progressive classical almost bumps into crime jazz. Not a cat for moldy figs, he plays with sounds almost as much as making sound and is a provocateur for the advancement of classical music on Mars. Wild and woolly next wave throughout.
(Ravello 8008)

MARK JOHN McENCROE/Live in Ostrava: A welcome recording for those who want to get into contemporary cats that have a great respect for tradition. Playing like a work from the existing classical canon despite being newly written, McEncroe would be at home in any era with his grand, sweeping thoughts. Expertly realized by Janacek Philharmonic, this is a high water mark for listening experiences. Well done.
(Navona 6215)

MARK DEL PORTO/Peace, Nature & Renewal: Don't let the title confuse you into thinking this is a new age recording. This New Mexico educator has a load of trophies on his mantle for his classical work---even if he does bring new age thoughts into his presentation. A master at impressionistic work, this set does bring you in touch with peaceful, easy feelings and the grandness of things larger and more mysterious than ourselves. Music that makes you think and feel, De Porto is only at the start of a long, rewarding road. Well done.
(Navona 6220)

MATEJ MESTROVIC/3 Rhapsodies for Piano & Orchestra: Proving it's a big, wide world, this Croatian native could be looked at as the Croatian John Williams as he's just at home for winning awards for classical music, soundtracks and premiering works at Carnegie Hall. Quite the protean cat, his nu classics here are right in the traditional pocket echoing past greats without aping them leaving his own distinct mark on the proceedings. With chops that take him successfully from chamber to orchestra, this is mega fine Sunday afternoon listening for Sunday afternoon listeners. Hot stuff throughout.
(Navona 6219)

YOKO HIROTA/Schoenberg Piano Music and His 17 Fragments: Leading edge contemporary classical can be a hard road to hoe and the interpreters of same have to deal with same. Hirota has dedicated her fingers to the cause and her solo piano takes on works that require precision to keep them from rolling off the rails is on point. Delightful renditions for people that like their music lost in the stars, this stellar pianist who could probably make short work of jazz if she so desired knows her way around the stars like few others. Fine work from a compelling interpreter.
(Navona 6214)

DAVID ROSENBOOM/Deviant Resonances: Beginning where the ‘Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music' left off, this 50 vet of experimental music lays to waste purveyors of out sound works just by lifting his pinky. Moreso installation music than listening music, polite people that take of their aluminum hats when they come inside or are in the presence of ladies will gladly be your tour guide through the version of the cosmos these works make. Is it really any wonder that an inquisitive kid that grew up in an Illinois farm town in the 50s would find these flights of fancy something to come to so easily? And he generously serves up two discs worth.
(Ravello 8009)

BENEATH THE TIDE-A Collection of Concertos: Five composers are given their due by Croatian Chamber Orchestra getting a roll out to their works with all due gravitas and emotion from all nooks and crannies. Doubtlessly contemporary works and imbued with that certain Euro sense of melancholy, these emotional presentations serve as a fine sampler to composers that are sure to get wider due. A fine set, this opens the ears to a new realm of possibilities that lie out there. Nice work.
(Navona 6216)

SERGIO CERVETTI/Parallel Realms: A cutting edge classical cat that's been setting standards for a long time should be glad he wasn't working in Mozart's time since the King would have certainly told him he was using too many notes. A solid sonic explorer, his three works on display here are the kind of works that play to tradition and the future at the same time. A veritable feast for the ear, as many notes as he might use, not a single one is wasted. Delightful listening in a progressive way.
(Navona 6217)

BENJAMIN ZANDER-BOSTON PHILHARMONIC YOUTH ORCHESTRA/Mahler 9: Pushing 80, Zander pushes the kids into a killer presentation of Mahler's last work gloriously spread over two discs. One of Mahler's prime interpreters for almost half a century, hopefully, this will still only be a penultimate work. Playing with the kind of presence and passion you'd normally only expect from Euro versions of ensembles like this, the AFM needs to step up to make sure kids like this never have to take day jobs in order to keep the music alive. Just glorious.
(Brattle Media)

LOS GOUTOS/Mighty: They might be from New England but none of their roots/Americana sound comes from any farther north than Nawlins---just kind of. Mostly a mash up of south of the border sounds with no respect for lines drawn in the sand, this is way too soulful for a bunch of gringos. Sounding like they are playing for a bunch of cowboys from the hills of Mexico, this is world beat like you wouldn't believe. A wild and wooly date throughout that never fails to connect.

Volume 43/Number 126
February 25, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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