PRISMA 2: In which we find the label returning to the well from which it matches dandy works by contemporary classical composers with ensembles that do the works the proper justice. With a vibe that reaches back to the Living Stereo series taking chances on non-warhorse repertoire, the set may be modern throughout but it certainly respects the boundaries of classic classical music. A delightful platter full of starters, you can't help but want to go deeper into everything on parade here.
HEVREH ENSEMBLE/Path of Light: A working musician gets turned on to things that lie beyond by an indigenous sort and the result is a world beat of a kind set that follows the rules but isn't afraid to diverge from same. Friendly and feisty, this set comes up to the line of being vacation or gift shop music, but it never crosses over keeping it something you can play easily long after the trip is over. Never at a loss for chops, this set is loaded with moves that'll keep you on point with it.
duo526/Duo Fantasy: This violin/piano duo plays with such simpatico and such deep chops that this recital is just off the charts. You don't need more than the two of them working away to have a full, big sound that fills the space and totally takes you in. A wise and witty performances, these two will never be accused of being moldy figs. Hot stuff.
JITRO CZECH GIRLS CHOIR/In Heaven: In which we find the label maintaining it's spot as the one stop shopping place for fans of liturgical, choral music. The Czech girls choir does a number on choral works by one the best loved Czech composers of all time and they do him right. Not an ethnic record despite it's trappings, this choral music goes way beyond the chant craze of a while back-----and there's no audio clutter for you contemporary neat freaks to fret over. Well done.
THAD ANDERSON/Lines &Spaces: An experimental work by a cat that's as much a soundscapist as a composer, any old fans of Steve Reich will get it and want to hear more. A percussionist by trade, his sense of melding just the right sounds and timbres at just the right times propel this along as way more than pots and pans music. A field day for left leaning ears that just hate to categorize things.
MATT FREY/One-Eleven Heavy: A contemporary opera about a real life plane crash with actual voice recorder voices woven into the mix? Talk about setting the record straight on our relationship to our environment and what we can't control. Inspired by the real crash as well as the composers own rocky flight a few years later, well,---talk about music that makes you think. He may not dethrone Andy Webber as the king of Broadway but he's grabbing the post position as the thinking man's modern opera ace.
IN TANDEM Solos a & Duos: In which we find the label digging deep into it's well of Czech hook ups to mostly fill out this omnibus sampler of just how much sound a duo can produce when it really has it's tricks well stocked up it's sleeves. Taking the listener around the horn to a variety of sonic modes, this set can broaden one's horizons more than travel can. Featuring different players and different composers, this is a must for those ready to take some flights of fancy away from the tried and true.
ROBERTA RUST/Direct Contact: Just freaking off the charts! The theme of the repertoire on this set is that the Texas born Native American had the titular direct contact with all the composers and asked them for their advice on how to better play their works. Then she takes money from the land buy back program and uses it to make this incredible recording. A good solo piano recital can be a real mind blower. This one stops somewhere past great. Killer stuff throughout.
ELAINE RODRIGUES/Gershwin & Bernstein Connection: "Rhapsody in Blue" hasn't been treated so well since Manny Mendelson turned it into an airplane commercial. The piano tyro child prodigy never left her roots and turns "Blue" and "West Side Story" into such new finds that it feels like you never heard them before. Certainly a case of momma loving her work, she has some side kicks and co-horts on board here but you just don't feel them as she works her magic on war horse repertoire that hasn't sounded so fresh in so many years. This is how it sounds to be at one with your instrument.
HEE-YOUNG LIM/French Cello Concertos: I want to know what in the hell is in the water over there. How is it Asia has this endless supply of hot young ladies that are so at one with their stringed instruments at such young ages that all you can do is let your jaw drop and drool----not because your being lascivious but because your too dumbstruck to respond any other way. The latest in this long line plays with such a deft but assured touch that you just know she frolics with unicorns in a land of fairy dust. Finding all the nuance there is to find in an all French repertoire, this utterly gorgeous recording that finds her facing off with LSO is a high water mark recording that assures her place as a star even if she chucks it all tomorrow. Killer stuff throughout.
(Sony Classical 80425)
Volume 43/Number 197
May 6, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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