RACHMANINOFF-KREISLER: Preghiera. Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor. Trio élégiaqueNo. 2 in D minor, Op. 9
Gidbn Kremer, violin. Giedre Dirvanauskaite, cello. Daniil Trifonov, piano.
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 002894796979 TT: 68:00
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GLASS: Etudes. Music for harp by Dessner, Muhly, Arnalds, Arnalds, Frahm, and Ludwig-Leone.
Lavinia Meijer, harp.
SONY CLASSICAL 8895351432 (2 disks) TT: 68:00 / 49:00
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BACH: Italian Concerto in F, BWV 971. Partita No. 1 in B flat, BWV 825. Four Duets. BWV 802-805. Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV 944. Partita No. 3 in A miknor, BWV 827. Jesus bleibet meine Freude.
Rafal Blechacz, piano
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 002894795534 TT: 66:00
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SAMPSON: Entrance. Still. CORIGLIANO: Overture from Gazebo Dances. Fanfares. Antiphon. NEWMAN: Prayers of Steel. BRYANT: Sevenfive. BECK: Roar. WINSLOW: The Record of a Lost Tribe.
Gaudete Brass
CEDILLE CD CDR9000169 TT: 56:10
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Master violinist Gidon Kremer celebrates his 70th birthday February 27, 2017 with this recording of music far removed from his usual repertory. Here we have a collaboration with pianist Daniil Trifonov and cellist Giedre Dirvanauskaite in two masterpieces of Russian romantic music, the two trios of Rachmaninoff. Rachmaninoff and Fritz Kreisler had a close friendship, concretized together and in 1928 made recordings of sonatas of Beethoven, Schubert and Greg. The two master artists combined their talents in Preghiera ("Prayer") which is a brief (5:24) setting of the slow movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. This is a lovely setting for violin and piano, exquisitely played. The two featured works are the passionate piano trios, a rich blending of the three instruments. This is a lovely disk, beautifully recorded in Luxembourg in May 2015.

The fine young harpist Lavinia calls this twin-CD set a "personal journey" paying tribute to Philip Glass. She specializes in contemporary music and already has one CD of his music (Metamorphosis—The Hours). Now we have this set that offers not only music by Glass, but by five other composers. Glass composed his etudes over a period of twenty years, and they show his development as a composer.He wrote 20 of them originally them for piano, and Meijer has arranged ten for her instrument with the help of Glass, recorded here). In this album we have not only music by Glass, but by five other composers written for for the artist: Bryce Dessner's Suite for harp, Nico Muhly's Quiet Music and A Hudson Cycle, Olafur Arnalds' Ena's Waltz and Tomorrow's Song, Nils Frahms's Ambore and In the Sky and on the Ground, and Ellis Ludwig-Leone's Night Loops (for harp and electronics). Also we have two excerpts from Glass's acclaimed 1982 film Koyaanisquat. The recordings were made in Muziekgebouw Eindhoven in the Netherlands July 1 - 6, 2016. Audio is successful in capturing the wonderful sound ds of the instrument, and the two disks sell for the price of one.

Polish pianist Rafel Blechacz (b. 1985) has won numerous prizes and is famous for his recordings of Chopin, particularly the two piano concertos which he recorded with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Semkov. Now we have this superb Bach collection mostly of well known works including the Italian Concerto and the Hess arrangement of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Exquisite, crystalline pianism, and impeccable performances. This is an outstanding addition to Blechacz's discography. The recordings were made in Hamburg's Friedrich-Ebert Halle in 2012, and Berlin's Meistersaal in 2015.

Gaudete Brass, formed in 2004, is committed to new music for brass and had commissioned many new works—including those on this outstanding new CD. All all world premiere recordings except for David Sampson's Entrance.Theor mew recording is of particular interest which reflects a celebration to commemorate the 70th birthday of John Corigliano by presenting music written by some of his students. All of this music is compelling and imaginative, and obviously the composers took full advantage of the performance capabilities of instruments involved. You will hear some odd sounds that one would not think could be produced by brass instruments and throughout there is much interplay between them requiring the highest virtuosity. Current members of the Quintet are Bill Boxtresser and Charles Russell Roberts, trumpets; Phil Kassel, horn, Paul Van Hoff, trombone, and Scott Tegge, tuba. They play together as one in these dazzling performances which have been recorded in fine stereo that lets us hear the myriad of sounds. A fascinating release! Quality new music played to perfection.

R.E.B. (March 2017)