Olagón: a Cantata in Doublespeak is the newest album from multiple GRAMMY Award-winning chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird. The project finds the innovative new-music sextet collaborating with vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird of the Irish supergroup The Gloaming, Princeton-based composer-fiddler Dan Trueman, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon. A modern retelling of an ancient Irish epic, Olagón depicts — not without irony and humor — a privileged “power couple” mired in envy, greed, and adultery, descending into criminality and addiction as Ireland’s “Celtic-Tiger” economy collapses in the early 21st century.
Gaudete Brass, a quintet devoted to presenting serious brass chamber music and commissioning new work, brings a fresh perspective to music of John Corigliano with an inventive album of brass works by the prolific
American composer and his protégés.
Eclipse encompasses world-premiere recordings of inventive, virtuosic, and impassioned chamber works, written in a present-day musical language by the strikingly original American composer and pianist Mischa Zupko. Joining him are two close friends and accomplished colleagues, the sublime violinist Sang Mee Lee, who chairs the string department at the Music Institute of Chicago, and internationally renowned cellist Wendy Warner, a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich. Zupko wrote some of the works expressly for these artists.
The Lincoln Trio is renowned for creating “worthwhile programs of serious classical music that are wholly winning and simply delightful” (ClassicsToday.com). For its newest Cedille Records album, “the brilliant Chicago-based Lincoln Trio” (WRTI-FM, Philadelphia) of violinist Desirée Ruhstrat, cellist David Cunliffe, and pianist Marta Aznavoorian has crafted a highly personal program of inventive 20th-century piano trios by composers from the individual players’ ancestral homelands of Switzerland, England, and Armenia, respectively.
Enterprising chamber group Fifth House Ensemble, noted for its “conviction, authority, and finesse” (The New York Times), joins forces with swinging and virtuosic Mediterranean folk band Baladino and 2014 Rome Prize-winning composer Dan Visconti for an exhilarating, boundary-breaking collaboration.
Flourishing American composer Stacy Garrop’s first album of orchestral music features the world-premiere recording of her Mythology Symphony, a five-movement work inspired by famous female figures from Greek mythology. Characterized by Garrop’s talent for lyricism and vivid storytelling, the symphony receives a typically vibrant and compelling performance by Billboard-charting international conductor Alonda de la Parra leading the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Symphony Orchestra of Roosevelt University.
New-music icon Ursula Oppens, who commissioned, premiered, and made the first- recording of maverick American composer Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, a remarkable, monumental set of solo piano variations, has re-recorded that landmark 1975 work to mark its 40th anniversary.
Celebrated new-music sextet eighth blackbird, whose last three Cedille Records albums garnered Grammy awards, continues to soar with Filament, a sizzling selection of four-world premiere recordings, plus a concert performance of Philip Glass’s influential Two Pages.
The Avalon String Quartet, makes its Cedille Records debut with an irresistible and richly varied program of captivating works by Claude Debussy, Benjamin Britten, Osvaldo Golijov, and rising American composer Stacy Garrop.
Violinist Jennifer Koh’s Bach & Beyond Part 2 is the newest installment in a three-CD
cycle based on her groundbreaking, multiyear recital series of the same name. Koh, “a
masterly Bach interpreter and a champion of contemporary repertory” (The New York
Times), performs J. S. Bach’s landmark violin Sonatas and Partitas alongside 20th and 21st
century solo violin works they’ve inspired, including new commissions.
Acclaimed lyric soprano Patrice Michaels, "a formidable interpretative talent" (The New Yorker), conceived and headlines this inventive, wide-ranging two-disc project of 26 songs where classical music and jazz find common ground in ways that will delight fans of both musical genres.
Visionary chamber-music group Fifth House Ensemble of Chicago aims for the stratosphere with Excelsior, its adventurous debut album on Cedille Records. The title refers to an experimental, extreme-altitude U.S. Air Force project of the Cold War era.
Renowned violinists Jennifer Koh and her distinguished mentor Jaime Laredo illuminate captivating connections between student and teacher, and composers across the centuries, in Two x Four, an album of four double-violin concertos, performed with the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble conducted by Vinay Parameswaran.
Grammy-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh and virtuoso pianist Shai Wosner play 20th-century works by three remarkable Central European composers who intertwine folkloric influences with their own unmistakable originality.
Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta’s first recording with its new music director, award-winning conductor Mei-Ann Chen, does what this singular ensemble does best: it captivates listeners of all ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds through irresistible music and superb musicianship. On Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta, a standard-bearer for racial diversity in the orchestral world, works its magic through a one-of-kind program featuring music for string quartet and orchestra, with guest artist, the Harlem Quartet.
Rarely heard in concert or on disc, 20th-century Mexican composer Carlos Chávez’s spectacular Piano Concerto, completed in 1940, receives an insightful and compelling performance from Mexican-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, with his native country’s flagship orchestra, the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and its music director, the dynamic young conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto.
The album is violinist Pine's original concept, inspired by the birth of her first child in September 2011. She could find no existing collection of classical violin lullaby scores and or any compilation recordings. So, she set about gathering sheet music from libraries around the world, amassing a collection of 150 lullaby scores. She selected 25 of the best to include on Violin Lullabies.
This is the third installment in the Pacifica Quartet’s highly anticipated, and already highly acclaimed four-volume CD survey of the complete Shostakovich string quartets: The Soviet Experience: String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and his Contemporaries.
Lera Auerbach’s 24 Preludes for violoncello and piano (1999) receives its world-premiere recording on Celloquy in a performance by Ani Aznavoorian, an award-winning American cellist of international stature, and Auerbach, a Russian-born virtuoso pianist and one of the most widely-performed composers of the new generation.
Gaudete Brass makes its Cedille Records debut with Chicago Moves, an album of new and diverse American works for brass quintet. All were composed in the last six years, and all but one were written expressly for the Chicago-based ensemble of young brass virtuosos and receive their world-premiere recordings on the new CD.
American violinist Jennifer Koh's Bach & Beyond Part 1 is the first in a three-part CD series based on her groundbreaking, multi-season "Bach and Beyond" recital series, now underway in North America and overseas. With these inventive programs, Koh, "a virtuoso with quirky and wonderful ideas" (San Francisco Chronicle), sets out to illuminate connections between J.S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin and 20th- and 21st-century works, including pieces commissioned expressly for Koh and her Bach and Beyond project.
2012 GRAMMY Award Winner!
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Stephen Hartke: meanwhile)
Mexican-born, European-trained pianist Jorge Federico Osorio has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the more elegant and accomplished pianists on the planet" and a performer who "always brings new insights, eloquent readings, and an effortless virtuosity all his assignments." A New York Times concert review praised his "considerable imagination for subtle timbres and vivid characterization" and said "the sweep and freshness of his readings made his performances impossible to resist."
Conducted by Christopher Bell, Chicago's Grant Park Chorus is "as fine a symphony chorus as any to be found anywhere in the nation" (Chicago Tribune). Celebrating its 50th season, the chorus makes its a cappella CD debut with an all-American program of eight imaginative, moving, and sometimes whimsical works written between 1975 and 2005, including four world premieres.
2011 GRAMMY Award winning album for Best Small Ensemble Performance, Lonely Motel is the world premiere recording of songs from the startlingly innovative music and theater work Slide, written for new-music sextet eighth blackbird, an ensemble of wind, string, piano, and percussion virtuosos. The group, with composer-electric guitarist Steven Mackey and singer, actor, and librettist Rinde Eckert, premiered the concert-length work at the 2009 Ojai Music Festival in Southern California, a mecca for cutting-edge music enthusiasts. The same forces perform on the new CD, which takes its title from the final song in the cycle.