Underground Sounds

Classical

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Yunchan Lim is the one of the most talked-about classical artists on the planet. In 2024 he presents his debut studio album on Decca Classics – the Chopin Études, Op.10 & Op.25. “To me, Chopin is a composer who yearned for the past. I wanted the album cover to feel like solitude and nostalgia, and to look like you have come across an old photo.” – Yunchan Lim

Yunchan Lim - Chopin Etudes
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He transformed and redefined the sound of music in TV and films over a half-century, and now the Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning American composer and musical man-for-all-seasons Mike Post has realized his own creative challenge in Message from the Mountains & Echoes of the Delta, a unique new recording from Sony Masterworks.

The album features a pair of original works by Post that combine the pure sounds of bluegrass (Message from the Mountains) and the blues (Echoes of the Delta) – joined by “dream teams” of soloists who are longtime friends and colleagues – with the expressive power and range of a full orchestra. Post’s musical signatures for The Rockford Files, The A-Team, Magnum P.I., NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues and other TV classics – not to mention the Law & Order family of dramas (including the landmark, two-note “stinger” effect he created) – are in the DNA of contemporary television culture.

In nine multifaceted movements, Message from the Mountains uses the sounds of bluegrass to celebrate the mingling of tradition and diverse cultural experience in American music. Collaborators in realizing the work are the soloists – Herb Pedersen (5-string banjo); Gabe Witcher (fiddle); Mike Witcher (dobro); Patrick Sauber (acoustic guitar/mandolin); and Amy Keys (orator).

 Echoes from the Delta reflects and explores the exuberant joy and the well of anguish that forged the blues in 14 short, expressive movements. Joining Post and the orchestra as soloists are Sonny Landreth (slide guitar); Eric Gales (electric guitar); Abe Laboriel Sr. (bass); Abe Laboriel Jr. (drums); Robert Turner (organ/piano); Jon O’Hara (keyboards); and Amy Keys (vocalist).

The way Mike Post firmly describes himself – “I am an American musician” – is as grateful and respectful as it is limitless in its compass and its ambition. Message from the Mountains & Echoes of the Delta emerged as his own celebration of the American experience that made him who he is.

Mike Post - Message from the Mountains & Echoes of the Delta [CD]
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Carve the Runes Then Be Content With Silence will be released on the autumn equinox, September 20, 2024, following its premiere in London in June. This first reveal comes 3 years after the only tape was planted in the soil of the Islands of Orkney, all digital files were deleted. It will be released as it sounds from the earth. The recording is a 3-movement work for solo violin and string ensemble. The piece was written in 2021 to mark the centenary of celebrated Orcadian poet, George Mackay Brown.

Erland Cooper - Carve The Runes Then Be Content With Silence [CD]
$16.98
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PERCUSSION CONCERTO

Percussion has always been an important part of my life. Beginning in my travels though West Africa when I was 18 years old, when I began collecting and learning to play ‘balafons’ (kind of like the African version of a marimba), and through my years of playing in metal-based Indonesian Gamalan ensembles in my twenties, as well as building my own strange metal and wood percussion ensembles in my early theatrical performance years, it has always been a lifelong obsession. 

Shortly after we premiered my first violin concerto, I had a chance meeting with percussionist Colin Currie in London. We decided it could be great fun to create a piece together. I was excited to plunge into the challenge of another concerto while at the same time to really go back to my roots with wood and metal, mallets and sticks and hands. I also knew Colin was an extraordinary musician who would be great to collaborate with.  

And I was aware that there were far fewer concertos for percussion then the more obvious piano, violin, cello, etc, and that meant there were far fewer models to guide me which made the idea of a percussion concerto far more enticing.  

 

Wunderkammer

 

It was just before the pandemic when I was in London working on a film score, and my publisher suggested I meet the NYOGB (The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain)  as they had expressed interest in the possibility of doing a commission. At first I was skeptical about the idea of a youth orchestra, but I decided to attend a performance they were giving. I was, to say the least, blown away by how good they were. I decided on the spot that I would indeed find a way to write a piece for them.  

So I jumped into the composition that’s now called Wunderkammer. My original intentions was to create something that was very challenging for them, as I knew they were up for that, and something that would also be fun and exciting for them to dig into which might feature different instrument sections throughout to give everyone a moment to shine. 

A Wunderkammer (or “wonder room”) is a cabinet of curiosities or even a room of mystery and oddities which can be fun, or scary, intriguing or instructive, but never boring! And that’s just what I was hoping to bring to the NYOGB with Wunderkammer. 

ARE YOU LOST? 

 

My first concerto was written for violinist Sandy Cameron. She had been besieging me for ages to write a duet for violin and voice. I finally relented on the condition that we add a piano and make it a trio. While talking about the project with two composer friends we all decided to write for the same trio for a collaborative project which will be called, appropriately, “Trio”. When I began discussing the possibility of recording the concerto and Wunderkammer with Sony Classical they suggested that I include something that had never been performed. It was then I decided to take one of the 4 moments I’d written for “Trio” and to both expand and  adapt it for choir and full orchestra. Thus, the origins of “Are You Lost?” 

Danny Elfman - Percussion Concerto & Wunderkammer [CD]
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Commemorating the 1924 premiere of Rhapsody in Blue, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet collabs with Michael Feinstein, the ‘one-man encyclopaedia of the Great American Songbook’ to release Gershwin Rhapsody. The two also perform a Gershwin-esque setting of Vincent Youman’s classic tune, ‘Tea for Two’ and the programme rounds off with ‘Jasbo Brown Blues’ from Porgy & Bess.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet / Michael Feinstein - Gershwin Rhapsody
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Italian composer Luca D’Alberto reveals the last chapter “Tomorrow” with the release of his new album “In our Hearts” : a chapter on hope symbolized by electronic influenced tracks.

Luca D'Alberto - In Our Hearts [LP]
$25.98
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With the album, Amour fou, soprano Myriam Leblanc and Ensemble Mirabilia take us on a journey of love via arias and songs spanning more than 800 years. From Fauré's poetic, “Au bord de l'eau,” to Jacques Brel's heartrending, “Ne me quitte pas,” and Barbara's, “Dis quand reviendras-tu?” Leblanc has gathered a bouquet of music depicting the most human of all sentiments. Amour fou also includes an aria from Vivaldi's cantata Amor hai vento, several old English songs by Thomas Campion and more.
Myriam Leblanc/Ensemble Mirabilia - Amour fou
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With her latest recording, Origami, pianist Louise Bessette unveils a few pages from the musical journal of Montréal composer Anthony Rozankovic. His “origami music” or “score sculptures” are alternately dissonant, syncopated, consonant, lyrical, or chaotic – according to film producer Carl Leblanc, author of the album’s liner notes. 11 of the 16 pieces on Origami started out as film music, with the composer conveying intense emotions. Among the other works are four concert pieces.
Louise Bessette - Origami
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Bryn Terfel’s new album 'Sea Songs' presents a rich and diverse repertory of traditional music with sea shanties, spirited sailor songs and maritime folk tunes in brand new arrangements. Featuring guest stars Sting, Sir Simon Keenlyside, Fisherman’s Friends and Calan.

Bryn Terfel - Sea Songs
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Natural horn player Louis-Pierre Bergeron and pianist Meagan Milatz look to Beethoven as the point of departure for their new album, Le cor di bravura. The composer’s Sonata Op. 17, a masterpiece, is the first true sonata for horn and piano in the history of music.
Louis Pierre Bergeron/Meagan Milatz - Bravura
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Of the 14 piano sonatas composed by the Russian composer Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951), Canadian pianist Benjamin Bertin has selected the last three sonatas for his ATMA Classique debut album. These sonatas represent a contrasting and fascinating portrait of the mature composer at the peak of his powers. In terms of ingenuity of form, diversity of mood and character, and overall mastery of craft, these final works are akin to those of Beethoven, who inspired Medtner throughout his life.
Benjamin Bertin - Nikolaï Medtner: les trois dernières sonates pour piano
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What happens when the illustrious brass sections of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic come together? The answer is The Philharmonic Brass. This debut album is conducted by Tugan Sokhiev and includes virtuoso arrangements of some of the best-known overtures including Verdi’s La Forza del Destino and Gershwin’s Cuban Overture.

The Philharmonic Brass - Overture!
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The viola is front-and-center in Destins tragiques, a new album by violist Elvira Misbakhova with I Musici de Montréal conducted by Jean-François Rivest. Destins tragiques presents works that were originally composed in the 1930s based on tragic figures from Shakespeare (Romeo, Juliet) and Leskov (Lady Macbeth.)
I Musici de Montréal - Destins tragiques
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Carlos Simon

Together

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MP3 Album: $11.49 Download

Grammy-nominated composer Carlos Simon demonstrates his versatility as he composes, improvises, conducts, curates and performs on this intimate studio album. “Being a composer can be a very lonely profession, so I set out bring my closest friends and collaborators to enjoy the practice of music making. It is a coming together after being separated for so long. It is a coming together to share new ideas and experiences through music. It is a coming together to heal and to help others. It is a coming together to sharpen one another.” – Carlos Simon
Carlos Simon - Together
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The vinyl cut at Abbey Road Studios is the first LP release of the secret recording of Britten's rehearsals for the War Requiem since the sole pressing gifted by Decca to Britten on his 50th birthday in November 1963. The expansive booklet includes excerpts from John Culshaw's autobiography Putting the Record Straight; reminiscences from three of the original 1963 Decca recording crew; technical notes; detailed essays on the War Requiem; and rare and new photographs.
London Symphony Orchestra / Benjamin Britten - Britten: War Requiem [3 LP]
$149.98
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On SLEEP: Tranquility Base, composer Max Richter reworks material from his celebrated eight-hour magnum opus SLEEP. Referencing the 1969 moon landing site in the title, Tranquility Base offers a glimpse at the original material from a more electronic perspective.

Max Richter - SLEEP: Tranquility Base [LP]
$27.98
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For his first album as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, 2021 International Chopin Competition winner Bruce Liu has compiled an enthralling survey of 200 years of French keyboard music, from Baroque to modern. The phenomenal young Canadian pianist has subtly adjusted the action of his instrument to highlight the differing musical styles. The album’s title WAVES alludes not only to the nature theme that runs throughout the program, but also to the sheer spontaneity of Liu’s music-making.

Bruce Liu - WAVES: Music by Rameau, Ravel, Alkan [2 LP]
$35.98
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The French spirit of the “Grand Siècle des Lumières” shines through this new album with Arion Orchestre Baroque, conducted by Mathieu Lussier. Taking its name from a work composed by Michel-Richard Delalande, Les Soupers du Roy features works by French baroque composers including André Cardinal Destouches, François Colin de Blamont, Jean-Philippe Rameau and François Francoeur.
Arion Orchestre Baroque/Mathieu Lussier - Les Soupers du Roy
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To mark the 10th anniversary of the release, this Special Edition 3 LP set features all 14 tracks from the original album, plus 12 bonus tracks. Bonus material includes 5 tracks only ever released on iTunes and all 7 official remixes – including “Experience (Starkey Remix),” which was used in a global British Airways campaign and “Circles,” a vocal version of “Experience” featuring Greta Svabo Bech.
Ludovico Einaudi - In A Time Lapse [Special Edition 3 LP]
$75.98
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Marking the debut orchestral recording of legendary Lang Lang’s illustrious career, this Telarc classic includes the pianist’s performance of Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra from Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 2001, as well as his solo performance of a variety of Scriabin’s Etudes. Mastered from the original Soundstream tapes by Paul Blakemore, cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, and pressed on 180-gram LP pressed at Optimal.

Lang Lang, Yuri Temirkanov, & St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra - Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto: No. 3 / Scriabin: Etudes [2LP]
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Hailed as “one of the best recordings Telarc has ever done” by Stereophile, the 1980 recording of Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, performed by The Cleveland Orchestra and conducted by the legendary Lorin Maazel, cemented Telarc’s status as the preeminent classical audiophile recording label. This reissue was mastered from the original Soundstream tapes by Paul Blakemore, cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, and pressed on 180-gram LP pressed at Optimal.
Lorin Maazel & The Cleveland Orchestra - Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition / Night On Bald Mountain [LP]
$29.98
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Hitchock and Herrmann, Spielberg and Williams, Zemeckis and Silvestri, Burton and Elfman, Fellini and Rota. There’s a certain kind of magic that happens when a director and composer work together for an extended period; their imaginations are fuelled by an artistic sensibility which becomes, inevitably, entwined. Such deep understanding between two artists has proffered memorable, even legendary, cinemusical experiences. But there’s another of these partnerships we must honour and mention in the same breath, that of director Hayao Miyazaki and composer Joe Hisaishi.

Joe Hisaishi, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - A Symphonic Celebration - Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki [Limited Edition 2CD]
$24.98
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Def Leppard - Drastic Symphonies CD - Strap yourselves in for the sonic ride of your life. Rock and classical royalty unite on brand new album Drastic Symphonies. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, Def Leppard have drastically deconstructed and reimagined some of their biggest hits, collaborating with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This bold new approach to the orchestral hits formula sees new vocal and guitar recordings from the band. 180-gram Vinyl LP
Def Leppard / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Drastic Symphonies [2 LP]
$37.99 Video

        
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