Four orchestras—the Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, The Knights, and New Century Chamber Orchestra—are among ensembles with new recordings this spring. On an eighteen-CD set due out in May from Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics highlighting Debussy’s 150th birthday, “Pierre Boulez conducts Debussy and Ravel,” three discs feature Boulez leading the Cleveland Orchestra in works such as Nocturnes, Jeux, La Mer, and Images. The Houston Symphony’s new educational CD-ROM / DVD set The Planets—An HD Odyssey have been distributed free to students in the Houston Independent School District, which will use it as the basis for lesson plans for grades 1 through 12 focusing on subjects including science, history, mythology, music history, and language arts. Funding for the Houston Symphony discs was provided by Marathon Oil Corporation. The Knights—the New York City-based chamber ensemble led by Eric Jacobsen—has released A Second of Silence, its second Ancalgon Records CD, featuring Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies 1 and 2; Morton Feldman’s Madame Press Died Last Week at Ninety; Philip Glass’s Company; and several Schubert works: “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” Symphony No. 8 (“Unfinished”), and “Des Baches Wiegenlied” from Die Schöne Müllerin. In San Francisco, the New Century Chamber Orchestra has released its first DVD, chronicling the ensemble under Music Director and Concertmaster Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and including concert footage of works by Wolf, Piazzolla, Tchaikovsky, Schnittke, and Gershwin.
Posted April 18, 2012