In August, the All-Star Orchestra and Music Director Gerard Schwarz recorded a second season of television episodes at the Great Hall of the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, New York. Musicians in the All-Star Orchestra—a creation of Schwarz, the former Seattle Symphony music director—come from top orchestras around the country. The first eight episodes aired in 2013 on PBS, and the second series is slated for 2015 broadcast, to include performances of works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss, and Gershwin, as well as the world premiere of Samuel Jones’s Violin Concerto with soloist Anne Akiko Meyers. Meyers is also featured on the first recording of Mason Bates’s Violin Concerto, with Leonard Slatkin leading the London Symphony Orchestra, to be released on the label eOne on September 30. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has released an all-Vaughan Williams CD on the Naxos label, with Music Director Robert Spano leading The Lark Ascending with soloist David Coucheron, the ASO’s concertmaster; the Fourth Symphony; and Dona Nobis Pacem, with the ASO Chorus, soprano Jessica Rivera, and baritone Brett Polegato. In November, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will release Virgil Thomson’s opera Four Saints in Three Acts on its BMOP/sound label, as part of 2014 commemorations of the 25th anniversary of the composer’s death. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Louis Langrée have released Hallowed Ground, their first commercial recording on the orchestra’s Fanfare Cincinnati label; the recording, themed around Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, features David Lang’s Mountain, Copland’s Lincoln Portrait narrated by the late Maya Angelou, and Nico Muhly’s Pleasure Grounds. Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra have released their third and final recording in the “Beethoven Journey” series, featuring the Piano Concerto No. 5 and the Choral Fantasy, on Sony Classical. The New York Philharmonic has released the second of four recordings in its Nielsen Project, featuring Music Director Alan Gilbert leading performances of Symphonies No. 1 and No. 4 (“The Inextinguishable”), on Denmark’s Dacapo label. The Philharmonic’s 2014-15 artist-in-residence, Lisa Batiashvili, has released Bach, featuring chamber and orchestral works by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach, on the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Posted September 25, 2014