recordings available at Public Radio MusicSource
Dominick Argento: Casa Guidi: Frederica von Stade Sings Dominick Argento
Three different sides of Minnesota's Dominick Argento come together in this disc: his love for literature and the human voice, in the song cycle Casa Guidi ; his orchestral writing in In Praise of Music; and in the exuberant Rossini in Paris for clarinet and orchestra, his idea that “all music need not aspire to transcendent loftiness.” The clarinetist is the Minnesota Orchestra's superb Burt Hara.
Arcangelo Corelli: Violin Sonatas, op. 5
For Andrew Manze, the Corelli sonatas are not only landmarks of baroque violin writing, they're also springboards for ornamentation and improvisation. Manze brings them off with all of his trademark vitality.
Grieg and Schumann: Piano Concertos
Robert Schumann and Edvard Grieg wrote just one piano concerto apiece, each one a repertory standard, and they've been paired on recordings innumerable times. It's not easy to stand out in this crowded field, but, with these keenly judged performances, Leif Ove Andsnes does just that.
Haydn: 6 Great Masses (Boxed Set)
John Eliot Gardiner, who has recorded everything from Bach to Lehár, here gives us six of Haydn's masses (the "Harmoniemesse", "Heiligmesse", "Lord Nelson", "Schöpfungsmesse", "Theresienmesse", and "Paukenmesse"
Introducing the World of American Jewish Music
This may not be the ideal time to put a massive recording project on the market, but no one told that to the Naxos label. This remarkable series (of which this sampler is the calling card) will eventually document American Jewish music in 50 CDs, from liturgical music to opera to klezmer.
Mahler: Symphony No. 3; Kindertotenlieder
Nature, childhood, folksong, the sinister, the heartfelt—all these elements of the Mahlerian world and more are traversed in a symphony of more than 100 minutes. A superb performance by San Francisco's musicians and sound engineers.
Ninna Nanna: Lullabies (1500-2002)
This beguiling collection of lullabies (“Ninna Nanna” means “lullaby” in Italian) features soprano Montserrat Figueras, best known for her recordings of early music. With composers such as Byrd, Mussorgsky and Arvo Pärt on the program, this may be more for discriminating grownups than recalcitrant toddlers.
Strauss: Die Ägyptische Helena
You won't see this opera on stage regularly, probably because of an idiosyncratic libretto. But that's just the kind of gap that recordings are made to fill. Deborah Voigt is perfectly cast as the “Egyptian Helen” (none other than Helen of Troy), one of Strauss' biggest soprano roles.
Rorem: Symphonies Nos. 1-3
Ned Rorem is best known for writing vocal music, not symphonies, and in fact two of the three works here have never been recorded before. So this recording of these lyrical, energetic works from the 1950s will be a pleasant surprise to many music lovers. (It's also a handsome birthday salute to Rorem, who turned 80 in 2003.)