Jake Heggie: The Radio Hour
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The Radio Hour – the world’s first-ever “choral opera” – is a compact work for silent actress, with running narrative and commentary from a choir. The program is rounded out with four mostly art song-based works in varied arrangements, several with choral elements.
The vaunted John Alexander Singers perform brilliantly. It is Alexander, the conductor here, who originally suggested the idea of a pioneering choral opera to Heggie. Susan Graham, one of America’s most beloved mezzo-sopranos, is heard in three of the shorter pieces; Pacific Symphony members provide deft instrumentals.
Nadav Lev: New Strings Attached
Contemporary Music for Guitar by Young Israeli Composers
An Andrés Segovia Award winner (Música en Compostela, Spain), Israeli-born Nadav Lev has earned his rightful place among today’s most gifted young guitar virtuosos. In this fascinating album (his first for Delos), Lev has assembled a fascinating and highly varied program of music by six of the finest among Israel’s current crop of young composers: Gilad Cohen, Yair Klartag, Jonathan Keren, Guy Barash, Ronnie Reshef and Nadav himself. We hear music ranging from lovely vocal treatments of ancient Ladino Jewish songs (with violin) to edgy and gripping works (some including live electronics) that cross into the realm of the avant-garde.
Newly discovered works by Auguste Franchomme
This long-overdue tribute to the French Romantic-era virtuoso cellist and composer August Franchomme brings to light many of his long-neglected original compositions and arrangements for cello(s), most of which have remained unpublished and unheard for well over a century. This release thus fills a longstanding gap in the annals of music history, revealing fresh perspectives on an important and influential figure of his day whose significant role has long been underappreciated.