by: Hobert Taylor
Arvo Part - Musica Selecta A Sequence by Mannfred Eicher - (ECM)
Perhaps the world's foremost composer,conductor, and arranger of Choral music and one of the principal proponents of serialism and minimalism in modern composition,Estonia's Arvo Part is well served by the organization and presentation of his collected work by producer/ECM record label's founder Mannfred Eicher. This is some dense and heavy going at times, but it is gorgeous in its use of polyphony, and often profoundly moving music.
Max Richter - from Sleep - (Deutsche Grammophon)
Richter, accompanied by The American Contemporary Music Ensemble and Grace Davidson, soprano, has released a one hour summary of his eight hour composition sleep (eight hours of sleep!)... a lullaby of sorts he says is influenced by Gustav Mahler. This is meditative serialism/minimalism and possibly synchs well with brain waves as one falls into sleep, dreams,etc. Great for late night listening...this is gently unfolding grace like watching a flower grow.
Itzhak Perlman/Emanuel Ax - Faure & Strauss Violn Sonatas - (Deutsche Grammophon)
Lively romantic music expertly played by two of the classical world's most eminent performers. Both pieces are fast paced and delightful... more entertainments than deep thought pieces.
Annie Akiko Meyers - Serenade: The love Albulm - ( e-one records)
A paycheck. Pop classical, yet Meyers is a thoughtful and sensitive violinist and brings sensitivity to chestnuts like Gershwin's "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "Summertime", and Ennio Morricone's theme from "Cinema Paradiso". The highlight is the titular "Serenade" (after Plato's Symposium), Leonard Bernstein's five movement 1954 composition.