Yesterday, I had the pleasure of going out to the picturesque town of Szentendre, about 35 minutes outside of Budapest, with my girlfriend and some fine old friends. I expected a nice trip, and instead, we not only have that but we were treated to seeing several galleries, bookstores, and a performance space which featured…
Duke Ellington – Such Sweet Thunder
Duke Ellington’s Shakespearian masterpiece, Such Sweet Thunder, is the first album I bought for its typography alone. I had heard older releases by him, had classic discs like Money Jungle, but this album caught my eye because I had had a deep interest in typography around 1994-1995. The text on the right was so crisp…
Aftab Darvishi – A Thousand Butterflies
Though I’ve tagged it as contemporary classical music, as has the artist, the latest album by Aftab Darvishi is something more than that. It is classical music melded with regional music from Iran and electronics. A stunning album.
Kosta T – крип
Kosta Trokai is a Russian violinist whose work I’ve followed for several years now. He has a massive catalog behind him and it straddles comfortably between classical music and free improvisation.
Vadim Neselovskyi – Odesa: A Musical Walk Through a Legendary City
Odessa is a city that both Ukraine and Russia, as well as its many Jewish and even Tatar inhabitants, claim to be its own. Never mind the political hideousness of today, and let me present you with one of the most fascinating releases I’ve heard in contemporary classical and jazz scenes. Vadim Neselovskyi is a…
Reinier van Houdt – drift nowhere past / the adventure of sleep
Going through Twitter contacts on my account (which will be changed soon, as I want an account that will only concentrate on music and not any other of my pursuits), I came across the name of a label whose work always left me impressed, but whom I had forgotten about, Erstwhile Records. Jon Abbey and…
Dirk Fock (composer), Irene Maessen, Mattijs van de Woerd, Maurice Lammerts van Bueren – Songs and Sketches
Dirk Fock was a Dutch-American pianist with a very interesting musical history, including working with Richard Strauss. From the Bandcamp site: Dirk Fock (1886-1973) In 1945 the Dutch-born conductor and composer Dirk Fock (also: Foch) became an American citizen. Before that – during the interwar years – he conducted many orchestras all over Europe. Living…
Adrian Copeland – If This Were My Body
Sublime. There’s no other word for it. If you enjoy modern classical music, especially by composers like Gorecki, Ligeti or Penderecki, Canadian composer Adrian Copeland has something here which will appeal to you, with long, mournful drones, sparse instrumentation, and a rough, melancholic feel to the tracks. Track 4, Heir to the Ember Sun, was…
Valentin Silvestrov – Bagatelles II (2005-2011)
The Ukrainian pianist Valentin Silvestrov released this home recording in 2020, and though it might lack slightly in recording quality, the beauty of his Chopin-esque playing shines through. Beautiful music for dark times.
Sophia Jani – Music As A Mirror
Sophia Jani is a Berlin-based composer of modern classical music who seems to be part of a wave of a creative new generation coming out of Europe. This collection of string quartets is elegant, yet the music has a mournful quality to it.