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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Supercharged Hahn Nostalgia

Reynaldo Hahn, Le rossignol éperdu / Premières valses (selections), Pavel Kolesnikov
(released on June 3, 2022)
Hyperion CDA68383 | 71’24”
My ears are generally happy to discover more of the often overlooked music of French composer Reynaldo Hahn. That was true again in the case of this new disc from the young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov. The winner of the Honens International Piano

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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Great Venetian Mass (CD of the Month)

Vivaldi, The Great Venetian Mass, Sophie Karthäuser, Lucile Richardot, Les Arts Florissants, Paul Agnew
(released on June 24, 2022)
Harmonia Mundi HAF8905358 | 68’09”
One does not really need an excuse to make another recording of Vivaldi’s well-known Gloria (RV 589), but it helps to have something that could set a new version apart. The distinguished French early music ensemble Les Arts

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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Bolcom’s Complete Rags

William Bolcom, The Complete Rags, Marc-André Hamelin
(released on June 3, 2022)
Hyperion CDA68391/2 | 133’03”
Hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when American had largely forgotten about Scott Joplin and ragtime. In a liner note to this dazzling new recording, composer William Bolcom describes the origins of his obsession with the rag. It began in 1967, when he first heard of

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Charles T. Downey New York City Ballet Returns to the Kennedy Center

New York City Ballet performed Suspended Animation, choreography by Sidra Bell (photo: Erin Baiano)
New York City Ballet has been through a disastrous period in the last four years. In 2018, the company’s long-time artistic director, Peter Martins, resigned in disgrace, following accusations of sexual abuse. NYCB scrambled to find a stable way forward, naming Jonathan Stafford as its new artistic

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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: New B Minor Mass from René Jacobs

Bach, Mass in B Minor, R. Johannsen, M.-C. Chappuis, H. Rasker, S. Kohlhepp, C. Immler, RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, R. Jacobs
(released on May 13, 2022)
Harmonia Mundi HMM 902676.77 | 1h44
René Jacobs, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and the RIAS Kammerchor made a recording of Bach’s B Minor Mass in the 1990s. It was a fine interpretation, featuring solo work from

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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Monza String Quartets

Carlo Monza, Six String Quartets, Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi
(released on May 6, 2022)
Naïve V7541 | 60’28”
Fabio Biondi made this world premiere recording of six string quartets by Carlo Monza (1680-1739) back in 2019, at the Sala
Ghislieri of the Accademia Montis Regalis in Mondovì, Italy. Biondi plays the first violin part, joining with three musicians from his ensemble, Europa Galante –

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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Tiranno

Handel / A. Scarlatti / Monteverdi / Monari, Cantatas, K. Lindsey, Arcangelo, J. Cohen
(released on May 28, 2021)
Alpha 736 | 75’34”
The latest solo recital disc from mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, released last year, is just now reaching my ears. She partners again with Jonathan Cohen and the early music ensemble Arcangelo, the same as her previous album, with Ariadne-themed pieces by Handel,

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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Polish Farewells (CD of the Month)

Polish Songs, Jakub Józef Orliński, Michał Biel
(released on May 6, 2022)
Erato 0190296269714 | 57’14”
Not surprisingly, countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński has recorded largely Baroque music, often in partnership with the historically informed performance ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro. For this new album, the Polish singer has partnered with Polish pianist Michał Biel, his longtime friend from their

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Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: Alice Coote Schubertiade

Schubert, Songs, Alice Coote, Julius Drake
(released on May 6, 2022)
Hyperion CDA68169 | 71’36”
At the end of March here in Washington, Alice Coote was the best part of the National Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas. The British mezzo-soprano recorded this selection of twenty-one Schubert songs, back in December of 2017, in All Saints’

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