Music News 10/6/2022




On Tuesday, October 18, violinist Joshua Bell and Ukraine’s renowned New Era Orchestra, will perform in a Benefit Concert for Ukraine at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.  

New Era Orchestra, under artistic director, conductor, and founder Tatiana Kalinichenko, is the leading chamber orchestra in Ukraine. Bell and NEO have performed together three times in the past, all in Ukraine. October 18 at The Kennedy Center marks their debut together in the US.  




Michael Spyres is a baritenor—“that rare breed of singers, more prevalent in Rossini’s time, who nimbly span the ranges of baritone and tenors.” (New York Times


He will be performing on Monday, October 10 as part of the Vocal Arts DC season at the Kennedy Center.  

Mr. Spyres will be singing a program of Beethoven, Liszt, and Berlioz with pianist Matthieu Pordoy. 


Vocal Arts DC has offered a pair of tickets to Politics & Prose customers. 

To enter to win, please email me directly, and put SPYRES in the subject line: 


You can hear him on his album BariTenor—it just received a Gramophone Award for Best Vocal & Ensemble—and his duo recital with Lawrence Brownlee, Amici e Rivali (both on the Erato label, $18.98). 




Vikingur Olafsson, FROM AFAR (Deutsche Grammophon, 2 CDs, $20.98) – After meeting and playing music for composer György Kurtág, pianist Vikingur Olafsson wanted to record a recital program inspired by his compositions—and his playing the upright piano with his wife, Márta, in concert. Olafsson also grew up with both an upright and a grand piano in his household, and his recital is played on both—on two separate CDs. There are works by Kurtág, Bach, Brahms, Mozart, Adés, Schumann, Bartók, as well as an Icelandic folk song arranged by Olafsson.  


Hilary Hahn, ECLIPSE: Dvorak Sarasate Ginastera (Deutsche Grammophon, $14.98) – Violinist Hilary Hahn’s latest recital program, accompanied by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted Andrés Orozco-Estrada. She plays Dvořák Violin Concerto in A minor, Ginastera’s Violin Concerto, and Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy


Evgeny Kissin, THE SALZBURG CONCERT: Berg Chopin Gershwin Khrennikov (Deutsche Grammophon, 2 CDs, $21.98) – Live from the 2021 Salzburg Festival. The first CD has Berg’s Piano Sonata, Khrennikov’s Dance and 5 Pieces, and Gershwin’s Preludes. CD 2 features Chopin NocturneImpromptusScherzo and Polonaise. A generous selection of encores features Mendelssohn, Chopin, Debussy, and Kissin’s own Dodecaphonic Tango


STEVE REICH: RUNNER / MUSIC FOR ENSEMBLE AND ORCHESTRA (Nonesuch, $16.98) – Runner is for a large ensemble of winds, percussion, pianos, and strings. Music for Ensemble and Orchestra is “an extension of the Baroque concerto grosso where there is more than one soloist.. including the first stand strings and winds, as well as two vibraphones and two pianos.” Susanna Mälkki conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. 


GEORGE WALKER: ANTIFONYS, LILAC, SINFONIAS (Cleveland Orchestra, $24.98 SACD) – Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Cleveland Orchestra in an all George Walker program. This is the centennial year for Mr. Walker (1922 – 2018), born in Washington, DC, and finally getting more recognition for his varied works (our own NSO is in the midst of recording his Sinfonias).  

Welser-Most conducts Mr. Walker’s Antifonys, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Lilacs, and Sinfonia No 4 “Strands,” and Sinfonia No 5, “Visions.”  


Sarah Willis, MOZART Y MAMBO: CUBAN DANCES (Alpha, $18.99) – In 2020, French horn player Sarah Willis, along with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra, released Mozart y Mambo, bringing out the dance forms and rhythms of horn works by Mozart, adding some Cuban song favorites. On Mozart y Mambo: Cuban Dances, Ms. Willis continues the collaboration, with the Horn Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 by Mozart, as well as Cuban dances arranged for horn, strings and percussion.