From a guitar concerto, to sacred choral music, and an absolute monster, these recent releases of classical music from right here in Nashville can keep you company throughout the summer.
Alicia Enstrom: A monstEr
This EP, alongside its follow-up of the same name, takes advantage of Enstrom's trademark combination of violin and electronics. While some of the songs certainly cross over into pop territory, Enstrom's playing remains strongly classical. And it's noteworthy that every sound on the album outside of lyrics – and there is certainly a large soundscape – is made with only Enstrom's violin.
Cristina Spinei: Mechanical Angels
Spinei's solo EP includes three solo piano pieces performed by the composer herself. The music was recorded at Nashville's Creative Workshop, allowing for the piano that was used on The Johnny Cash Show to be taken for a classical spin.
Kirsten Agresta Copely: The Covers Album
Harpist Kirsten Agresta Copely has serious classical cred – she's the principal harpist for the New York Pops and the Mostly Mozart Orchestra in New York. But Copely is no stranger to pop music, having shared the stage with Beyonce, Kanye West, Evanescence, Lady Gaga, and more. This set of a dozen pop covers shows off the technical range of the instrument as it fills out a complete studio sound.
Nashville Symphony: Jonathan Leshnoff
This new release from the Nashville Symphony includes Jonathan Leshnoff's Symphony No. 4 Heichalos and his Guitar Concerto Starburst, featuring Jason Vieaux. The symphony recently participated in the Violins of Hope Project, a collection of instruments which were owned by Jews during the Holocaust. The and the piece was recorded with those instruments placed within the orchestra.
ALIAS Chamber Ensemble: Rhythms Rivers & Roads
(note: Autumn Quince is not included in the album)
The sights and sounds of Tennessee provided inspiration for this album, with the title referring to the angle from which each of the three composers approached their pieces. Matt Walker's Quartet out of Time is a play on rhythm as it explores styles of music found around Nashville - including jazz, blues, folk, rock, and gospel. Tracy Silverman's string trios flow from The Cumberland and The Harpeth River. And Christopher Farrell's Tennessee Roads makes use of the six-string electric violin while winding the listener through the Great Smoky Mountains.
Sonus: Volume No. 1
Sonus took on four favorite a cappella choral works, and added their own to the repertoire with The Lord's Prayer composed by co-director Timbre Cierpke. The group, who you may have heard as part of the Parthenon's Echo series, is returning from a tour, and has plans to release a follow-up EP soon.
You may hear some of music from these albums during July as 91Classical celebrates Local Composers Month, but they are always part of the mix for our daily playlist. To find out ahead of time who is our Lunchtime Local selection, check out our weekly features post.