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Yunchan Lim’s Chopin, and Different Classical Albums to Hear Now


Yunchan Lim, piano (Decca)

The pianist Yunchan Lim, who not too long ago turned 20, debuted at Carnegie Corridor in February with an old-school program: all 24 of Chopin’s études. His first album on the Decca label, enjoying those self same 24 devilishly tough items — 12 every in Op. 10 and 25 — is old-school, too. The duvet picture, shot on movie, has Lim almost engulfed in moody shadow, a picture that, together with the font, evokes classical music’s glamorous mid-Twentieth century.

The intention appears to be to place him as an inheritor to that period’s keyboard titans. It’s hardly a tough job. After Lim’s Carnegie efficiency, and his dazzling profitable rounds on the 2022 Van Cliburn Worldwide Piano Competitors, it’s no shock to search out him in whole command on this recording, balancing note-by-note readability with long-phrase lyricism amid staggering technical calls for.

Even in fiery études, he’s calm as he exposes the panoply of voices that emerge from simply two arms. His rubato breathes naturally but energetically; there’s a vitality and sense of ahead movement even in slower items. And Lim’s gentle enjoying is especially delicate, as within the pleading high quality he brings to a tiny pianissimo quintuplet in Op. 10, No. 9. The album loses little of the joy of a reside live performance whereas including extra management, transparency and polish. It’s a triumph. ZACHARY WOOLFE

Maya Beiser, cello (Islandia Music)

For the sixtieth anniversary of “In C,” Terry Riley’s crusading, proto-minimalist work, the intrepid cellist Maya Beiser has reimagined the piece ingeniously. As written, “In C,” which consists of a sequence of 53 brief musical motifs, might be performed by any group of musicians on any devices, and lasts so long as their particular person choices about how lengthy to repeat these motifs.

Beiser, against this, creates loops out of the motifs and stacks them atop each other in step by step evolving paragraphs, with a near-constant pulse on the cello’s lowest string undergirding the exercise above. She provides delicate reside drumming in locations (by Shane Shanahan and Matt Kilmer), in addition to a number of wordless vocal tracks.

The result’s transfixing. Instead of the managed chaos that often prevails in performances of “In C,” Beiser creates a sound image that’s modern and orderly, Riley’s temporary themes rising to the floor, then disappearing via the darkish whirl of sound. She additionally performs with the cello’s timbre to introduce simply sufficient variation to maintain the sound image from turning into too uniform. At occasions the pulses fall away, leaving the listener in suspension.

Above all, this model of “In C” provides an emotional impression totally different from any I’ve heard: moody and introspective, but additionally, by the top, quietly uplifting. DAVID WEININGER

Marc-André Hamelin, piano (Hyperion)

The Canadian virtuoso Marc-André Hamelin is persuasive in a large span of repertoire that features C.P.E. Bach, Frederic Rzewski and William Bolcom. He additionally composes. His 1998 album “The Composer-Pianists” was a sweeping survey that additionally included picks from his 12 Etudes in all of the Minor Keys, which he launched of their entirety in 2010.

His earlier choices of his personal music have been wealthy, however his newest self-portrait album is on one other degree. As earlier than, he’s a loyal tipper-of-the-cap: This set’s opening “Variations on a Theme of Paganini,” from 2011, nods to certainly one of Rachmaninoff’s riffs on that much-adapted Caprice No. 24. It’s all good enjoyable, however there’s one other high quality on this set that strikes nicely past a sport of spot the citation. Name it a extra luxurious synthesis.

At the same time as Hamelin’s “Suite à l’Ancienne” (2019) and “Pavane Variée” (2014) mix classic types and tunes with superior harmonic trappings, his well-documented affection for jazz additionally peeks via. That’s not so stunning, since he has performed jazz-influenced sonatas and études by Nikolai Kapustin, too. However Hamelin’s specific really feel for incorporating blues sonorities strikes me as much less of a pastiche than Kapustin’s — even when he’s mixing American textures with Sixteenth-century chanson. It’s most likely time so as to add the epaulet of “rising composer” to this pianist’s already imposing biography. SETH COLTER WALLS

Invoice Frisell Trio; Brussels Philharmonic; Umbria Jazz Orchestra (Blue Be aware)

The prolific and protean guitarist Invoice Frisell and the composer-arranger Michael Gibbs have a relationship that stretches again almost half a century. Regardless of a raft of collaborations, a full-scale orchestral mission has eluded them till now. This album accommodates two live shows by Frisell’s trio: one with the Brussels Philharmonic (underneath Alexander Hanson), the opposite with the Umbria Jazz Orchestra (underneath Manuele Morbidini). All of the preparations are by Gibbs, largely of Frisell originals, with a few Gibbs’s personal items and some requirements thrown in.

Undertakings like these can simply fall sufferer to bloat and inelegance, however “Orchestras” feels balanced and pure. Gibbs’s preparations, dense but spacious, go away house for Frisell, the bassist Thomas Morgan and the drummer Rudy Royston to weave nimbly via the textures. Among the preparations are breathtaking: Hearken to how the trio and Brussels orchestra appear to increase and push one another upward in Frisell’s “All through” and “Richter 858, No. 7.”

For all of the chops on show right here, the album’s most affecting second is the only: the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome,” with the guitarist subtly adorning the jazz orchestra’s chorale-like accompaniment. Frisell has been enjoying the music for a lot of his life, and not too long ago stated he would maintain doing so “until there is no such thing as a want anymore.” DAVID WEININGER

Erin Morley, soprano; Gerald Martin Moore, piano (Orchid Music)

A debut solo album based mostly on birds and flowers might sound hackneyed; “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking,” as Miranda Priestly would say. However that’s not the case with a expertise on the order of the coloratura soprano Erin Morley.

Her voice is opalescent, a font of sheer, harmless colours, with bell-like readability, pristine runs and notes in alt that spin like mad. Her singing has an instrumental purity, however it’s also tenderly observant. A Saint-Saëns vocalise has such specificity that you simply virtually neglect it has no phrases. There’s humor, too: In Milhaud’s “Tais-toi, Babillarde,” Morley mimics a chatty swallow with cheeky exuberance.

Morley and the pianist Gerald Martin Moore shift swiftly via kinds and moods. In a single compelling sequence, they thread collectively nightingale songs — the colourful sensuality of a Rimsky-Korsakov romance, the intriguing thriller of a Berg lied, the resplendence of the Saint-Saëns vocalise — with radiant weightlessness.

Ricky Ian Gordon’s new music cycle “Huit Chansons de Fleurs” comes within the center and slows this system’s speedy tempo. His easy prosody, hovering melodies and beneficiant spirit suffuse the music, even turning a poem of mournful decay, “Her Backyard,” right into a tribute to the love shared with somebody who has died. Morley gently tugs on the rhythm and shades the fragile melody, sounding each technically immaculate and emotionally fragile in an album of predictable loveliness and surprising poignancy. OUSSAMA ZAHR



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