To buy any of these titles e-mail András Goldinger agoldinger@politics-prose.com or call the store: (202) 364-1919

NEW

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Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau (Nonesuch, 2 CDs, $19.98) – Two hard charging improvisers get together! Mandolinist Chris Thile (who leads the Punch Brothers, and is doing a fantastic job as the new host of Prairie Home Companion) and pianist Brad Mehldau (who released two fine albums in 2016: Blues and Ballads, with his trio, and Nearness, a duet with saxophonist Joshua Redman). Recorded live in the studio, Thile and Mehldau each bring originals to the session, as well as take on songs by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (“Scarlet Town”), Joni Mitchell (“Marcie”), Bob Dylan (“Don’t Think Twice”), Elliott Smith (“Independence Day”) and Johnny Green and Edward Heyman (“I Cover the Waterfront”). 

Theo Bleckmann, Elegy (ECM, $18.98) – Vocalist Theo Bleckmann can sing jazz standards or Weimar-era cabaret, but also does solo shows of his own multi-tracked and looped improvisations, sings pop tributes to Kate Bush and Kraftwerk, or takes his place in Meredith Monk’s Ensemble. On his first ECM release, Bleckmann focuses on his own songs, with one standard—a ballad take on Sondheim’s “Comedy Tonight.”

He is accompanied by long-time duet partners Ben Monder on guitar and John Hollenbeck on drums, along with Shai Maestro, piano, and Chris Tordini, bass.

CD CoverWeinberg: Chamber Symphonies & Piano Quintet (ECM Records, 2 CDs, $35.98) – Gidon Kremer and his chamber group, Kremerata Baltica, continue to highlight and record the music of Mieczysłav Weinberg. Weinberg (1919 – 1996), was born in Poland, before fleeing to the Soviet Union in 1939, living in Minsk, Tashkent, before moving to Moscow. He was good friends with Shostakovich, who was a champion of his works. Kremerata Baltica play Weinberg’s Chamber Symphonies Nos. 1 – 4, and his Piano Quintet, arranged for piano, string orchestra and percussion.

James Oestreich wrote a profile of Mr. Kremer in this past Sunday’s New York Times. As Kremer says about his Weinberg projects, “[it] is so important to me, because I feel I’ve found this valuable music. I believe in it, and I have to make others believe in it, too.”

NOTE: Gidon Kremer will be playing Weinberg’s Violin Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra, this Thursday – Saturday, January 26 – 28. The NSO, led by Christoph Eschenbach, will pair the work with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8.

 

TRIBUTES TO MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH

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The NSO concert mentioned above is part of their spring season’s Salute to Slava, a celebration of the legacy of Mstislav Rostropovich, master cellist and conductor, who was the NSO’s music director from 1977 to 1994.

Two new recordings celebrate what would have been the 90th birthday of Rostropovich.

Slava! The Art of Rostropovich (Deutsche Grammophon, 3 CDs, $18.98) is a low-priced introduction to some of his inspired recordings on DG: CD1 has Dvorak and Tchaikovsky; CD2 has Saint-Saëns, Chopin, and Brahms; CD3 has shorter pieces by, among others, Glazunov, Schumann, Borodin, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninov.

Alban Gerhardt, Rostropovich Encores (Hyperion, $18.98) – For young German cellist Alban Gerhardt, Slava was a hero. On Encores, he (and pianist Markus Becker) play pieces by Rostropovich himself, as well as Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Debussy, Ravel, and Chopin.

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