Music News 12/5/2018


Here’s a link to the expanded listing of some of my favorite CDs of the year.

The printed 4-page Best of 2018 handout is available at the store.

The 2-page list of Favorite Holiday Music is also available.



GREEN BOOK: Soundtrack (Milan, $14.98) – If the movie Green Book does one good thing, it is to shine a light on the career of pianist Don Shirley (played in the movie by Mahershala Ali). The movie follows a tour of the South by Mr. Shirley and bouncer Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen). The soundtrack was composed by pianist Chris Bowers (a winner of the Thelonious Monk Piano Competion in 2011). It includes two tracks by Shirley himself, and four tracks of Bowers playing in Shirley’s style on “The Lonesome Road,” “Blue Skies,” “Happy Talk,” and “Water Boy,” from performances used in the movie.

Pistol Annies, INTERSTATE GOSPEL (Sony/Naxos, $13.98) – The super-group of Ashley Mondroe, Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley

Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider, DREAMERS (Sony Classical, $13.98) – Magos Herrera (originally from Mexico) and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider collaborate on songs (in Ms. Herrera’s words) “to celebrate the beauty of music as a political act.” Three songs are set to the poetry of Octavio Paz, Rubén Darío, and García Lorca, and there are versions of songs by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso.

Van Morrison, THE PROPHET SPEAKS (Caroline, $14.98) – Van’s second album of the year, again combining originals and oldies associated with Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke, and John Lee Hooker, like “Worried Blues,” “I Love the Life I Live,” and “Gotta Get You Off My Mind.”

Pink Martini, NON OUAIS! The French Songs of Pink Martini (Heinz, $12.98) – A fun compilation



Christian Gerhaher, SCHUMANN: FRAGE (Sony Classical, $13.98) – Baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber have developed a special musical partnership that’s lasted for over thirty years. Their collaboration was profiled in the  New York Times a couple of Sundays ago. This is the first volume of a project to record all of Schumann’s lieder. Cycles in this album the Kerner Lieder, op. 35, Romanzen und Balladen op. 49, 6 Gesänge, op. 107, 3 Gesänge, op. 83.

TCHAIKOVSKY: THE NUTCRACKER (Deutsche Grammophon, $16.98) – A new recording of the complete score with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic (celebrating 100 years in the 2018-19 season).

Yuja Wang, THE BERLIN RECITAL (Deutsche Grammophon, $14.98) – A program featuring a selection of Rachmaninov’s Preludes and Études-Tableau, Piano Sonatas by Scriabin and Prokofiev, and three of Ligeti’s Études.

DAVID LANG: THE MYSTERY SONATAS (Cantaloupe, $19.99) – Violinist Augustin Hadelich in Lang’s affecting and striking solo piece modeled after Biber’s Mystery Sonatas.