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Listen to this: Classical music by Kurt Sanderling, John Adams, Verdi Opera Scenes and Gabriela Lena Frank

Kurt Sanderling

Album: Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 / Kurt Sanderling (ICA Classics)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Kurt Sanderling is the father of Stefan Sanderling, music director of the Florida Orchestra. The senior Sanderling (born in 1912) was a legendary conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Here he leads the BBC Northern Symphony in a 1978 performance of Bruckner's Third. There is also an interview with Kurt Sanderling.

Why we like it: Sanderling's account of an early Bruckner symphony is meticulous.

Reminds us of: I can't help but hear the father in performances by his son. Stefan Sanderling leads the Florida Orchestra in Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 May 13-15.

Download this: Sehr langsam, misterioso

Grade: A

John Adams

Album: John Adams, Portrait / Angele DuBeau (Analekta)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Angele DuBeau is a French-Canadian violinist who had the bright idea of doing "Portrait" CDs of contemporary composers. She and her all-female chamber orchestra, La Pieta, recorded discs of Philip Glass and Arvo Part, and now their latest release is devoted to John Adams.

Why we like it: This is a terrific sampler of Adams' not particularly large body of chamber music, including Shaker Loops (1978) for string septet and John's Book of Alleged Dances (1994) for string quartet. Road Movies (1995), performed by DuBeau and pianist Louise Bessette, is an exhilarating ride.

Reminds us of: Ives, Benny Goodman, Bartok

Download this: Road Movies

Grade: A-

Verdi Opera Scenes

Album: Verdi Opera Scenes / Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky (Delos)

In stores: Now

Why we care: The first voice to be heard is that of Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Renato, the jealous husband of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. He is soon joined by American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as the adulterous wife. It's typical of the passionate performances on this disc of excerpts from Verdi operas, with the Philharmonia of Russia, conducted by Constantine Orbelian.

Why we like it: Hvorostovsky is probably the premier Verdi baritone of the day, and Radvanosky is a soprano on the rise.

Reminds us of: Verdi's dramatic genius

Download this: The father-daughter recognition scene from Simon Boccanegra

Grade: B+

Gabriela Lena Frank

Album: Gabriela Lena Frank: Hilos (Naxos)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Gabriela Lena Frank has a polyglot background. Her mother is Peruvian, her father is descended from Lithuanian Jews, and the 38-year-old composer grew up in the cultural melting pot of Berkeley, Calif. Peruvian weaving inspired the CD's newest work, Hilos (Threads) for clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Why we like it: Frank is a true world musician, and four of her works receive a splendid reading here by Alias Chamber Ensemble of Nashville. Frank plays piano on two works, and clarinetist Lee Carroll Levine is featured in Hilos and cellist Matt Walker in Adagio para Amantani.

Reminds us of: Ginastera

Download these: Hilos, Danza de los Saqsampillos for two marimbas

Grade: A-

Listen to this: Classical music by Kurt Sanderling, John Adams, Verdi Opera Scenes and Gabriela Lena Frank 04/30/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:30am]
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