Anne Akiko Meyers - The American Masters / Classical Candor review

It's hard not to like anything Anne Akiko Meyers plays. She has such a gentle touch on the violin, she makes every piece of music a pleasure. And so it is with the three American works on the present album, The American Masters: the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14 by Samuel Barber (1910-1981); the Lullaby for Natalie by John Corigliano (b. 1938); and the Violin Concerto by Mason Bates (b. 1977), Maestro Leonard Slatkin and the London Symphony Orchestra in accompaniment.

Corigliano in his booklet notes points out that there is a bond of friendship among the three composers on the disc: Barber was Corigliano's mentor, and Corigliano was Bates's mentor. Therefore, the music has deeper connections than one might suppose. READ THE FULL Classical Candor REVIEW.
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The Bad Plus Commissioned to Perform Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction / The Herald Sun

After commissioning The Bad Plus to perform Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in 2011, Duke Performances has asked the trio to interpret the music of Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction album. Joined by Tim Berne, Sam Newsome, and Ron Miles, The Bad Plus premiered the work at Duke University's Baldwin Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, and performs again with the same group at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, Oct 23, 2014. Rather than simply re-creating the record, the ensemble is approaching the music as a "gate-way to self-expression," Ethan Iverson said. "Coleman has heard the group's arrangement and given his blessing to the project." READ THE FULL Herald Sun FEATURE HERE
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Leif Ove Andsnes - The Beethoven Journey Piano Con5/Choral Fantasy / The Classical Reviewer review

The Beethoven Journey has taken Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra through the first and third concertos, through concertos two and four, and to their final destination - the latest release from Sony Classical. And what a journey it's been. With the first two issues I used terms such as ‘deeply probing and distinguished performances', ‘subtle details and depth of feeling', ‘provides wonderful insights' and ‘hugely recommendable'. Andsnes has not rushed into these recordings, taking them into concert and absorbing the music before committing them to disc. READ THE FULL Classical Reviewer REVIEW.
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The Regina Carter Quintet plays RI's RISD Auditorium / Providence Phoenix Interview

If ever a musician understood the importance of exposure to music at an early age, it would be Regina Carter, who - family legend has it - at two years old, played a melody by ear on the piano after hearing her brother's lesson. At four, she began studying the violin, and she hasn't looked back since. From classical training as a teen and later at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, she switched to jazz at Michigan's Oakland University and entered the Detroit jazz scene through trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. The Regina Carter Quintet (Will Holshouser, accordion; Marvin Sewell, guitar; Chris Lightcap, bass; and Alvester Garnett, drums) comes to Providence RI to play a FirstWorks concert October 18 at 8 pm at the RISD Auditorium. A free pre-concert conversation, "Cultural Identity and the Power of Improvisation" precedes it, 6:30 pm at RISD's Chace Center. READ THE FULL Providence Phoenix INTERVIEW       Read more:
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Lang Lang thrills Cleveland Orchestra crowd at gala performance / Cleveland Plain Dealer review

In years past, there was the temptation, when reviewing a concert by the ebullient pianist Lang Lang, to take in the entire performance with eyes closed. His visual presence onstage, and his demeanor while playing, had been noted as either an expression of the infectious vitality that animates this classical music superstar, or a supreme example of extraneous exhibitionism. How much easier it would be just to listen to the music. What a difference a decade or so makes. At the ripe old age of 32, Lang Lang has toned down the most outlandish of his mannerisms, which is is to say the startling hairstyles and the flashy outfits, opting instead for his performance with the Cleveland Orchestra Saturday at Severance Hall for dark jacket and slacks and a trimmed coif. When it comes to his performance, however, the voltage runs as high as ever. Headliner at a special gala benefit for the Cleveland Orchestra's education and community outreach programs, LL played among others one of his signature pieces, Peter Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, with the Cleveland Orchestra under music director Franz Welser-Möst's baton. Lang Lang's first album entirely devoted to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is now available on Sony Classical. READ THE FULL Cleveland Plain Dealer REVIEW
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Gloria Estefan to be Inducted Into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame

Multitalented singer-songwriter, actress, entrepreneur and BMI Icon Gloria Estefan will be inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame (LSHOF) on Saturday, October 18, at the Ritz Carlton South Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. A career filled with remarkable resilience and commercial and critical success, Estefan's talent goes beyond her fantastic vocals. She is also an author of two children's books, The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog andNoelle's Treasure Tale She is one of Billboard magazine's top 100 best-selling musical artists and is considered the most successful crossover performer to date, with an estimated 100 million records sold worldwide. Her distinctions include an American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement and an Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of her contribution to the immigrant experience. Her induction into the LSHOF further underscores her role in shaping Latin music and culture. The LSHOF, founded in 2012 by legendary writers Desmond Child and Rudy Perez, works to "educate, preserve, honor and celebrate the legacy of the greatest Latin songwriters from all over the world." Join us in celebrating all of the BMI honorees, and enjoy a selection of Gloria Estefan's BMI award-winning songs: READ THE FULL BMI ARTICLE
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Yo-Yo Ma offers primer in leadership for bed execs

Sitting in the splendor of Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem, N.C., I enjoyed a virtuoso performance by one of the world's greatest musicians, cellist Yo-Yo Ma. It was the eve of the High Point Market, and I found some leadership lessons as Ma's beautiful music filled the auditorium. There are powerful lessons there for the mattress industry, which has more than its fair share of big egos and hard-charging executives. Ma set a stirring example of humble leadership, lifting up his co-performers as the applause was ringing in their ears. This was a win for the team, the orchestra, and not just for the brilliant man who shined so bright that night. READ David Perry's FULL ARTICLE IN Furniture Today
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Karl Jenkins - Motets / New Classical Tracks


"I always write accessible music - it's tuneful, accessible and strikes an emotional chord with people, I believe. The Mass for Peace, for example, has been performed almost 2,000 times around the planet. So the music does strike a chord with people, which is very humbling and gratifying from my perspective, really." That's Welsh composer Karl Jenkins describing the appeal of his music, which you've probably heard in advertising for Levi's, British Airways, Pepsi, Delta Airlines and De Beers to name a few. He's written music for Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Bryn Terfel, and he's earned 17 gold and platinum disc awards. And that only begins to scratch the surface of a composer who marks not only his 70th birthday this year, but his 50th anniversary as a musician. Numerous celebrations are already underway, including a performance to celebrate Martin Luther King at Carnegie Hall in January, where a new work called "The Healer," will be premiered. Karl Jenkins is also marking this important anniversary with a new recording of uplifting works for a cappella choir titled, Motets. It features some brand new pieces, as well as new arrangements of some of his most popular works. "And the idea was to strip the music to its bones, really, without any orchestration or accompaniment," Jenkins says. "I usually use a lot of percussion in my works. But it was revisiting some of the most evocative and memorable, to my mind, of my pieces whilst at the same time creating some new pieces. And I was inspired by Stephen Layton and Polyphony, a remarkable vocal group in the U.K. And his interpretation of the music is quite fascinating, really, and beautiful … the sound of it is quite beautiful. So I was thrilled to have him agree to do it" One piece that really struck me was Laudamus te from Jenkins' "Gloria." The stunning key change is so subtle, as if the sun is rising through the clouds. "It's very beautiful," Jenkins agrees, "E-flat to F. But … he kind of milks it, really, the way Stephen interpreted it, exactly the way I would have dreamt it to be. It is, as you say, subtle. The music goes quiet for a while. Then the chord comes in and then it goes off on the tangent again. I'm glad you liked that part. So do I. It's quite thrilling, really." In some respects, Jenkins says each of these works are personal favorites, though he does have a soft spot for the three new pieces written specifically for this release, "Ah, yes. Nunc dimitis, the last one on the recording. There's another one - Locus Iste … like, 'here lives God,' locus iste, which Bruckner set for his text with the same name. And there's hymn from Adiemus which is the Ave Maria text, which fits it like a glove, really. And there's another one - a William Blake poem, I think, which was The Shepherd. An ancient text - not ancient but old &helllip; so there are four, I think … there are three completely new works: The Shepherd, Locus Iste and Nunc Dimitis." In addition to giving familiar works new text, and writing three completely new pieces, Karl Jenkins stretched himself even further by producing this recording in what was, for him, a completely new way. "I usually work in a conventional modern recording studio," Jenkins explains. "I've always produced pretty much like the way a pop recording is made … with a sound bed or a bass … over which is overlaid the orchestra and the choir. Which gives me control over each element. This was different - done in a dated way, I suppose … or a classical way … in which it's all done at once in a church. A slightly new experience for me - we did it in three days. And because it was done in a church, there were some issues as one gets with extraneous sound from traffic, aircraft or whatever. So the recording was interrupted a couple of times because of extraneous noises. But the sound within the natural acoustic was phenomenal." Recording in All Hallows' Church in Hampstead, North London, was a memorable experience for Karl Jenkins, and one he shares with you as he marks his 50th anniversary season with these strikingly beautiful Motets.
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Benjamin Lapidus - Ochosi Blues / Jazz Weekly

Here is a disc that will take you everywhere and back again. What a trip! Got your passport stamped? Benjamin Lapidus plays guitar and tres (a South American guitar) and mixes and matches with a rotation of drums, percussion, vocals, horns and organs on this exciting collection of jazz standards and Latin traditionals. You get bluesy grooves with guitar and B3 on pieces like "Bilongo" and "Ochosi Blues" that are as earthy as the local farm fields. Other times trumpets like from Charlie Sepulveda" provide village volk tunes that make you feel lost from civilization. Rich vocals from Enid Lowe do wonders when worlds meet on "Tu, Mi Delierio" and "Here's That Rainy Day" while as a festive medley, while she rides the B3 wave like a surfer on "But Beautiful" Fun fills the air on "The Latin Side of Your Mama" and percussion rolls like a tidal wave on "Yemaya's Changes." This is a wonderful kaleidoscope of sounds and visions.
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Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill / Mountain Xpress Interview

Leading up to LEAF festival, Mountain Xpress is talking to a number of artists from across the country and across musical genres. Folk musician Dom Flemons describes himself as an American songster. A founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, he's since gone on to pursue a solo career and recently released his album Prospect Hill. READ THE FULL Mountain Xpress Interview
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Project Trio stops by IPR's Studio One for an interview & performance

Project Trio were in Iowa recently for a performance schedule that included being a part of WCF Symphony's season opening concert on Oct. 11.  The Brooklyn, NY three-piece also stopped by Iowa Public Radio's - Studio One for music and conversation.  Project Trio (Greg Pattillo on flute, Peter Seymour on bass, Eric Stephenson on cello) delightfully blur the edges of musical genres, as you can hear right here! 
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Leif Ove Andsnes latest installment of - The Beethoven Journey / Audiophile Audition review

Norwegian pianist and conductor Leif Ove Andsnes completes his project "The Beethoven Journey" of the concertos with this disc, more testimony of the natural brilliance and polished elegance of Andsnes' musicianship. The marvelous "little curiosity" (Milhaud's words) of the Choral Fantasy of 1808 receives a glowing rendition, its serving in every way as an adumbration of the Ninth Symphony. Andsnes here reminds more of Rudolf Serkin – minus the aggressive percussion – than of my other favored account by Andor Foldes. The floridly inventive opening, a taste of the composer's individual approach to improvisation, flows like melted butter under Andsnes' fingers. The flute solo, the horn fanfares, the swelling tuttis, and the chorus, intoning the words by Christoph Kuffner, move in harmony with Andnes' lithe keyboard to create an exalted effect in C Major. READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW
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Top 10 Albums for October

Anne Akiko Meyers :

The American Masters

On September 30th, celebrated violinist Anne Akiko Meyers will release The American Masters internationally on eOne.  This recording, Anne's 30th, features world premieres of two pieces written for her: Mason Bates's Violin Concerto and the Lullaby for Natalie by Oscar and Grammy Award winning composer John Corigliano. Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, a staple of the violin repertoire, and the most popular American concerto for violin and orchestra is also featured on this recording.  Leonard Slatkin, a champion of all three composers, conducts the London Symphony Orchestra. From the 1960s until his death in 1981, Samuel Barber was a generous mentor to John Corigliano, who is one of today's foremost composers, having received the Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, the Grawemeyer Award, and a Grammy Award.  Corigliano wrote the Lullaby for Natalie for the birth of Anne Akiko Meyers's first child. Corigliano, one of today's foremost composition teachers, counts Mason Bates as one of his leading students. Bates is one of the most frequently performed composers of his generation, composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Heinz Award. Bates's Violin Concerto, co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony and Anne Akiko Meyers, has been performed with the Pittsburgh, Nashville, Detroit, Richmond and Chicago Symphony Orchestras since its world premiere in December 2012.  
Daniel Hope :

Escape to Paradise: The Hollywood Album

"Daniel Hope is a force to be reckoned with." Gramophone Deutsche Grammophon releases Classical BRIT-Award-winner Daniel Hope's new recording, Escape to Paradise: The Hollywood Album, in the US (The album is released in Europe a day earlier.) The British violinist has a "thriving solo career" per the New York Times, which "has been built on inventive programming and a probing interpretive style." The new release draws on Hope's extensive research into European composers - among them Eric Wolfgang Korngold, Miklós Rózsa, Hanns Eisler, and Franz Waxman to name a few - who fled fascist persecution to relocate to Los Angeles where they penned some of the 20th century's most iconic film scores. Recorded with Alexander Shelley leading the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and guest artists including vocalists Sting and Max Raabe, Hope's unprecedented new collection juxtaposes examples of the émigré composers' film and concert music with selections by those they influenced – like leading contemporary movie composers John Williams, Ennio Morricone, and Thomas Newman – in a nostalgic search for the quintessentially lavish "Hollywood sound. 40 NEW   48 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Portland, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Austin, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, Louisville, Buffalo, Canada Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
Sergio Mendes :


"The sound of Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes has been a summer soundtrack for generations of listeners." - NPR In a career that spans more than half a century, Sérgio Mendes is an old hand at creating a unique sonic blend that electrifies a mass global audience. His knack for delivering hit after hit has made him the most successful Brazilian musician of his time. A grand conceptualizer, his well-polished talents as a pianist, composer, bandleader, vocalist and producer make him a truly singular artist. With Magic, his debut recording for the storied OKeh label, he triumphs once again, delivering a timely update on the infectious mix of Brazilian rhythms and contemporary styles from his homeland, the U.S. and elsewhere that make the Mendessound instantly recognizable.
Kat Edmonson :

The Big Picture

Kat Edmonson announces October tour dates in support of her third album, The Big Picture out September 30 via Sony Music Masterworks. A full tour will follow in early 2015. Edmonson's premiere track "Rainy Day Woman" is available via iTunes HERE and for streaming on SoundCloud HERE.  Check out her new video album trailer HERE. The album is her label debut and was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney) in his Los Angeles studio. Of the album, Edmonson states, "There's no particular theme, but there are some commonalities, one of which is my ever-underlying influence from motion pictures and film scores. I have always felt that music and film go hand in hand, because that was how I was first exposed to music-from old movies and musicals-and to me there wasn't a separation between an actor acting, dancing and singing." See full tour dates below. 
The Bad Plus :

Inevitable Western

The Bad Plus - bassist Reid Anderson, pianist EthanIverson, and drummer David King - release their tenth studio recording, Inevitable Western, is comprised entirely of originals and continues the band's committed belief in what Nate Chinen of The New York Times dubbed ‘avant-garde populism' - the idea that serious music can be as engaging and accessible as it is forward-thinking and provocative. Inevitable Western sees the group exploring the same set of aesthetic principles that fired their inception: an exploration of myriad musical forms born of jazz and advanced using any sonic source that forwards music that is uniquely The Bad Plus. The spark continues on tracks like Anderson's lyrical "Do It Again" and the post-rock twists and turns of King's "Gold Prisms Incorporated." This is an album where pop, blues and folk meld with classic melodies and rhythmic innovation into that rarest of hybrids: intelligent music for themasses. 19 New 'ON' 108 Total SYND: 60 Second CD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, Cleveland, Houston, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Boulder CO, Berkeley CA, Las Vegas, San Antonio, El Paso, Honolulu, Canada, UK Online: Taintradio, MOJA, GreenArrow, WGOE,, Jazz From Gallery 41, Good Music Speaks, Jazz Man, Willamette Week
Lang Lang :

The Mozart Album

Sony Classical is delighted to announce Lang Lang's first albumentirely devoted to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozartavailable September 30. World renowned pianist, Lang Lang, will be joined by the legendary Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Harnoncourt is famous for his ability to match deep knowledge of 17th and 18th century musical language with an interpretative mind of outstanding originality.  36 NEW   46 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Cincinnatti, Austin, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Louisville, Honolulu, Canada Online: Taintradio
Billy Childs :

Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro

When the Grammy-winning Composer/Arranger/Pianist Billy Childs was 11 years old, his older sisters introduced him to the work of Hall Of Fame singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Her blend of Broadway-inspired melodies, jazz improvisation and socially conscious lyrics have stayed with him. Now he has returned to this early source of inspiration, conceiving and orchestrating Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro, an all-star interpretation of this songwriter's beloved works. Released by Masterworks, Mr. Childs leads guests include - Renee Fleming, Esperanza Spalding, Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss, Ledisi and Wayne Shorter. 22 NEW 'ON'  -  104 Total SYND: PBS/Tavis Smiley, NPR/Weekend Edition, VOA/Jazz America, Dial Global, The Midnight Special, UnderCurrents  Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Denver, Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu, Toronto Online & Press Downbeat, Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, MOJA, CD Insight, TribLive, GreenArrow, The Jazzy Vegetarian
Brooklyn Rider :

The Brooklyn Rider Almanac

Brooklyn Rider -"the future of chamber music," according to Strings magazine-celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall with a major multi-disciplinary project called the Brooklyn Rider Almanac, beginning with a new Mercury Classics album of specially commissioned work from a diverse group of composers, set for worldwide release on September 30. In the cross-disciplinary spirit of Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), the legendary European artistic collective that is the group's namesake, each work-by musicians including Bill Frisell, Padma Newsome, Vijay Iyer, Aoife O'Donovan, Glenn Kotche from the Grammy Award-winning rock band Wilco, and Greg Saunier from the rock band Deerhoof-is inspired by a creative muse of the composer's choice from the past half-century, ranging from groundbreaking composer Igor Stravinsky to king of funk James Brown to Mississippi novelist William Faulkner to iconic choreographer Mark Morris. 19 NEW  57 Total SYND: NPR, Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, New Orleans, Baltimore, Austin, Louisville KY Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip, MusiClassical
Joshua Bell :


Violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most acclaimed classical musicians of today - renowned for his expressive, elegant, intelligent playing and his deep commitment to bringing the classical tradition to wider audiences. Over the past three decades he has recorded more than 40 albums including most of the great violin repertoire. Now, Sony Classical is excited to announce that Bell has for the first time recorded the masterpieces of J.S. Bachwith the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.  In his third season now as their music director, Bell performs Bach's sublime Violin Concertos No. 1 and No. 2, along with a never-done-before 'violin and orchestra' arrangement of the famous Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 (adapted from Mendelssohn's piano accompaniment), the Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita No. 3 for solo violin (using Schumann's accompaniment), and the universally beloved 'Air on the G string'.  39 NEW -  126 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC, Sunday Baroque, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, Spafax, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Portland, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Louisville, Honolulu, Canada Online: ClassicallyHip, Taintradio
Anja Lechner | Francois Couturier :

Moderato cantabile

After a decade of shared work in the Tarkovsky Quartet and an ongoing alliance in the Pergolesi Project with singer Maria Pia De Vito (see the recent Il Pergolese album), German cellist Anja Lechner and French pianist Franҫois Couturier unveil their new duo. The players approach the music from different vantage points: Lechner is a classical soloist, with an uncommon interest in improvisation, Couturier a jazz musician travelling ever further from jazz. On Moderato cantabile they present their own arrangements of works by three fascinating outsiders from the margins of music history – G.I. Gurdjieff, Komitas Vardapet, and Federico Mompou. To differing degrees the music of these composers reveals influences from the east, in terms of relationship to folk music traditions and ritual and religious music, and also philosophically. The program has connections to Anja Lechner's acclaimed account of Gurdjieff's music on the earlier Chants, Hymns and Dances (recorded in 2003 with Vassilis Tsabropoulos), but the new duo has its own distinct identity, and many visits to Armenia have deepened Lechner's understanding of the contexts from which the music emerged: her cello assumes almost a singer's role in these pieces, exploring the strong melodies.  30 New  34 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Baltimore, St. Louis, Austin, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Detroit Online: Taintradio