Apollo's Fire - COME TO THE RIVER - an early American gathering
Tom Hooten's NEW solo trumpet CD:
A highlight of Apollo's Fire recordings released in the last few years, featured at ClevelandClassical.com, all representing producing or editing services of Erica Brenner Productions.
APOLLO'S FIRE - HANDEL: MESSIAH
"The Messiah we've been waiting for." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"First rate...a winning distinctive new version." St. Louis Dispatch
This 2010 release of Messiah by Apollo's Fire includes a bonus DVD featuring behind the scenes footage and interviews with the artists.
Buy it: apollosfire.org
Apollo's Fire celebrates the 400th birthday of Monteverdi's Vespers with a celebrated national tour and re-release of their CD (with new edits and production by Erica Brenner Productions and Five/Four Productions).
Buy it: apollosfire.org
RELEASED OCTOBER 26, 2010 -- JS Bach Flute Sonatas and Trio Sonata from the Musical Offering -- with Joshua Smith and friends Jory Vinikour-harpsichord, Ann Marie Morgan-baroque cello, Allison Guest Edberg-violin
Hear the stunning new CD completing Joshua Smith's recordings of the Bach Sonatas.
"Put it on, listen to it, read the intelligently written notes and have a very intellectually stimulating experience from an academic point of view, or just stick it on during dinner parties and create a perfect ambiance for an enjoyable evening with friends -- just as Joshua Smith and friends seem to have been thoroughly enjoying what they were doing. This disc lives perfectly in both worlds." - read the full review: ClevelandClassical.com
"These performances are effective, even loving, adhering to practices of Bach’s time while speaking meaningfully to our own." Read more - see "Bach and Beyond"
"Sensitive performances like those offered here by Joshua Smith and his colleagues should help listeners, flutists, and scholars become more aware of the many styles in which Bach made himself at home." - read more at Delos and soloflute.com
SERGIO ASSAD'S "INTERCHANGE FOR GUITAR QUARTET" NOMINATED FOR LATIN GRAMMY - PERFORMED BY THE LOS ANGELES GUITAR QUARTET, AND DELAWARE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, CONDUCTED BY DAVID AMADO
Nominations for the 2010 Latin GRAMMY® awards were announced on September 8, 2010, and nominated for Best Classical Composition was Sergio Assad's "Interchange" performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and Delaware Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Amado. The recording was produced by Erica Brenner and the engineering and editing was done by Robert Friedrich and Thomas C. Moore of Five/Four Productions, Ltd. READ MORE
AIR: DEBUSSY & TAKEMITSU | YOLANDA KONDONASSIS, JOSHUA SMITH, CYNTHIA PHELPS, OBERLIN 21
Grammy® Nominations Highlight Norheast Ohio Production Team
Nominations for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY® awards were announced by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) on December 2, 2009, and included among the nominees for Best Chamber Music Performance is a track from the Telarc album, AIR: Music of Debussy & Takemitsu For Harp, Flute & Strings, produced and engineered by the Cleveland area production team of Erica Brenner and Thomas Knab. READ MORE
This is the 14th Telarc recording for the most-recorded classical solo harpist in the world. Ms. Kondonassis performs as a soloist in concertos and as a recitalist thruout the world. She also heads the harp departments at both the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory. This CD is a ducidly clever programming idea that has not been done before - matching up the works of these two composers from different eras and different countries who were both impressionists in the way they communicated nature environments thru color and atmosphere. Each had their own distinctive musical language, but they were both fascinated by aspects of the sea, wind, and air - the overall title of the album. - John Sunier, Audiophile Audition READ MORE
RECORDING IN CLEVELAND: THE MAKING OF JOSH SMITH'S SECOND BACH CD (Part II of a series featured on ClevelandClassical.com)
Last week we talked about how the project team for Joshua Smith’s first Bach CD came together – Smith’s introduction to harpsichordist Jory Vinikour and his very positive experience with producer Erica Brenner and audio engineer Tom Knabin a previous recording session. Disc no. 2 would add violinist Allison Edberg and cellist Ann Marie Morgan for continuo sonatas and the Trio Sonata from ‘The Musical Offering’, and like the previous disc, would be recorded at First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights.
The sessions were scheduled during the middle of April – taking profit of the musicians’ appearance on the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival but also during a rather intensive week of performances and recording sessions with Mitsuko Uchida at Severance Hall. The schedule became even tighter for logistical reasons: Erica Brenner decided to avoid any sessions between 2 and 5 in the afternoon READ MORE
(PART I of the series is available on the link further down the page)
NEVER FAR AWAY: MUSIC OF BRIGHT SHENG | YOLANDA KONDONASSIS
With its asscotiations of cherubic innocence or crysta-gazing 'New Age' -type meditations, the harp is one of music's most stereotped instruments. However, Chinese=born composer Bright Sheng dramatically explodes all of these clichéd images in this stimulatting new recording. –Carenza Hugh-Jones READ MORE
Incorporating the musica syntax of another culture into a Western classical composition is a tricky business. On the one hard, there's a risk of picture-postcard condescension, on the other, of cringe=inducing overreaching. There are no such issues for the brilliant American composer Bright Sheng. –Andrew Quint, Classical Music Reviews READ MORE
It’s not every day that the San Diego Symphony releases a CD on a major label. It’s not every year, either. That makes the orchestra’s splendid new Telarc recording undeniably special. Released August 25, it features works by the prominent Shanghai-born composer Bright Sheng, with music director Jahja Ling conducting and guest harpist Yolanda Kondonassis serving as the superb soloist in “Never Far Away,” Sheng’s concerto-like piece for harp and orchestra. –Valerie Scher READ MORE
An important and magnificent new concerto, not to be missed. –Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition READ MORE
J.S. BACH: FLUTE SONATAS | JOSHUA SMITH
Many times, when listening to the luscious notes produced by flutist Joshua Smith, I’ve likened him to the Pied Piper of legend. And why not? Those sensuous, silken, seductive sounds would entice anyone to follow along. Not just children, but of course, they’d most likely be just as entranced as adults would be. This CD is just more proof of that statement – as if any was needed. –Kelly Ferjutz, Cool Cleveland READ MORE
Joshua Smith uses a Folkers and Powell wooden head-joint and what looks like an old Rudall Carte Boehme system flute (plenty of pleasing key-clack). Vibrato's kept in check - deployed as an ornament not as a constant feature - and an equal partnership imposed by the two instruments. –Brightcecilia Classical Music Forums READ MORE
I first heard of Joshua Smith in 1990 when an old buddy was leaving the Cleveland Orchestra for Philly and Smith, then twenty replaced him as principal flute. An amazing achievement for one so young, and even more special that he was replacing his teacher. –Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia READ MORE
The visceral appeal of music is a marvel that cannot be fully explained with even the most eloquent words. Physiologically, it is a function of synapses being engaged at an almost primordial level, of extraordinarily complicated series of responses to aural stimuli. The metaphsics of music, though less tangible in a scientific sense, are more readily comprehensible. A critical element of the natural grandiloquence of a memorable musical experience is surely derived from the fact that at its heart music is a triumph over the unexpected, over the listener's fear of disappointment within the limitations of individual exposure. Because it requires both a medium and an audience, music is never truly solitary and is always new. –Voix Des Arts READ MORE
A year ago December, Cleveland Orchestra principal flutist Joshua Smith and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour recorded three of J.S. Bach's sonatas for flute and obbligato continuo, as well as the famous "Partita" for flute solo, in First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights, in sessions locally produced by Erica Brenner, engineered by Tom Knab, and using a harpsichord provided by Shaker Heights builder and restorer Philip M. Cucchiara. "J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas" was released late last fall. –Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical READ MORE
FROM THE BACK ROW | THE PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
This release containing a lot of improbable repertoire for the ensemble at hand – the low brass section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – ably displas its virtuosity –Fanfare Review READ MORE
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