Naysayers Will Tell You This Isn't Really Classical Music—Don't Believe Them
Seven boundary-blurring new albums I'm spinning over and over
I almost feel I have to apologize every time I use the term classical music. That label carries such a heavy burden nowadays, and inevitably conveys a sense of tepid conformity.
But not today.
I don’t need to make apologies for any of this music. Each of these albums pushes beyond the tight definitions of concert hall fare. Even better, they sound great. I just wish every evening at the philharmonic was this much fun.
Wojciech Rusin: Syphon
Operatic Vocals Juxtaposed with Hyperpop, Field Recordings, and Electronics
Naysayers will tell you this isn’t classical music, but don’t believe them. Their carping is all the more reason to listen. In all fairness, it’s hard to come up with any words to describe this project, part of a trilogy by Polish composer Wojciech Rusin. According to the marketing copy, Syphon “consists of speculative medieval and renaissance music, imagined composed in the future, where it is reconstructed from the ashes of the past, via incomplete fragments.” Did you get that? If not, just skip the words and listen to the whole album.
Rebeca Omordia: African Pianism
Contemporary African Classical Music for Piano
Why has it been so hard to find recordings of African classical music? Every classical music organization in the country has issued some grandiloquent statement supporting diversity, so you would think that they might have noticed a large continent called Africa. No dice. I’ll resist the temptation to analyze this peculiar oversight, and simply point you in the direction of Rebecca Omordia, who features the work of seven African composers on this album. You will enjoy this music, and wonder how one pianist has done more than entire big city orchestras in bringing this large land mass, home to 1.5 billion people, to your attention.
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