Constance Hauman: High Tides (Isotopia 2019)
A sophisticated songstress serves up spare lyrics in luminous vocals: still waters run deep.
The Prom (Masterworks Broadway, 2018)
Tonight belongs to you
Loved Grease and Hairspray? Dollars to donuts you'll like The Prom. (Zazz, so's you know, is defined as "style plus confidence.")
Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 ("Organ") and other works (Hyperion 2019)
Utah Symnphony, Thierry Fischer, music director; Paul Jacobs, organ
3rd movement: Allegro moderato – Presto
4th movement: Maestoso – Allegro
Triumphalist Victoriana, delivered with all imaginable conviction. (You may remember the big tune from Babe.)
Charles Gounod: Piano Works (Decca 2018)
Marche funèbre d'une marionette
From the master who gave Faust and Romeo and Juliet a permanent home on the French operatic stage, a bouquet of sweet nothings, or nothing muches. (The death march for a puppet, which supposedly pokes fun at a long-forgotten critic, anticipates the galumphing gait of the Sorcerer's Apprentice in the Paul Dukas tone poem—and for the record had an afterlife as the theme music for the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents).
Liquid Melancholy: Clarinet music of James M. Stephenson (Cedille 2018)
John Bruce Yeh
From Colors, with Alex Klein, oboe; Chicago Pro Musica:
Moody, slow swing followed by airy lyricism. A happy discovery, beautifully played.
Leif Ove Andsnes: Sibelius (Sonya Classical 2017)
Barcarola, op. 24/10
Björken (The Birch)
Valse triste, op. 441/1
A symphonist's neglected miniatures in the hands of a virtuoso with the touch of a poet. The shimmer on the leaves of the birch trees (second track) takes the breath away.
And to play us out:
It's time to dance, from The Prom (see above).
Isn't it always?