For the Record, Op. 172: cellist Steven Isserlis; Chiaroscuro Quartet; Lea Birringer; Philadelphia Orchestra

September 30, 2021, 6:22 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Steven Isserlis
Cellist Steven Isserlis.

British Solo Cello Music
Steven Isserlis, cello

If Britten's Cello Suite No.3 is the undisputed masterpiece on this program, the other works are no less deserving of attention. Frank Merrick's 'Suite in the eighteenth-century style' is a particular delight. As ever, Steven Isserlis's booklet notes offer fascinatingly personal perspectives on the composers and their music.
BELOW: Isserlis plays Britten : Cello Suite No. 3:

Beethoven Vol 1, Op. 18 No. 1-3
Chiaroscuro Quartet
Alina Ibragimova, violin
Pablo Hernán Benedí, violin
Emilie Hörnlund, viola
Claire Thirion, cello

Chiaroscuro – light-dark – is the Baroque painting technique, which through the contrast of the brightly-lit subject against a dark background immensely heightens the artist’s power of expression. With gut strings and original bows, the Chiaroscuro Quartet strives for a sound which can only be hinted at by the antithesis of light and dark alone; a sound expressing every conceivable nuance between tenderness and aggression, radiance and pallor, lively passion and cool sobriety.
BELOW: Chiaroscuro Quartet performs Beethoven, String Quartet in G, Op. 18, No. 2 in Wigmore Hall, 2020.

Lea Birringer, violin

For her first solo album, Lea Birringer explores the third Partita by J. S. Bach as well as some of the great compositions that have been created with Bach as a guide and role model. Alongside Bach's Partita, she has chosen works for solo violin by Max Reger, Lera Auerbach, Ernst-Lothar von Knorr and Eugène Ysaÿe.
BELOW: Trailer for the album.

Florence Price’s Symphonies 1 & 3
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting

"We’re delighted to record the music of Florence Price for Deutsche Grammophon," said conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. "So much important music around the world has been neglected, not because of the quality of the work, but for superficial reasons. It’s so important to me and to The Philadelphia Orchestra to look at these works, bring back the music of composers we believe in, like Florence Price, and continue broadening the repertoire to give a much more diverse representation of who we are as a society today."
BELOW: Excerpts and thoughts about Florence Price's Symphony No. 1:

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.

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October 1, 2021 at 12:57 PM · Great music this week Laurie! Chiaroscuro use very little vibrato. Their performance offers a lot of insight.

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