For the Record, Op. 198: Cellist Alisa Weilerstein; works by Margaret Brouwer; Soli Chamber Ensemble

May 19, 2022, 1:44 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!

Alisa Weilerstein
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Photo by Marco Borggreve.

Beethoven Cello Sonatas
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and her longtime recital partner, pianist Inon Barnatan, have recorded Beethoven’s complete Cello Sonatas, works that have been a staple of the duo’s repertoire since they began performing together in 2008. Composed over a span of nearly twenty years, Beethoven’s five cello sonatas provide a fascinating snapshot of the composer’s stylistic development. "Diving into the formidable project of recording these touchstone works with Inon, especially at such a fragile, chaotic time, was an immensely rewarding experience," Weilerstein said. "I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to go on this unique adventure with such a wonderful partner and friend, and I invite you to join us in our celebration of this profoundly moving music." BELOW: Cello Sonata No. 5 in D Major, Op. 102 No. 2: I. Allegro con brio

Reactions - Songs and Chamber Music
Eliesha Nelson, viola
Mari Sato, violin
Margaret Brouwer, composer

Margaret Brouwer, head of composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1996 to 2008, features five of her recent chamber compositions in this album, including Rhapsodic Sonata for viola and piano, performed by Eliesha Nelson of the Cleveland Orchestra. The violinist Mari Sato performs on nearly all of the other selections, notably the whimsical piece for violinist and narrator, "All Lines Are Still Busy," which dramatizes a relatable "please hold" moment. "I Cry – Summer 2020" for violin and piano is the composer’s response to the pandemic, isolation, loss, and racial injustice that she, and much of the rest of the world, suffered in 2020. BELOW: Violist Eliesha Nelson and pianist perform Brouwer's "Rhapsodic Sonata" for viola and piano:

The Clearing and the Forest
Soli Chamber Ensemble
Scott Ordway, composer

"In 2018, I watched the forced separation of small children from their families at the U.S. border with horror," said composer Scott Ordway. "I was immediately moved to create a work through which I could boldly, plainly, and publicly affirm my support for the rights of refugees as well as our sacred, ancient, and transcultural obligation to provide shelter to those who seek it." Written in three acts, "The Clearing and the Forest" centers on a group of people who flee their cold, northern home in search of a new home that is more habitable. Each act represents a different stage of their journey through multiple climate zones. BELOW: The Clearing and the Forest: Act 2d. Processional 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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