For the Record, Op. 258: Sybarite5; Isabelle Faust; Rachel Podger; Andre Rieu

October 19, 2023, 6:20 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!

The string quintet Sybarite5.

Collective Wisdom
Sami Merdinian, violin
Suliman Tekalli, violin
Caeli Smith, viola
Laura Andrade, cello
Louis Levitt, bass

The string quintet Sybarite5 offers its first studio album in five years, introducing three new members: violinist Suliman Tekalli, violist Caeli Smith and cellist Laura Andrade, who join original members double bassist Louis Levitt and violinist Sami Merdinian. The album features improvisations, electronics, and world premiere commissions by Pulitzer Prize finalist, Michael Gilbertson; composers Jackson Greenberg, Jessica Meyer, and Curtis Stewart. Also included are arrangements of music by Latin Grammy Award-winning composer Pedro Giraudo, the Grammy Award-winning band, The Punch Brothers, and Armenian folk songs by Komitas. BELOW: From the album, here is the official video for Sybarite5's cover of "Movement & Location" by the Punch Brothers.

Isabelle Faust, violin

From Biber’s famous "Guardian Angel" Passacaglia to Guillemain’s "Amusements" and sonatas and fantasias by Matteis (father and son), Pisendel and Vilsmayr, Isabelle Faust offers us a panorama of European music for unaccompanied violin from the second half of the Baroque era. Dreamy or virtuosic, these pieces bear witness to the diversity of inspirations from Italy, France, England and the German-speaking countries – and to their marvelous intermingling echoes. BELOW: Fantasia for Solo Violin in A Minor "Alia Fantasia" by Nicola Matteis Jr.:

Bach Goldberg Variations Reimagined
Rachel Podger, violin
Brecon Baroque

Violinist Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque present a pioneering new arrangement by Chad Kelly of the Bach’s iconic Goldberg Variations. Employing a variety of instrumental combinations from a typical Bach ensemble of single strings, oboe, flute, bassoon and harpsichord, these newly-crafted Goldbergs illuminate exquisite responses to the various historical genres inherent in Bach’s scores. This beloved masterpiece was composed through a period of personal tumult for Bach; two unsuccessful job applications, the premature death of his son Gottfried, and criticism of his music in a prominent Hamburg publication. Bach’s outpouring of beauty in The Goldberg Variations has long captured audience’s imaginations. BELOW: Trailer from the album:

Jewels of Romance
André Rieu, violin
Johann Strauss Orchestra

Let us not forget the most famous fiddler on the planet, the Dutch violinist André Rieu, whose lavish touring shows attract millions of fans around the globe. His latest album includes 16 famous songs, arranged for orchestra, including the Moody Blues’ "Nights In White Satin," Simon & Garfunkel’s "Sound of Silence," Cat Stevens’ "Morning Has Broken," "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice and the "Aquarium" from Camille Saint-Saëns The Carnival of The Animals. BELOW: "Morning Has Broken," from the album:

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our "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 20, 2023 at 02:12 PM · Featuring Caeli Smith who used to be an active contributor to in her student days!

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