For the Record, Op. 245: Quartet San Francisco; Aiman Mussakhajayeva; Véronique Mathieu

July 21, 2023, 12:47 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!

Quartet San Francisco
Quartet San Francisco: (L-R) Joseph Christianson, Chad Kaltinger, Jeremy Cohen and Andrés Vera.

Raymond Scott Reimagined
Quartet San Francisco
Jeremy Cohen, violin
Joseph Christianson, violin
Chad Kaltinger, viola
Andrés Vera, cello
Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band
Take 6

"In the 1990s, I was introduced to Raymond Scott with the album Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights, and let's just say that at that moment, the lantern was lit for a longstanding quest," said violinist Jeremy Cohen, founder of the San Francisco Quartet. The quartet has teamed up with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and the acapella group Take 6 to create a 14-track homage to the 20th-century American composer, band leader and producer. "Raymond Scott, who never actually wrote music expressly for animation, was widely quoted in Merrie Melodies cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy and pals. Scott’s music found its way into arrangements for my quartet. We found boundless passion and energy for bringing this music to our audiences." BELOW: From the album: "Quintette Goes to a Dance" by Raymond Scott, arranged by Gordon Goodwin.

Lowell Liebermann: Violin Concerto, Op. 74, Chamber Concertos 1 and 2, Air
Aiman Mussakhajayeva, violin
Lowell Liebermann, piano, composer
Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra, Tigran Shiganyan, conducting

Liebermann and Mussakhajayeva’s new album spans over thirty years of the former’s career, offering a vivid picture of his compositional personality. The centerpiece of the album is his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2001), which was premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit with violinist Chantal Juillet. The Philadelphia Inquirer anticipated that the concerto might achieve “a popularity not enjoyed by any other violin concerto since the Barber.” Liebermann created arrangements for string orchestra of his two Chamber Concertos especially for this recording, and is the piano soloist on his Chamber Concerto No. 1 for violin, piano, and string orchestra. BELOW: Liebermann's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 74: I. Appassionato

Véronique Mathieu, violin
Stephanie Chua, piano

Canadian musicians Véronique Mathieu and Stephanie Chua present a collection of works for violin and piano written by female-identifying composers of unique heritages, backgrounds, and cultures, with a wide range of aesthetics and a variety of compositional eras. The album includes works by Amy Beach, Grazyna Bacewicz, Pauline Viardot, Alice Ping Yee Ho and Florence Price. BELOW: Pauline Viardot's Sonatina in A Minor for Violin and Piano: II. Scherzo: Allegro

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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July 22, 2023 at 08:05 AM · Laurie has an eye (ear?) for delightful selections in these weekly articles. Pauline Viardot's violin sonatinas are charming and original. She was an extraordinary talent, as singer, pianist and composer, and seems to have met all the greats of her age. Her sister, Maria Malibran, was also an acclaimed singer, as was their father, Manuel Garcia, who created the rôle of Count Almaviva in Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville'. By Ethan Mordden's account, Garcia's first performance was not a huge success, as he accompanied himself on the guitar and broke a string in wooing Rosina. A failure of multitasking? Subsequently, a street cat wandered onto the stage, adding an unexpected element of comedy. Was it WC Fields who advised against acting with children or animals?

July 22, 2023 at 05:39 PM · What a great story and background, Richard!

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