For the Record, Op. 254: Anne Akiko Meyers; Esther Abrami; cellist Alexander Hersh; John Holloway

September 22, 2023, 2:44 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!

Arturo Márquez, Gustavo Dudamel, Anne Akiko Meyers
Composer Arturo Márquez, conductor Gustavo Dudamel and violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.

Anne Akiko Meyers, violin
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, conducting

Anne Akiko Meyers performs Arturo Márquez's violin concerto, "Fandango" in this live performance from October 2022 at Disney Hall. "Arturo Márquez's Fandango, which we gave the premiere of in 2021, is a love letter to the dance music of Sonora Mexico," said LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. "For centuries, the fandango has been one of the more popular Latin dances in the repertoire and has been performed in dance halls across the world. Arturo and I have been dancing in many of these halls ourselves! It has become almost like the heartbeat of Mexican culture." The recording also includes Alberto Ginastera's Estancia, Op. 8. BELOW: All about "Fandango":

Esther Abrami, violin
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Ben Palmer, conducting

French violinist Esther Abrami has been working closely with a variety of arrangers to create her own, unique arrangements for an album of music from films called Cinéma. The album features new arrangements of blockbuster hits such as Naruto, Demon Slayer, The Witcher and The Hunger Games alongside iconic French music such as Amélie and Les Choristes as well as beloved classics by Pjotr Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and Astor Piazzolla. The album also includes two world premiere recordings by Oscar-winning composers Anne Dudley and Rachel Portman. Anne Dudley wrote her new work especially for Esther Abrami and Rachel Portman has reworked her music for The Little Prince with Esther in mind. BELOW: Trailer for the album.

Alexander Hersh, cello

The brain child of cellist Alexander Hersh, "Absinthe" features music written right before the European ban of the infamous drink, Absinthe, as well as a series of wild videos that are set to stories. Music on the album includes works by: Scriabin Lili Boulanger, Nadia Boulanger, Janácek, and Ravel. The other performers on the album include: Geneva Lewis, Marta Aznavoorian, Adam Neiman, Victor Asunción, Drew Petersen, and Christopher Goodpasture. BELOW: Trailer for the project:

Henry Purcell Fantazias
John Holloway Ensemble
John Holloway, violin
Monika Baer, viola
Renate Steinmann, viola
Martin Zeller, violoncello

Henry Purcell’s “fantazias” are regarded as some of the finest and most intricately wrought examples of the fantasia, due to their profound embrace of counterpoint and great command of the polyphonal techniques of the time. Composed in the summer of 1680 – a time when the fantasia was already considered old-fashioned and had been replaced by the sonata – Purcell’s “fantazias” turned out to be the very last ensemble fantasias to be published in England. As John Holloway notes in his detailed liner text contextualizing the three- and four-part works, “it is tempting in retrospect to see their brilliant distillation of the very best of Byrd, Lawes, Jenkins and Locke as a personal farewell to a kind of music, which in Purcell’s own chamber music would soon be superseded by sonatas." BELOW: Purcell: Fantazia VI, Z. 737

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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September 23, 2023 at 07:54 AM · Anne Akiko Meyers and the Márquez concerto - how often do you find yourself dancing at breakfast? What a great and varied selection of clips!

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