marc-andre hamlin performs cpe bach

What we’re listening to…

It’s always interesting to know what recordings spark the interest of fellow music lovers. The list below reflects new and old recordings that look promising to us. We will periodically add to the list as new releases catch our attention. We welcome your comments and suggestions to

C.P.E Bach: Sonatas & Rondos, Marc-Andre Hamelin

The first repertoire selection that we’re listening to this week are the C.P.E Bach’s Sonatas & Rondos as performed by Marc-Andrea Hamelin. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788), the fifth son of J.S. Bach, was more famous in his day than his father. C.P.E. Bach’s fresh and imaginative music led the way from the baroque to the classical style, greatly influencing Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. His treatise, Essay on the true art of playing keyboard instruments, was once considered a foundational textbook.

marc-andre hamlin performs cpe bach

Pianist Marc-Andre Hamlin performs C.P.E. Bach

However, C.P.E. Bach doesn’t get enough love nowadays. The much-admired Canadian piano virtuoso Marc-Andre Hamelin has done his part to correct this oversight with C.P.E Bach: Sonatas & Rondos, released on the Hyperion label late last fall. Hamelin’s pianistic brilliance and interpretive insight seem sure to make this release a favorite.

  nicolas altstaedt performs esa-peka salonen's cello concerto                                
Nicolas Altstaed: Esa-Peka Salonen Cello Concerto
No cellist on the stage today has more artistic range or technical acumen than cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, who has been flashing his brilliance all over Europe for the last decade. In a brand- new release from Linn records, Altstaedt tackles the cello concerto Esa-Pekka Salonen, who is best known as the long-time conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic, and most recently of the San Francisco Symphony. But Salonen is also a gifted composer whose works deserve attention on their own merits. The Rotterdam Philharmonic, conducted by Dima Slobodeniouk, join Altstaedt for this recording which seems destined to make a lot of waves.

Eleanor Alberga: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 and The Soul’s Expression, BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Bowes and Pearse perform music of  Eleanor Alberga
Composer Eleanor Alberga has had a substantial presence over the years but has only recently begun to achieved full global recognition. Alberga began her career as a performing pianist before transitioning to music composition full-time. She has made up for lost time with a far-ranging output of inventive and skillfully written pieces. If you don’t know Eleanor Alberga’s music, you will want to explore her violin concertos Nos. 1 & 2 and The Soul’s Expression, released by Lyrita Recorded Edition earlier this month. Violinist Thomes Bowes, and baritone Morgan Pearse, perform with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Joseph Swenson. 

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