My Year-End Picks for 2011…Sort Of

This being the end of the year, and the fact that this is a music-oriented blog where I’ve been keeping up (or trying to keep up with) the artists and relevant releases, I have to confess that I don’t really have the extensive lists that people have been posting on their respective pages. BUT I do like these a lot, and having listened to them all the way through as one should (I listen a few times before I write about them), I can safely say they are worthy of inclusion for any kind of year-end best releases list.

A big reason for the short list is simply because I’m unemployed and don’t have the money to purchase CDs like I used to. There have been a few opportunities to hear some great recordings that I will definitely list on here as my favorites for the year, but it just won’t be a Top 50 or Top 25.

And even though it’s comprised mostly of classical/new music, I’ve decided the addition of Mark Mandeville and This Frontier Needs Heroes (both being indie folk recordings) is not so crazy given that lots of people have hip-hop and rock on their lists with the classical releases. Continue reading

Musicians: The Lincoln Trio

The Lincoln Trio are (L to R) Desiree Ruhstrat (violin), David Cunliffe (cello), and Marta Aznavoorian (piano)

Chicago-based ensemble The Lincoln Trio have invited me to come hear them at Le Poisson Rouge in NY–And I sadly had to leave early to get a train back to CT (long story; it’s always trains, cabs, directions and timeline issues with me). What I did manage to hear was such a great program of works (some brand new) by Lera Auerbach, Stacy Garrop and Joan Tower among others, and there was absolutely nothing regrettable about having a chance to hear any of that, particularly the jarring modernism of the Stacy Garrop piece Seven (I have to stress that when I hear new music, I’m usually watching it played by people dressed in street clothes or the color black; these people had gowns and a nice suit on, and it has to be the first time I’ve seen a lady in a gown so gorgeous as Marta Aznavoorian’s while she was playing inside the piano). Continue reading