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Monday, May 18, 2020

Best Modern Classical Albums to Have

Classical music may be old-fashioned, stodgy and stuffy, but when it is done right, it will instantly jump out of your speakers like no other kind of music. Modern classical can bring about a change of mindset. The best modern classical albums are a combination of complexity, triumph, experimentation, and pure joy. Some of the best ones to have are:
-    Helene Grimaud: Water (2016)

The typical classical music audience is easy to impress; it is the younger audience that gives the most trouble. This culture is downright drunk on good music, which means there has to be something irresistible to catch the audience’s attention. Helene Grimaud, millennial soothsayer, and pianist, has done exactly so in Water by using an old-meets-new pairing. But, she has done it differently by using the portentous and murky writing of composer, Nitin Sawhney, like a seamless gloss. This leads to a seductive album that’s both complex and deep.
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-    Uri Caine: Primal Light (1997)

Before spray-on skinny jeans and studded leather jackets came around, punk was Gustav Mahler’s music. He drew on sounds that other composers would steer clear of and with Primal Light, pianist Uri Caine reignited Mahler’s shine. He took heavy cuts that included song excerpts and symphonies and punched them up. Potency and power are the keys here, which makes it surprising and fresh.
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-    Bryce Dessner and Kronos Quartet: Aheym (2013)

From an indie band darling, Bryce Dessner has evolved into a contemporary classical music sensation. He has collaborated with many people, but he enlisted the shape-shifting and fearless Kronos Quartet in 2013 for his album Aheym. The title track is a biographical account of his Jewish grandparents who settled in Brooklyn. The shadowy meditation, Tenebre, was named after the Holy Week service. The two were balanced out by Little Blue Something that has a limping groove. It is an excellent entry point for thrill-seekers and classical music novices.
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-    SO Percussion and Bobby Previte: Terminals (2014)

Featuring keyboardist John Medeski, saxophonist Greg Osby, harpist, Zeena Parkins, guitarist Nels Cline and uber-talented SO Percussion, Terminals is an epic album. Composer Bobby Previte’s writing cannot be easily categorized and it helped the musicians get loose. In the span of a single track, the group takes on and then discards various musical identities. It is a great example of experimentation in classical music and is one of the finest albums available for any fan.
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