This week, dreams of drumsticks, visions of venison, mashed potato mirages, and other affiliated food fantasies hang thick – there’s butter in the air. So I’ll briefly break away from cross-referencing mincemeat pie recipes to call attention to another set of particular delights that deserve your attention.
Here are my Thanksgiving picks of albums from the PARMA catalog that make for great listening whether you are stuffing, or being stuffed, or both:
Ecco La Musica
MORNING MOON (Big Round / Released 2012)
Refined yet exuberant, nuanced yet direct, impeccably recorded, and immaculately performed. This album never leaves my rotation in part due to the music’s uncanny ability to be both beautiful and fun, as suitable for a warm summer day as a crisp fall night.
WORKS FOR STRING QUARTETS AND OTHER SMALL ENSEMBLES
(Navona / Released 2012)
A massive, 3-hour digital-only collection of works by one of the most respected and influential living composers in modern music. Don’t let his prolific nature fool you – each and every measure in these works is carefully wrought and brilliantly rendered. Check out the “Duo Sonata” to hear Adler and his interpreters at their collective finest.
THRESHOLDS (Ravello / Released 2013)
A kaleidoscopic, massively gutsy piano concerto which casts music genres, their history, and their inter-relationships into a new, unique light. Nez utilizes a huge range of compositional languages and techniques to say what we here at PARMA like to say – music is music. Live recording of the Boston University Wind Ensemble with the composer at the piano.
NALADA (Ravello / Released 2011)
A fearless fusion of new music styles informed by a punk ethos and a highly distinctive sonic palette. From the disorienting, hypnotic “Medieval Love Song” to the coy, coquettish “Folie a’deux,” Miles adeptly sets her own instrument as both subject and relief, and in the process creates mood music of the highest order.
THE PALEST ROSE (Ravello / Released 2012)
Inviting, inventive chamber music that is simultaneously smart and tart in conception and witty in presentation. Vigil’s writing is challenging but always fun, and his style and sound carries across whatever instrumentation he’s writing for, be it chorus or harp or gamelan. I keep coming back to those Fantasies for piano though… the second is a burner.
Have a great holiday, and don’t forget to brine.
CEO, PARMA Recordings