Lawrence Brownlee, Megan Marino & Paola Prestini Lead CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will experience new music and a number of rare pieces in the repertoire.


Lawrence Brownlee’s is set to release a new album “Rising,” in celebration of Black Music Month. “Rising” features a program of new songs that Brownlee commissioned from six up-and-coming African-American composers (Damien Sneed, Brandon Spencer, Jasmine Barnes, Joel Thompson, and Shawn E. Okpebholo), set poetry from the Harlem Renaissance that revolves around themes of empowerment, faith, and love in the face of challenge.

The album also includes rarely-performed works by composers Robert Owens and Margaret Bonds, and Brownlee is accompanied throughout by pianist and collaborator Kevin J. Miller.


New York-based German composer Reiko Füting releases the world premiere recording of his opera “Mechthild,” with a libretto by poet and theologian Christian Lehnert, on New Focus Recordings.

Füting’s opera, which was inspired by the Medieval “mystery play,” premiered in Magdeburg, Germany Sept. 16-18, 2022, marking the occasion of the ceremonial reopening of the monastery church and the north wing in the art museum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen Magdeburg.

Black Lodge 

The soundtrack to David T. Little’s “Black Lodge” is set to be released. The film was produced by Beth Morrison Projects and directed by Michael Joseph McQuilken.

Vox Clamantis’s Recording of Music by Henrik Ødegaard

After dedicating past ECM New Series recordings to the works of contemporary composers Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Helena Tulve and most recently Cyrillus Kreek, the Vox Clamantis choir, under the direction of Jaan-Eik Tulve, turns its attention towards Norwegian composer Henrik Ødegaard.

“In this recording, Gregorian chant is the protagonist,” writes Kristina Kõrver in the liner notes, “sometimes in its pure beauty, sometimes intertwined with the ‘new song’ of Henrik Ødegaard. As an organist and choir conductor, his musical thinking has been strongly influenced by two important traditions, Gregorian chant and Norwegian folk music, both of which have found unique expressions in his work.”

 The Folly of Desire

Brad Mehldau presents “The Folly of Desire,” a song cycle inquiring about the limits of sexual freedom in a post#MeToo political age, together with tenor Ian Bostridge, one of the greatest song interpreters of our times. Setting poetry by Blake, Yeats, Shakespeare, Brecht, Goethe, Auden, and Cummings, Mehldau’s music shifts seamlessly between a jazz idiom and Classical art song, Pentatone releases the album.

That Star in the Picture 

Albany Records presents “That Star in the Picture,” a new album celebrating art songs and musical theater from esteemed New York City-based composer and pianist James Adler. The ensemble features mezzo-soprano Victoria Livengood, soprano Shana Farr, soprano Elizaveta Ulakhovich, tenor Kennedy Kanagawa, tenor Michael Buchanan, baritone Perry Sook, flutist Denise Koncelik, clarinetist Francis Novak, cellist Adam Fisher, hornist Kyle Walker, oboist Brian Shaw, and pianist James Adler. The recording was made Live at Yamaha Artist Services Studio NY.

It’s You I Like

Lexicon Classics releases mezzo-soprano Megan Marino and pianist John Arida new album in a recording that brings classical music to audiences of all ages in the spirit of play.

The album’s songs reflect an unapologetic embrace of kindness, beginning with the title track by Mr. Rogers. Listeners will hear well-known classics like “Pure Imagination” by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley, “Not While I’m Around” by Stephen Sondheim, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Do-Re-Mi,” complemented by a chorus of children. The album also features lesser-known pieces like two songs from “How to Eat Like a Child,” by John Forster, “Come In, Mornin,” from Huckleberry Finn, by Kurt Weill, and “Slow March,” by Charles Ives.

BACH: St. John Passion

AVIE Records releases a collaboration with Cantata Collective under conductor Nicholas McGegan. The live recording of Bach’s “St. John’s Passion” is the first of J.S. Bach’s seminal choral works to be recorded and released on the label over the next several years. The recording features soloists Thomas Cooley, Paul Max Tipton, Nola Richardson, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Derek Chester, and Harrison Hintzsche.

Edward Tulane

Composer Paola Prestini and librettist Mark Campbell release the live original cast recording of their opera “Edward Tulaneon” on VIA Records. The opera, which is based on the novel “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” opened to critical acclaim in 2022 following a two-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cast recording features tenor Jack Swanson, soprano Zulimar López-Hernández, tenor Brian Vu, bass Zachary James, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, baritone Jeremiah Sanders, bass Benjamin Sieverding, mezzo-soprano Victoria Vargas, soprano Jasmine Habersham, mezzo-soprano Keely Futterer, soprano Danielle Beckvermit, baritone Nicholas Davis, mezzo-soprano Lisa Marie Rogali, tenor Christian Sanders, and conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya.

I portentosi effetti d ella Madre Natura

Harmonia Mundi releases Giuseppe Scarlatti’s “I portentosi effetti d ella Madre Natura.” The work which was first produced in 1752 and features a cast that includes Rupert Charlesworth, Filippo Mineccia, Roberta Mameli, Benedetta Mazzucato, Maria Ladurner, Niccolò Porcedda, Dana Marbach, João Fernandes, and Dorothee Oberlinger.


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