Among the orchestras and ensembles with recent recordings news are Apollo’s Fire, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Virginia Symphony. Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland-based early-music ensemble, has released Sacrum Mysterium (Sacred Mystery)—A Celtic Christmas Vespers, on the Avie label; they are joined by Ensemble La Nef of Montreal in the holiday-themed program of medieval Vespers of St. Kentigern, ancient pagan carols, and 17th-century Welsh and Scottish pieces. Sony Classical has released the motion-picture soundtrack to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, with music by John Williams, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus; the recording includes solos by CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen and Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Miguel Harth-Bedoya have released Take 6, a two-CD set of new works by Peter Boyer, John B. Hedges, Jennifer Higdon, Gabriela Lena Frank, Kevin Puts, and Behzad Ranjbaran; also featured on the FWSO Live recording are soprano Hanan Alattar, violinist Michael Shih, and the classical/bluegrass/jazz trio Time for Three. Two orchestras have new recordings out of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8: Deutsche Grammophon has released a DVD of last winter’s performance in Venezuela by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, led by Gustavo Dudamel; Hampton Roads Classics has released the Virginia Symphony’s May 2012 live performance at Chrysler Hall during the Virginia Arts Festival, led by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. On its own SFS label, the San Francisco Symphony has released a DVD in which Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas traces the history of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring; also available is a companion CD of the SFS’s performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and selections from the Firebird Suite.

Posted November 30, 2012