Peter Rutenberg reviews Yuko Mabuchi debut on Yarlung Records

Review: Yuko Mabuchi, piano; Del Atkins, bass; Bobby Breton, drums by Peter Rutenberg Yuko Mabuchi Trio’s new CD on Yarlung Records makes great listening! They play several jazz standards with strength and authority, each with distinct colors and approaches. Lush harmonies suggest a sense of fuller orchestration, in the same vein as Brahms’ piano works, while fluid rhythms refresh at every turn. The trio exhibits consummate musicality and technique – with artful phrasing led by the pianist, a lyrical sensuousness in the bassist’s melodic counterpoints with the piano, and the drummer’s intelligent vocabulary and broad sweep tying it all together. Three brief points exemplify these qualities: Take the “A” Train roars into Harlem and beyond, stylistically speaking; the Japanese folksong Sakura (Cherry Blossom) finds delicate color and nuance in Debussy-esque harmonies; and the Latin rhythm tropes of the opening track, What Is This Thing Called Love, return in full regalia Continue Reading →

Review: Yuko Mabuchi Trio Concert

by Robert H. Levi Senior Associate Editor at Large, Positive Feedback Yuko Mabuchi plays the ivories with the touch of an angel and the understanding of an artist many times her young age. She is backed by seasoned musicians with strong drive plus an acute sense of playing with and not over the pianist. This is Yarlung’s third jazz album recorded like you wish all performances were recorded: listening is just like being there. All that’s missing here is the expensive tickets and sticky floor! The selection of mostly standards and stand-outs is delightful and hard to leave. I liked every one of them, particularly the All The Things You Are, Take The A Train, Satin Doll Medley and St. Thomas, a Sonny Rollins classic. The Japanese Medley was hauntingly gorgeous and intriguing. I played it twice in my first listening pass. The album is all about Yuko Mabuchi and Continue Reading →

Tom Schnabel features Sasha Cooke singing Mahler on Rhythm Planet

Tom Schnabel features Mahler’s Liebst du um Schönheit on Rhythm Planet. Click to hear Tom & Sasha Hear the entire broadcast here. “… we continue with an art song by Gustav Mahler, beautifully rendered by mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke and The Colburn Orchestra from Los Angeles. The album is on Yarlung Records, an audiophile label known for pristine sound quality.” Thank you Tom and thank you KCRW! See also Sasha’s review in Opera News See Yarlung Records for more information on Sasha Cooke “If You Love For Beauty.”

Opera News: Sasha Cooke “If You Love for Beauty”

The Colburn Orchestra, Gilad. Works by Adams, Chausson, Handel and Mahler. Texts in French, Italian, German and English. Yarlung Records YAR14148 Mezzo Sasha Cooke made a striking impression as Kitty, the wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer, in the Met premiere of Doctor Atomic five seasons ago. The high point of her performance was her seductive love duet with Gerald Finley’s Oppenheimer, which included her aria “Am I in Your Light?” Cooke leads with that piece on her excellent debut solo CD, If You Love for Beauty, in which she is sensitively accompanied by Yehuda Gilad and the Colburn Orchestra. Cooke’s attractive, erotic stage presence struck plenty of sparks in Doctor Atomic, but without question she also delivers the vocal goods. She possesses a firm, fruity mezzo, straight-toned in quality, which allows the listener to luxuriate in her unerring sense of pitch. And she has a strong yet subtle interpretive ability, Continue Reading →

Eminent music critic John von Rhein writes in the Chicago Tribune about James Matheson

Baird Dodge, principal second violin of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, gave the world premiere of American composer James Matheson’s Violin Concerto with the CSO under Esa-Pekka Salonen here in 2011. Yarlung Records has issued an all-Matheson disc anchored by a composite of those live performances, and it’s a winner. The concerto is a supercharged neo-romantic showpiece, two perpetual-motion outer movements surrounding a lyrical chaconne. Brilliantly played by its dedicatee and his orchestral colleagues, the concerto shares disc space with two Matheson chamber works that make the recording well worth checking out. Please enjoy John’s full article in the Tribune. Thank you John!

A Gorgeous Debut from the Sibelius Piano Trio

…once you hear [The Sibelius Piano Trio’s debut album] from Yarlung Records, best appreciated via stereo and multi-channel DSD downloads from NativeDSD.com… you’ll understand why their debut recording of trios by Sibelius and contemporary composers deserves a place in your collection. [Pianist Juho Pohjonen] is distinguished by deep sensitivity and lucid insights. Like him, violinist Petteri Iivonen (b. 1987) and cellist Samuli Peltonen (b. 1981) have won top prizes in national and international competitions, and used them to launch international careers. IIvonen is actually famed Finish composer Kaija Saariaho’s violinist of choice for her Violin Concerto, which is saying quite a lot. Together, these three friends formed the Sibelius Piano Trio just two years ago. For a new ensemble that has only performed once in the U.S., and does not yet have a viable website, they’ve certainly racked up several impressive commissions. The discs contain three intriguing works written for Continue Reading →

“James Matheson” earns coveted spot in the Stereophile Magazine “Records to Die for 2017” lineup!

James Matheson: Violin Concerto, String Quartet, Times Alone Baird Dodge, violin; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Color Field Quartet; Laura Strickling, soprano; Thomas Sauer, piano The two-channel version of this release, fine in its own right, is available on CD and on three individual LPs: Yarlung YAR65005-670V, YAR25668-670V, and YAR25669-670V. However, my real motivation for this R2D4 listing is the DSD256 five-channel version, downloadable from NativeDSD. With no prior knowledge or expectations of James Matheson’s music, the slashing opening of Taut, energetic, the aptly titled first movement of his String Quartet, hooked me. Not only was the music gripping and appealing, the multichannel sound was completely involving. Matheson is a living composer for whom direct and emotional communication is not compromised by an unintelligible style or obscured by adherence to dated ones. His String Quartet is dramatic, his Violin Concerto virtuosic and witty, and oh, the lovely songs of Times Continue Reading →

Dr. David W. Robinson awards a 2016 Brutus Award to Yarlung Records

The Great Dr. David W. Robinson awards a 2016 Brutus Award to Yarlung Records, with special mention of Yarlung’s analog tape releases and “James Matheson” on DSD: I can’t complete this set of Brutus Awards without a special tip o’ my hat to Bob Attiyeh and Yarlung Records. His production values and remarkable recordings in classic 15 IPS half-track analog tape on a fabulous SonoruS RTR recorder, and then transferred to Quad DSD via a Merging Technologies Hapi Quad DSD ADC and available on the NativeDSD.com site, have been a wonderful treat for me for the past several years. Bob has a lovely sensibility for the music, energized by an inspiring passion for both fine classical and jazz recordings. This year has seen more brilliant work from Bob, all of which can be accessed at his store on NativeDSD.com. Bob, this one’s for you! A Brutus Award for the Matheson Continue Reading →

Merry Christmas! A gift from the Sibelius Piano Trio

Today marks the release of Sibelius Piano Trio in DSD, from executive producer Philip O’Hanlon.  Ann Mulally served as executive producer for the CD and HDTracks releases. Warm thanks to our executive producers, and to Juho, Petteri and Samuli who created this fabulous music at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Our Gift to You! Enjoy this free download of the exhilarating final movement of Sibelius’ Korppoo Trio. Please read Mark Lehman’s review in The Absolute Sound. Artwork and liner notes are here. Have a wonderful holiday, and thank you so much for your support.  You made Yarlung’s 10th anniversary a year to remember. Sincerely and best wishes, Bob Attiyeh, producer www.yarlungartists.org www.yarlungrecords.com Sibelius Piano Trio DSD artwork. Click to enlarge.

Sibelius Piano Trio Yarlung (2 CDs)

by composer and music critic Mark Lehman Though renowned for his symphonic works, Sibelius wrote a lot of chamber music too, much of it in his early career, that remains little known.  This includes several piano trios from the 1880s that the young composer (an accomplished violinist) wrote to play with his brother and sister.  They sound nothing like his mature masterpieces but are nevertheless charming, expertly made, and brimming over with dandy tunes, inventive but always idiomatic and transparent instrumental textures, and a youthful, high-spirited delight in music-making. Korppoo Trio is the most ambitious and expansive of the three Sibelius trios on Yarlung’s program, coming in at 26 minutes, its fluent, melodic opening allegro interrupted on occasion by stabbing, rather Beethovenian assertions and even a clean-lined fugato at one point, though the overall form is classic in outline and clear as a bell.  The second movement unfolds elaborate episodes that Continue Reading →