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People talk about music as being a universal language, one that transcends cultures and borders. Composers borrow from other cultures to introduce those cultures to their own people, as Hugo Wolf did with his Italienisches Liederbuch — recently recorded by Allan Clayton, Carolyn Sampson, and Joseph Middleton — turning Italian poetry into German art songs. The reverse is done also, where musicians perform works by fellow countrymen to introduce those works to a wider audience, as Latvian Gidon Kremer (pictured above) does with the new PPP: Plakidis, Pētersons, Pelēcis album. Some artists just feel an affinity for a composer because of their shared cultural roots or a musical lineage; for an example, hear tenor Cyrille Dubois’ recording of the complete songs of Gabriel Fauré. Listen for more cultural clues in this batch of recent albums.

Gina Alice – Wonderworld

Giovanni Antonini, Kammerorchester Base – Haydn 2032, No. 12: Les jeux et les plaisirs

Matthew Aubin, Jackson Symphony Orchestra – Fernande Decruck: Concertante Works

Ronald Brautigam, Kölner Akademie, Michael Alexander Willen – Johann Wilhelm Wilms: The Piano Concertos, Vol. 1

William Carter – Esaias Reusner: Delitiae testudinis

Bertrand Chamayou – Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

Helen Charlston, Toby Carr – Battle Cry: She Speaks

Paolo Chiavacci, Francesco La Vecchia – Gian Francesco Malipiero: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2; Per una favola cavalleresca

Allan Clayton, Carolyn Sampson, Joseph Middleton – Hugo Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch

Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe – Monteverdi: Anima dolorosa – Il quarto libro de madrigali

Nicholas Collon, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra – Sibelius: Symphony No. 7; Pelléas et Mélisande; King Christian II

Danish String Quartet – Prism IV: Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bach

Stéphane Denève, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR – Maurice Ravel: Orchesterwerke

Roel Dieltiens, Andreas Staier – Beethoven: Cello Sonatas & Bagatelles Opp. 102, 119 & 126

Peter Donohoe – Grieg: Lyric Pieces, Vol. 1

Cyrille Dubois, Tristan Raës – Fauré: Complete Songs

Emperor Quartet – Benjamin Britten: The Music for String Quartet

Ensemble Intercontemporain – Steve Reich: Reich/Richter

Gerald Finley, Julius Drake – Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin

Pavel Giunter, Rokas Vaitkevicius, Lithuantian Chamber Orchestra, Karolis Variakojis – Zibuokle Martinaityte: Ex Tenebris Lux

Matthias Goerne, Daniil Trifonov – Lieder: Berg, Schumann, Wolf, Shostakovich, Brahms

Håkan Hardenberger, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Fabien Gabel – French Trumpet Concertos

Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Beethoven: Symphony No. 6; Stucky: Silent Spring

Paavo Järvi, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra – Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 ‘Winter Daydreams”; Italian Capriccio; Waltz from ‘Eugene Onegin’

Pavel Kolesnikov – Reynaldo Hahn: Poèmes & Valses

Gidon Kremer, Kremerata Baltica – PPP: Plakidis, Pētersons, Pelēcis

Les Arts Florissants, Paul Agnew – Vivaldi: The Great Venetian Mass

Yoav Levanon – A Monument for Beethoven

Paul Lewis – Beethoven: The Famous Piano Sonatas

Valentina Lisitsa – Chopin

London Early Opera, Bridget Cunningham – H.F. Handel/J.A. Hasse: Caio Fabbricio, HWV A9

Louis Lortie – Louis Lortie Plays Chopin, Vol. 7

Sally Matthews, Julian Hubbard, Ben Glassberg – Britten: The Turn of the Screw

Lisa Moore – Frederic Rzewski: No place to go but around

Marc Niemann, Philharmonisches Orchester Bremerhaven – Music from the Shadows: Emilie Mayer – Symphonies Nos 6 & 3

Hervé Niquet, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris – Jules Massenet: Songs with Orchestra

David Orlowsky, David Bergmüller – Alter Ego

Nicholas Phan – Stranger: Works for Tenor by Nico Muhly

Francesco Piemontesi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Johathan Nott – Schoenberg, Messiaen, Ravel

Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexander Melnikov – Chopin, Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonatas

Max Richter, Elena Urioste, Chineke! Orchestra – Max Richter: The New Four Seasons – Vivaldi Recomposed

Mari Samuelsen, Scoring Berlin Orchestra, Jonathan Stockhammer – Lys

Sestina, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Peter Whelan – The Hibernian Muse: Music for Ireland by Purcell and Cousser

Lahav Shani, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra – Weill: Symphony No. 2; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Masato Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan – Johann Sebastian Bach: Concertos for Harpsichord & Strings, Vol. 2

Time for Three, Philadelphia Orchestra, Xian Zhang – Letters for the Future

Freddie De Tommaso – Il Tenore

William Vann – Ralph Vaughan Williams: Pan’s Anniversary

Various Artists – Eric Tanguy: In a Dream – Chamber Music

Franz Welser-Möst, Cleveland Orchestra – Strauss: Three Tone Poems

Carolin Widmann – L’Aurore

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