The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2021 – The New York Times

“Seven Pillars”; Sandbox Percussion (Aki Rhythm Productions)

A lush, brooding celebration of noise, “Seven Pillars” is the sprawling result of a deep collaboration between a composer and a percussion quartet. Mixing antsy chimes and a low-slung beat below, “Pillar III” builds in force before collapsing in ferocious shudders, explosions and shivers — and an ominous lullaby coda. ZACHARY WOOLFE

“Mozart and Contemporaries”; Vikingur Olafsson, piano (Deutsche Grammophon)

The pianist Vikingur Olafsson has released another fascinating album, this one offering works by Mozart alongside pieces by his contemporaries Domenico Cimarosa, Baldassare Galuppi, Haydn and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Olafsson’s lucid and intense account of this Bach rondo is especially exhilarating. ANTHONY TOMMASINI

“Well-Tempered Clavier”; Piotr Anderszewski, piano (Warner Classics)

Piotr Anderszewski’s strange, ultimately satisfying selection of half the preludes and fugues from Book Two of “The Well-Tempered Clavier” might well be one of the great Bach recordings — in no way more so than in the psychological depths it charts in the slowest of its fugues. Anderszewski’s is playing of almost heroic concentration, and profound humanity. DAVID ALLEN

“Bluebeard’s Castle”; Szilvia Voros, mezzo-soprano; Mika Kares, bass; Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Susanna Malkki, conductor (Bis)

A tour of Bluebeard’s home is the stuff of HGTV nightmares. His new wife, Judith, should beware what lies behind each locked door, but fatefully insists on opening them. The fourth reveals a secret garden — rendered vividly in this recording, a master class in orchestral coloring and texture. Because the tension never truly slackens in Susanna Malkki’s interpretation, even a moment of fleeting beauty is shaded with nervous anticipation. JOSHUA BARONE

“Summertime”; Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano (Decca)

There’s suave Gershwin on Isata Kanneh-Mason’s most recent album, as well as elegant Samuel Barber and moving Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, including a heated yet heartbreakingly dignified “Deep River.” But Amy Beach’s “By the Still Waters” was new to me, and Kanneh-Mason makes of it a dreamy, unhurried little masterpiece. ZACHARY WOOLFE

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Google AI Tool Creates Music from Written Descriptions – VOA Learning English

This week, Google researchers published a paper describing results from an artificial intelligence (AI) tool built to create music.

The tool, called MusicLM, is not the first AI music tool to launch. But the examples Google provides demonstrate musical creative ability based on a limited set of descriptive words.

AI shows how complex computer systems have been trained to behave in human-like ways.

Tools like ChatGPT can quickly produce, or generate, written documents that compare well with the work by humans. ChatGPT and similar systems require powerful computers to operate complex machine-learning models. The San Francisco-based company OpenAI launched ChatGPT late…….


Bringing music to the masses… on a tram – BBC

French pianists, Hervé Billaut and Guillaume Coppola, brought a piano on to a tram in Nantes, as part of the opening of the annual La Folle Journée classical music festival.

They played to passengers all afternoon on Wednesday.

Mr Billaut said that they wanted to bring music to places you don’t expect it: “Perhaps someone, a child, a young person or a pensioner will have a musical shock.”