James Strauss | The Brazilian Album

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The Brazilian Album

by James Strauss

The Brazilian music with James Strauss its one of the most rewarding musical experience. Listening to the CD streng thens the feeling of a Southamerican Kaledoscope.
Genre: Classical: Concerto
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Serenata for flute and strings (feat. Ada Peleg & Israeli Virtuosi)
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3:34 $0.99
2. Choro for flute and strings (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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6:18 $0.99
3. Pattapiana for flute and strings (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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10:04 $0.99
4. Suíte Popular Brasileira: I. Choro (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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2:00 $0.99
5. Suíte Popular Brasileira: II. Seresta (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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2:46 $0.99
6. Suíte Popular Brasileira: III. Baião (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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2:55 $0.99
7. Suíte Popular Brasileira: IV. Frevo (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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1:54 album only
8. Quatro Coisas for flute and strings: I. Preludio (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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2:25 $0.99
9. Quatro Coisas for flute and strings: II. Movimentação (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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1:21 album only
10. Quatro Coisas for flute and strings: III. Interludio (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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1:56 $0.99
11. Quatro Coisas for flute and strings: IV. Cabocolinho de pena (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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1:16 album only
12. Concertino for flute and strings: I Allegro (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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7:33 $0.99
13. Concertino for flute and strings: II Largo (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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2:02 $0.99
14. Concertino for flute and strings: III. Andante-Allegro Vivace (feat. Israeli Virtuosi & Ada Peleg)
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4:10 $0.99
15. Tota Pulchra es Maria, Motetto a sollo for soprano, flute obbligatto, choir and orchestra (feat. Cantinovum, Capriccioso Chamber Orchestra, Sirkka Lampimäki & Rita Varonen)
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5:14 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
The Brazilian Album

Until recently, it has been difficult for international listeners to get a sense of the breadth and importance of the repertoire for flute and orchestra produced by Brazilian composers in the 20th century. Very little Brazilian music got any airplay. Almost none was recorded abroad. While many important works continued to be presented by Brazilian orchestras, Brazilian labels rarely recorded them under optimal conditions. We were left with live performances, and often not the best ones at that. All this has changed thanks to an ambitious project linking the Israeli Virtuosi, with Flutist James Strauss, Together they have released this bealtiful Brazilian flute concertos CD .

Francisco Braga (1868-1945)

Serenata for flute and Strings(1900) D.P

Francisco Braga - composer Braga (born, Rio de Janeiro, 1868, died, Rio de Janeiro, 1945), for whom a street in Copacabana is named. Like almost all Brazilian composers, Braga went abroad to study, spending 1890-1894 at the Paris Conservatory with Massenet. The tone poem Cauchemar (1895) is highly French in its style, as one might expect. The one-act opera Jupyra was written in Italy (to an Italian libretto, not a Portuguese one), and was premiered in Rio. Braga went on to be professor of composition at the National Institute of Music (formerly the Conservatory, and presently the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ). Both of these works are floridly late Romantic in idiom, with the opera recalling the contemporary works of Puccini.The serenata for flute and strings was Composed in 1900.

Dimitri Cervo(1968)

Pattápiana for flute and strings

Born in Santa Maria in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in 1968, Cervo began his musical studies in 1979. a few yearslater he was already developing his firstcompositions. In 1995, he won first prize in the "Competition for Orchestral Works" at the Londrina Music festival (state of Paraná), with Abertura e Toccata. The following year, Cervo perfomed the premiere of his Passacaglia Fantasia for piano and orchestra with the UFBA Symphony. In 1997, he signed a contract with Sunhawk (Seattle, USA), becoming a pionner in the publication of scores in digital format on the Internet. Cervo has been featured in "Bilboard", "Sheet Music" and "Music & Computers" magazines. His music has been performed mainly by various Brazilian orchestras and in the USA. In 1999, Toccata Amazônica was commissioned and debuted by the "Amazônia Jazz Ensemble" with great succes. In March, 2000, his Pequena Suite Brasileira was awarded a jury and popular prize at the "Fifth Aliénor Harpsichord Composition Competition" (South Carolina, USA). Pattapiana, op. 17
This piece pays homage to Pattápio Silva (1881-1907), one of the Brazil's first flute virtuosos. Pattapiana is the female counterpart of Toronubá, they are like brother and sister. Pattapiana is a bit shorter as appropriate for a wife. Both embody the ideal beauty of male and female, and both have the same musical structure based on a tripartite form (ABC), where the musical elements of the first two sections are fused and put together in the third section.

Edino Krieger (1928)

Choro for flute and strings (1952)

Born in Brusque (1928) in the state of Santa Catarina, Krieger moved to Rio de janeiro in 1943. he enrolled in the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música, in the course for violin (which he had studied with his father from an early age). The following year, he became a student of Koellreutter. Later on, he studied in the United States with Aaron Copland and Peter Menin; in Teresópolis with Krenek (an intensive composition course); and in London with Lennox Berkeley. He Organized the Ordem dos Músicos do Brasil with José Siqueira, developed the music programming for the MEC and JB radio stations and the first choral competitions, promoted by the latter. He was a music critic and organized Music Festivals for the State of Guanabara and the Biennial of Contemporary Brazilian Music. He was also the director of the Instituto Nacional de Música/ FUNARTE and, from 1998 to 2001, has been president of the Academia Brasileira de Música, where he occupies chair nunber 34.

César Guerra- Peixe (1914-1993)

Born in Petrópolis (1914) in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Guerra-Peixe began his musical experience participating in "choro" (Brazilian popular genre) and other urban popular music groups. He moved to the city of Rio de Janeiro, where he studied violin with Paulina D´Ambrosio, and composition with Newton Pádua. When he was a student of Koellreutter in the 40´s, he adopted serialism and produced important works such as his Sinfonia nº 1. in the 1950´s, after a trip to the Northeast of Brazil, Guera-Peixe tured to strictly nacionalistic and regional aesthetics. In 1960, he began to diversify his work, dedicating himself to radio, movies and television. Notable from this phase of this work are Assimilações (Assimilations); A Retirada da Laguna (The Lagoon Retreat) for orchestra; and the cantata Drummondiana. He was a member of the Academia Brasileira de Música, and the middle of the 70´s marked the beginning of the final phase of his career. He introduced a kind of "national essence" into his pieces, however never using Brazilian folklore material directly or explicitly. From this period, its his " Fours Things" Orinaly composed for Harmonica and Piano and himself made the arrangements for many instruments, here in "first world premiere" for flute and strings.
Júlio MEDAGLIA (1938)
Composer, arranger, conductor.
Born in São Paulo in 1938, he studied theory and conducting with Hans-Joachim Koellreutter. He continued his studies at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany, and privately with Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Sir John Barbirolli, with whom he worked as assistant conductor. After his return to Brazil in 1966, he established a solid reputation as a conductor, eventually working with all the major orchestras in the country, in addition to launching his career as arranger and composer of music for film and theater. In 1970, he worked with conductor Günther Schuller in the
U.S., and returned for another period of study in Germany, during which he produced several arrangements of Brazilian popular music and composed more than 100 scores for German television movies. Returning to Brazil in 1974, since then he has worked with several musical and cultural institutions in the country, in addition to contributing the soundtrack for hundreds of Brazilian movies, plays, and television programs. Among the institutions that he has directed are the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, the Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Municipal in Brasília, and the Festival de Inverno de Campos do Jordão in São Paulo. He was the artistic adviser for the Rede Globo, the largest TV network in Brasil, and is the founder and director of the Amazonas Filarmônica, the resident orchestra at the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus. The "Suite Popular Brasileira" was composed for the Berlinerphilharmonic Blasserquintent, and at the request of James Strauss, Madaglia arranged it for flute and Strings.


Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1939, Tacuchian studied with Mignone, Santoro and José Siqueira. He wasthe founder of the groups "Ars Contemporânea" and "Síntese" (specializing in medieval music). He also "Panorama da Música Brasileira Atual", at the Escola de Música da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro a samplina of national music. He is a member of the Academia Brasileira de Música since 1981 (chair number 29), where he occupied the presidency from 1993 to 1997. tacuchian is a professor at the Universidade do Rio de Janeiro, and he has held important academic potitions in Brazil and in the United States. He has used the so-called "sistema T" (system T) in his work, a pitch control techinique that he created. He has won many awards and has been commissioned by important institutions in Brazil and abroad to write pieces. The Concertino for flute and strings was composed in 1968, was revised in 2003 and dedicated to the flutist James Strauss.

Padre José Mauricio (1767-1830) was an Afro-Brazilian composer and organist who was the grandson of slaves. Today, thanks to an extraordinary work made by Professor Cleofe Person de Mattos (1913-2002), José Mauricio is the sole composer from the Brazilian colonial period whose biography is clearly established, and his remaining works are entirely catalogued.
At 16, José Mauricio composed the first work that came to our days: the antiphon Tota pulchra Es Maria (CPM 1) in 1783, dedicated to the Cathedral and See.

This Recording presenting works by living Brazilian composers are much more difficult to track down and acquire, since the usual Labels has not yet devoted a similar program to their output (here’s hoping!).


"Un grand bravo! An authentic Latin representative of the French School of Flute" said Jean Pierre Rampal. Those fortunate enough to hear Brazilian flutist James Strauss immediately agree with the French Master appreciation; it´s an extraordinary display of erudite musicianship allied with an innate sense of communication through Art. Strauss is a musician with an equal flair for sweetness, elegance and whatever extremes possible inside the concept of dramatic intimacy all filtered through an honest and sincere skill to properly conceptualize a work. His repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary Masters in addition to endeavors in Brazilian and South American folk that perfectly reflects the many facets of his abilities in solo, chamber or concerto performances. James Strauss is the first Brazilian flautist to ever be conceded a Diplomme de Concertiste by the École Normale de Musique de Paris. He was one of very few last disciples of Jean-Pierre Rampal. Strauss was laureate with a scholarship by the French government for the Conservatoire de Paris and for the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cort de Paris where he studied with Pierre-Yves Artaud, Alain Marion, Genevieve Martigny, Alain Menard, Maurice Pruvot, Lazlo Hadadi, Bernard Andrés and later masterclasses with Mstislav Rostropovich, Ransom Wilson, Michel Moragues, Michel Debost, and Lars Nilsson. Strauss has a special interest in new music and unconventional repertoire, which has led many composers to dedicate works to him including the world or local premières of works by Nicole Randall, João Linhares, Solfa Carlile, Sean Hickey, Ernani Aguiar, Armand Frydman, Glenn Roger Davis, Ricardo Tacuchian, Philip Czaplowski, Antonio Ribeiro, Dimitri Cervo, Julio Medaglia, Charles Chaynes, Sergio Igor Chnee, Jean Françaix, Thorkel Sigibjornsson, Kai Nieminen and many others. He gave the modern première on the piccolo of the fourth piccolo concerto by Antonio Vivaldi, discovered by the French musicologist Jean Cassignol. He is regularly featured in the international press, as guest on NPR's Performance Today, Bowed Radio, WGUC FM and Cultura FM and he were host and performer on the Musical TV show Musicas que elevam at the REDE MUNDIAL. The Falls House Press/Theodore Presser Company published James Strauss's discovery and reconstruction of the Concertstuck for flute by Tchaikovsky. Strauss has been guest soloist with orchestras including: Capriccioso Chamber Ensemble (Finland), Orchestre Symphonique de Creteil (France), Israeli Virtuosi (Israel), Orchestre Philharmonic de Sibiu (Romania), Oxford Chamber Orchestra (USA), Ensemble 3 Elephants (Japan), Orquestra Sinfonica do Recife, Orquestra Sinfonica de São José dos Campos, Bachiana Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Florianópolis, Orquestra de Camara UNISINOS, Orquestra de Camara do Theatro São Pedro, Filarmonica Vera Cruz, Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro Nacional de Brasilia and many others. Respected for his inspiring teaching, Strauss has taught master classes and performed recitals for universities and flute societies, such Miami University (USA), Iceland Academy of Arts ( Iceland), Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris ( France),Accademia Janua Coeli - Genova ( Italy), Verões Musicais (Brazil), the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho Fortaleza CEARA (Brazil) - Londrina Music Festival (Brazil). As music critics say, “He has an astonishing tone color, beautifully rich and thick sound and he imparts a shimmering brilliance to his music...” This emotional and technically superb musician performs as a concert soloist all over the world, with his virtuoso flute. James Strauss is one of the most brilliant artists of his generation. Principal Flutist of the Filarmonica Vera Cruz since 2011, he enjoys a multi-faceted career as a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, and clinician. Strauss recently has been interested in being performances with original instruments, and in 2012 he will release his first album playing and conducting concerts of Vivaldi played with a baroque orchestra and a traverso built in 1741. For the 2011-2012 season Mr. Strauss will be performing several premieres wrote for him by composers from the 5 continents ( Roger Davies – USA, Solfa Carlile-Ireland, Daisuke Soga – Japan, Martial Nardeau – Iceland, Alexander Arutunian – Armenia) in Paris, Sacramento, Amsterdan, London and Budapest, and the Concierto Pastoral by Joaquín Rodrigo with the Sinfonietta de Granada (Spain) and his first tour in Australia.

Israeli Virtuosi

Hailed as Israel's best string team, the Israeli Virtuosi is comprised of the other top ranking Israel Philharmonic principal players and soloists. Under the direction of its Music Director and Conductor Ada Pelleg, the Ensemble has been distinguished for its exceptionally beautiful string sound, the commitment of its players and its consistently high artistic standards. The Israeli Virtuosi's repertoire ranges from the late Baroque to the present. The Ensemble performs regularly at the Haifa International Music Festival and has been recorded for broadcasting. The Ensemble has toured the USA and Europe, including concerts in Baltimore, Philadelphia And London.

Ada Pelleg

Israeli born conductor Ada Pelleg is currently Music Director/Conductor of the Israel String Ensemble, which is comprised of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's principal players and other top ranking principal players and soloists. Furthermore she acts as Director of the Safed Music Festival, the Haifa Music Center and the Israel International Flute Competition and has been chosen "Woman of the year 2006" by the Israeli Associationof Women in Management. She was awarded a conducting fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival, a scholarship to study with Frederick Prauznitz at Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a fellowship to a special master class with Max Rudolph at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In addition, she participated in master classes with Charles Bruck, Sergiu Celibidache, JanosFurst, Gustav Meier, Colin Metters and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. In 1987 Ada Pelleg served as Music Director and Conductor of the Columbia International Music Festival and taught composition and music theory at the Frederick College in Maryland. She returned to Israel in 1991 and served as Music Director of the Jezreel Valley Conservatory, taught at Haifa University and published articles in various professional publications. In 1996 she founded the Haifa Music Center. More recently, she has conducted the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg State Orchestra and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.

Sirkka Lampimäki has appeared as an operatic soloist in Switzerland (Stadttheater Bern, Opernhaus Zürich), Germany (Theater am Rathaushof Konstanz), Estonia (the National Opera Estonia) and in Finland (the Finnish National Opera, SavonlinnaOpera Festival, Opera Cava Festival, Vantaa Opera Association and others). Her Sirkka Lampimäki graduated from the Sibelius Academy, where she completed
her voice studies with distinction with professor Seppo Ruohonen, with a Master’s degree in 2004. Along with her work as a freelance singer Sirkka Lampimäki isworking on a higher university degree. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocalpedagogy from the Conservatory of Central Finland. From 2001 to 2003 Sirkka Lampimäki sang at the International Opera Studio in Zürich. She has also studied abroad with Mitsuko Shirai and Norma Enns. Sirkka Lampimäki has participated in master classes of Renata Scotto, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Tom Krause, Udo Reinemann, Matti Salminen, Gundula Janovitz, Edita Gruberova and many others.
Sirkka Lampimäki was the winner of the Kangasniemi Singing Competition in 1999. She was semifinalist in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in 2001 in Oslo aswell in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Contest 2002 in Wienna. She received the III prize in the Lappeenranta Singing Competition in 2004 and the II prize in the Timo Mustakallio Competition in 2004 in Savonlinna. She has
been awarded with a Special prize of the Sibelius Estate in The International Sibelius Singing Competition 2007 in Järvenpää.

Rita Varonen has been the conductor of Chamber Choir Cantinovum since 1993. Under her direction, Cantinovum has enhanced its reputation as one of Finland’s leading performers of new Finnish choral music.
Hungarian-born Varonen received her Master’s degree in choral conducting and aural training at the distinguished Liszt Academy in Budapest in 1987. She also completed a degree in wind band conducting and studied voice as one of her main subjects. Rita Varonen has studied conducting with István Párkain, Péter Erdein, László Heltay, Tonu Kaljuste, Jorma Panula, and Stefan Sjöld. Currently she is a Senior Lecturer of Choir Conducting at the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, Finland.Rita Varonen has conducted choral and orchestra concerts throughout Europe and the USA. Apart from those she has released many CD's with various choirs, appeared in radio and television broadcasts, recorded and received prizes throughout EUrope and the United States. Besides Cantinovum, Varonen conducts Jyväskylä's Naislaulajat (Female Singers) and the Harjun Laulu (Hill's Song) mixed choir as well as on occasion the Jyväskylä Sinfonia (Symphony). In 1996, Varonen was awarded the Harald Andersén Prize from the Finnish Cultural Foundation for her contribution to Finnish choral music. In 2001, she won second place in the Concorso Internazionale per Direttori di Coro Mariele Ventre, international choir conductor competition in Italy. In 2009 Varonen was awarded the prize of the best choir conductor at both the Slovakia Cantat Competition and ABB Bansa Bystrica Competition in Slovakia. The choirs present in those competitions were Jyväskylän Naislaulajat and Cantinovum. The Finnish Choral Directors’ Association selected Rita Varonen Choir Director of the Year 2004. She is in constant demand for workshops throughout the world.


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Wildy Haskell

The Brazilian Album
James Strauss might not be a name that is highly familiar to classical music fans in the United States, but that’s all about to change. The first Brazilian born flautist to earn a Diplomme de Concertiste from the École Normale de Musique de Paris, Strauss has performed recitals, workshops and with orchestras around the world. Noted as an authentic Latin representative of the French School of Flute by no less than master Jean Pierre Rampal, Strauss plays with a depth and intimacy that will remind you of how beautiful the flute can truly be. While Strauss has concentrated on traditional classical works in his other releases, The Brazilian Album works
to expose some of the seminal flute works of some of the great classical composers of Brazil. Strauss enlisted the assistance of Israeli Virtuosi, and conductor Ada Pelleg, in recording The Brazilian Album.

Strauss opens with Francisco Braga’s “Serenata For Flute And Strings”, a gorgeous, lilting piece that’s pastoral in its mien. Every note is precise perfectly placed, with a sense of vibrant energy just beneath the surface. It’s a marvelous introduction – a thing of beauty. “Choro” (Edino Krieger) has a somewhat darker tone, dancing in the playground that lay between traditional classical and “new” music. Strauss takes command, driving the piece with a flute style that vacillates between lyric and frenetic. “Pattapiana” is a world premiere recording from composer Dimitri Cervo that was dedicated to Strauss. Clocking in at 10:05, the piece plays more like a small symphony, featuring some amazing moments of beauty. Cervo’s strong theme recurs throughout, with Strauss raising the bar each time it rears its head. Júlio Medaglia’s “Suite Popular Brasileira” gets its world debut here as well. Presented in four movements, the piece is vibrant and full of a life of its own. “Choro” finds Strauss dancing in frenzy, while the more lyric style of “Seresta” carries with it a pensive feel. “Baiao” carries the sort of theme you’ll be whistling for days – invading your head and refusing to leave. It’s impossible not to feel uplifted upon hearing this movement. The final movement, “Frevo”, is perhaps the most complicated of all, allowing Strauss to show his technical chops while utterly awing listeners with his virtuosity. Some of the runs and acrobatics he performs here on the flute will leave you dumbfounded.
“Quatro Coisas For Flute And Strings” is another world premier recording from composer César Guerra-Peixe. It opens with “Preludio”, a dark and foreboding mood piece that’s full of its own Delphian beauty. “Movimentação” has an unsettled feel, with the orchestra building tension beneath Strauss’ uneasy flute lead. “Interlúdio” is a quiet moment of reflection that allows Strauss to spread his musical wings in gorgeous, lonely melody line shadowed by a subtle chorus
of strings. All of this resolves in the joyous dance of “Cabocolinho De Pena”, an undeniably happy exclamation as closer. Ricardo Tacuchian’s “Concertina For Flute And Strings” is also heard here for the first time, and was dedicated by the composer himself to Strauss. The opening movement, “Allegro” is dark and full of dissonant harmonies, blending the classical and new styles in an uneasy marriage that discomfits and resolves in unequal measures. Strauss manages all of this with an aplomb that is surprising, but it may not be easy on the ears of those not enamored with 20th Century classical music. “Largo” begins in quieter tones, and offers an interesting interchange between Strauss and the orchestra, but retains a dark, uneasy feel. “Andante – Allegro Vivace” picks a more vibrant pace, but plays like a cacophony rather than a symphony. Instruments intrude on
one another; stepping on one another’s lines like people jostling in a ticket queue. All of this is accomplished with a technical precision that is impressive, but the end result is just not easy on the ear.

The Brazilian Album closes with a bonus track, a recording of José Mauricio Nunes Garcia’s “Tota Pulchra Es Maria”. Recorded with the Capriccioso Chamber Orchestra (Finland) and Chamber Choir Cantinovum under the direction of Rita Varonen, the piece features Sirkka Lampimaki as a vocal soloist and Strauss as the principal flute soloist. Written in a classical motet style, the piece is an utter work of beauty that brings chills to the listener.


It’s not often, in editorial content that a writer concludes with a single word. But “Wow” is the word. James Strauss plays with a composure and presence that is, at first blush, startling. It is perhaps most surprising that Strauss isn’t touring the world on a par with instrumentalists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Vanessa Mae or Itzhak Perlman. He’s already playing on that level. If there is one complaint about the recording of The Brazilian Album, it’s that the album, at present, is only available in MP3 format. The compressed sound is tinny at times, and doesn’t allow listeners to appreciate the full beauty of what Strauss and Israeli Virtuosi have made here. But all of that aside –


Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)