Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of the classical music genre, regularly sharing tracks from underground acts from the scene. However, it’s been over a year since I’ve created a round-up review based on artists from the genre, so I felt it was high time to get started again! Some of the acts on this list are a little different from the modern classical norms, whereas others align well with the style. However, I felt that every artist placed here belonged within the classical spectrum, ensuring fans of the genre should find something to love here.
Review by Jane Howkins
Photo by Jordana Delgado
Jordana Delgado – Autumn Leaves
First up, we have composer and pianist Jordana Delgado. Whilst she describes her music as being minimalist, I wouldn’t say that’s an entirely fair description, as there is lots to love in new track, Autumn Leaves. It’s a piano-based tune that starts out slowly, before picking up the pace somewhat as the music progresses. The piece is characterised by some lovely piano arpeggios, drifting through the music in a lovely way. It’s a fairly short track, but it’s beautiful enough as it is, so don’t let that put you off listening to this lovely piece of music.
Claudia Balla – Could I
Could I is a track taken from Claudia Bellas’s latest album Winter Tale, and it’s slightly different from the other songs on this list. For one, it features elements of a few other genres (folk and pop), but it’s also not an instrumental piece, as the instruments gather together in lovely style around Claudia’s stunning vocals. The music has a definitive neoclassical quality to me, featuring a gorgeous piano melody and a stringed section, performing beautifully in the background. The backing vocals are really on point too, sounding like a haunting choir, carrying the tune to its satisfying ending.
KSS feat. Ellen Andrea Wang – There is a place
KSS (otherwise known as the Women’s Choral Society of the University of Oslo) combine their talents with vocalist Ellen Andrea Wang on new piece, There is a place. It starts out really slowly, with a subtle double bass melody opening the track underneath the stunning vocal lines. The choir soon join in, providing a gorgeous backbone to the lead vocals, echoing nicely and providing extra layers of beauty to the piece. The instrumentation is extremely sparse, but There is a place is hauntingly beautiful as it is, creating something you won’t be able to stop listening to!
Joanna Borrett – Clan 1: One Morning
Clan 1: One Morning is a piece taken from Joanna Borrett’s latest EP release, simply titled Clan. It’s a really gorgeous sounding piece of music, opening with a pretty piano motif, accompanied by some lovely strings. The music has a really positive vibe, conjuring up evocative pictures in your mind as you listen to the playful melodies created here. The instrumentation changes slightly over the course of the piece, adding a palpable sense of variety to the piece that will keep your attention poised throughout! Unfortunately, the piece isn’t available on Spotify, but you can find the full EP on Soundcloud.
John Puchiele Ensemble – Liminary to the Otherside
John Puchiele is a composer with a vast history within the classical music world, having recently released his new album, AFTER LIFE. Liminary to the Otherside is the second track from the record, opening with a gorgeous swathe of strings, creating a wonderful texture within the tune. More and more instruments are added in the background, creating a track full of beautiful layers, really tugging at the heartstrings. The music eventually raises up to a crescendo of sorts, before suddenly dropping off, leaving you with a feeling of awe.
WESTHEART – A Soft Glow
Scottish artist WESTHEART creates gorgeous pieces of ambient classical music, with A Soft Glow being the title track from his new album, The Space Between Darkness & Light. It’s a slow piano-led piece, containing a meandering piano motif that carries through the tune in a lovely way. As previously mentioned, the song has quite an ambient quality, but it genuinely is a beautiful piece of music, particularly if you listen to it through a few times. There’s something very stirring about the piece, and the rest of the album is well worth checking out too, if you like your classical music!
Ronald Van Deurzen – Night Walk
Ronald Van Deurzen is a Dutch composer who has won many awards during his time in the music business, and it’s not hard to see why with Night Walk! It’s an astoundingly beautiful piece of music that starts with some haunting strings, before a pleasing piano melody enters the track. After the one minute mark, the piece changes slightly, introducing some cool percussive sounds that really make the music sound unique. It’s great to hear a classical composer trying something different, and on Night Walk, it really works!
Kepa Lehtinen – Suru
It’s not often I get to hear much classical music from Finland, so Helsinki-based artist Kepa Lehtinen is very welcome indeed! Suru is another ambient sounding piece of music, led mostly by a pretty piano melody. However, Kepa has also included some really intriguing background effects here, ebbing and flowing in a lovely way as the track continues. It’s actually pretty haunting at times, really getting underneath your skin as you listen to this wonderful piece of music. This might just be my favourite song on this list!