Latest Classical from NPR Music

Classical music observers say we're living in a golden age of string quartets. It's hard to disagree when you hear the vibrant young players in New York's Attacca Quartet.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

The Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi brought in a full band for a stunning live performance. He has a giant global following — and for good reason, as demonstrated by this rendition of his piece "Petricor."

SET LIST

  • "Petricor"

Photo: Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW. Watch Ludovico Einaudi's full Morning Becomes Eclectic set at KCRW.com.

Calling themselves "an accidental brass quartet," the members of The Westerlies, like the prevailing winds, blew east to New York from their hometown of Seattle, where they were childhood friends.

What are you doing for the next 10 days? That's how long it would take, without sleep, to listen to the new Mozart edition. The mammoth set, which some are touting as the biggest box set ever, claims to hold every note of Mozart's music and then some.

What defines America? There's been a lot of talk about that this election season. Pianist Lara Downes has a musical answer in her upcoming album America Again. To be released Oct. 28, it's a smartly programmed, wide-ranging anthology of solo piano works by American composers past and present; male and female; straight and gay; rich and poor; white, black and Latino.

In a season of relentless shouting, the best antidote might be singing. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato's new album with conductor Maxim Emelyanychev and the ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music, uses Baroque arias to explore the pain and possibilities of these troubled times. A companion website invites anyone and everyone to answer the simple but loaded question, "In the midst of chaos, how do you find peace?"

Need a moment to get away from it all? Here's your escape — a serene and bewitching video that calms the wearied mind.

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