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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