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Telling stories through music is nothing new. Obvious examples are operas such as Puccini's La Bohème, newly recorded by the Irish National Opera; or the new opera Blue by Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson, and conducted by Roderick Cox (pictured above); or Handel's oratorio La Resurrezione, in a fine performance by the English Concert. Less obvious are instrumental works, such as Samuel Adams' Lyra, which tells the Orpheus myth, and Elena Ruehr's Icarus, also based on an ancient myth. Listen for other tales in these recent releases.

Samuel Adams, Living Earth Show - Lyra
Sergio Alapont, Irish National Opera - Puccini: La Bohème
Marin Alsop, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra - Voyages: Orchestral Music by James Lee III
Amatis Trio, Ib Hausmann - Oliver Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps
Leif Ove Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra - MM 1786: Mozart Momentum
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Gábor Takács-Nagy - Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 22, KV 482; Piano Concerto No. 23, KV 488; Overture to 'Der Schauspieldirektor', KV 486
Vinciane Béranger, Dana Ciocarlie, Helene Collerette, David Louwerse - Rebecca Clarke: Works for Viola
Benjamin Bernheim - Boulevard des Italiens
Mary Bevan, Nicky Spence, Roderick Williams, William Vann - Ralph Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs, Vol. 4 - Folk Songs from Newfoundland
Kristian Bezuidenhout, Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado - Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3
Harry Bicket, The English Concert - Handel: La Resurrezione
Semyon Bychkov, Chen Reiss, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra - Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Zachary Carrettín, Mina Gajic - Confluence: Balkan Dances & Tango Nuevo
Castalian String Quartet - Between Two Worlds
Choral Arts Initiative, Brandon Elliott - Jeffrey Derus: From Wilderness - A Meditation on the Pacific Crest Trail
Vicky Chow - Sierra
Federico Colli - Mozart
Michael Collins, Philharmonia Orchestra, Wigmore Soloists - Mozart: Clarinet Concerto & Quintet; Birchall: Concerto
Roderick Cox, Washington National Opera - Jeanine Tesori, Tazewell Thompson: Blue
Les Cris de Paris, Geoffroy Jourdain - Schütz: David & Salomon; Psalmi; Canticum Canticorum
Peter Donohoe, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo - Dora Pejacevic: Piano Concerto; Symphony
Franco Fagioli, Olga Pudova, Insula Orchestra, Laurence Equilbey - Mozart: Lucio Silla
Martin Fröst - Night Passages
Christian Gerhaher, Kammerorchester Basel, Heinz Holliger - Othmar Schoeck: Elegie
Angel Gil-Ordóñez, PostClassical Ensemble - Two Classic Political Film Scores -- Revueltas: Redes; Copland: The City
Boris Giltburg, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 'Emperor'; Piano Concerto No. 0, WoO 4
Gustavo Gimeno, Marie Agresta, Daniela Barcellona, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg - Rossini: Stabat Mater
Gloriæ Dei Cantores, Richard K. Pugsley - To Speak to Our Time: Choral Works by Samuel Adler
Gringolts Quartet - Schoenberg: String Quartets 1 & 3
Barbara Hannigan, Ludwig Orchestra - Dance With Me
Daniel Hope, Alexey Botvinov - Music for Ukraine
Stephen Hough - Schubert: Piano Sonata in G major D894; Piano Sonata in A major D664; Piano Sonata fragment D769a
Alexandre Kantorow, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jean-Jacques Kantorow - Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos 1 & 2; Africa; Wedding Cake; Allegro appassionato; Rhapsodie d'Auvergne
Choir of Keble College, Oxford; Paul Brough; Instruments of Time and Truth - Resurrexi!: Easter in Vienna with Mozart and the Haydn Brothers
Choir of King's College, Cambridge; Daniel Hyde - Now the Green Blade Riseth: Choral Music for Easter
Jennifer Koh - Alone Together
Raffaele La Ragione - Mandolin on Stage: The Greatest Mandolin Concertos
Gijs Leenaars, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin - Verdi: Quattro Pezzi Sacri
Leonore Piano Trio - Bargiel: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2
Marko Letonja, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg - Janácek: Glagolitic Mass; Sinfonietta
Andrew Litton, Singapore Symphony Orchestra - Shostakovich: Jazz & Variety Suites
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet - Opalescent
Alexei Lubimov, Ivan Monighetti - Valentin Silvestrov: Piano Sonatas; Cello Sonata
Alexander Melnikov - Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1, 3, 5; Visions fugitives
Anne Akiko Meyers - Shining Night
Andris Nelsons, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra - Strauss
New York Youth Symphony, Michael Repper, Michelle Cann - Florence Price, Valerie Coleman, Jessie Montgomery
Palaver Strings - Ready or Not
Pene Pati - Pene Pati
Trevor Pinnock - J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier II
Andrew Rangell - Johann Sebastian Bach: Das Wohlemperierte Klavier II
Terry Riley, Bang on a Can All-Stars - Terry Riley: Autodreamographical Tales
Pascal Rophé, Choeur et Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire - Maurice Ravel: Cantates pour le prix de Rome
Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea; William Vann - The Reeds by Severn Side: Choral Music by Edward Elgar
Golda Schultz, Jonathan Ware - This Be Her Verse
Nicky Spence, Julius Drake, Piatti Quartet, Timothy Ridout - Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge; Four Hymns; The House of Life
Choir of St John's, Cambridge; Andrew Nethsingha - Eastertide Evensong
Marek Štilec, Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra - Paul Wranitzky: Orchestral Works, Vol. 4
Tenebrae, Christian Forshaw, Nigel Short - When Sleep Comes: Evening Meditations for Voices & Saxophone
Third Coast Percussion - Perspectives
Mitsuko Uchida - Beethoven: Diabelli Variations
Various Artists - Icarus and Other Music by Elena Ruehr
Gottfried von der Goltz, Annekatrin Beller, Torsten Johann - J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Violin and Continuo
Rachel Willis-Sørensen - Rachel
John Wilson, Sinfonia of London - Metamorphosen: Strauss, Korngold, Schreker