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Classical Music Highlights for December

For the month of December, we've got quite the lineup; from the German Baroque to imaginings of the great composers of yesterday if they happened to have written the songs of today.

Trio Settecento's sophomore release A German Bouquet expands both the repertoire and instrumentation of the ensemble. Here cellist John Mark Rozendaal makes the transition to viola da gamba, and harpsichordist David Schrader doubles on organ as the ensemble, led by violinist Rachel Barton Pine, takes on the complexities of the German Baroque. (Listen to WFIU's George Walker's interview with Rachel Barton Pine.)

Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen was a well-traveled and highly educated composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He drew positive notices from, among others, Norway's golden boy, Edvard Grieg. On this Naxos recording, Norwegian Rhapsodies Bjarte Engeset and the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra  presents six works from this lesser-known Scandinavian master.

Twentieth century Jewish composers added considerably to the expansion and acceptance of classical music. Cellist Amit Peled performs works from lesser known Jewish composers on The Jewish Soul such as David Zehavi, Oedoen Pártos, and Mark Kopytman.

For the holidays season we couldm'y decide between two recent recordings, but both are sure to brighten up the season. The first is a new orchestral recording of holiday classics interpreted in the styles of various classical music masters What if Mozart Wrote "White Christmas" by the Northern Lights Orchestra

On Faire Is the Heaven, the Camerata Vocale Freiburg performs a collection of sacred choral works for Advent and Christmas, including music by Hugo Distler, Francis Poulenc, and Felix Mendelssohn.

And closing out the month, and the year, we have violinist Carloine Goulding. Goulding first came to the public's eye on PBS's From the Top. She has since performed with many leading American ensembles and is making quite a stir in the classical community. On her self-titled, debut recording, Goulding is joined by From the Top host Christopher O'Riley in performances of works for violin and piano.

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