Category Archives: News

The latest from Urlicht AV.

“rigor and grace, violence and gentleness…”

UAV-5989.cover,300dpiChristian Carey reviews the newest CD from Miranda Cuckson and Blair McMillen:

Violinist Miranda Cuckson and pianist Blair McMillen have already proven themselves an estimable duo for works by American Modernists such as Shapey and Martino. Their latest outing features Elliott Carter’s Duo for Violin and Piano (1973)… a rendition that juxtaposes rigor and grace, violence and gentleness… Clocking in at over thirty minutes, [the Sessions Sonata for solo violin] is a bear of a piece, demanding both virtuosity and considerable thoughtfulness from the violinist to bring it off: Cuckson has both in spades. … [Eckardt's Styrömkarl] is vividly characterful and a real workout for the performers; one they assay handily.


Elliott CarterDuo for violin and piano (1973) [21:56]
Roger SessionsSonata for solo violin (1953)
1. Tempo moderato, con ampiezza, e liberamente [10:53]
2. Molto vivo [6:57]
3. Adagio e dolcemente [10:22]
4. Alla Marcia vivace[4:53]
Jason EckardtStrömkarl [12:51]

Miranda Cuckson, violin
Blair McMillen, piano

Produced by Gene Gaudette
Engineered and edited by Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio

CD Edition: Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5989
American masterpieces for violin, played by two of today's leading young virtuoso champions of modern music
Price(USD): $14.99


Download Apple Lossless HD album from Payloadz.com ($10.99)
Download FLAC format HD album from Payloadz.com ($10.99)
Download Apple Lossless CD-quality album from Payloadz.com ($9.99)
Download FLAC CD-quality album from Payloadz.com ($9.99)
Download mp3-MAX* album from Payloadz.com ($9.99)
* mp3-MAX uses mEyeFi Media’s cutting-edge variable bitrate .mp3 encoding, optimized for maximum fidelity and transparency

New York Times Praises Cuckson and McMillen’s New Urlicht CD

UAV-5989.cover,300dpiHigh praise from the newspaper of record:

The violinist Miranda Cuckson and the pianist Blair McMillen, who are individually brilliant and adventurous artists, bring out the best in each other in their frequent collaborations, including their latest recording of contemporary works. Their incisive, animated playing cuts through the density and complexity of Carter’s Duo for Violin and Piano to reveal the music’s wit and fancifulness. Jason Eckardt wrote his glistening, jittery and playfully frenetic “Strömkarl” last year as a companion piece for this recording. Ms. Cuckson is outstanding in Sessions’s magisterial, technically challenging Sonata for Solo Violin (1953).  — Anthony Tommasini


Elliott Carter: Duo for violin and piano (1973) [21:56]
Roger Sessions: Sonata for solo violin (1953)
1. Tempo moderato, con ampiezza, e liberamente [10:53]
2. Molto vivo [6:57]
3. Adagio e dolcemente [10:22]
4. Alla Marcia vivace[4:53]

Jason Eckardt: Strömkarl [12:51]

Miranda Cuckson, violin
Blair McMillen, piano

Produced by Gene Gaudette
Engineered and edited by Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio

CD Edition: Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5989
American masterpieces for violin, played by two of today's leading young virtuoso champions of modern music
Price(USD): $14.99


Download Apple Lossless HD album from Payloadz.com ($10.99)
Download FLAC format HD album from Payloadz.com ($10.99)
Download Apple Lossless CD-quality album from Payloadz.com ($9.99)
Download FLAC CD-quality album from Payloadz.com ($9.99)
Download mp3-MAX* album from Payloadz.com ($9.99)
* mp3-MAX uses mEyeFi Media’s cutting-edge variable bitrate .mp3 encoding, optimized for maximum fidelity and transparency

Available in Europe and Asia in May 2013

Audiophile Audition Praises Cuckson and Burns

Miranda Cuckson and Chris Burns garner a five-star review for their recording of Luigi Nono’s La lontananza from the Internet’s number one audiophile review site:

Just before she plays, Cuckson enters from the back of the stage, then pauses at each of six (out of nine) music stands to play from 7-12 minutes, and then moves along to the next, soundlessly, on bare feet. How does one reproduce such shifting dynamics on a CD? Simple. Issue the work on a five-channel surround-sound Blu-ray disc as well. With impressive and extreme dynamic range, the Blu-ray has little trouble presenting the full pallet of tones from the various channels.


Luigi Nono: La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura (1988-89)
Miranda Cuckson, violin / Christopher Burns, electronics

Produced by Christopher Burns and Richard Warp
Recording engineer: Richard Warp
Recorded at A Bloody Good Record Inc, Long Island City NY
Mixing engineer (stereo CD): Richard Warp
Mixing engineers (DTS 5.1 surround mix): Paul Special and Richard Warp
Assistant mixing engineer (DTS 5.1 surround mix): Dillon Pajunas
DTS 5.1 surround mix produced at Sonic Arts Center, CCNY, NYC
Produced for New Spectrum Recordings, NYC
Executive producer: Glenn Cornett

Urlicht AudioVisual UAD-5992

CD plus Blu-Ray Audio for home theater systems – available at Amazon.com.
CD plus DTS-CD for home theater systems – available here.
Lossless FLAC download – available here.
MP3 download – available here.

Gramophone Praises Urlicht’s “Epic” Mahler Box

In the January 2014 edition of Gramophone, Rob Cowan’s influential Replay column praises “The Music of Gustav Mahler: Issued 78s, 1903-1940″ as one of the month’s best reissues:

UAV-5980.cover.600px2Epic Mahler Box-set[]… Excellent transfers and exhaustive notes complete a valuable issue.”

Now available in the US and most European and Asian territories.

  • The most comprehensive collection ever assembled of Mahler’s music as issued on 78s between 1903 and 1940 — every such recording listed in Péter Fülöp’s Mahler Discography
  • New transfers by Ward Marston and Mark Obert-Thorn
  • Detailed notes on the music, the recording artists, and revelatory information about performances of Mahler’s music prior to World War II by Sybille Werner
  • Full texts and translations
  • Super-value price

Preorder direct from Urlicht AudioVisual
Price(USD): $47.95

Distributed in the US and Canada by E One Entertainment


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Gramophone hails the New York Piano Quartet’s CD release of music by Marx and Korngold

Marx: Rhapsodie / Korngold: SuiteHigh praise from the world’s most influential classical music magazine:

The players – all members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra – restore life to works by the Austrian composers Joseph Marx and Erich Wolfgang Korngold long left on the shelf of history. … Both pieces receive ultra-impassioned, vividly detailed performances by the musicians of the New York Piano Quartet. Given the fact that Marx and Korngold aren’t shy about wearing hearts on sleeves, the players dig into the music with alacrity, the strings often employing juicy vibrato and slides to emphasise the composers’ expressive oints. The artistry has the excitement that often transpires when something significant as been unearthed and savoured.”
- Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone, June 2013

Download the hi-def .flac edition here.
Download the CD-quality .flac edition here.
Download the hi-quality mp3 edition here.
Buy the CD edition here.

Urlicht on the Road: Report from Paris

PoulencOur owner is still shaking off jet lag following an enormously rewarding two days of marathon recording sessions at Temple Saint-Pierre in Paris La Villette. The indefatigable pianist Pascal Rogé and friends — violinist Elmira Darvarova (the first ever woman-concertmaster in the history of the Metropolitan Opera), Orchestre de Paris principal clarinetist Pascal Moraguès, New York Philharmonic horn virtuoso Howard Wall, and Pascal’s wife, pianist Ami Rogé — recorded some of Francis Poulenc‘s most rewarding chamber and piano four-hands music. Audiophile engineer George Vassilev, who was an enormously perceptive set of “second ears”, and François, the master piano technician from Régie Pianos who was present for the entire session keeping a stunning Steinway in perfect condition, played a huge role in making these demanding sessions a complete success. Urlicht is grateful beyond words to every one of these terrific musicians, and can’t wait to get this recording on the market.

One of “The Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012″ (New York Times)

UAV-5992BR.cover.blurayedition.trim.300The New York Times praises the new recording of Luigi Nono’s La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura with violinist Miranda Cuckson and electronica master Richard Burns as “One of the Year’s Best New Classical Recordings”:

“Played with assured mystery by the accomplished Miranda Cuckson, Luigi Nono‘s 1988-89 work swerves from ethereal to violent and back again. The violinist interacts with previously taped material, including both her own playing and studio sounds, and wanders during a live performance, a spatial element captured in the surround-sound version on one of the discs in this set. At times Ms. Cuckson even sings, hauntingly — a part of the score seemingly ignored by previous interpreters.”
Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times

Luigi Nono: La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura (1988-89)
Miranda Cuckson, violin / Christopher Burns, electronics

Produced by Christopher Burns and Richard Warp
Recording engineer: Richard Warp
Recorded at A Bloody Good Record Inc, Long Island City NY
Mixing engineer (stereo CD): Richard Warp
Mixing engineers (DTS 5.1 surround mix): Paul Special and Richard Warp
Assistant mixing engineer (DTS 5.1 surround mix): Dillon Pajunas
DTS 5.1 surround mix produced at Sonic Arts Center, CCNY, NYC
Produced for New Spectrum Recordings, NYC
Executive producer: Glenn Cornett

Urlicht AudioVisual UAD-5992

CD plus Blu-Ray Audio for home theater systems — available at Amazon.com.

CD plus DTS-CD for home theater systems — available here.

Lossless FLAC download — available here.

MP3 download — available here.

“Are you crazy?”

That was the reaction of not one but two friends in the music business when I told them late last year that I planned to start a record label. “Sales are tanking… the business model is in meltdown… and did I mention the economy is a train wreck?”

Yes, yes, and yes — which is why I feel now is the right time to launch Urlicht AudioVisual.

Sales of physical product are not doing comparatively well — if you’re a major label like Sony or EMI. Indie classical labels have advantages — they are more connected with their audience, they are not encumbered by the dictates of the major labels’ clueless distribution divisions, and they understand the power of direct downloads. Indies now rule the roost when it comes to classical music. I’ve opted to partner with two companies — E One Entertainment for traditional physical distribution and meyefi.com for downloads — that are navigating the changing business model with insight and aplomb. And, being ever the optimist, the only direction in which I see the economy going is up.

Urlicht AudioVisual will focus on daring artists with a strong interpretive point of view.

Pianist Elisha Abas, whose playing is strongly influenced by Ignaz Friedman, Josef Hofmann, and other great romantic virtuoso pianists, brings a bold, new direction to a cornerstone of the romantic repertoire, Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1, in a performance that has the feel of a large-scale “symphonic poem.”

I’ve been mightily impressed by the New York Chamber Music Festival and its core ensemble, the New York Piano Quartet — pianist Linda Hall, violinist Elmira Darvarova (the driving force behind the festival), violist Ronald Carbone, and cellist Samuel Magill, all of whom have been members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Toward the end of last year’s festival, Elmira and I talked about recording one of their programs. Instead, we did two: “Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words”, centered around Mahler’s very early movement for piano quartet and sketches for a scherzo (this disc features seven world premiere recordings by a variety of impressive composers), and a second disc coupling two formidably challenging works by Joseph Marx and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

And I’m working on forthcoming releases featuring violinist Elmira Darvarova, legendary double bass player Gary Karr, and two of the most exciting exponents of new music I’ve heard in years, violinist Miranda Cuckson and pianist Blair McMillan.

On September 12, the New York Chamber Music Festival will hold an informal label launch party following the NYPQ’s performance of the Marx and Korngold works, plus Gernot Wolfgang’s From Vienna with Love (featured on the “Songs for Mahler” CD) at Symphony Space. I hope you can join us!

– Gene Gaudette