Loyal listeners! There’s some wonderful music here for you to blast on the boombox this weekend while you grill the burgers. (Unless you’re going to New York Philharmonic on Saturday evening for a wonderful program of Berio and Strauss.) I have been super late to listen to Sarah Cahill’s luminous recording of piano music by Terry Riley and those inspired by him. The beating heart is Mr. Riley’s “Keyboard Studies”:
Ms. Cahill explains that she accidentally started playing the first and second studies simultaneously — one in each hand — and only noticed her mistake years later, so the recording reflects that happy error.
I hope you’ll read Will Robin’s profile of the grumpy, brilliant composer Charles Wuorinen. There’s a playlist embedded in it with lots to listen to, as there is — five glorious hours’ worth! — in Barbara Jepson’s piece on the growing surge of interest in the choral music of Frank Martin. But I direct you especially to his gorgeous Mass for unaccompanied double choir.
Last, but for heck’s sake not least: Beverly Sills, American diva nonpareil, would have been 89 on May 25. It really, truly doesn’t get better than this.
Enjoy it, and enjoy the long weekend. ZACHARY WOOLFE
New York City Ballet’s recent “Robbins 100” festival, celebrating the centennial of Jerome Robbins’s birth, was as exciting for its eclectic musical offerings (Chopin, Stravinsky, Philip Glass) as for its dancing. Among the most exhilarating programs was a triple bill of collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, including “Dybbuk.” That strange, haunting 1974 ballet — ostensibly plotless, but inspired by S. Ansky’s folkloric play about possession and exorcism — finds Bernstein approaching something like dodecaphony. The score dabbles in Hasidic folk tunes (such as at 1:11 in this video), but Bernstein also wrote motifs for characters and ideas using a system based on the tradition of each letter of the Hebrew alphabet having a numerical value. In a concert season that has been saturated with the Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” and the “Candide” Overture, it was refreshing to find a more challenging, cerebral side of Bernstein. JOSHUA BARONE
In recent years, the vocalist Kyoko Kitamura has been a key collaborator with the composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, singing in operas from his “Trillium” cycle and appearing with him in chamber settings. On Wednesday at the Stone, she displayed some striking experimental vocal effects as part of a quartet that also included the guitarist Joe Morris, the brass specialist Taylor Ho Bynum, and the cellist Tomeka Reid (all also Braxton associates).
As on this group’s vibrant new recording, “Geometry of Caves,” issued by the Relative Pitch imprint, Ms. Kitamura occasionally produced dramatic gusts of overtone singing through quick inhalations. By suggesting both harmony and stridency in the same moment, the arresting technique seemed a succinct representation of this ensemble’s memorable approach — one in which improvisational energy never overshadows the fineness of inner details. SETH COLTER WALLS
I haven’t encountered much Poulenc in recent years, except for the farcical opera “Les Mamelles de Tiresias,” heard twice: at Tanglewood in 1997 and at the Juilliard School in 2015. I can’t say that I thought a lot about what I was missing, but I was forcibly reminded on Wednesday evening, by Sacred Music in a Sacred Space’s Poulenc program at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, just how delightful his best works are. René Anne Louprette played the Organ Concerto beautifully, and K. Scott Warren conducted St. Ignatius choirs in Poulenc’s crowning Gloria, with Wendy Baker as an excellent soprano soloist. The Gloria is heard here on YouTube, with Georges Prêtre conducting French forces. JAMES R. OESTREICH
The Sebastians’ Bach concert at Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church on Thursday evening was expectedly fine, yet another sign of the much-improved health of New York’s early-music scene over the last decade. There are plenty of stars leading the charge, including the Sebastians’ principals. But as so often these days, I was struck by superb performers who typically fly just under the radar: in this case, the three oboists, led by Priscilla Herreid. Here Ms. Herreid plays the oboe obbligato part in Bach’s exquisite Cantata No. 82, “Ich habe genug,” as sung by the bass-baritone Jonathan Woody, another performer of whom much the same could be said, with Brooklyn Baroque. JAMES R. OESTREICH
The marvelous soprano Julia Bullock, who has been on a career roll of late, is appearing this Sunday afternoon at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony and singing one of my favorite 20th-century pieces: Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915.” The text, a prose piece that became the preamble to James Agee’s novel “A Death in the Family,” paints, in the voice of a child, an idyllic portrait of a dreamy summer evening with family members sitting on blankets and old chairs, talking — but not much. Eleanor Steber commissioned it and sang the 1948 premiere. I especially love a 1968 recording by Leontyne Price, who conveys Barber’s uncanny ambiguity: You hear the voice of a child swept up in familial yet unfathomable feelings, and, at the same time, the perspective of the adult thinking back to those days. Ms. Bullock can also blend wistfulness and elation, as is clear from her ravishing account of Maurice Delage’s “Four Hindu Poems” (1912), performed here with the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle. ANTHONY TOMMASINI
If “Sounds of Transformation,” the new Sony Classical recording by the Geneva Camerata and pianist David Greilsammer, who conducts the ensemble, included only its account of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, it would be well worth hearing. Ravel’s popular concerto sounds newly fresh in this vibrant, crackling and sensual performance. But the concert is inventively placed at the center of a thoughtful lineup of works: short Baroque pieces by Lully, Purcell and Rameau alternate with jazz responses to these works, their “imaginary twins,” as Mr. Greilsammer puts it in liner notes. The performers include fine jazz players, especially the pianist Yaron Herman. Ives’s mysterious “The Unanswered Question” is also given a remaking that teases out some inner, jazzy stirrings. Here’s a video excerpt from the 2016 recording sessions for the Ravel. ANTHONY TOMMASINI