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MSR Classics

The American independent record label MSR Classics was founded in 1997 as Musicians Showcase Recordings and renewed as MSR Music in 2006. The company is based in Newtown, Connecticut.

The MSR labels - MSR Classics and MSR Jazz - are lead by Robert LaPorta, a twenty-four year veteran of the music industry and a former manager of Squires Music Production and former Director of Classics at the Angel-EMI-Virgin Classics-Blue Note label group. LaPorta is a mobile recording specialist with a focus on concert band and chorus, and he worked as a studio engineer and on-air host at WRCU Radio in Hamilton, New York. He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and a former member of the Grammy Classical Committee.

Robert LaPorta was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1965 and received a BA in Music from Colgate University, studying composition with Dexter Morrill and orchestration with William Skelton. He studied classical and folk guitar with Gus de Gazio, percussion with John F Sammel and euphonium with Thomas Reichert and Dolores Beck. He founded and served as Personnel Director of the Hudson Valley Wind Symphony and was President of the Westchester Symphonic Winds. He performed as Principal Euphonium with both groups, and with the Westchester Philharmonic, Norwich Festival Orchestra, Hamilton Festival Orchestra, Cornell Chamber Orchestra, Larchmond Concert Band, Bronxville Concert Band and Armonk Community Band. He was Principal Timpanist with the Colgate Concert Orchestra and Director of the Colgate Jazz Band. He has composed several pieces for symphonic band and orchestra, and has arranged numerous baroque works for brass quintet.

Further information: msrcd.com

A selection of M&V articles about MSR Classics

CD Spotlight. True Command - James Brawn plays Bach, Liszt, Musorgsky and Rachmaninov, recommended by Andrew Schartmann. 'The "Promenade" ... is like butter in Brawn's hands.'

CD Spotlight. End Times? - Hampson Sisler's 'The Second Coming', heard by Howard Smith. '... fine Bulgarian performance ...'

CD Spotlight. An Ideal Pairing - Brahms cello sonatas, heard by Julian Jacobson. '... honourable, fluent and enjoyable playing ...'

CD Spotlight. Acknowledged Skill - Gwendolyn Mok plays Brahms, heard by Howard Smith. '... Mok falls short of Julius Katchen's flair ...'

CD Spotlight. Expressive Style - Music for cello and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... the entire concert is alive with a myriad textual and sonic possibilities.'

CD Spotlight. A Mixed Bag - Ian Hominick plays Clementi, heard by Andrew Schartmann. 'At times, his playing is sensitive and exact.'

CD Spotlight. Masterful Handling - Volume 3 of James Brawn's Beethoven, praised by Andrew Schartmann. '... his interpretive choices are exquisite.'

CD Spotlight. Characteristic Patina - Brahms chamber music, heard by Howard Smith. '... Walther-Korevaar-Fejér are exemplary in all three works.'

CD Spotlight. Perfect Indeed - More Beethoven from James Brawn, recommended by Andrew Schartmann. '... a profound - almost spiritual - connection to the music ...'

CD Spotlight. Confidence and Assuredness - Mary Costanza plays Bach, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... wholly impressive and full of lively ideas ...'

CD Spotlight. Interpretive Fabric - Beethoven's complete works for cello and piano, reviewed by Andrew Schartmann. '... a tapestry of infinite colors ...'

CD Spotlight. Full Stretch - Poulenc's Organ Concerto, heard by Robert Anderson. '... marvellous vitality ...'

CD Spotlight. Highly Sensitive - Brahms from Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, recommended by Patric Standford. '... the authority and tenderness of fresh interpretations.'

CD Spotlight. An Enriching Experience - The Repast Baroque Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... delectable performances ...'

CD Spotlight. Skill and Daring - Todd Crow plays Brahms and Dvorák, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Todd Crow emerges not only unbowed but triumphant.'

CD Spotlight. A Virtuoso Challenge - Inna Faliks plays Beethoven, heard by Robert Anderson. '... most memorable music, memorably performed.'

CD Spotlight. Temporal Stasis - Olivier Messiaen's 'Vingt Regards', heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Evan Hirsch ... brings forth the very essence of Messiaen's vision.'

CD Spotlight. Haunting Images - Mahler arranged by Schoenberg, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'An unusual interpretation of "Das Lied" in excellent sound and presentation ...'

CD Spotlight. Infinite Hues - Zina Schiff plays Sibelius, Barber and Ben-Haim, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Barber's Violin Concerto ... is easily the highlight of the disc.'

CD Spotlight. Masterfully Controlled - James Brawn's Beethoven Odyssey, impresses Andrew Schartmann. '... the movement bubbles over with excitement ...'

CD Spotlight. Genuinely Offensive - Cameron Watson plays C P E Bach and Beethoven, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... nothing can save Watson from his erratic and ill-conceived interpretation of the music ...'

CD Spotlight. Black-sheep Relative - American saxophone concertos, heard by Ron Bierman. '... the two premieres are definitely worth hearing.'

CD Spotlight. Artistic Merit - Music for saxophones, heard by Bill Newman. '... daring and exploratory.'

CD Spotlight. Gentle and Lyrical - Symphonies by James Cohn, heard by Patric Standford. '... persuasive championship of new music ...'

CD Spotlight. Deeply Soulful - Music for viola and piano by women composers, heard by Howard Smith. '... each woman would be delighted ...'

CD Spotlight. Somehow Different - Joshua Pierce's tribute to John Cage, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... either hypnotic or annoyingly eccentric.'

CD Spotlight. Infinite Changes - Sally Pinkas plays Fauré, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... fine interpretations of this underplayed repertoire.'

CD Spotlight. A Marvelous Listen - Hymn tunes played by William Neil, experienced by Gerald Fenech. '... spectacular and life enhancing ...'

CD Spotlight. Communicative Aplomb - Joseph Rackers' debut recording, heard by Howard Smith. '"Eureka" moments ... are conspicuous by their absence.'

CD Spotlight. Immediate Appeal - Music for cello, piano and Korean drums, heard by Howard Smith. 'Greenberg's sonata ... deserves a recognized place in the cello and piano repertory.'

CD Spotlight. Very Impressive - Christmas music from the Brass Band of Battle Creek, recommended by Keith Bramich. '... bewitchingly subtle touches of colour ...'

CD Spotlight. Unexpected Passion - Music by Hampson Sisler, heard by Patric Standford. '... the brooding is there, if not the power.'

CD Spotlight. Extraordinary Aptitude - Music by Robert Ackerman, heard by Ron Bierman. 'This is as diverse a program as I've ever heard.'

CD Spotlight. Tempting Fate - Songs by Sibelius, Brahms, Schubert and Mahler, heard by Robert Anderson. '... ripe understanding ...'

CD Spotlight. Lush Romanticism - Chamber music by Vittorio Giannini, heard by Bill Newman. 'A welcome ... for this invaluable release.'

CD Spotlight. Daring and Mastery - Pianist Young-Ah Tak, heard by Bill Newman. '... this CD is worth its weight in gold.'

CD Spotlight. Diverse Miniatures - Bartók duos for two violins, heard by Howard Smith. '... impressive credentials ...'

CD Spotlight. Abundant Variety - A song recital by Monica Harte, heard by Howard Smith. '... thoughtful finesse and subtlety ...'

CD Spotlight. Suitable Diligence - A recital by Simone Leitão, heard by Howard Smith. '... diverse rhythms and trenchant physicality are commandingly observed ...'

CD Spotlight. Wonderfully Complementary - Music for flute and organ, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... mastery, panache and a sense of balance that is almost uncanny.'

CD Spotlight. Romantic Melodies - Gaubert and Debussy for flute, heard by Ron Bierman. '... a fine, well-played collection ...'

CD Spotlight. Great Character - German Baroque from the Hanoverian Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... another treasure trove of wonderful music ...'

CD Spotlight. Revealing Bach - The Goldberg Variations and The Art of Fugue, heard by George Balcombe. '... musical richness and instrumental knowledge ...'

CD Spotlight. Dubious Tampering - Chamber arrangements of Mahler and Debussy, heard by Howard Smith. '... a highly skilled, finely rehearsed unit.'

CD Spotlight. Stylish Playing - Some recommended commercial recordings, heard by Bill Newman. 'How dare they!'

CD Spotlight. Really Delightful - Christmas music from Mainstreet Brass, enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz. 'This lovely collection really does provide something for everyone ...'

CD Spotlight. Beautifully Presented - Christmas vocal pieces, heard by Patric Standford. '... lively readings ...'

CD Spotlight. Buoyant Works - A recital by Amber Yiu-Hsuan Liao, heard by Howard Smith. '... often engaging and perfectly serviceable.'

CD Spotlight. Truly Dexterous - Music for solo violin and viola, heard by Howard Smith. '... an urbane, ear-catching sound.'

CD Spotlight. Appealing Performances - Guitar music by Ponce and Tansman, heard by Patric Standford. '... a real pleasure ...'

CD Spotlight. A Wealth of Gifts - Hugo Wolf's Mörike-Lieder, heard by Robert Anderson. '... much expressive dexterity ...'

CD Spotlight. Opulent Sonorities - Brahms violin sonatas, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Zina Schiff has the range of tone colour and subtlety of vibrato to put the music convincingly across.'

CD Spotlight. Joining Forces - British Art Songs, heard by George Balcombe. '... a strong affinity ...'

CD Spotlight. Often Spectacular - The American String Project, seen and heard by Patric Standford. 'The performers are undoubtedly superb ...'

CD Spotlight. Seductive Rhythms - Reconstructed Gershwin piano music, heard by Robert Anderson. '... Alicia Zizzo ... can tackle whatever bravura demands Gershwin may make on her ...'

CD Spotlight. A Choral Delight - The Antioch Chamber Ensemble, heard by Patric Standford. '... most valuable.'

CD Spotlight. Equal Partners - Chamber music by Barbara Harbach, enjoyed by Ron Bierman. '... more humor than can be found in the entire oeuvre of many contemporary composers.'

CD Spotlight. Ready Solace - Brahms piano music, heard by Robert Anderson. '... Atzinger is at his best ...'

CD Spotlight. Positively Spellbinding - Music for clarinet, piano and cello, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a fine recording ...'

CD Spotlight. Tough Assignment - Michelle Stebleton plays music for solo horn, and Paul Sarcich is impressed. '... both musical and technical satisfaction ...'

CD Spotlight. Quite Breathtaking - David Korevaar plays Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, admired by Howard Smith. '... lots to admire ...'

CD Spotlight. Supreme as Duettist - Schubert for piano four hands, heard by Robert Anderson. '... delicious passagework.'

CD Spotlight. Beautifully Considered - Music for violin and viola, heard by Howard Smith. 'Braun has a firm, bright, highly focused tone ...'

CD Spotlight. Eclectically Balanced - An organ recital by SooHwang Choi, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... expressive beauty.'

CD Spotlight. Lightness of Touch - Brahms and Strauss, heard by Patric Standford. '... a very fine performance by Joshua Pierce ...'

CD Spotlight. Uncharted Waters - Joshua Pierce plays Schubert, heard by Robert Anderson. '... sensitive pianism ...'

CD Spotlight. Rich Timbres - Music by Robert Baksa, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'The performances express Baksa's gentle optimism beautifully.'

Masks - Jennifer Paull continues her investigation of musical and theatrical masks

Masks - Jennifer Paull investigates a layering of musical and theatrical masks, with the omnipresent eerie reminder of the gas mask

CD Spotlight. A Must-have - Piano music by Federico Mompou, recommended by Natalie Artemas-Polak. 'Haskell Small's contemplative approach admirably suits these pieces ...'

CD Spotlight. Appealingly Straightforward - Music by Barbara Harbach, warmly recommended by Ron Bierman. '... a worthwhile introduction to a valuable contemporary composer ...'

CD Spotlight. Hidden Byways - Ruthanne Schempf plays American piano music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... her performances are fresh and immediate ...'

CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Intelligent - Schumann and Beethoven songs, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... he is undoubtedly more comfortable in his baritone register.'

CD Spotlight. Glittering Technique - Music by Gershwin for piano and orchestra, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... commendable drive and clarity.'

CD Spotlight. A Striking Urgency - Schnittke and Ginastera from the Choir of St Ignatius Loyola, reviewed by Howard Smith. 'Not quite what one might expect.'

CD Spotlight. Virtuoso Duo - Performances by the Elaris Duo, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... all the passion, drama and integrity one could want.'

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