Do not let August pass by before you hear the New York Philharmonic's recent, insanely good performance of Charles Ives' Fourth Symphony. Though lyrical at its outset, as the half-hour work develops, it becomes more aggressive than any "rock" album released so far in 2013. (Go ahead and listen to all of the "Allegretto" movement if you are skeptical.) To help you out, we've queued up Ives' Fourth first in this month's roundup of classical releases -- but you shouldn't stop there.
We've got Aleksandra Kurzak trilling her way through some thrilling bel canto repertoire, and Caroline Weichert playing the piano works of Erwin Schulhoff with snazzy, jazzy aplomb. Plus the post-rock, acoustic-IDM outfit Dawn of Midi gave us a jolt with a through-composed suite of songs that harkens back to early minimalism. The attached playlist makes room for all that and more -- including frizzy new electro-chamber music from Kaija Saariaho, as well as new takes on Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto and Beethoven's fifth string quartet. Enjoy!