Recorded during 2020 and last year in Kleinhans Music Hall, the “Darkness” refers to Covid but could just as well be applied to the current Putin-directed Russian invasion of Ukraine or, of course, any one person’s particular troubles, loneliness or anxiety. JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic (mostly its strings) have compiled a sequence of pieces displaying “emotional depth and spirituality” (Falletta) opening with Vaughan Williams’s Tallis Fantasia, a flowing/glowing wholesome account, followed by Pietà (1950) from the pen of Ulysses Kay for English horn/cor anglais (Anna Mattix), lyrically intense, with an angst-ridden climax, and well-worth discovering. Then J. S. Bach’s viola-focussed (Caroline Gilbert & Anya Shemetyeva) Brandenburg Concerto No.6 strides forth either side of an especially eloquent slow movement, the latter equally true of Haydn’s ‘Trauer’ Symphony (No.44), its Adagio, at truly that tempo, touches the heart as part of a well-judged (modern-day) performance, winds well in the mix during fiery outer movements: Storm & Stress – and creative genius – in music. Also included are George Walker’s Lyric for Strings (1947), numerously programmed these days, if a piece that passes me by somewhat despite this deeply felt rendition, and Wayne Barlow’s The Winter’s Passed (1940), with Henry Ward playing a poetic oboe, song-like with hints of dance and attractively pastoral in its expression. Beau Fleuve Records 605996-998579.