The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, May 15, 2009

What we've Just Opened (5/15/09)

"Mozart 13 Berg" - Mitsuko Uchida, piano; Christian Tetzlaff, violin; Ensemble Intercontemporain; Pierre Boulez, cond. Fascinating release. Who'd have thought Pierre Boulez, and the group he formed specifically to perform 20th Century music, would take on a Serenade by Mozart? But that's just what we have here - Mozart's "Gran Partita," the Serenade for 13 winds in B-flat Major, coupled with Alban Berg's Chamber Concerto for 13 winds, violin & piano. In the liner notes, Boulez, Uchida, and Tetzlaff discuss what these pieces have in common, and the challenge of performing them. (Decca 028947803164 / 478 0316)

And three new releases from MSR Classics, just opened:

"Shostakovich/Tchaikovsky" - Kim Cook, cello; Volgograd Symphony Orchestra; Edward Serov, cond. Two Russian masterpieces for cello & orchestra - Tchaikovsky's Rococco Variations, and the Concerto No. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Judging solely from the number of fine recent recordings, it's safe to say both of these works are quite popular with cellists - and lovers of the cello concert repertoire - today. (MSR Classics 681585128923 / MS 1289)

"This is Gershwin: Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra" - Joshua Pierce, piano; Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Kirk Trevor, cond. In the liner notes to this new release, Pierce says his aim was to use Gershwin's "ur-texts" for these recordings, and if that means performances with a jazzier "snap" to them, I'd say it's mission accomplished. (MSR Classics 681585126523 / MS 1265)

"East West Encounter II" - Susan Chan, piano. The second in a series of East-West projects by Chan, presenting works by composers from both Eastern and Western Classical traditions. Representing the East: "Moonlight Over Spring River" by Hong Kong composer Doming Lam; "Incarnation II" by Japanese composer Somei Satoh; and "Scenes from a Jade Terrace" by Chinese-Canadian composer Alexina Louie. From the West: J.S. Bach's Prelude in b minor BWV 855a, "Sheep May Safely Graze," "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring," and Chaconne in d minor; and Preludes 1, 6, 13, 21, 15 & 17 Op. 28 by Chopin. (MSR Classics 681585128022 / MS 1280)

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