The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just Opened, Friday August 7, 2009

"Chopin - Maria Joao Pires, piano." Pires celebrates 20 years as a Deutsche Grammophon recording artist with an all-new Chopin recording. In 1996, Pires released a stunning recording of the Nocturnes that became a best-seller. In this 2-disc set, she focuses on the music composed during Chopin's last tumultuous years: the Sonata No. 3, Nocturnes Op. 62, the Polonaise-Fantaisie Op. 61, 3 Waltzes Op. 64, several Mazurkas, and the Sonata for Cello & Piano (with cellist Pavel Gomziakov.) Liner notes feature a discussion of Chopin's late works with Pires and author Frederic Sounac. (DG 0289477774839 / 477 7483)

"Britannia - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Donald Runnicles, cond." A disc focusing on 20th century British composers. The program begins and ends with Elgar: the Pomp and Circumstance Marches 4 & 1 respectively; in between, 4 works featuring the wide range of contemporary Britannic composers. "An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise" by Peter Maxwell-Davies; "Three Screaming Popes" by Mark-Anthony Turnage; "Britannia" by James MacMillan, and "Sinfonia da Requiem" by Benjamin Britten. (Telarc 089408067723 / CD-80677)

"Charles Avison: Concertos Op. 3 & 4 - The Avison Ensemble; Pavlo Beznosiuk, violin & cond." Charles Avison was an early-18th century composer; born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he went to London to study music with Francesco Geminiani, who'd recently arrived from Venice. He returned home to Newcastle and took a job as organist at St John the Baptist Church, began a successful series of subscription concerts, and spent the rest of his long and successful career in his hometown. At the time of his death he was considered the best musician in Northern England. This is the second in a series of Naxos CDs focusing on the music of Avison. (Naxos 747313290529 / 8.557905-06)

"Mozart: Double Concertos - Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; Iona Brown, cond." Recorded and released first in 1996, this reissue on the Chandos "Classics" series features Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin & viola, with Iona Brown playing violin with violist Lars Anders Tomter; and the Concerto No. 10 for 2 pianos, with Havard Gimse and Vebjorn Anvik. Iona Brown was concertmaster for the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and succeeded Neville Marriner as conductor when he stepped down. For 20 years she was also conductor of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and made a number of fine recordings with them. She got the Queen's honors in 1986, and passed away in 2004. (Chandos 095115150726 - CHAN 10507 X)

"Anne Sofie von Otter: Bach - Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Concerto Copenhagen; Lars Ulrik Mortensen, cond." Anne Sofie von Otter's career began 20 years ago with the music of Bach; after 10 years she stepped away from it to explore other repertoire, particularly opera. This disc brings her back full-circle. To prepare, she listened to every cantata by Bach (200!) and picked out the arias that meant the most to her. Featured are arias from several cantatas, the St Matthew Passion, the Mass in b minor, and the Magnificat, along with a couple instrumental sinfoniae for balance. (DG Archiv Produktion 028947783435 / B0012820-02)

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