Monday, September 14, 2009
Just Opened, September 11, 2009
"The Julliard String Quartets: Digital Recordings." The Julliard String Quartet made a number of stellar recordings for the Columbia label during their history - long prized by collectors, and many of them long out-of-print. Sony Legacy has reissued some of them in digital release only (this means you will need to download them - they are not available on conventional CD.) The re-releases are the Six String Quartets by Bela Bartok...Beethoven: The Early String Quartets (Op.18, 1-6)...Beethoven: the Middle String Quartets (Op. 59, 1-3; Opp. 74 & 95)...Beethoven: The Late String Quartets (Opp. 127, 130, 131, 132, 133 and 135)...Debussy/Ravel/Dutilleux: String Quartets...and "Great Collaborations." (Sony Music, download only)
"Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Francesca da Rimini" - Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela; Gustavo Dudamel, cond. Tchaikovsky's music has been a calling-card of sorts for Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony - performances that have had the crowds calling for more. Here are two favorites, the Symphony No. 5 and the tone poem inspired by Dante, "Francesca da Rimini." (DG 028947780229 / B0012763-02)
"Handel: Organ Concertos Op. 7" - Academy of Ancient Music; Richard Egarr, organ and cond. A couple of years ago, Egarr and the Academy released a wonderful recording of Handel's Op. 4 set of organ concertos, using a small chamber organ such as Handel might have used in his own concert performances. This follow-up 2-CD set (part of an on-going series of new Handel recordings for harmonia mundi) contain the six Op. 7 concertos, which are scored for a much larger ensemble yet still call for extensive organ improvisation. Egarr, the conductor and organist, happily obliges (great liner notes, too, as always.) Also contains the Concerto in F Major called "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale," and three works for solo harpsichord. (harmonia mundi 093046744762 / HMU 807447.48)
"Danielle de Niese: The Mozart Album" - Danielle de Niese, soprano; Apollo Voices; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Charles Mackerras, cond. Soprano de Niese made her Met Opera debut at the age of 19, in the role of Barbarina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. So an all-Mozart recording was a natural follow-up to her superb recording debut, an all-Handel CD. On this album she sings the sacred arias "Exsultate, Jubilate" and "Laudate Dominum;" three concert arias, and selections from the operas Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Idomeneo, Don Giovanni and Il re Pastore. A bonus track is a duet with baritone Bryn Terfel, "La ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni. (Decca 028947815112 / B0013277-02)
"From the Top at the Pops - Christopher O'Riley and America's Best Young Classical Musicans; the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra; Erich Kunzel, cond. Since it's premier in 2000, From the Top has become one of the most popular and successful programs in Public Radio, heard on 250 stations nationwide (including your own local favorite public radio station, WSCL 89.5 FM - Sundays at 5:30 PM.) To celebrate their 10th Anniversary, in October 2008 host Christopher O'Riley & company traveled to Cincinnati for three gala concerts with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. That concert series resulted in a radio show and this recording. Featured are Ji-Yong, a 14-year old pianist from Midland, NJ in the opening movement of Grieg's Piano Concerto in a minor. Chad Hoopes, a 14-year old violinist from Shaker Heights, OH plays the finale of Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1. 19-year old composer Stephen Feigelbaum of Winchester, MA presents his own composition, a Serenade for Strings. From Palo Alto, CA comes 12-year old Hilda Huang, to perform Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in f minor, BWV 1056. A 16-year old violinist from Cleveland Heights, OH, joins pianist O'Riley for the finale of Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin & Piano in d minor. Matthew Allen, a 16-year old cellist from Tallahassee, FL performs David Popper's Hungarian Rhapsody for cello and orchestra, and 17-year old Corey Dundee from Charlotte, NC plays tenor saxophone in "The Upward Stream" by Russell Peck. Worried about the future of Classical Music? Then listen to From the Top (remember, Sundays at 5:30 on WSCL!) This CD offers proud testimony. (Telarc 089408074523 / CD 80745)
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