Monday, November 9, 2009
Just Opened, Friday November 6, 2009
"Rollando Villazon: Handel" - Roland Villazon, tenor; Gabrieli Players; Paul McCreesh, cond. Tenor Rollando Villazon is back! He's announced it himself in an ebullient mini-video on his own website, which you can view here. He was forced to cancel or postpone a number of engagements this past year to have some surgery done on his vocal chords. In the meantime, fans had to content themselves with his fine discography, the most recent addition being this collection of arias from Handel's operas Tamerlano, Rodelinda, Serse, Ariodante, and La Resurrezione. (DG 028947780564 / B0012574-02) Welcome back, Rollando. We missed you.
"Robert Schumann: Sonata in f-sharp minor, Op. 11;
Faschingsschwent aus Vien, Op. 26; Waldszenen, Op. 82"
- Sally Pinkas, piano. Israeli-born pianist Sally Pinkas has recorded for a number of different labels, with two recent projects on the MSR Classics label - Faure's Piano Quartets with the Adaskin Trio (MSR 1293, featured earlier this year on WSCL,) and this collection of long-form piano works by Robert Schumann: the Piano Sonata, "Carnival in Vienna," and "Forest Scenes." (MSR Classics 681585132326 / MS 1323)
"Rachel Podger: Haydn and Mozart" - Rachel Podger, violin;
Pavlo Beznosiuk, viola; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Rachel Podger is one of the foremost exponents of the baroque violin playing today, with several fine recordings to her name. This recent addition features two of Haydn's infrequently-heard Violin Concertos, and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola. For the Mozart, she gets assistance from another early-music ace, the violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk (here playing the viola) and the generous loan of two Stradivarii from the Royal Academy of Music. In all three works, Podger directs the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Disc is in Hybrid SuperAudio CD format. (Channel Classics 723385293095 / CCS SA 29309)
"J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos" - English Baroque Soloists; Kati Debretzeni & John Eliot Gardiner, cond. It only seems that Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists have been playing the music of Bach for a millenia, with numerous well-received recordings to their credit on the Erato, DG Archiv, and now Soli Deo Gloria labels. Yet in all those years and all those recordings, this is their first recording of the Brandenburgs. So what do they offer? In the liner notes, Gardiner makes clear his approach: the Brandenburgs sound best when directed, as he puts it, "in a conductor-free zone." Other than giving a few suggestions, such as focusing on the dance character and having fun (perhaps a little too much fun on the part of the horn players in the Concerto No. 1, but I digress) Gardiner was content to sit on the sidelines and turn the overall direction over to first violinist, Kati Debretzeni. The results are surprisingly refreshing, and as Gardiner concludes in the liner notes, "when it comes to hitting a propulsive groove, no one is a match for J.S. Bach." Recorded during and after live performances in Paris and London. (Soli Deo Gloria 843183070725 / SDG 707)
"Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 15" -
Mariinsky Orchestra; Valery Gergiev, cond. The storied Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra of St Petersburg has their own label now, with three recordings and counting. The first was of Shostakovich's satirical opera, "The Nose," (which, by the way, will be featured in the upcoming season of Saturday afternoon broadcasts of the Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera on WSCL) and this first disc of his symphonies. The brash and confident 1st, composed when the composer was all of 18, is one of the greatest debuts of any composer; the eerie and enigmatic 15th, his last, came at the age of 65 when the composer was near the end of his life. In Hybrid SuperAudio CD format. (Mariinsky 822231850229 / MAR 0502)
"Richard Strauss: Josephs-Legende; Der Rosenkavalier;
Die Frau ohne Schatten" - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, cond. Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic continue their fine series of recordings for the Naxos label, with three concert suites by Richard Strauss: The Symphonic Fragment from "The Legend of Joseph;" Suite from "The Knight of the Rose;" and the Symphonic Fantasy on the opera, "The Woman Without a Shadow." (Naxos 747313204175 / 8.572041)
Thanks always to the labels and artists who continue to support Classical Music programming on WSCL. You can find links to more information about these and other recordings on the homepage of our website. Thanks for listening!
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