The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just Opened on October 30, 2009

Some brand-new, and some simply "new" to WSCL this week:

"Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson: Recital at Ravinia" - Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, mezzo soprano; Peter Serkin, piano.
Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson was just 52 when she died of cancer in 2006. While she was not the most prolific of recording artists, her CDs have been prized by collectors and fans of vocal music. Since her death a number of concert recordings have been issued, each one reminding us of what a wonderful artist we lost too soon. This one was recorded at the summer music festival in Chicago just two years before her death, and the theme is love - with lieder by Brahms and Mozart; two arias by Handel; "Trois chansons de Bilitis" by Debussy; an arrangement of "Deep River" by Harry Thacker Burleigh, and "Calling You" from Robert E. Telson's "Baghdad Cafe." (harmonia mundi 093046750022 / HMU 907500)

"Johannes Brahms: The Symphonies" - Berlin Philharmonic;
Simon Rattle, cond.
News this past week that Simon Rattle has signed up for another 8-year stint as Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic coincides quite nicely with this new release of the four Symphonies by Brahms - recorded live, all four on three CDs, for the price of two. (EMI Classics 5099926725420 / 67254-2)

"J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations" - Catrin Finch, harp.

The wider world first heard of Welsh harpist Catrin Finch in 2000, when she was selected by HRH the Prince of Wales to become the Royal Harpist - a position last held in 1873. After her four year appointment, Finch has been working hard promoting her instrument in concerts and recitals around the world. She spent one year transcribing Bach's Goldberg Variations for the harp, and the result is her debut CD for the Deutsche Grammophon label. Bach's Goldbergs have proven to be, like most of his music, quite adaptable, with recent arrangements for string trio and guitar. This is the first complete arrangement for solo harp. (DG 028947781653 / 477 8165)

"Fugitive Visions: Piano Masterworks by Debussy,
Haydn and Liszt" - Ivan Ilic,
piano. A promotional CD showcasing the work of Serbian-American pianist Ivan Ilic (pronounced EE-vahn EE-litch.) Currently residing in Paris, Ilic grew up in California and spent summers with his grandparents in Serbia. He went UC Berkeley to study mathematics, but found it more fun to play piano. But no slacker he - finding he could get good grades without attending classes everyday, he focused on playing the piano and completing his studies, earning degrees in both math and music - and a graduate fellowship to study piano at the Paris Conservatory. His first CD, pictured here, is the complete Preludes by Claude Debussy and can be found on the Paraty label (catalogue no. 108.105); the Haydn/Liszt CD can be found on the do-it-yourself artists' website, Expect to hear much more from this talented and eclectic musician. (More information on Ivan Ilic can be found on his website,

"George Frideric Handel: Messiah -
Academy of Ancient Music; Choir of King's
College, Cambridge; Stephen Cleobury, cond. The 250th anniversary of the death of Handel was this past April; in commemoration, the Choir of King's College Cambridge gave a complete concert performance of Messiah on Palm Sunday (April 5) at King's College Chapel, with the Academy of Ancient Music and soloists from the Royal Opera House. That concert was broadcast live via satellite to movie theaters around the world, and has been released in both digital download and on CD. Additional film screenings and a DVD release are planned for the upcoming Christmas Holiday season. Check your local theaters for showtimes! (EMI Classics 5099926815626 / 68156-2)

"Danielle Cumming: Postcards" - Danielle Cumming, guitar. Cumming is both a native of Canada and a resident of Delmarva - she is a music professor and guitar teacher at Salisbury University, where in the spring she organizes and runs a guitar festival. She earned her degrees at Universities in Toronto and Montreal, where the subject of her doctoral thesis was the music of Led Zeppelin and Carlo Domeniconi. Further evidence of her musical eclecticism can be found on this CD. Inspired by a year-long sojourn in Spain and Europe, it features works by composers who, like her, spent time in other cultures and came away with their own musical impressions, or "postcards." Works include American composer Lou Harrison's "Serenade for Guitar and Percussion" (Andy Morris, percussion); "Postcards from Spain" by Scottish composer Thea Musgrave; "Variations on a Turkish Folk Song" by the Italian-born Carlo Domeniconi; "Five Bagatelles" by William Walton; and works from two Canadian composers: Violet Archer's "Fantasy on 'Blanche comme la neige'" and Robert A. Baker's "A Forge, and a Scythe," which was commissioned by her after her return home from Europe. ( Danielle Cumming 629256014021 - more information on this artist can be found at her website,

Thanks to the artists and labels who continue to provide us with CDs for "Just Opened," and for all of our classical music programming. We couldn't do it without you.


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