The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Monday, November 23, 2009

What's new on Just Opened, 11/20/09

A noteworthy reissue, plus two recording debuts:

"Edward Elgar: Symphonies 1 & 2;
In the South; Serenade for Strings" - Philharmonia Orchestra; Halle Orchestra; John Barbirolli; Constantin Silvestri; Norma Del Mar, conductors. One of five recent two-disc reissues in EMI's "British Composer" series. John Barbirolli had a life-long association with the music of Elgar; he was in the cello section of the orchestra for the first performance of the Cello Concerto, and first conducted the Symphony No. 2 only 48 hours after first viewing the score. His early 1960's recordings for EMI of the two Symphonies have been critical and catalogue favorites for years, and are joined on this two-disc set with "In the South" conducted by Silvestri, and the Serenade for Strings by Norman Del Mar. (EMI Classics 50999 9 6824 2 8 / 68924)

"Chants d'Est: Songs from Slavic Lands"
- Sonia Wieder-Atherton, cello; Sinfonia Varsovia; Christophe Mangou, cond. Wieder-Atherton's debut CD is a concept album, with works and arrangements from composers in what she calls "Mitteleuropa" - lands and cultures that for years were subjects of the Austro-Hungarian empire and who fought to keep their own languages and identities. Composers represented include Rachmaninoff (Nunc dimittis from Vespers), Prokofiev ("The Field of the Dead" from Alexander Nevsky) and Alexander Tcherepnin (Tatar Dance.) From Czech composers, Janacek (an arrangement of his Moravian Folk Songs by Franck Krawczyk called "Jeux d'enfants") and Martinu (Variations on a Slavic Folk Song.) There are highlights from Erno Dohnanyi's "Ruralia Hungarica" and one of Mahler's Ruckert lieder - all pieces arranged for cello and orchestra. (Naive 822186051788 / V 5178)

"Liszt/Rachmaninoff" - Nareh Arghamanyan, piano.
20-year old Nareh Arghamanyan was the grand prize winner of the 2008 Montreal International Music Competition, and this is her debut CD, with two grand Romantic piano sonatas: the Sonata No. 2 in b-flat minor, and the Liszt Sonata in b minor. (Analekta 774204876227 / AN 2 8762)

"Howard Goodall: Eternal Light: A Requeim"
- Natasha Marsh, soprano; Alfie Boe, tenor; Christopher Maltman, baritone; the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford; London Musici; Stephen Darlington, cond. Goodall is best known for his soundtrack work, having penned memorable scores for the TV series' "Blackadder," "Red Dwarf" and "The Vicar of Dibley." He also composes quite of bit of choral music in a similar populist style. Writing a Requiem can be a special challenge, and for Goodall's Requiem the focus is less for the repose of souls, and more for solace and comfort for the living - much like Brahms' Requiem, in that regard. Goodall mixes the original Latin texts with contemporary poems, with verses by Phineas Fletcher, John MacCrae, Francis Quarles, and Mary Elizabeth Frye. The disc concludes with three shorter works, "Love Divine," "Spared," and the setting of Psalm 23 "The Lord is My Sheperd" from "The Vicar of Dibley." (EMI Classics 5099921504723 / 15047)

"Robert Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 Op. 41;
Piano Quintet Op. 44"
- Takacs Quartet; Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano. The Takacs Quartet's most recent recordings on the Hyperion label explore the Romantic chamber music tradition, with works by Schubert and Brahms. For this brand-new Schumann CD, they enlisted the help of pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin for Robert Schumann's Piano Quintet Op. 44. (Hyperion 034571176314 / CDA 67631)

All the recordings heard on "Just Opened" are provided by the various record companies and artists for promotional purposes. For more information on any of the recordings heard on WSCL, visit the homepage of our website.


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