Monday, December 28, 2009
What was Opened on Friday, December 18
"In Terra Pax: A Christmas Anthology" - City of London Choir; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Hilary Davan Wetton, cond. A lovely new Christmas disc this year, with works by English composers of the 20th Century (the English celebrate Christmas very well!) Features Gustav Holst's rarely-heard carol fantasia, "Christmas Day;" Gerald Finzi's cantata, "In Terra Pax;" Vaughan Williams' "Winter - Folk Songs of the Four Seasons," and various carols by John Joubert, Kenneth Leighton, William Mathias, Herbert Howells, Peter Warlock, John Rutter, and John Gardner. (Naxos 747313210275 / 8.572102)
"Mendelssohn/Bach: Magnificats in D Major" - Yale Schola Cantorum; Yale Voxtet; Yale Collegium Players; Simon Carrington, cond. Mendelssohn's rarely heard but joyous setting of the Magnificat is paired here with the best-known one by Bach. (Naxos 747313216178 / 8.572161)
"Chopin: Etudes; Six Polish Songs (transcribed by Franz Liszt)" - Luiza Borac, piano. We first heard from Luiza Borac with her award-winning survey of the piano music of Georges Enescu; just released this fall, the complete etudes by Chopin, along with transcriptions by his friend Franz Liszt. This disc has a personal significance for Borac, too - it's the last recording produced by her friend and producer John Barnes, to whom it is dedicated. (Avie 822252216127 / AV2161)
"Unto Ages of Ages: Sacred Choral Music of Sviridov, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky" - Gloria Dei Cantores; Elizabeth Patterson, cond. Selections from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom by Tchaikovsky...Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil...and the North American premiere of "Ineffable Mystery," a six-movement suite by 20th Century composer Georgy Sviridov. Russian Orthodox music at its best. (Paraclete Press 709887004728 / GDCD 047)
"Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio/Rachmaninoff: Trio Elegiaque No. 1" - Lang Lang, piano; Vadim Repin, violin; Mischa Maisky, cello. From what I've been reading lately, pianist Lang Lang has been toning down the histrionics in his concert hall appearances. Perhaps it was in preparation for this recording; while it's one thing for a performer to give a wild, energetic performance in a concert hall surrounded by a symphony orchestra, it's almost out of the question in a more intimate chamber music setting. But there's no lack of emotion or energy in these performances, his first chamber music recording, with violinist Vadim Repin and cellist Mischa Maisky - themselves no strangers to this repertoire. (DG 028947786269 / B0013504-02)
"Bruch/Brahms: Violin Concertos" - Sarah Chang, violin; Dresdner Philharmonie; Kurt Masur, cond. Although she's been performing the Brahms' Violin Concerto now for two decades, Sarah Chang has never recorded it before; it's paired here with one of her favorites, the Concerto No. 1 by Max Bruch. Ms. Chang will be performing both works in concerts in the US, Asia, and Europe in the coming year. (EMI Classics 509996700426 / 67004)
"Melodie: Music for Violin and Harp" - Aurora Duo. Music written for or arranged for violin and harp, by D.E. Inghelbrecht, Carl Nielsen, Domenico Scarlatti, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Mozart, Gluck, Debussy and others, performed by violinist Donna Fairbanks and harpist Lysa Rytting. (MSR Classics 6815851633224 / MS 1332)
"Holst: The Hymn of Jesus/Choral Symphony/The Wandering Scholar/At the Boar's Head" - London Symphony Chorus; London Philharmonic; English Opera Group; various soloists; Charles Groves, Adrian Boult, Steuart Bedford, David Atherton, conds. From the "British Composer" series, one of five new re-issues on two CDs - this one featuring two choral masterworks by Gustav Holst and two one-act operas, all from the EMI Vault. (EMI Classics 5099996892923 / 68929)
There was no "Just Opened" on December 25th, due to our special holiday programming that day, but it will return in the New Year. Blessings and Peace!
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