Monday, February 15, 2010
What was "Just Opened" Feb. 15
"Pictures Reframed" - Leif Ove Andsnes, piano. A multi-media collaboration between Andsnes and visual artist Robin Rhode, interpreting Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" in performance with black-and-white images displayed on screens surrounding the piano. It's a CD and DVD release, and we'll review the DVD on this space tomorrow (you can seen more on-line at www.picturesreframed.com.) For the audio CD, Andsnes includes four short pieces by Mussorgsky, and Robert Schumann's "Kinderszenen," Op. 15. (EMI Classics 6 98360 2)
"Arnold Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht & Chamber Symphony" - Smithsonian Chamber Players; Kenneth Slowik, cond. Another CD-DVD combo, performances of two early Schoenberg pieces: the romantic poem, "Transfigured Night," and the more astringent yet compelling Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9. On the DVD, Verklarte Nacht is filmed at Smithsonian Castle, while the Chamber Symphony performance takes place in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress. Includes artist interviews and discussions. (Dorian Sono Luminus 053479090928 / DSL-90909)
"Quincy Porter: Complete Viola Works" - Eliesha Nelson, viola; Northwest Sinfonia; John McLaughlin Williams, cond., piano, harpsichord & violin; Douglas Rioth, harp. Eliesha Nelson plays viola with the Cleveland Orchestra. For her first CD, she wanted music she hadn't heard or played before, and the music of American composer Quincy Porter (1897-1966) was a natural fit, as Porter's favorite instrument was the viola. His music is very accessible, and there's a delightful Concerto for Viola and Orchestra; a lovely Duo for Violin and Harp, which is also arranged for Violin and Harpschord; a Duo for Violin & Viola; works for viola and piano, and for viola alone. By the way: this is one of the few new Dorian releases that contains a booklet of liner notes! (Dorian Sono Luminus 053479091123 / DSL-90911)
"Mozart/Spohr: Clarinet Concertos" - Jon Manasse, clarinet; Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz, cond. One of Mozart's final masterpieces, the Concerto for Clarinet, K.622 is paired quite nicely with Louis Spohr's Concerto No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 57. American clarinetist Jon Manasse joins Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony in these fine performances. (harmonia mundi 093046751623 / HMU 907516)
Thanks to our friends at EMI Music, harmonia mundi usa, ECM New Series and Naxos Worldwide for our new CDs this week.
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