Monday, August 23, 2010
Just Opened August 20, 2010
"Sinfonia Iuventus Vol. 1" - Waldemar Zarow, clarinet; Alicja Kieruzalska, bassoon; Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra; Gabriel Chmura, conductor. The Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra was started in 2007 by conductor JerzySemkow to showcase young musicians drawn from all of Poland's music academies. All musicians are under the age of 30. Their first concert together was in 2008; this is their first CD on the Polish label Accord. The clarinet is the featured instrument here, with Debussy's Premiere Rhapsodie and La Mer; Richard Strauss' Duett Concertino for clarinet, bassoon and orchestra; and Tema con variazioni (Theme and Variations) by Jean Francaix. (Accord 5902176501624 / ACD 162-2)
"Haydn: Six Quartets Op. 20" - Daedalus Quartet. Fans of Coastal Concerts in Lewes, DE will remember the Daedalus Quartet, who performed there this past February. This release presents one of the most influential music publications in history: Haydn's six "Sun" Quartets. Beethoven copied them out by hand and scored one of them for orchestra; Mozart was so inspired he composed his own six "Haydn" Quartets and dedicated them to his friend; one of Brahms' prized possessions was the autograph score of the entire set. You can add them to your own library at two discs for the price of one. (Bridge Records 090404932625 / 9326A/B)
"Gershwin by Grofe" - Lincoln Mayorga, piano; Harmonie Ensemble/New York; Steven Richman, conductor. First arrangements of Gershwin music by Ferde Grofe for the Paul Whiteman orchestra in the 1920's - with the jazz-band arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue and "I Got Rhythm" Variations bookending arrangements of some of Gershwin's Broadway tunes, including "Yankee Doodle Blues," "Sweet and Low-down," and others. Another neat feature: Al Gallodoro, who played in the Whiteman band in the 1930's, plays the clarinet intro on Rhapsody in Blue, and plays clarinet and sax on "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Summertime." Aged 93 when this recording was made, it was one of his last - he passed away in 2008. (harmonia mundi 093046749224 / HMU 907492)
Handel: Keyboard Suites 1 - Nos. 1-4" Philip Edward Fisher, piano. Although among his lesser-known works, Handel's eight keyboard suites are prized by musicians and Handellians everywhere. This new disc from Naxos contains the first four. (Naxos 747313219773 / 8.572197)
"Einojuhani Rautavaara: Before the Icons; A Tapestry of Life" - Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Leif Segerstam, conductor. Now 82, Rautavaara is sort of the grand old man of Finnish music, and in spite of a recent life-threatening illness, remains a very active composer. "Before the Icons" was originally composed for piano in 1955 with the intent to orchestrate it, but he didn't complete it until 2005. The "Tapestry of Life," a four-movement symphonic piece is in a response to his almost miraculous recovery from illness in 2007. (Ondine 0761195114926 / ODE 1149-2)
Thanks this week to Naxos, Bridge Records, and harmonia mundi usa for the musical support for "Just Opened."
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