The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Opened September 24, 2010

"J.S. Bach: Six Suites for Solo Cello" - Winona Zelenka, cello. From Canadian cellist Winona Zelenka comes a personal journey through Bach's 6 Suites. Her teachers in music included both Janos Starker and William Pleeth (who taught Jacqueline DuPre) and she pays tribute to their oft-times contrasting approach to this music - and the cello used is a Guarnerius that once belonged to Starker. Her sheer joy in playing this music comes shining through. (Marquis Classics 774718150929 / 81509)

Symphonies Nos. 6-8" - Academy of St Martin in the Fields; Neville Marriner, conductor. This recording was originally issued on Philips in 1982; long out of print, it's been reissued on the Newton Classics label. These three symphonies, nicknamed "Matin," "Midi," and "Soir," were for all intents and purposes Haydn's audition demo for Prince Paul Esterhazy, who was looking for a court composer. Just listen to these three little beauties and you'll know why the Prince decided to hire this talented young man. (Newton Classics 8718247710062 / 8802006)

of Fantasy: Early Italian Chamber Music" - Irish Baroque Orchestra Chamber Soloists; Monica Huggett, director. There certainly was a lot of music written during the so-called Baroque era of music, but aside from the greats - Bach, Handel, Telemann, and so on, it's easy to miss just how wide-ranging and diverse the music actually was. And, sometimes, out-and-out wild. Here are some examples from oft-neglected musicians of the Italian Baroque - inventive works by Dario Castello and Carlo Farina (whose Capriccio Stravangate translates as "outlandish whim" and imitates the sounds of dogs barking, guns firing, and cats meowing!) Others represented include Heinrich Biber, Biagio Marini, Antonio Bertali, and Girolamo Frescobaldi. Diversity and experimentation abound. (Avie Records 822252220223 / AV2202)

& Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos" - Hilary Hahn, violin; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vasily Petrenko, conductor. Once again Hahn explores the concerto repertory from the past and the present, with two grand works that she says "illuminate each other." In addition, each has a personal connection. Hahn studied contempory music at the Curtis Institute with Jennifer Higdon, and the two have remained close. Higdon's Concerto was written for Hilary Hahn, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2008. The Tchaikovsky Concerto she learned for the first time under the tutelage of Jascha Brodsky at Curtis; for the next ten years or so she put it aside, and has returned to it only recently. So, a fresh approach to an old favorite, and a fresh approach to the Violin Concerto in the 21st Century. (Deutsche Grammophon DG 028947787778 / B0014698-02) Hilary Hahn has her own YouTube channel. You can watch and listen to her own thoughts on this CD here.

"Lang Lang Live in Vienna" - Lang Lang, piano. Lang Lang's second in-concert CD, and his first project for Sony Classical. Recorded during a series of concerts at Vienna's Muskiverein in February and March of 2010, it's being released simultaneously in the following formats: CD, Deluxe-Limited Edition CD, DVD, Blu-ray, vinyl LP and Digital. On the first half of the program (Disc 1 on the CD) two Beethoven Sonatas - the early No. 3 Op.2, and No. 23 Op. 57, "Appasionata." In the second half, Book 1 from Albeniz' Iberia; Prokofiev's Sonata No. 7, and three Chopin works for encores - Etude No. 1 Op. 25, the Polonaise No. 6 "Heroic," and the Grande Valse Brilliante Op. 34. (Sony Classical 886977190124 / 71901-2)

A big "thank you" to Crossover Media, Marquis Classics, Naxos USA, Avie Records, DG-Universal, and First Chair Promotion for this week's new music.


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