Monday, November 15, 2010
Just Opened November 12, 2010
"Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1; Fantasia on Polish Airs; Concert Rondeau 'Krakowiak'" - Eldar Nebolsin, piano; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Antoni Witt, conductor. It's hard to go wrong with Chopin's music in the hands of Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic. Eldar Nebolsin is featured in this disc of three piano-and-orchestra works by Chopin. (Naxos 747313233571 / 8.5723350
"Chopin-Schumann: 2010 Anniversary Edition" - Burkhard Schliessmann, piano. Some ink has been spilled this year in classical music circles regarding the bicentennial year of two composers, Chopin and Schumann; the concern being the greater attention given to the former than to the latter. Young German pianist Burkhard Schliessmann solves the dilemma by honoring both composers in this two-disc anniversary set from MSR Classics. Disc one contains 8 works by Chopin; disc two, Schumann's Kreisleriana; in between, a work from a composer revered by both - Johann Sebastian Bach, the Partita No. 2 in c minor. (MSR Classics 681585136126 / MS 1361)
"Elina Garanca: Habanera" - Elina Garanca, mezzo-soprano; Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai; Karel Mark Chichon, conductor. If you haven't seen Garanca in her stunning portrayal of Carmen this year at the Met (a DVD is available from DG) you really owe it to yourself. Absent that comes this collection of habanera-influenced and inflected pieces from various composers, including three from the current production of Carmen. Selections from zarzuela, spanish folk songs by de Falla and others, some accompanied by guitarist Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey, and more. She talks about it here:
(Deutsche Grammophon 028947787761 / B0014777-02)
"Ottorino Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque; Suite 'Gli Ucelli'" - Orchetra Sinfonica del Teatro Massimo di Palermo; Marzio Conti, conductor. Using bits and pieces composed in later years by Rossini (some published under the title "Sins of My Old Age") Respighi put together a work for Sergei Diaghelev's Ballet Russes called "La Boutique Fantasque," or "The Magic Toy Shop." The Suite "Gli Ucelli," also known as "The Birds," is kind of a fourth volume of Ancient Airs and Dances based on pieces from the Baroque and Renaissance eras. Primo Respighi! (cpo 761203729524 / 777 295-2)
"Jubilant Sykes Sings Copland and Spirituals" - Jubilant Sykes, baritone; London Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Litton, conductor. In 1994 I attended a conference in Nashville; one of the performers featured was a young baritone who's singing brought tears to the eyes of more than one attendee. His name was Jubilant Sykes, and this was his debut CD. Sykes has since gone on to great success, with a Grammy nomination and performances around the world. That debut CD has just been reissued on the original label, Arioso Classics, and it's good to have it back. Hear for yourself the magic of this man's voice in 8 spirituals, and Aaron Copland's "Old American Songs." (Arioso Classics 784657000117 / AC 00011)
This week's new recordings come to us courtesy of Naxos of America, MSR Classics; Rebecca Davis PR, Universal Classical, and Crossover Media. Many thanks to them for continuing to support classical music and "Just Opened" on WSCL.
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