The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Monday, January 31, 2011

JUST OPENED, aired Friday Jan. 28, 2011

When I listened to the CD of delightful clarinet music that was scheduled as a focus for this week’s JUST OPENED, I decided to call on a local clarinetist who greatly impressed me the last time we played together in the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, Deborah Scott. (While I do hope to continue shedding some light on talented musicians on the DelMarVa Peninsula, don’t worry, interviews will not be a regular feature of JUST OPENED. The music remains primary!) Debbie is a working musician, and Band Teacher at Salisbury Christian School, and graciously made time at the last minute to come in and record an interview with me the same day I called. Her interview was spaced out through the first hour, and she had interesting thoughts about how a parent can help the young musician in their family. I will include those in a separate post.

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We began with this CD which I can only describe as pure delight. I personally favor chamber works, and the particular works are this CD are so joyful, and two of them new to me. When Debbie Scott listened to the CD she sighed in joy at the beautiful tone of the clarinetist, Hideaki Aomori, paired throughout with pianist Joshua Pierce. We began with the Beethoven Trio in E-flat (which adds cellist Daniel Barrett), a work that is well known and beloved – perhaps Beethoven at his lightest. Felix Draseseke (pronounced Drah AY se kuh) 1835-1913 is a new composer to me, and his Sonata in B-Flat for Clarinet and Piano dances with playfulness. Norbert Burgmuller (1810-1836) brings out the lush romantic side of the clarinet in his Duo for Clarinet and Piano.

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U.S born, internationally recognized violinist (since the age of 16) Zaida Levin brings a new flavor to these essential violin works. When you listen to many versions of the same works, you begin to hear nuances, including the “match” of the violinist and her violin. From the initial Partita, Levin and her instrument impart a new crispness, and strength to the double stops in these works. In other selections, a full bodied tone, like dark wine. Part of what makes her recording of these works unique is her choice to not use a period instrument, but to use her usual “modern” instrument and bow. This brings a new flavor to the works, along with her great interpretational skills.

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Mariss Jansons conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Tschaikowsky’s great symphony about the struggle of a restless soul with fate is paired on this CD with his Fantasy After Dante, a work with which the composer was especially satisfied. For those who know Tschaikowsky through the sunny brilliance of his Nutcracker Ballet, this is an excellent introduction to the darker side of the artist, more prevalent in his work, both recorded by one of the great orchestras with one of the great conductors.

GERSHWIN Thomas Pandolfi
Peter Schmelzer conducts The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra (Piano Concerto in F).
Thomas Pandolfi received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Juliard on scholarship. Now largely touring in Europe, he is recognized there and here as one of the foremost interpreters of George Gershwin’s music; not only for his performances, but for his inventive programming. Praised by music critics, including The New York Concert Review, the Washington Post described him as “an artist who is master of both the grand gesture and the sensual line. Pandolfi possesses first-rate technical skills, an unerring command of phrasing, a quicksilver touch and cunning legerdemain when it comes to pedaling… etched with calm and crystal clarity… outstanding.” CDs can be purchased through his own website or .

I hope you enjoy these, and I’ll be with you next Friday at 1PM on JUST OPENED.
Kara Dahl Russell

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