The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Monday, January 17, 2011

JUST OPENED - Friday Jan. 14th, 2011

Thank you for joining me last Friday for my first “official” JUST OPENED! Bill Bukowski loved presenting these new works to you, and was a reliable and knowledgeable resource for years. I hope to maintain the high standards that Bill set, and to add some of my own perspective as a musician into the mix. The world of new releases is a mixture of music, talent, technical aspects, agents, packaging and high powered PR. I am tremendously excited about sharing these new works with you, and am grateful for the opportunity to open these fresh new releases and introduce them to you!

CLAREMONT TRIO: Beethoven and Ravel - TRIA # 1862 (84501 39628)

Trio in C Minor, Op. 1, No. 3 - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827),
Piano, Violin, and Cello - Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)
Donna Kwong (piano), and the twin sisters Emily Bruskin (violin) and Julia Bruskin (cello) celebrate 10 years of playing together by recording the Ravel Trio that was the first piece they studied together. To my ear, this set of trios is notable for the prominence of the violin in the recording mix, which makes it a special joy for those who love violin. The two trios set each other off nicely, the Beethoven both powerful and ultimately playful, while the Ravel creates a sense of ethereal mystery.

XUEFEI YANG: RODRIGO - Concierto de Aranjuez
EMI Classics # 6-98361-2-1 (099969 836121)
Recorded in Barcelona with the Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC) conducted by Eiji Oue joining in the first two works: Concierto de Aranjuez - Rodrigo, and The Albeniz Concerto - Goss. Followed by two solo works for guitar: Espania (arr. Yang) - Albeniz, and Invocation Y Danza – Rodrigo (the work for which she first became recognized as a world class guitarist, at the age of 14). An excellent contrast of symphonic works and solo works which display Yang’s expressive range of dynamics, technical mastery, and affinity for the composer’s melodic charms.

JULIA FISCHER: PAGANINI 24 Caprices – Decca BOO14658 (28947 82274)
The complete Opus 1 Caprices - Paganini. Usually played one at a time for tour de force encores, often considered to be technical exercises to aspire to, but rarely master, Fischer plays the entire opus to display Paganini’s range (and her own). Paganini did not publish these until after his concert career was done, because he wanted to keep these private to assure his stature as the premier virtuoso violinist. A great study tool for a violinist, a tour de force for Fischer, and an amazement for the music lover!

MDR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA; JUN MARKL, Cond. – Naxos 572294 (47313 22947)
The complete Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise) Symphony No. 2 – Mendelssohn. The MDR Radio Choir is joined by soloists Ruth Ziesak (soprano), Mojca Erdmann (soprano) and Christian Elsner (tenor). Often heard in portions, not often recorded in its entirety, this Cantata is of particular interest to fans of serious Christian compositions, as it was composed to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Guttenberg printing press, and uses text from the Lutheran Bible. A moving work of profound reverence.

HEIDELBERGER SINFONIKER; THOMAS FEY, Cond. – Hanssler Classics 98.619 (010276 023692)
The Paris Symphonies, Symphony #82 – 87 – Haydn. This 2 CD set contains six symphonies, including those known affectionately as “The Bear,” “The Hen,” and “The Queen” (symphony No. 85, which contains French dance tunes and is known to be the favorite of Marie Antoinette in her last days). This music has stood the test of time, and the recording (and presentation) is beautiful.

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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