Tuesday, March 1, 2011
JUST OPENED, Feb. 25th, 2010
Sony Classical 8 8697 79469 9
The works of Johannes Brahms, Handel Variations Op. 24, Two Rhapsodies Op. 79, Six Piano Pieces Op. 118, and Four Piano Pieces Op. 119 played by Murray Perahia, a virtuoso pianist of maturity in years and artistry, at the height of his powers.
ROBERT SCHUMANN: Florian Uhlig, clavier/piano
Hannsler Classic4 010276 023227
German Radio Philharmonic; Christoph Poppen, cond.
German born Florian Uhlig did his advanced piano studies in London, and now travels the world concertizing in solos, chamber groups, and with world renowned orchestras. In 2008 he became Artistic Director of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival. Here he plays works for piano and orchestra in a program entirely by the beloved and accessible composer Robert Schumann, including two “new” works: a reconstructed and completed Concerto Movement for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor, and the Abegg Variations, which Schumann envisaged for piano and orchestra, but did not complete, the orchestration now realized by Joachim Draheim.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH: Azusa Shimizu, guitar
Works and Transcriptions for Guitar
Bach works have become a staple for guitarists to prove their manual and musical dexterity. Guitarist Shimizu makes it clear in her notes that for her, these works are much more personal, almost an experience of sublime meditation. Indeed, the cover art portrays a nun, and Bach himself regularly spoke of his works as being devoted to “the glory of the Lord.” Having studies French Literature in Tokyo, Shimizu studied music in Nice, Boulogne, and Copenhagen. An artist of maturity and thoughtfulness, she is a Laureate artist from the Palm d’Or in Italy, and has toured extensively in Asia and Europe.
DVORAK Symphony No. 6
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop, cond.
The BSO has made it a mission to record all of Dvorak’s symphonies, and the results have been beautiful. This CD includes not only the full symphony, but also two shorter works, Nocturne in B major, Op. 40, and Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66.
ROSSO Italian Baroque Arias: Patricia Petibon
Deutsche Grammophon 477 8763
Every once in a while, an opera performer comes along that is so very delightful to watch, so engaging, that you find yourself wondering, “is her voice that great, or is it just that she is a joy on stage?” Then the recordings become the real test. Patricia Petibon is opera’s answer to Audrey Tautou: she is petite, eccentric, impish, sweet, with a great sense of humor about herself, just adorable. She can be seen in fine form in the DVD of Rameau’s most popular opera (during his lifetime): Les Indes Galantes, in the final act, as a love starved Native American maiden. She has specialized in Baroque opera. Her voice is indeed a gem, and demonstrates here her vocal adaptability from “yelling in the French manner” (as the Italians called French Baroque singing style) to the lighter, more floral Italian buffo style. This one is my “delight” pick of the week!
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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