The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Thursday, March 31, 2011

JUST OPENED, Friday April 1st, 2011

We focused on lighter works for some April Fools Funshines!

TAKING FLIGHT: Adam Frey, euphonium New Zeland Symphony Orchestra, Bruce Hangen, cond. MSR 1248
The new hot euphonium stud, Adam Frey takes on many works that are associated with other instruments, and makes them euphonius! Whether playing a rhapsody originally composed for violin, or a trumpeter's matador entrance, Frey makes it all work with deft technical and melodic skill. The unusual mix of these works with a great orchestra makes this CD my "delight of the week!"

THOMAS PANDOLFI, piano #46366
Thomas Pandolfi is well known in Europe as a pre-eminent interpreter of George Gershwin and Franz Liszt. This CD focuses on the work of Gershwin, the original solo version of Rhapsody in Blue, Pandolfi's own improvizations on Gershwin melodys, and Earl Wild's etude based on Gershwin's "Lady Be Good." Toss in encores of Joplin and Lloyd Webber, and you've got quite a bit of fun.

TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER: John Lachbery Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, John Lachbery, cond. EMI 545372
This CD records the music from the Royal Ballet Film, "Tales of Beatrix Potter." The music stands on it's own, bringing smiles with bells, whistles, brass riffs that remind us of Sousa, and even a work that features banjo (Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's Laundry)! This is pure orchestral joy!

MUSIC OF THE BELLE EPOQUE: Azusa Shimizu, guitar MSR 1301
After her previous impressive CD where she demonstrated her technical skills in transcriptions of Bach works, Shimizu now brings us the romanticism, infectious melody, swooning rhythms, and lyricism of the quitar playing these glorious works from the turn of the 1900s.

GERSWIN-CHAIILLY-BOLLANI Stefano Bollani, piano with Gewandhausorchester Riccardo Chailly, cond. London Decca 15311
Starting with the jazz band version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Chailly leads this orchestra through the "Catfish Row Suite" (melodys from Porgy and Bess), to a rollicking cabaret/piano bar version of Rialto Ripples. The Concerto in F for Piano in Orchestra can be a stumbling block for some orchestras, the opening section can falter and the brass can sound immature, but here I find my favorite recording so far. It begins at a tight pace and unfolds with sure-footed verve under Chailly's masterful baton. Jazz pianist Bollani adds pizzaz while he prooves his chops.

We hope you enjoyed Just Opened this week. JUST OPENED will be on hiatis during the membership drive, and will return on April 22nd. Kara Dahl Russell

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