The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

JUST OPENED, Friday April 29, 2011

This week we're featuring a wide variety of works, from historical to modern, from major labels to artist produced, from large orchestral works to solo instruments.


MARATHON: music for solo horn
Michelle Stebleton, horn
MSR classics #6 81585 11322 6
It is rare to spend this much time with solo horn outside of the recital hall. This is a tour de force work for horn, a display of Stebleton's tremendous range, and flawless tone. The works themselves are mostly modern and some are a bit of a challenge for the listener, but there is a wide variety here that is incredibly rewarding. Listen carefully to these works and you are bound to learn something about the horn.


SONGS OF AMY BEACH
Patrick Mason, baritone
Joanne Polk, piano
BRIDGE #0 90404 91822 3
Amy Beach was a ground breaking female composer, and quite prolific. These songs are a wonderful cross section of her works, from early to later, sung by the luxurious baritone voice of Mason with sure, fleet accompaniment by Polk.























An example of "free form" (measureless) Baroque music - original from the hand of Couperin. Eric Satie experimented with a return to this style in the early 1900s.


Le Clavecin Francais:
ELIZABETH JACQUET de la GUERRE
Karen Flint, harpsichord 2CD set
PLECTRA 8 84501 43267 2
Along with Bach and Rameau, there was the lusciously beautiful Elizabeth Jacquet, another groundbreaking female composer. As with many composers of the pre-bach era, her preludes are written in "Baroque Free Form" (see picture above, of a free form composition by Couperin); measureless works that allow tremendous freedom, and a good deal of intellectual quandry, for modern musicians. It was common in this transitional period that the prelude would remain in this free form, while the rest of the suite would follow the traditional dance suite form, and this is how the works of Jacquet unfold. In this comprehensive set by the marvelously talented Karen Flint, we can hear the development of the composer's taste and musicality. This is a beautiful "coffee table CD" presentation of great music with beautiful cover & artwork, and a comprehensive booklet on the works. While harpsichord music is not everyone's cup of tea, I love this period of music, and this 2 CD set is my delight of the week.



NICOLA BENEDETTI, violin
Tchaikovsky/Bruch - Violin Concertos
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,
Jakub Hrusa, conductor
D.G. London Decca # 0 28947 64092 9
Two magnificent violin concertos played with verve and deftness by this young artist, with the support of a great orchestra.



TCHAIKOVSKY 2CD set
music for piano & orchestra
Jerome Lowethal, piano
London Symphony Orchestra
Serfiu Comissiona, cond.
BRIDGE #0 90404 93012 6
A world class orchestra and a seasoned piano virtuoso bring works of this timeless composer to life. The transcriptions include original versions of two concertos, one with the optional ending recorded as a separate track, in addition the Concert Fantasy in G major.



LULLABIES FOR LILY
Melissa Tardiff Dvorak, harp
www.capitolharpist.com
"Local" harpist Melissa Tardiff Dvorak makes a very savvy move to have her first CD be only lullabies. Lullabies are especially suited to the harp, and while many harpists have recorded one or two as part of a larger program, it is a rare treat to have an entire repertoire of lullabies. And of course, this is very practical for young mothers, and as a baby shower gift. One or two lever harpists have recorded CDs of lullabies, but to my knowledge, Tardiff Dvorak is the first pedal harpist to do so. It is, of course, the mark of seasoned, confident professional. Graduate of Peabody, regularly performing with National orchestras, as well as teaching, Tardiff Dvorak has the freedom to record what she likes. The result it this enjoiable compilation of lullabyes (dedicated to her first child as she expects her second) from spare and simple, to the "grand" cradle songs of Tournier and Hasselmans.

We hope you enjoied these selections, and that you'll join us
next week for JUST OPENED.
Kara Dahl Russell


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