The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

JUST OPENED, Friday May 13, 2011

Radio Symphonie Orchester, Berlin
Simone Young, cond.
Toccata Classics 0001
This CD features the works of composer Julius Burger (1897-1995). A modern composer with roots in Romaniticism his works are a mixture of both, bringing some challenging tonalities (and atonalities) to the romantic medium, and perhaps more importantly, infusing his modern works with the mystery, melodic line, and poetry of the romantic period. While some will find his works dark and challenging, it is important to say that the remants of his romanticism make his works more accessible and satisfying than many of the more outre modern composers. Baritone Michael Krauss joins the "Mahler sized" symphony for "Still of Night" and "Legend" for Baritone and orchestra, both growing directly out of the romantic art song movement. Cellist Maya Beiser plays the challenging CELLO CONCERTO that brings mysticism and other worldliness to the complex mix of tonalities. Scherzo for Strings and Variations of a theme of Kal Phillipp Emanuel Bach complete the CD. This CD presents a varied program of this artist's range and talent. I highly recommend this CD for someone who is timid about modern music, but who wants to explore these boundaries - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Simon Bolivar Symp.Orch. of Venezuela
Gustavo Dudamel, cond.
D.G. B0015296
The current "it boy" of the international conducting scene brings his lauded energy and enthusiasm to these dark works of Tchaikovsky. Not intended as programmatic pieces, these works are not intended to echo the storyline, nor to be able to accompany the plays, rather they are symphonic works inspired by the Shakespearian stories. Liner notes are by actor/musicologist Simon Callow who brings insight to the works and the performance. Moody and passionate, this is an interesting grouping, thematically similar (in being tradgedies), beautifully performed.

The Borealis Wind Quintet
MSR 1250
The Borealis Wind Quintet has a marvelous blend that is a joy to hear. They bring their copious combined talents to "lesser" works that were originally designed for the "salon." More specifically, works that were intended to be played by gifted amateurs who gathered after dinner to play works for their family and friends that were composed to charm. How much more charming then, to have them presented here together played by accomplished profesionals, like a dessert tray after fine dining. "Lesser known composers" and "chamber works" can be perjorative terms in the music world, but here is tangible proof that these works can give as much joy as any "major" work by a "great" composer. (As if you couldn't guess -) This is my delight of the week.... possibly of the month, or more!

A collection of music for 2 harps
The Salzedo Harp Duo
AZIKA 71226
Nancy Lendrim and Jody Guinn are each accomplished and respected harpists in their own right. Orchestral work, soloists, chamber musicians, and Salzedo method teachers, they have joined forces to play together (and record... they now have 2 CDs). This CD represents the less frequently played repertoire of compositions, transcriptions and arrangements by Carlos Salzedo specifically for two harps. Lendrim and Guinn come together both by their similar backgrounds, and their joint desire to research and preserve repertoire. They were coached by the renowned Alice Chalifoux (who ran a Salzedo summer "harp camp" for years) for this recording. This CD is largely a collection of shorter works, and the tremendous variety makes it easy on the ear... enjoiable both to the attentive listener, and those who want soothing dinner music.

Join me next Friday at 1PM for more new CD releases, JUST OPENED!
Kara Dahl Russell

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