The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

JUST OPENED, Friday May 20th, 2011

Lawrence Power, viola
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
David Atherton, cond.
HYPERION 0 34571 1774 2
Four works of Hindemith juxtapose his early and later works for viola and orchestra, which also contrasts lighter (earlier), and darker (later). Lawrence Power brings excellence to these works, illuinating the richness of the viola's voice.

Music for horn & piano by Flemish Masters
Jeffrey Powers, horn
Vincent DeVries, piano
MSR Classics 6 81585 1266 2 2
This is a collection of works for horn and piano from the late 1800s through the mid 1900s. It provides a nice combination of pieces with the melodic line of art songs with works which lean toward the "newer" sound of more challenging tonalities. Powers richness of tone and expression are a joy, and De Vries is a full partner in these works at the piano. Easy on the ear for any "classical" music lover, this is an especially sure bet for any brass enthusiast!

The Warsaw Recital
D.G. 0 28947 79519 3
Recorded live on the eve of Chopin's 200th birthday (in 2010), we have the work of a mature virtuosos pianist "in the finest form of his life" ( Fantasias, a Nocturne, a Sonata, the Barcarolle, a polonaise and many waltzes provide a varied overview of this beloved composer, played by one of the world's best.

Polonaise Brillante
Virtuoso Music for Violin
Joanna Madroszkiewicz, violin
Manfred Wagner-Artzt, piano
MDG 7 60623 08632 3
Often called the Chopin of the violin, Wieniawski's works combine tremendous technical challenge for the violinist with the lyricicm and folk-inspired melodic structures that make them easily appealing. This is solo violin work at it's most accessible AND impressive. Like Chopin, he uses the polonaise, mazurka and waltz idioms, and Wieniawski also joins the romantic movement with Legende and Fantasie brilliante with an early foreshadowing of the early tonalities of modernity. Joanna Madroszkiewicz has a jaw-droppping mastery of the violin. The Schertzo tarantelle has been compared to the complexity of Paganini's most difficult pieces. While in many of these works the piano is relegated to a secondary status, Wagner-Artzt is given a nice showcase in the Polonaise concertante. ********** I have a confession: while I love the "wall of sound" that violins create within orchestral works, that can raise you on a tide of surging emotion, I am not a big fan of solo violin work in general. This makes it all the more noteworthy that THIS CD is my delight of the week.... This is the kind of solo violin work that combines melodic enchantment, technical expertise, rhythmic accessibility and showmanship that makes the violin so beloved.

Mass in 40 Parts
I Fagilini (CD and DVD set)
Robert Hollingworth, cond.
DECCA B004EQ1424
The famed, almost mythical 40-part mass of 1500s composer Alessandro Striggio is brought to glorious life by I Fagilini in cooperation from expert early music musicians from the groups: Fretwork, The Rose Consort of Viols, The English Cornet and Sackbutt Ensemble, and The City Musick. These instrumentalists are joined by a glorious chorus to record this never before recorded work, and other early works "in situ" in a cathedral from the period. This set includes a CD of the works and a DVD of the creation/performance of the work. The combination of this attention to the historical accuracy, the musicianship, and location create a work that brings full force to the spirit of the music. These works create an atmosphere that evokes the great paintings of a singing host of angels. This is both a laudible (and fully successful) effort, but a moving, joyous and uplifting experience. If you're looking for early music performance that is truly special and rare, this is it.

I hope you enjoied these, and I'll be with you next Friday on JUST OPENED.
Kara Dahl Russell

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