The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

JUST OPENED, Friday July 1, 2011

For 4th of July weekend, something special: A TANGO CELEBRATION! Something to get your weekend started with your toes tapping & a zip in your step!

Secret Places
ISBN# 7 83707 22822 8
This smaller label CD really captures the essence of tango, with sparkling clear technique and sizzling musicality. There are a variety of tango works here from more traditional sounds of composers Piazzola, Aieta and Mores to the more progressive, modern, challenging sounds of Padula, Sanders and Rodriquez, some with spoken verse.

Santa Barbara Symphony
Gisele Ben-Dor, cond.
DELOS 3345
ISBN#0 13491 33452 3
If you are looking for traditional tango, this is not the CD for you. The Santa Barbara Symphony premiers several new works here, giving us a glimpse of how tango has influenced modern orchestral works, and how traditional tango instrumentation can be utilized taken out of their natural element. Bacalov wrote the lyrical theme to the film "Il Postino" - and the theme is on this CD - and here his syphonic work "Triple Concerto for Bandeoneon, Soprano, and orchestra" pushes many musical boundaries. Tango music does not always make the transition to orchestra well. It can feel overdone or over orchestrated. As it mixes with the orchestral world's penchant for the modern a-melodic, it can loose it's neccessary song-like nature. I think the works on this CD will appeal more to the experimental music lover than those looking for a basic aching, passion-filled tango.

For Flute & Guitar
Laurel Zucker & Richard Savino
Cantelina 66033
ISBN# 7 57166 60332 2
Laurel Zucker is a prolific, unstoppable force of music-making, always ready to explore new boundaries for the flute. Here she is joined by guitarist Richard Savino for a more traditional repertoire, made spicy by the tango works and the somewhat unusual, but natural-fit combination of flute and guitar. The ubiquitous Mozart Sonata in A gains a lovely new twist by this instrumental combination, making it both familar and new at one time. Reliable works by Fernando Sor, Granados and Ibert are followed with works by Piazzolla and Milhaud. The CD finally ends to Zucker's familar affinity of more modern works, so the entire CD is a taste-treat.

Music of Buenos Aires
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Pablo Ziegler, cond.
RCA 63233
ISBN# 0 9026 63233 2
As I mentioned above, tango music does not always make the transition to orchestral music intact. This CD has wonderful examples of what happens when it works. It helps that the major works here are by Piazzola and one of his long-term partners in music-making Pablo Ziegler. The symphonic pieces here keep the soul of the tango intact, not trying to take them too far from their melodic roots, and the smaller works get back to the essential simplicity of tango.

Sergio & Odair Assad
Guitar Duo
A little breather from the tango music on our program, is this incredible guitar duo CD. Sergio & Odair are two people who play like one. The works here range from transcriptions of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque to the works of Jobim and Milhaud, to the new works by Clarice Assad that bask in the indolent melody of the Belle Epoche. Perhaps the ultimate transcription for two quitars is here, a 14+ minute transcription of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. This is a total treat of musicianship. Great variety and marvelous musicality - this is my delight of the week!

Tangos, Waltzes & Polkas
Iara Behs, Piano
NAXOS 557687
ISBN# 7 47313 26872 6
Ernesto Nazareth is a composer I had not heard of, and if this CD is any indication, he is worth knowing. This joyous collection of tangos, waltzes, and polkas pay tribute to daily life - "going down well" toasts the nightcap, while "lamenting" and "gloomy" speak to passing moods, and "confession (of love)" and "whirlwind (of kisses)" send us briskly waltzing through the joys of life. All of this is brought to magnificent realization by Iara Behs, a great beauty, and one of Brazil's most successful concert pianists. Fluent in many languages, Behs is known for her abilities as a captivating performer as much as her precise technique and musicality. This CD combines the joy of great piano playing with the popularity of a variety of tango-laced dance music from the late 1800s-early 1900s.

Have a safe, and fun-filled 4th of July Celebration!
Tune in to WSCL-FM on Monday for American inspired music.
Kara Dahl Russell

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