The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Monday, June 13, 2011

JUST OPENED, Friday June 10, 2011

We had a wide variety on Just Opened this week, Russian overtures, single-action harp, and Brahms in many different musical guises. Here's the run-down of the CDs we opened:

2 CD set
Russian National Orchestra
Mikhail Pletnev, cond.
ISBN# 8 718247 710379
If you're looking for sure-fire bet of glorious symphonic music that will be rousing and upbeat, the first CD in this 2 CD set supplies the goods, an entire CD of Russian overtures from the Romantic era; Glinka, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and even Glazunov's "solumn overture" has lush melody and an overall pick-up. The second CD focuses on some larger themes: Liadov's Baba Yaga, and The Enchanted Lake, Tcherepnin's The Enchanted Kingdom, and Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Golden Cockerel" suite. This is a sure-bet winner as a gift for music lovers. With music that lifts the spirits and full, sweeping orchestrations that touch the heart, this is my delight of the week!

Music for Single and Double-Action Harp from the Age of Enlightenment and Romanticism
Masumi Nagasawa, harps
KTC 1263
ISBN# 5 425008 374208
Internationally known harpist, Masumi Nagasawa has a set of CDs, primarily using single-action harp, that are a programmatic "full course meal" of harp music. this is the first "Soirees du Gout", an apetizer of Baroque and Early Classical works that would have been foundational works for harp before the harp was legitimized and specific harp repertoire grew. These period works played on the single-action harp that they would have historically been played on is a special treat. The older harp has a lighter sound than the modern harp, a crisp and brittle sound, akin to the harpsichord. This CD is a special treat for early music lovers, with works by Rameau, Bach, Mozart, Bochsa and Pescetti.

Serendades 1&2
Chamber Philharmonic of Bohemia
Douglas Bostock, cond.
Scandanavian Classics 220535
ISBN# 4 011222 205353
Two Serenades for large chamber orchestra by Brahms, beautifully performed. Serenades, by their nature, smaller, and sweet - this is both basic, and an unusual addition to your orchestral library.

A Celebration of Joseph Joachim
Royal Stockholm Phil. Orch.
Sakari Oramo, cond.
Deutsche Grammophon 15312
ISBN # 0 28947 79301 4
Daniel Hope has made this CD a tribute to Brahm's favorite violinist, Joseph Joachim. Known for his musicality over his showmanship, Joachim also composed. Rarely does a CD have this variety, it is a complete program in itself. With many works by Brahms, also Joachim, Bruch, Schubert, and Clara Schumann, we have works here for violin & piano, violin & strings, violin and orchestra, and even a lullabye for soprano (Anne-Sofie von Otter), piano (Sebastian Knauer) & viola (Hope plays the viola). It is a full program of guest stars, solo turns, and works with orchestra, it is a rich, varied, and fullfilling program. A CD as beautifully thought out as it is brilliantly performed.... now THAT is quite a tribute! Joachim would be proud.

I hope you enjoied these selections as much as I did, and I'll be bringing you more new releases next Friday on JUST OPENED.
Kara Dahl Russell

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