Monday, June 6, 2011
JUST OPENED, Friday June 3, 2011
Symphonies Nos 4 & 5
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis, cond.
LSO 694 ISBN#8 22231 16942 0
Living and working on the cusp of the Romantic era becomming the modern era, Nielsen's works show both influences. Some of his works are lushly romantic and remind me of the exotic lyricism of Rimsky-Korsakov; while others tend to a wandering elusiveness that typified the quest of the early modern movement (before it settled into persistent atonality). Nielsen's Symphony No. 4 is one of his best, with a large sound and heroism at it's core. Titled "Inextinguishable", it was written during the war years, and while it depicts struggle, it is clear that the struggle itself becomes proof of the inability to extinquish hope. It is a work worthy of a film score, something like Robin Hood, or a great sweeping epic. The other work on the CD is Symphony No. 5, and it typifies the other style... with vast currents of melody that rush by and dissipate, it is an oceanic work, as hard to pin down as the tide upon the shore.
AMES PIANO QUARTET
Dorian Solo Luminus 92120
ISBN# 0 53479 21202 3
The Ames Piano Quartet turns its combined talents to three delicious quartets: Mozart's E-flat Major, and Hummel's G Major, from the height of the classical era, closing with Beethoven's E-flat Major which begins to look toward romanticism. This is music that is flawlessly performed, and so effortlessly and effervescently "correct" that is easy to overlook, but don't. This is basic and classic for all the right reasons; my delight of the week!
A Treasury of
GERMAN BAROQUE Music
The Hanoverian Ensemble
MSR Classics 1380
ISBN# 6 81585 13802 1
Because several members of this Ensemble play multiple instruments, this CD gives us a special cross section of German Baroque music. Many of us who love early music also love the sound of recorders, and the ensemble pieces here give us several sonatas that play off transverse flutes with recorders, in various groupings. Arthur Fiacco on cello and Kent Tritle provide the continuo line in these works. Then Tritle steps aside to play early organ works. The structure of this CD is ensemble work, organ work, ensemble work, organ work, etc. throughout. This can make for uneven listening if you are listening to the CD straight through, but so often now, listeners are usuing multiple CD changers, ipods, or other randomizers, this is a minor quibble.... What it does demonstrate is how well-thought-out the combinations of music and the structure of the CD is overall, and that is always a joy. A real treat for early music listeners.
Lilya Zilberstein & Cord Garben, pianos
Hanssler Classic 93.075
ISBN# 4 010276 013259
Brahms' own four hand reduction (of the orchestral work) is the major piece on this CD. A rarely played, rarely recorded work that is a tour de force for both pianists. (Brahms always considered that the second piano part would have to be augmented by a third instrumentalist.) The opening work is Brahm's Tragic Overture, also arranged by Brahms for four hands. We seem to be entering a glory day of the re-emergence of these glorious 4 hand works, recorded by virtuosos of the highest calibre. Lucky day!
Thank you for listening to JUST OPENED, I look forward to sharing more new releases with you this Friday!
Kara Dahl Russell
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