The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just Opened, Friday Sept. 16, 2011

We had a special focus this day on a rare, beautiful, and controversial CD by Internationally renowned flautist Stephen Schultz.

Boismortier Concertos
for Five Flutes
DORIAN 90803
ISBN# 0 53479 08032
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier gave a gift to all those who play the flute, a set of concertos/sonatas (the terms were fairly interchangable at the time) to be played by 5 flutes. With the penchant of the Baroque for both ornamentation and order, these works are a tribute to the versatility of fairly new (at the time) transverse flute (as opposed to the recorder). Enter Stephen Schultz, a baroque flautist of virtuosity, and enough confidence to do what few classical musicians have the nerve to do... to thumb his nose - or to literally thumb his flute - at the musically stolid. He took a page from the rock musician's oevre of multi-tracking, and has made a glorious recording of these works playing all five parts himself. Controversial, because many music critics are purists who feel that a work for five, should only be played by five, not one. They didn't spare him a snyde comment or two for not looking like an air-brushed 22 year old model, either. This is a case where wisdom, talent and nerve wins.... hands up! Fortunately there are enoughwho have recognized Schultz's virtuosity and verve, including specialtiy flute magazines. If these works had been recorded by five magnificent flautists, it would have been a rarity. To have these works so marvelously performed using modern technology as a showpiece for one virtuoso, it is a show stopper. Did I need to mention this is my delight of the week?

And I must also add a special thanks to Stephen Schultz for taking time out of his busy schdule of teaching and performing to speak to me about the process of making this CD, and especially his affable frankness. No pretensions, just a good chat, that I found fascinating. I hope you will too. The interview will remain up on our "classical chat podcast".... but here's the link immediately:

Vivaldi Concertos
Igor Oistrakh, violin
Toronto Chamber Orch.
Paul Robinson, cond.
RCA 61578
Beautiful and supremely talented Russian-born cellist Ofra Harnoy gives her full attention to Vivialdi's cello concertos, including one for violin (Igor Oistrakh) and cello, and another one that had it's premier recording with this CD. Her intonation and musicality are sublime, making the most of these works which generally highlight a darker, more melancholy side of Vivaldi.

Concerto 1&2 for
Two Pianos & Orchestra
Joshua Pierce, piano
Dorothy Jonas, piano
Slovak State Phil. Orch.
Brstrik Rezucha, cond.
MSR 1330
ISBN# 6 81585 1331 2 6
These Concertos are considered the musical equivalent of the Recency or Empire period art works. 2 of Mendelssohn's more mature, understated works, beautifully performed.

Shifrin Plays Shifrin
David Shifrin, clarinet
Lalo Shifrin, composer/cond.
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
ISBN# 6 51702 63582
Life and music brought together two distant relatives, both recognized and lauded musicians in his own right; one a composer, one a clarinetist. After many people asking them if they were related, they eventually figured out that their grandfathers were cousins - in the 1920s, one emigrated to Brazil, one to New York. The music reflects the inter-continental cityscapes, and is reminiscent of Bernstein's compositions. Decidedly modern, and also lyric, rhythmic, and engaging. Two of the works are for clarinet and piano, one a "city" collection for clarinet and orchestra.

I hope you enjoied the variety of music this week on JUST OPENED.
Kara Dahl Russell

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