The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just Opened, Jan. 20, 2012

We had a bit of a musical scoop this week - and extended interveiw with piano virtuoso ... look for the entire interview on our "Classical Chat" podcast.

for the left hand alone
Ivan Ilic, piano
PARATY 311.205
ISBN# 3 760213 650030
Long considered some of the most difficult works in piano repertoire, and also the zenith of Godowsky's compositional works. Godowsky's transcriptions of Chopin's etudes are of mind-boggling complexity. Ivan Ilic, american born of Serbian parents, now living in Paris has recorded 22 of these etudes. Not yet released in the United States, it was released Wed. Jan. 18th in Paris, and the Washington Times did a feature on the works, and on Ilic's release the same day. Not just a delight - an inspiration!

We were very lucky to have a long interview with Ivan Ilic while we previewed many of the works from this amazing, inspiring CD. (available as an import online)
Also available through Ivan Ilic's website.

ANDREW SIMON, clarinet
Jon Klibonoff, piano
MS 1002
Liner quotes on this CD include Dudley Moore's "...exciting stuff." and Michael Tilson Thomas's "Andrew Simon is an outstanding clarinetist." And this is a showcase CD that lives up to the quotes. Whether it is the lyric and beautiful "Sonatina" by Joseph Horovitz, Milhaud's toe-tapping "Brazileira," or Weber's "Grand Duo Concertant, this CD is throughly and easily enjoiable. If you are looking for a CD to introduce a "jazz listener" friend to the world of classical repertoire, this is an easy entre.... something to make them say "that's classical music? I like that!" A real treat.

ISBN#0 90404 93632 6
The Orford Quartet was formed in the 1960s in Canada and had an illustrious career, disbanding in 1991. The NEW Orford String Quartet formed in mid 2009 to take on the mantle of the previous group, and was met with immediate acclaim in filling the illustrious shoes. This CD includes two major works for quartet, beautifully performed.

Stephen Mauk, tenor saxophone
Mary Ann Covert, piano
Recorded in 1995, but new to us, we played a few of the more traditional selections from this greatly varied "showcase" recording. There is a little bit of everything here, from the almost unknown modern works, to beloved works rendered with new charm by being played on the tenor sax. Debussy's "Beau Soir" has new feeling breathed into it here, as well as Walter Hartley's "Poem." It's not at all just sultry sax make-out music, as we also have crisp classical works and modern works that sizzle and pop.

Harnasie, Mandragora,
and Prince Potemkin
NAXOS 570723
ISBN# 7 47313 07237 8
Szymanowski's music can be quite challenging, the largest work on this CD "Harnasie (Ballet Pantomime)" is episodic and atonal. On-air we sampled two movements of a very accessible work for dance, "Mandragora (Pantomime)." Conductor Antoni Wit has championed this early modern composer's work, making multiple recordings for Naxos. This one features the work of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir with vocal soloists. The soloists always seem to be far away... either recorded in a stage setting, or scored to be "off-stage"... so that they create a dreamlike quality on this recording.

Special thanks this week to Ivan Ilic for giving us so much of his time and thoughtful comments. We hope you enjoied the music and the "classical chat."
Kara Dahl Russell

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