The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just Opened, Friday Feb. 17, 2012

We focused on more traditional works last week, so this week, we went to the edges of several styles to bring you a very varied Just Opened.

Early Music New York
Frederick Renz, cond.
Early music as it transitioned into the Renaissance is fascinating to work on as a singer, with the polyphonic textures beginning to merge into renaissance melody. The intricacies of the blending are all important, and this group of musicians are expert.

original comopositions by
The 19th Century's
Unparalleled Guitarist
and Concertinist
The Guilio Regondi Guild
David Stairobin, guitar
Douglas Rogers, concertina
Julie Lustman, piano
I mispoke during Just Opened, describing the concertina (from it's literary description) as flute-like... and then looked it up and realized it is what they used to call a "squeeze box"... the smaller cousin of the accordian. The amazing thing is that Regondi, and now Douglas Rogers, were able to get such beautiful music from an insturment that was so often in the hands of children for noise factor alone! This CD features two beautiful concert works for Concertina and Piano, and a battery of Regondi's beautiful guitar etudes. (Much like the work of his friend, Fernando Sor, Regondi's etudes are all lovely works that can stand alone.)

music of
Miguel Del Aguila
Camerata San Antonio
This CD is exclusively devoted to compositions of modern composer Miguel Del Aguila, but don't expect it all to sound the same. There is tremendous variety in these chamber works. The six movement work "Clocks" (each movement about 4 minutes) begins with almost maddening percussion and mechanical sounds created on the stringed instruments, but then it blossoms into a meditation on time and the romantic nature of antique timepieces. "Life is a dream" is really an art-piece, complete with spoken narration (remember Satie was doing this 100 years ago), "Presto II" is an infectious melody, and the title piece merges modern deconstruction with dance music forms and salon music to become an unusual, and oddly pleasing melange. Not for everyone, but the breadth of compositional styles and infectious dance rhythms makes this my delight of the week.

Symphonies NO. 88 & 89
Douglas Bostock, cond.
Chamber Philharmonic of Bohemia
Compared to his ebullient trios, Haydn's symphonies can be a bit "pro forma"... but that was exactly what hits the mark in his works then and now... they are precisely on target for the concert audience of his day. In this CD, these two symphonies are joined by three of his overtures.

Virtuoso Flutist
with Robin Sutherland, piano
It takes a certain moxie to call yourself a virtuoso on the title of your CD. Fortunately for Zucker, she has been called it by many exacting critics, and been compared to James Gallway and other flute "immortals." Zucker is also prolific in recording, with a great variety to choose from. This CD covers two basic Sonatas, one by Prokofiev, and the deliciously fun Poulenc Sonata that is always an audience favorite, as well as the complex short work by Debussy for solo flute, Syrinx, closing with the delicious melodies of Cecile Chaminade in her Concertino. If you adore flute music, or are someone looking for an introduction, this is an excellent fit.

Singin' Sepia
Various Artists
Afro-Cuban born composer (now American), Tania Leon currently works around the world, creating works that are very much in the vein of ultra-modern concert compositions. If you think that means challenging... definitely right. African american composers are rare, women even more rare, and I'd love to be able to steer you toward this, but, for the average listener, I would say this one is only for hard core modern chamber music lovers and conservatory students. On the other hand, if you love the works of Olivier Messaien and Philip Glass... you'll definitely want to plug in to this.

We hope you enjoied hearing a few unusual things mixed with reliable favorites. Join us next week for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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