The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just Opened, April 27, 2012

Tom Hehman, our 6pm Classical Music Host, put together our line-up of selections for today's Just Opened.

Orchestral transcriptions
Riccardo Chailly, cond.
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
DECCA 476 2830
ISBN# 0 28947 62830 9
A world class orchestra under the baton of the illustrious Chailly play transcriptions of another internationally renouned conductor, Berio.   Whether or not you feel the full orchestration is an improvement on the original, it is always a breath of fresh air to hear a new take on beloved classics.

Bruce Levingston, piano
ISBN# 0 53479 21442 3
Levingston chose works on a "night" theme to focus on the contrast of Romantic era and Modern era composers for piano.

Philip Hemmo
Works by Albeniz, Brouwer,
Edwards, Rodrigo, and Villa-Lobos
PAR 12.01
ISBN# 8 8450166275 8
My delight of the week!  Featured throughout the US and Mexico as a performer of the classical guitar, Hemmo plays with symphonies and chamber ensembles and has served on the faculty of Univ. of Az. and Pima Community College.  He is also the author of the guitar method book, "Beginning Classroom Guitar" (Thompson Learning), the textbook of choice for guitar courses across the country.  The selections on this CD are lyrical and lush, played with the sensitivity and nuance that any romantic would wish for!

Mark Zuckerman, composer
Momenta Quartet & Seattle Sinfonia
Joel Eric Suben, cond.
ISBN# 6 8158512232 7
Zuckerman is an artist using his art to send messages, and works here include "Shir Kinah (Elegy for Victims of Terrorism)" and the second movement of his String Quartet is "In Memoriam Sept. 11, 2001."  While the majority of the works here are the norm for today's conservatories and concert halls - atonal and challenging, there are also a few works here that proove that modern music doesn't have to be unconventional, esoteric or confrontationally a-melodic.   My personal hope is that Zuckerman will do more exploration in the territory of the delightful works "Shpatsir (stroll)" and "Theme."  These works provided needed levening for this CD, and demonstrate Zuckerman's ability to diversify.

The Complete Songs Vol. 4
Monica Groop, soprano
Roger Vignoles, piano
BIS 1257
ISBN# 7 318590012574
Finnish mezzo soprano Groop has a special fondness for Grieg, as evidenced by this being her 4th recording of Grieg works.  While simplicity is often hailed as the zenith, the particular beauty of Grieg is his achievement of a "simple" sound created by often quite complex chord structures and shifts.  This complexity and the subtle chord gradations are what give the "simple" melodies such a beautiful water-color sound scape.  Chamber singing relys heavily on the pianist, of course, and Vignoles is one of the best.  Groop and Vignoles have extensive careers on large national and international stages, Groop is known for her work in opera, and Vignoles has been recognized by critics around the world as one of the first wave of pianists who have made accompaniment a specialty art form.

Continued thanks to our intern Chris Grindley for his work on the WSCL blog.
Tune in next week for more great music, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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