The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just Opened, Friday June 1, 2012

We have no major symphonic work this week, just a wide variety of sounds in smaller works...

Prague Philharmonic
Paul Bateman, cond.
ISBN# 7 38572 50172 3
The first of a series of "arthouse" film music recorded by the City of Prague Philharmonic.  These mostly well-known film themes from the great "art" films are sure to bring back pleasant memories and pique interest in viewing and re-viewing the great films that this music was made to enhance.

Music of Shakespeare's Time
Les Witches (Ensemble)
DORIAN 93182
ISBN# 0 53479 31822 0
This 4 member early music ensemble treats us to a selection of tiny treats from the time of Shakespeare (the longest is just over 4 minutes, most hover around only 2 minutes).  When we talk about today's shortened attention span, we have to admit the attention span must have been shorter during these early days when even large compositions usually lasted only 10 minutes or so.  Great composer's works like those of Playford & Praetorius are mixed with lesser known and unknown names for a tiny musical buffet.

Chuck Huilihan, guitar
Theresa Huilihan, flute
ISBN# 6 34479 55996 9
Husband and wife guitar and flute duo "DUOZONA" (they began playing music together at Arizona University) pay tribute to the colors of the Southwest in mostly modern works, many inspired by the landscape of the desert and the cultures there.  This is a small label production, but the works are weighty, worthy, and well thought out.  Add those assets  to the easily likable duo of flute and guitar, and that's quite a duo!

Les Maires de la Tour Eiffel
Ensemble Erwartung
Bernard Desgraupes, cond.
MARCO POLO 223 788
ISBN# 7 30099 37882 6
Taking a cue from the Eiffel tower, and its embodiment of the French age of industrialism, this ensemble has chosen works from that peculiar, particular period when "Les Six" were challenging accepted musical norms, including Milhaud's set of musical works that depicted the latest farming equipment!  (Who says artists don't understand practical matters?)  This ensemble of varying number focuses primarily on modern works, especially by French composers, so they are completely in their element here with these musical oddities that are amusing and thought-provoking.    If you like the films of Cocteau, here is music to greet you squarely as an understanding friend.  These works are so odd, I found them endearing - My Delight of the Week.

Op. 10 & Op. 25
Hsia-Jung Chang
ISBN# 8 84501 29281 8
Ms. Chang (her name pronounced Shaw-Zone Chang) has quickly become a favorite of mine.  Her seriousness of artistry, her firm, personal artistic interpretations bring new immediacy to well known works.  She clearly brings her whole self to her music, and that lends a freshness to even the most re-played favorite.  We've recently aired several of her CDs, and her work is so strong and so individual that she is entirely dependable musical listening.

We hope you've enjoied these musical bon-bons. 
Join us again next Friday for more great music, just opened!
Kara Dahl Russell

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