The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just Opened, Dec. 21, 2012 - Get Happy!

Today we have a variey of music that could give you ideas for last minute music gifts, for the Holidays and beyond.

Marcus Eley, clarinet
Lucerne DeSa, piano
Sono Luminus 92156
ISBN# 0 5347921562 8
Eley focuses on music for clarinet and piano by African-American Composers.  A mixture of very melodic pieces and - because African-American composers have really come to the fore in the modern era - some challenging modern chamber works as well.  A gift of music that can also be a thoughtful exploration of ethnic identity and accomplishment as well.

Jenny Lin, piano
Steinway & Sons 30011
ISBN# 0 3406230011 2
My PIANO delight of the season!  For more than a century talented pianists have performed delightful salon music, in legitimate salons where the music was - theoretically - of prime focus, and also in bars, restaurants... and piano bars.  Enter the delightful variations and arrangements of popular works that exand the works beyond the mere melody into larger works of thematic and technical variety that can rise to the level of unique virtuosity.  This is where concert pianist Jenny Lin steps in, bringing her technical ability and flexibility to musically inventive and technially brilliant arrangements of works from broadway and film scores.   Totally accessible music for all, of technical and musical interest for the musically knowledgable, enjoiable for those who need an easy entree to the world of "classical" musicianship, an easy fit for those who want background music for their dinner parties, and of obvious joy to those who love piano music and broadway melodies. A sure fire hit.

Nancy Wertsch
The New York Virtuoso Singers
MSR classics 1370
ISBN# 6 8158513702 4
Wertsch's music combines modern choral music with definite shades of the ancient choral tradtitions of gregorian and early music.  The result is choral music that is both complex and compelling.  A blend of the future with the familiar, in works that are - for the most part - easy for a choral director to work into existing programs of choral music for concert performance or the church.

Gregg Miner
Harp Guitar Music 2101
ISBN# 6 0099106002 3
* * * A 2 CD timeless delight! * * *
I first discovered Gregg Miner through his harpguitar website and his online museum of "musical oddities."  He has a physical museum as well as his online museum, with a primary focus on harp-guitars (guitars with additional strings beside the fingerboard to play like harp basso-continuo notes).  His museum grew to include a multitude of zithers and salon-music oddities that blossomed during the pre-tv&radio days of the 1800s when the bourgeoisie was actively invovled in music making for personal enjoyment and personal display... and the appetite for a "unique" instrument that would set oneself apart from the bevy of those playing piano, violin and flute was at it's peak.  And amazingly:  Miner plays almost all of these instruments with total, deft assuredness.  Not only that, but he arranges music on a high professional level, and then does multi-track recordings of his arrangments.  We are talking about a musician with the kind of skill set that was displayed by Mozart.  Now, his focus is definitely NOT classical.  Miner's music is true crossover, with a heavy leaning toward the folk and pop-rock that one would expect from someone whose core instruments are guitar/mandolin/banjo.   But he levens his work with a musical ear that understands the classical and the contemporary, western and eastern traditions, which make for a Christmas collection that is infinitely enjoiable by the entire family for years to come.   The two CD set also includes museum-worthy booklets that show the pictures of the instruments played on each piece with information about the instruments as well.   This set is part of my personal Christmas music collection, and I think so highly of it that I have repeatedly given it as a gift.

We took time today in Just Opened to revisit some old favorites that have been part of WSCL's Christmas programming for years; ones that you might want to look up.   Many times used CDs are available online for bargain basement prices.

CBS/SONY 37248
ISBN# 7464 37248 2 

The King's Singers
EMI Classics 7641332
ISBN# 0 77776 41332 7

On behalf of all of the staff of Delmarva Public Radio, we wish you and yours a
CONSPICUOUSLY Merry Christmas, BLISSFUL Happy Holidays, 
and a New Year filled with UNEXPECTED DELIGHT!
Thank you again to our S.U. practicum Erin Sweeney for her help pulling the jpegs and basic info. together for these CDs, and all her work on the Just Opened blog this semester.
Kara Dahl Russell

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