The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, January 18, 2013

Just Opened, Jan. 18, 2013

MELODIC INTERVENTION is our title on Just Opened today as we juxtapose modern works and modern re-workings of traditional works with romantic era melodic works. 

Frank Morelli, basson
Gilbert Kalish, piano
MSR 1172
ISBN#6 81585 1172 2 4
My Delight of the Week!  The bassoon is not the first instrument to spring to mind as a "solo vocal" instrument, but here the selections are so lushly romantic, the playing so smooth and creamy... bassoon might just become your favorite instrument!

Lang Lang, piano
Sony 489602
ISBN# 8 872548960 2
Piano phenomenon playing internationally since the age of (gulp) thirteen, Lang Lang celebrates his 30th birthday year with a CD devoted to Chopin, the composer whose work helped Lang Lang gain his awards and career.

Diana Damrau, soprano
Jeremie Rhorer, cond.
Le Cercle de l'Harmonie
ISBN# 50999 2 12023 22
Great Mozart arias from a world class soprano.  Many arias well known from Mozart's own operas, others are works he composed as "filler" arias for the works of other composers.  A sure treat for those who adore great sopranos.

Yun Kyong Kim, organ
MSR 1362
ISBN# 6 81585 13622 5
Some "organ recital" CDs can feel a little static... frozen in a formulaic toccata of dusty favorite pre-church service servicables... but not this one, fortunately.   A combination of one or two technical masterpieces of baroque organ mixed with breezy romantic era frolics like Kettleby's silent film music "In a monastery Garden", Bonnet's "Elves" and Jenkin's "Night" we have the kind of mixture that shows not only the grandeur and glory of the organ, but also what fun this "orchestra in a box of pipes" instrument can be.

Hsin-Yun Huang, viola
ISBN# 0 9040493872 6
A showcase of technical skill and bravery, this viola recital CD features only works of modern composers.  Innovative and risk-taking, these works can be very challenging, and while there are a few moments of melodic intervention, be prepared to have most of your buttons pushed most of the time.  Not for the musically faint of heart.  The closing piece, "Remembrance" by Taiwanese composer Chen, is perhaps the most accessible.  It reminds of of film scores set in Asia, moody and a bit like new-age music that creates a sensation and sets the scene.

Gidon Kremer, violin
Kremerata Baltica
ISBN#0 75597 96345 8
Taking Glenn Gould's "re-imaging" of Bach's works as a cue, this homage to Gould allows multiple modern composers and arrangers the freedom to play with various Bach works.  Some are straight-forward transcriptions, changing a keyboard work to chamber group, for example.  Others experiment with polyphonic textures - like the works that incorporate vibraphone as a melodic underpining to a partita.  Still others are complete re-imaginings.  This CD has the unusual ability to combine the boldly new with the familiar, and because of the universality of Bach and a greater awareness and familiarity of his work, it's one of the more accessible of these experimentations.  If you love Bach, and you've made previous attempts to accquaint yourself with modern music, this is one to pick up.  (One of the composers here is Raskatov.  Our regular listeners may remember his witty and smart re-invention of Tchaikovsky's The Seasons.)

Hope you enjoied the great variety of choices offered today on Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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