The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, April 19, 2013

Just Opened, April 19, 2013

 Last Month we featured Beethoven's Sonatas after-the-news-at-noon, and we continue our Beethoven connection this month during Just Opened, featuring many releases of his piano works.  Today we let you sample 2 different artist's renditions of his extensive theme and variations:

Diabelli Variations
Beth Levin, piano
ISBN# 0 44747 3046 2 5
Large scale works like the Diabelli Variations display not only virtuosity, but a professional committment that becomes the "calling card" of the serious musician.  An "infant phenomenon" performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 12, Levin's instructors and performance venues read like a "who's who" of great music.

Melvin Chen, piano
ISBN# 0 90404 91892 6
Chen has been on the world stage for many years, and one distinctive feature of his release of the Diabelli Variations is that he also includes the variations made by other composers for the original "challenge."  Seeing & hearing the brevity of the contributions of the other composers (each doing what was requested:  submitting one variation), lets us see Beethoven's "mad genius" in both its brilliance and its inability to follow directions!

Maria Bayo, soprano
(and other big name opera stars)
NAIVE 4765
ISBN#3 298 490 047651
My Delight of the Week!  Highlights arias and choruses from great operas by Latino composers makes for infectious listening.  I love the voice of Maria Bayo, who is featured in this CD... alongside other international greats.  If listening to an entire opera is a bit much for you, this is a great pick; AND you very well may discover a "new" opera you'd like to explore.

Marco Sartor, guitar
available online
This CD from the 2008 winner of the JoAnn Falletta Int'l. Guitar Concerto Competition is not the usual recital CD of short works.  Sartor provides an interesting palate of Sonatas and grouped works by composers such as Dowland, Ponce, Sor and Scarlatti, alongside modern composes Starcevic, Eastwood, and Fleury.  A full prism of the colors of the quitar.

New York-Buenos Aires Connection
ISBN# 0 89948 20012 3
This group presents a cross-section of some very traditional sounding Tangos, and some new arrangements of the works by both traditional tango composers, and members of this talented group.  In some respects their music harkens a return to the bordello roots of tango, by moving back away from Piazzola's "concert" tango, and back to the cafe/bar by including electronic guitar in many of these arrangements.

We hope you enjoied these new releases, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell

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