The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, May 10, 2013

Just Opened - May 10, 2013 - A Violin's Life

We had a give-away today, thanks to Avie Records.  An exciting release of music for violin and piano, great works, played on a famous violin - the "Lipinski" Stradivarius, born in 1715... and still making great music.  The violin gets to revisit it's own past, works premiered on it over the centuries.

Music for the "Lipinski" Stradivarius
Frank Almond, violin
William Wolfram, piano
AVIE 2279
ISBN# 8 22252 22792 5
It shows a great sense of perspective for a musician like Almond to take stock of the historic instrument he has been allowed to play, and to "submit" himself to the history of the instrument itself...  realizing that our lives are brief candles compared to the longevity of a violin that is now almost 300 years old!  And the music played on it is exquisite:  Schumann and Tartini's works well known favorites, the lesser known work of Rontgen, a luscious, lyrical romantic melodic swoon!

Short Works for Winds
The Borealis Wind Quintet
MSR 1128
ISBN# 6 81585 11282 3
My delight of the week!  I should disclose that I am a committed fan of the Borealis Wind Quintet - solely through listening to their CDs.  They manage to find musical, melodic works from even the most "scary" composers. Beautiful musicianship paired with a light, bright sense of delight in their choice of material. 

16th Cent. Italian & French Dance Music
Musica Reservata
Michael Morrow, director
ISBN# 7 3035 70123 2 5
A digital release of highlights from two "Grand Prix du Disque" recordings of early music, from the early days of the re-exploration of early music instruments and techniques.  Dance music and some songs of the 1500s, in restored, glorious performances. Released in 1992, it may not be available in your local shop, but you can still find it online.

Piano Transcriptions
Per Tengsrand, piano
ISBN# 7 81988 0037 2 5
From the time of Mozart into the early 1900s, composers scrambled to get out chamber and piano versions of their symphonies as soon as the orchestral version hit rehearsal stands.  In Mozart's time, he worked quickly so that one of his musicians would not beat him to the punch and get the chamber edition done first.  During the Romantic era, many composers did the piano version first to get the musical ideas and themes fleshed out in a complete form, to later be "colored in" in the orchestral version.  Lizst famously did a piano arrangement of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique that helped people become familiar with the strange new work.  Here we have the listenable, dance-able music of Glazunov.  As Glazunov wrote so much for ballet, it is reasonable to think that the piano version came first, the orchestrations worked out while the dancers rehearsed with the piano version.

We hope something Just Opened today has tickled your musical palate!
Kara Dahl Russell

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