The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, August 2, 2013

Just Opened, August 8, 2013

A variety of works this week, from the seminal piano concertos of Franz Liszt to a new brass transcription of Schumann, sonatas of Zelenka, modern choral works, and Elizabethan works of John Bull interpreted on a modern piano.

CARNAVAL
Canadian Brass
OPENING DAY 7438
ISBN#7 76143 74382 0
My Delight of the Week! The Canadian Brass is always excellent, and here we have a truly inspired transcription.  This large scale piano work of Schumann sits so very well in brass, it's amazing that no one has thought of this before. Also on this CD, a transcription of Schumann's "Children's Scenes."
ERIC WHITACRE
Light & Gold
Eric Whitacre Singers & Laudibus
The Kings Singers, Paveo Quartet
LONDON DECCA 14850
ISBN# 6 02527 43209 0
Whitacre's Choral works cross boundaries and have achieved a universal appeal. This CD presents his cycle of Hebrew love songs, with choir, quartet and spoken word.

FRANZ LISZT
3 Piano Concertos & Totentanz
Joshua Pierce, piano
Paul Freeman, cond.
Orchestras of Russia & Slovenia
MSR 1154
ISBN#6 81585 1154 2 8
Seminal works of Liszt played by the always magnificent Pierce.  This is a solid cornerstone for any music library, and would be a dependable gift for any music lover.

ZELENKA, 6 Sonatas, Vol. 1
CRYSTAL RECORDS 821
ISBN# 0 09414 78212 0
Within the past year, someone opened the floodgate on works of Zelenka (1679-1745).   He was one of the many Bohemian composers that made contemporaries call Bohemia "the conservatory of Europe."  This ensemble has a lovely balance of tone that brings the easy pleasantry of Zelenka's music. The combination of oboes, bassoon and continuo make a particularly rich & buttery confection.
BASICALLY BULL
Alan Feinberg, piano
STEINWAY & SONS 30019
ISBN# 0 34062 30019 8
Galliards, Pavannes and Fantasias abound in this Elizabethan offering.  Today we most often hear these works played on original instruments, so this presentation by Feinberg on a modern piano brings the works into a different focus.  Since the modern piano speaks a language most of us have known since childhood, playing these works on this instrument gives both a clarity and directness to our modern ears.  Many of these works sound absolutely up to date, while others stand firm with the complexities of Bach.  The Fantasias are perhaps the most riveting...   I feel there is a direct line between these early fantasias and improvizational jazz... an exploratory feeling.   These early works are not for everyone, but we have a large contingent of early music fans, and piano lovers, who will want to give this full attention.

Kara Dahl Russell

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