The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, August 30, 2013

Just Opened - Friday August 30, 2013

Today we have Brahms as a Baseline, contrasted with early works and a contemporary symphony in remembrance of 9/11.

John Axelrod at work.
John Axelrod, cond.  Axelrod's official website
Orchestra Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
& Nicole Campbell, piano
2 CD Set
TELARC 34658-02
* *  RELEASE DATE:  Sept. 24, 2013* *
John Axelrod has become an "above the title" conductor.  His multi-disc explorations of the works of Beethoven released last year (you may remember the unusual release - available in a "highlights" CD, or individual works, or as a full set), and other conceptual explorations helped him win both the 2012 ICMA Award, and ResMusica's "Best Classical CD of 2012."  This time he pairs and contrasts the symphonic works of Brahms, with the piano works of his beloved, Clara Schumann, whom he idolized until he died.  Just as we try to do with various monthly themes, and hourly themes in our music programming here on WSCL, a set like this can open up a different way of hearing the works and thinking about them, and leads to new appreciation.  Our thanks to TELARC for getting us an advance copy of this CD set.

late piano works
Gwendolyn Mok, piano
MSR 1420 - 2CD set
ISBN# 6 81585 14202 8
Mok's official website
Dr. Gwendolyn Mok has had a varied and awarded international career.  This 2 CD set of works for piano by Brahms recorded on two different historic pianos also includes a conversation and comparision of the two pianos as additional tracks.

Ronn McFarlane, lute
Mindy Rosenfeld, recorders & other instruments
info. on Ronn McFarlane
ISBN# 0 53479 21692 2
My Delight of the Week!
A Peabody Conservatory graduate who hails from West Virginia, McFarlane's name has been synonymous with excellence on the lute & authority on early music, for scores of years now.  He is joined on this CD by multi-instrumentalist Rosenfeld for works that are both historic and fresh, a blending of classicism and folk-freshness.   It is not an overstatement to say that McFarlane has been the "gateway" to great period music for many listeners who never thought they would like "classical."  He has been an estimable ambassador for his instrument and period music, and continues to be so.  Our thanks to Dorian Solo Luminous who regularly supplies us with new releases for our library, and for the additional copy of this CD that we gave away to a lucky listener.

"11 Settembre"
Alfonso Rega, composer
more info. on Rega & to purchase CDs
As a composer, Rega has focused largely on sombre themes, Romeo & Juliet, the Holocaust (we featured this CD last year on Just Opened), Dante's Devine Comedy and now Sept. 11th.    This comprehensive overview of the attack on the U.S. begins with "a more peaceful world" before 9/11, takes us on a musical evocation of the crash, desperation, pietas and remembrance, anquish, leading us finally to hope for the future.   In much the same way that Borodin had a medical career and felt that no one should "make love or make music for money," Rega's work life in another field has given him the freedom to focus his composition and performance on the ideas and themes that personally inspire him and speak to him on a deeply felt level.  We hope you will enjoy hearing this new work and it lends a new prism on the upcoming remembrance of 9/11.

Tune in next week for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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