The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, September 6, 2013

Just Opened - Sept. 4, 2013

This week we get to explore a new living composer, and a little known composer from the early part of the 1900s, traditional  quartet works of Debussy and Brahms, and a "reconstruction" of Mozart by a young experimental composer.

JAN KOETSIER
Music for Horn
James Boldin, horn, w/ Jaymee Haefner,
Richard Seiler, & Matthew McMahan
Bio of Koetsier;  more about James Boldin
MSR 1393
ISBN# 6 81585 13932 5
My Delight of the Week!
This CD is thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the music of former Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jan Koetsier.  I had not heard of this composer, nor had several brass players who I asked... so this is a welcome introduction.  A modern composer, with a decidedly Romantic era love of melody, his compositions for brass evoke the melodies of another time -  when brass instruments were equally the stuff of marching music, and the music of amorous adventure.

MUSIC OF THE SENSES
Barbara Ulman (composer & piano)
Daniel Shaw, cond.; The Compser's Choir
Martin Sobelman, clarinet
Independent Label
For CD purchase & info. on Ulman
A true "renaissance woman", Ulman combined studies of psychology, anthropology and sociology with piano chamber music.  Additional studies spawned her interest in composing as she began her teaching career.  As an adult she completed music school and performs as an accompanist and with chamber groups.  She focuses her compositions primarily on the human voice; solos, ensembles, and choral works.

CERUTI STRING QUARTET
Brahms & Debussy
MSR 1424
ISBN# 6 81585 14242 4
more info. on the Ceruti String Quartet
Founded in 1994, the Ceruti String Quartet members are on the faculty of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis.  Performing primarily in the Southeastern United States, they are dedicated to fostering interest in chamber music, and this CD is a fine example of that interest.

TIMO ANDRES  Andres website
Home Stretch
NONESUCH 534416-2
ISBN# 0 75597 65981 9
Blogger Review ; A more mainstream "classical" review
Timo Andres is a young musician/composer who is interested in exploring the boundaries between classical compositions and rock music.  Case in point, the 3rd work on this CD is "Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno" whose rock compositions explored experimental ambient music.  Great cross-over introduction to Classical music for pop/rock listeners.  The largest work on this CD is Mozart's Coronation Concerto with a recomposition of the Piano part in a very modern experimental vein.  I personally think this is a fascinating, and correct, concept:  that Mozart was very much of his time, and was known to experiment and explore with the piano part of his works.  Andres takes this concept literally here, and we get an exploration of the traditional accompaniment by chamber orchestra, with a modern, improvisational piano part that comes back to the notated score from time to time. At the same time, it must be said that the flaw of this CD - which throws a negative light on his Mozart reconstruction - is that none of the works here are traditional, so there is a sense that we do not have any proof that Andres can "deliver the goods" in a traditional form.   It would have been smarter for him to provide a very traditional performance to both provide contrast, and give us context for his improvisations... i.e.:  show us you can paint a landscape before you show us your graffiti version of a landscape.   However you feel about these improvisations, it will remain musical food for thought.

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

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