The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, November 22, 2013

Just Opened - Nov. 22, 2013 A Woman's Place....

A Woman's Place is at home... on the stage!
Today on Just Opened we focus on great female musicians through time.

Velvet Brown, tuba
Mary McDonald, piano
ISBN# 6 70541 35897 9
For more info. on Brown & her CD
My Delight of the Week!  (Quite possibly my delight of the year!)
Velvet Brown has the kind of bio that makes the jaw drop in awe and wonder.  Concert appearances through Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada and the U.S., principal tuba with New Hampshire Music Fest., Altoona Symphony Orch., Lahti (Finland) Philharmonic, appearances on "Praire Home Companion"  are just the start.  Add her professorship at multiple universities and a founding board member of the International Women's Brass Conference.  Now forget all that, and just listen to the glorious - velvety - sound she elicits from a notoriously difficult instrument, the tuba.  This CD is a display of virtuosity to a rare degree on an instrument rarely thought of as a "solo voice."     While listening to this I was reminded of listening to the voice of Paul Robeson... how his low notes make your chest cavity vibrate to the sound; these works do the same thing, it's a beautiful, full-body listening experience.  A savvy collection and selections of beloved arias and accessible new works makes this a very memorable CD.

Brahms Concertos
Berlin Radio Symphony Orch.
Vienna Philharmonic Orch.
Andris Nelsons, cond.
D.G.  19046  (2 CD set)
ISBN# 0 28947 91058 9
link to Grimaud CD preview & interview
Now one of the realible international piano phenomenons of her generation, Helene Grimmaud takes a reflective personal journey into the music of Brahms.  This 2 CD set revisits one concerto that she had recorded earlier in her career, which she approaches with more life experience to bring to the piece, and adds the other of the great pair.   Grimaud is not just a concert pianist, but also has published several novels, and has founded her own organization to help conserve/preserve wolves.  This thoughtful established artist brings a wealth of thought and interests to her main career.   Brahms is still considered the gold-standard for many orchestra lovers.  This 2 CD set is sure to be a good gift-bet for the holiday season.

Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Cilea, Bizet
Berlin Radio Symphony
Richard Kraus, Janos Kulka, Ferenc Fricsay,
& Herbert Von Karajan, conductors
D.G. 477 6614
ISBN# 0 28947 76614 8
bio for Dominques
This CD is part of Deutsche Grammophon/Universal's international releases of digitalized older recordings of great artists of previous generations.  (Dominques was born in 1925.) One of the great "Carmen"s, Mexican mezzo Dominques was hailed for her "velvet soft, dark toned, bequilingly attractive mezzo" voice, and known for bringing vocal authority to a range of composers from Montiverdi to Wagner.  This selection of her great moments range from Rossini's Cinderella to Verdi's Requiem.

May Phang, piano
ISBN# 8 02114 30332 5
bio of May Phang
An infectiously engaging piano recital of works by Liszt (several transcriptions of Wagner melodies), romantic era "pop" concert selections, a trio of Stephen Foster melodies, and a new work by Sy Brandon (whose modern melodicism is popping up everywhere in performances from brass to guitar - he has such a way with a tune).  Phang is on staff at DePauw Univeristy, where this was recorded, and maintains a regular schedule of concerts and master classes.

You Go, Girls!
Join us next week for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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