The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, November 29, 2013

Just Opened - Nov. 29th

Joshua Bell's Gift of Music for the Holidays includes a wide offering of traditional favorites, "fractured" favorites, and new works for Christmas and Hanukkah, with the kind of star-studded "friends" list that only the agent of an "A-lister" can pull together.  We ease into the holiday season with his CD, the CD of the MD State Boychoir, and some non-seasonal selections, Just Opened.

5 VARIATIONS
Andrew Rangell, piano
BRIDGE 9331
ISBN# 0 90404 93312 7
more about Rangell and this CD
My Delight of the Week!  Andrew Rangell currently records for multiple labels.  It is a testament to his talent, and the breadth of his repertoire.  While the majority of his recordings focus on traditional works by Bach and Beethoven, he has also explored really challenging composers, and interesting comparison pairings like this recording of mostly "theme and variation" compositions.  Again, mostly traditional, with more experimental works of Nielsen & Bizet.  This is the kind of recording that encourages & inspires the heart and mind of pianists.

ZELENKA: 6 Chamber Sonatas
Volume Two
CRYSTAL RECORDS 822
ISBN# 0 09414 78222 9
info. on Harpsichordist Layton James
info. on lead oboe, Erin Hannigan
This has been a big year for releases of Zelenka's works.  Musicians of note have been re-exploring his works and finding him worthy.  It only took a few hundred years!  A contemporary of Bach and Vivaldi, his works become a welcome addition to Baroque repertoire, and a joy to have them recorded by artists who are also recognized soloists.

MUSICAL GIFTS
Joshua Bell (violin) & Friends
SONY MASTERWORKS 74318
ISBN# 8 8883 74318 2 8
Joshua Bell's website
Mostly Christmas music, and some Hannukkah selections, with a wide cross-over collection of big name friends.  Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo, Gloria Estefan and Branford Marsalis, Kristin Chenmoweth and Chick Corea... and many others get together for this "Christmas Confusion" mash-up fun.  This was designed to be, and is sure to be a Holiday sales winner!

PACIFIC PREMIERS
Quartet San Fancisco
JCCD # 109
ISBN# 6 66449 83502 5
website for Quartet San Francisco
If you were putting together a companion set of chamber works for maximum contrast, the Zelenka CD and this would sum up the extremes.  The concert works here are a mixture of new sound-world explorations in some, and a cross-over sensibility that abounds in the concert world today.  Totally "relevant" and often very appealing.

THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC
The Maryland State Boychoir
Stephen Holmes, Art. Dir.
ISBN# 7 00261 38622 5
MD State Boychoir
Traditional works sung by our state Ambassadors!  A wide variety of choral works, from religious and Christmas songs, to show tunes, traditional American folk and spirituals.   This boychoir has traveled and performed internationally and regularly gives masterclasses in choral work.  Thanks to SU PR man Richard Culver, who provided a copy of this CD to us when the boychoir was performing locally.

Tune in next week when we start full force Christmas releases - Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell

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