The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Just Opened - Jan. 31, 2013 - The Influence of and Influences on Claude Debussy


It's nice when new releases arrive in a timing that showcases them in a way that also throws light on a particular time period of music.  Today's selection enables us to explore Claude Debussy, both what inspired him, and the influence he had on other musicians.


TRIO QUELQUE CHOSE
Works for horn, piano & violin
Greg Kostraba, piano
Rico McNeela, violin
Robert Garcia, horn
Kickshaw CD-1001
ISBN # 8 88295 00028
More info on the trio
Works on this CD combine that almost uniquely late-romantic era pairing of horn, strings and piano.  Music of Brahms, and Debussy's contemporary Charles Koechlin - a "secondary" composer whom I like quite a bit, as well as some spice of Piazzola and 2 composers of today.  This is a varied and thoroughly tasty CD... could I get a cafe latte to go with this?  ... and perhaps a milk-bone?

LES AMIS (Debussy & Caplet)
Elizabeth Hainen, harp
Jeffrey Khaner, flute
Robert Diaz, viola
AV 2285
ISBN # 8 22252 22852 6
 Hainen's official website
My Delight of the Week!
Thank you Avie Records for providing us with promo CDs for our listeners.  Elizabeth Hainen is among the top tier of harpists working internationally today, and this CD demonstrates both incredible solo works and her chamber work with other musical lights, such as flautist Jeffrey Kahner and violist Roberto Diaz (who is current head of the esteemed Curtis Institute, and who performed here in Salisbury for the SSO last year).  In addition to Debussy's Dance Sacre & Dance Profane, a perennial favorite, Hainen plays her own arrangment of some Debussy piano works which are my favorites of the CD.  This CD also highlights works of Debussy's contemporary and friend, Andre Caplet, whose work is more challenging, and consequently less well known, but Hainen's selections are spot-on for both showcasing the variey of his work, and his major chamber work influenced by Edgar Allen Poe.  BTW - for those of you who pay attention to these things... even though I am a harpist, many times a harp CD is NOT my favorite of the week.  This one is so engaging, it is constantly on my CD player at home!


TIMELESS
Chamber Music of Clara Kathleen Rogers
Delight Malitsky, violin & viola
Dieter Wulfhorst,violoncello
Judith Radell, piano
ATR 23025
ISBN # 8 84501 92024 7
Info on Rogers' life and compositions

One of the joys of today's music scene, the ability of artists to produce their own recordings, and the preponderance of small chamber recordings, is the opportunity to become acquainted with the works of lesser known composers like the one featured in this CD, Clara Kathleen Rogers.  In the past, these works might have disappeared even before the composer's life had ended.  Today we can both get a fuller taste of the "minor composers" that completed an historical music period, and enjoy the works over time.


THE IMPRESSIONISTS
Piano Works of Debussy, Griffes and Ravel
Mary Towse-Beck, piano
Album available on multiple sites online
Towse's official website
This CD of comparisons of turn of the century works is another strong statement that helped form today's collection of works focusing on Debussy.  Works by Griffes, as well as Ravel and Debussy.  I find CDs like this to be a marvelous touchstone on well-known works, to hear and study interpretational differences brought out by accomplished musicians like Mary Towse-Beck.



THE PRELUDES BOOK 2
Claude Debussy
Histro Kazakov, piano
Album available on multiple sites online
ISBN # 8 84501 90287 8
Kazakov's official website
This CD is one of 2 by Kazakov that focus on Debussy, the other (which we'll officially "open" in a few weeks) pairs works of Debussy with those of Scriabin.  Bulgarian-born, Swiss pianst Kazakov has toured extensively in Europe and the East, and these recordings were made for Bulagarian national television and RFI France.  He is recognized as a soloist and for his performances of chamber works.

Thanks to our SU practicum Jennifer Reeves for her help setting up the skeleton information of today's blog.  Join us next week for more great music, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell

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