The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, February 14, 2014

Just Opened - Feb. 14, 2014

Our selections this week boost the spirits with rising winds... either the instruments, or the inspirational story of "average Joe makes it big."   Jason Vieaux's new release is dependably expert, and Beethoven's basics give us a great starting platform.

New Sydney Wind Quintet
ISBN# 8 85767 47307 2
Available online.
The New Sydney Wind Quintet's Official Website
My Delight of the Week.
A mix of traditional works for winds, rarely heard works, and a new one, too.   For an in-depth review of this CD from "Limelight", click this link:  Review of Quintopia

Jason Vieaux,guitar
AZIKA 7128
ISBN # 7 8786 71287 2 5
Jason Vieaux's Official Website
Even some of the well-known works are not the "usual line-up" of recital favorites, but a great deal of audience favorites, including works known from film scores.  An egaging mix of works make this CD by guitarist Vieaux stand apart.  I handed this to a "solo guitar lover" for a listen before airing... one or two (the more modern ones) were too frenetic for her taste, but overall she thought is was very enjoiable.

Paul Potts, tenor
and Various Artists
SONY 301047
ISBN # 8 8843 01047 2 3
Paul Pott's Official Website
This film was slated for release in the U.S. this January, but other than hitting the film festival circuit, it has not yet opened on "this side of the pond."  This film version of the life story of a singer discovered in the first season of "Britain's Got Talent," Paul Potts.  The score features Pott's voice in great operatic works, as well as more established singers on the soundtrack like Mario Lanza and Vittorio Grigolo  (and the obligatory pop songs added by Taylor Swift and others).  I handed this to a "tenor-loving" friend who backed up my initial feeling that Pott's voice does not fare particularly well compared to the well known, well-trained voices.  But for those who just like to hear heartfelt singing of popular operatic works, it stands up well.  As with many film scores, it is probably most effective in context.

The Piano Sonatas Volume 2
Steven Masi, piano
MASI 2013
ISBN # 8 84501 94365 9
Steven Masi's Official Website
We previewed Volume Two of Masi's recordings of Beethoven's piano sonatas today.  Op. 14 nos 1 &2, No. 31 in A flat Major and the "Appassionata"  are a nice mix of the latter well-known and some less familiar sonatas.  It is hard to do justice to these long-term intensive projects, when artists commit themselves to recording complete bodies of work... other than to just mention that this is a major life-changing event in the lives of the musicians who take on these big projects - meritorious.

Special thanks to our S.U. practicum, Jennifer Reeves, for her help compiling the skeleton of this blog post.  Join us next week for more great music, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell

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