The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, May 2, 2014

Just Opened, May 2, 2014

 Special thanks again to our SU Practicum for this spring, Jennifer Reeves. She has done a great job of setting up these blogs with pictures and information to help you find the CDs that you enjoied on the air.
We return to our Friday "Just Opened" with a mix of releases, traditional to a new film score.

String Quintet D956 Quartettsatz D703
Gary Hoffman, cello
Cypress String Quartet
AVIE 2307
ISBN: 8 22252 23072 7
The Cypress Quartet's Official Website
One unique and auditorily satisfying facet of this recording is that the two cellists are very much "in harmony."  Not only are their musical ideas a good match (as mentioned by Kloetzel, the Cellist of the CSQ), but they both use gut strings, and both play Amati cellos.  The CSQ is both recognized and with a growing reputation internationally.

Johannes Albertus Groneman & Johnannes Fredricus Groneman
Jed Wentz, traverso
Marion Moonen, traverso
Balazs Mate, violoncello
Marcelo Bussi, harpsichord
NM 92061
Jed Wentz's Official Website
My Delight of the Week!  For those who enjoy an historic baroque sound, this is your cup of tea.  One of the joys of our current times is the availability/ability to explore composers who were very much a part of the musical "scene" of their day, but almost obscure or unknown today.  These works are as accessible and pleasing today as they were when they were written!

Music from The Motion Picture
Clint Mansell, composer
Kronos Quartet
Nonesuch 542164-2
ISBN: 0 75597 95560 6
The Kronos Quartet's Official Website
The score of the recent film will not be for traditionalists.  Film scores can be a little trying at the best of times... one of the specific functions of a film score is to create a background "mood"... and with movies like Noah that have so much sturm und drang, the music is an emotional world in that vein.  Mansell's music features the Kronos Quartet with many layers of sound effects and electronic music layers.  The combination of dark mood and synthetic sound may feel to some the way Beethoven felt to traditionalists in his day: "too much noise, too brooding" - but this could be just the musical  ticket for contemporary music romantics.

The Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello
Mary Costanza, cello
MSR 1450
ISBN: 6 81585 14502 9
More Information on Mary Costanza  
The review of this CD have been uniform raves.  Reviews of the CD
Costanza is praised both for her approach and "phylosophy" or programmatic approach to the work, as well as her technique.  Recordings of this set of works are the quintessential calling card for the serious and seasoned cellist, and this would be a basic "must have" for your music library.

Christine Brewer, soprano
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Donald Runnicles, conductor
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
 Christine Brewer's Official Website
As our listeners have undoubtedly noticed, releases from major symphonies are a much smaller portion of the market today.  Almost 90% of "classical" or "concert" releases of "serious" music today are chamber works and privately produced CDs.  While this is a great boon for individual artists and their ability to control their own product, it leaves many listeners asking "where are the great orchestras."  Well - here they are - and quite usual, too, for the orchestra to be "backing up" a magnificent vocal soloist, as we have here with Christine Brewer and Eric Owens.  This CD features instrumental selections and large scenic portions of Strauss.   These are uniformly fairly dark, so this is not for even opera lovers who want something frothy... but clearly of merit for those who don't mind the dark, and who are happy to hear great orchestrations (and voices) in a new major label release.

Join us next week for the ever-shifting mix of new and tradtional, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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