The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, May 9, 2014

Just Opened, May 9, 2014 - Artist's Forum

This week has a unified theme of artists who stand out as indivuals, both in terms of musical accomplishement, but also in terms of presentation and performance.  We have the full range, very traditional musicians performing exhaustive historical works, to boundary breaking artists who perform music.

Jonas Kaufmann, tenor
Helmut Deutsch, paino
SONY 3795652
ISBN# 8 8837 95632 1
Jonas Kaufmann's official website
One of Shubert's great gifts to posterity were his almost cinematic song cycles, including this story of a young man setting out in winter only to culminate his journey in seeing himself reflected in the life of a much older man.  The epitomy of the brooding romantic era, this is a dark musical journey, but it has been the cornerstone of many great vocalist's careers (and no, not just for male vocalists... one of the most inventive and effectively film-ic versions was performed by a mezzo). 

Stanislav Khristenko, piano
ISBN# 0 34062 30032 7
Official website of Khristenko
An up & coming virtuoso receiving international recognition creates a nod to romanticism with this grouping of works called "Fantasies."
Bora Yoon, artist

website for this release
Combining musical worlds from medieval chant to modern jazz, with multi-layered tracks and performance art that recalls some of the work of Bjork, this CD will clearly NOT be for many classical music listeners, but is worth recognizing as a valid portion of the auditory art world.  Yoon has a notable voice, and is adept on multiple instruments, which is displayed by overdubbing.  But, don't think musician or even artist, think: multimedia conceptual performance art.  For that reason, this CD will be hard for many to grasp, and arguably, not neccessarily the preferred form of the artist herself, since her performances incorporate elaborate visual elements, and to listen to the CD alone takes a portion.   (In much the same way a soundtrack is specifically created to enhance the visual imagery of film.)  From the website:  "Sunken Cathedral is a multimedia album release by Korean-American composer, vocalist, sonic surrealist Bora Yoon. Designed as an architectural journey through the chambers of the subconscious, each track on the album illuminates a different sonic “space,” which excavates the memories, insights, and intersections in which our greatest diamonds and demons are held. Sunken Cathedral traces death, life, rebirth and the cyclical/recom- binant nature of the universe; the alchemical moment of transmutation where one medium becomes another."

Ensemble Caprice
Matthias Maute, cond.
ISBN# 7 74204 98484 3
Ensemble Caprice is an "original instrument" group that I've had my eye (and ear) on for several years.  They combine musical eras in interesting and inventive ways, giving fresh musical insights to works both old and new in the process.  The have the combination of taking the musicianship seriously, and taking the music with a great deal of fun.  This particular CD, being adagios, has a darker tonal set than others, and consequently makes for a very interesting sonic pairing with Bora Yoon's release, above.   Full review of this CD  "This is not only one of the most beautiful classical albums of the year, it is also one of the most inventive."

The Complete Sonatas for 2 Violins
Gref Ewer & Adam Lamotte, violins
ISBN# 0 53479 21762 2
Review & purchase link for this CD set
The following review was written by a critic that has followed the performances and history of both of these artists, as they are part of his Oregon arts scene:  Review of this CD set  I'm so happy to be presenting music at a time when sets like this - meritorious works that have an intense focus on complete oevres by a particular composer - are available, performed by such accomplished artists.

Kara Dahl Russell

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