The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, September 26, 2014

Just Opened - September 26, 2014 - Europe and the World

France, Italy, Wales, and the Austro-German empire are the regions.  Baroque, Classical, early Romantic and Modern are the time periods.  The flavors come from the home countries and from travel, as each of the composers and performers have traveled widely, and let their music be infused with the tastes and styles of other countries near and far.

Anima Concordia
ENZO Recordings
ISBN # 4 571232 870229
Official Website of Anima Concordia
Jean-Marie Leclair's 2 sets of sonatas for 2 violins have been receiving new attention as musicians look for new ways to incorporate music in the community.  Hailed as one of the premier composers for strings of his day, these works are considered the zenith of symmetry, intimacy and solidarity.  Leclair was exceptionally well traveled for his day, having studied Italian works, and then studying in Turin, and later traveling to England and Germany.  It is thought that these works may have been initially intended for performance by Leclair himslef, joined by the great Pietro Locaterri.  This husband and wife team both graduated from the Royal Conservatory at the Hague, and have performed with several international groups including "Le Petit Bande" and Bach Collegium Japan.
Igor Kamenz, piano
Naïve 5399
ISBN # 8 22186 05399 7
Official Website of Igor Kamenz
This CD is nationally released on Sept. 30, 2014.  To give you an idea of the international stature of Igor Kamenz, this past August he played two solo concerts at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in advance of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and Joshua Bell.  He first conducted a major orchestra at the age of 7, followed by a series of concerts where he was piano soloist and conductor, all before the age of 10.  Recently I've been saying, "Just BUY THE CD."  Not only are the artist paybacks on downloads notoriously small, but here we have another fine example of a program that - while it can be appreciate in bits - was created to form a whole program that forms a dramatic narrative.  Out of Scarlatti's mind-boggling 555 sonatas, Kamenz has chosen these, and ordered them to form a complete program that should be listened to in full to better understand his artistic intent.

Karl Jenkins
EMI 235
ISBN # 5 099950 023523
Official Website of Karl Jenkins
My delight of the week!  Welsh composer Karl Jenkins infuses his concert works with international influences from the east, a desire to invent, with a grounding in traditional Romantic era European folk songs.  The mix created is very accessible, playful and spicey.   The wide variety of his works on this CD make for a fascinating and varied program.  It will be no surprise that I purchased this CD for the double harp concerto (both parts performed here by Catrin Finch), but each of these works presents a complete different musical "room."  A work for 2 flutes, piano and percussion, where - in the second movement - the piano strings are plucked to evoke a sitar, a traditional baroque theme and variations reimagined for marimba, and a Violin concerto that one moment evokes ancient Persia, then takes us through Russian folk song.   It will also be no surprise listening to his music that part of his musical background is jazz-rock, and all of these influences blend beautifully to create music that is surprising, fresh, and the kind of thing that makes you think, "I want to hear that again."  This is the kind of concert music that is a great introduction to symphonic music for those who think they "don't like classical music."

Three Great Sonatas
Roberto McCausland Dieppa, piano
Scruffy Records 020567658
ISBN # 8 88295 10573 6
Official Website of Roberto McCausland Dieppa
Columbia born pianist Dieppa rose to prominence as a classical pianist, winning the Merrill-Lynch prize in 2002, and in 2006 winning the Pro-Arte Hungarica prize for performances of Liszt and Bartok, leading to work with Henry Kissenger for the United Nations to celebrate the 50th anniversay of the Hungarian revolution on 1956.  His work as conductor and composer have broadened to classical fusion, as well as a focus on the music of his native country, and his own works infused with a multi-continental muse.   Here he returns to basic works of Beethoven, given his own unique style and energy.  From the structure of the CD you see his acknowledgement of current listening patterns, where each movement of complete works is listed separately.  It is an acceptance that today's listener may just listen to one particular movement, then move on.

Thanks again to Stephanie Clark, our S.U. practicum, for pulling together the CD pictures, websites, and basic information to help you find out more about the works that pique your interest.
Kara Dahl Russell

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