The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Just Opened Dec. 19th - Welcome Yule!

We have a mix of new releases that will take us into the New Year, and Christmas releases from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Sursum Corda.
Zalaznik's Official Site

with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra
Hinko Haas & Maria Hens Serena, pianos
ISBN# 3 760035 68055
My Delight of the Week! The musical variety of this CD is captivating.  She started recording for Slovene national radio as early as the age of 9, and has followed the path of great music schools and awards.  In addition to solo and chamber works, Zalaznik Matos has been a regular member of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra for 8 years.   Both Paganini and Mozart are a special musical interest for her, demonstrated on this CD, which is dedicated to her father, who died in 2013.  This combination of heartfelt personal dedication, musical scope and performance excellence made my choice this week easy.

Sibelius Symphony No. 2 &
Wagner Overture to Tannhauser
Andris Nelson, Music Director
BSO 292
ISBN# 8 28020 00292 3
BSO homepage
Nelson's first CD with the BSO is the evokative music of Sibelius.  As many of you know, fewer big symphonic releases are being made, so here you get to indulge your orchestral craving and support a major orchesta.   Sibelius' music is said to be like a sleighride across the fiord, and here this major work is paired with Wagner's majestic Tannhauser overture.

Choral Favorites for Christmas
Sursum Corda
Lester Seigel, cond.
MSR 1485
ISBN#6 50585
Official Site for Sursum Corda
This 20 member vocal ensemble has been singing together since 2006 and receiving accolades since their inception.  This CD or both popular and traditional religious Christmas favorites also includes 4 movements of Marc Antoine Charpentier's "Mass for Christmas Midnight" which lends them even more gravitas and musical beauty. The singers are all highly, individually accomplished, and their conductor Seigel has led the BSC Concert Choir in performances in Austria, the Czech Republic, and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. His choral music is published by Oxford University Press.  Those are, of course, the credentials, but the timeless exquisite music is the reason you'll want to remember this one.

CHOPIN - 24 Preludes
Alain Lefevre, piano
ISBN# 7 74204 92872 8
Official site for Lefevre
He began playing piano at 4, began lessons at 5, and at 6 years old, he wins the 1st Prize at the Canadian Music Competition and gives his first recital at the Grand Théatre in Quebec city.  Canadian pianist Levevre has the kind of career that Liszt established as a goal for musicians.  International travel and acclaim, performing with the best orchestras in the world, having won a handful of international prizes along the way.  So here he turns to solo piano works from one of the most introspective and personal artists ever to write for piano, Chopin.   The CD notes give some insights into the way artists can and do approach these large volume collections of works, both musically and historically.  Lefevre's performances of many of these are considered ground-breaking, but these pieces are so much an intrinsic part of piano repertoire that even that kind of re-thinking merely becomes another mode of making these works of the intensely personal Chopin even more personal - foundational romantic works for the self expression of an artist.  In this case, an accomplished mature artist.  The collection of deep, intense romanticism is rounded off with a crisp wafer - a baroque Sonata Cantabile by Antonio Soler.  Being a devote of Chopin myself, I can only express joy in hearing another great "take" on these essential works.  Recordings like this of Chopin solo works are a timeless gift that will carry on through the year.

Alfie Boe and
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
MTC 1327 (2013)
Official site of Mormon Tabernacle Choir
By now, many of our listeners will have heard and seen "Home for the Holidays" both last year and this year on local PBS stations.  Available in both CD and DVD formats, this CD was provided to WSCL a few weeks ago.  The long history of musical excellence and high production standards of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and guests is now so depended on that we can sometimes overlook this national treasure.  This CD is available through their website, along with a great wealth of their other musical offerings, past and current.

Merry Christmas to you!
Kara Dahl Russell

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