The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, February 27, 2015

Just Opened - February 27, 2015

Today we have a mix of chamber works and orchestral scores for film.   For quite a few years now, I've been mentioning the relatively small number of orchestral works that we have released.  It's about 3 orchestral releases (including the new, a-melodic composers) for every 20 solo piano releases, then there are the vocal recital releases, mostly sopranos, then come the individual instrumentalist recital releases, and the chamber releases only slightly outnumber the orchestral releases.  So we're dipping back a bit for a CD that is not new, but ought to refresh some fond musical and visual memories, music from 3 major Merchant Ivory films, and a new release that features a work that was the major part of a French film from the same time period.

Merchant Ivory Productions
Original Film Recordings
Music by Richard Robbins
ANGEL/EMI 28956 (3CD set)
ISBN# 7 2438 28956 2 6
For more info. on Merchant Ivory films
Released back in 1994, the film scores to these 3 Merchant Ivory films help explain their box office success.  These scores included performances by renowned groups.  The Maurice score including a performance of Allegri's "Miserere" performed by King's Choir Cambridge, and of course, the soundtrack to A Room With A View featured Puccini arias sung by Kiri Te Kanawa (which she recently reprised as a high profile bit player on "Downton Abbey.")

Chamber Music IV
St. Louis Chamber Players
MSR 1259
Official website of Harbach
Another in the continuing series of recordings of the Chamber Works of living composer Barbara Harbach.   This set includes a 3 song cycle (lyrics for 2 parts by Harbach) in the voice of Harriett Scott (of the Dred-Scott renown), and the 3rd song's lyrics in the words of Harriett Tubman.  Other works on this CD are "Incanta" for chamber ensemble, and a work for brass entitled "The Sounds of St. Louis."  Harbach holds degrees from multiple instutions including The Eastman School of Music, Yale, and a conservatory in Frankfurt.  She initiated "Women in the Arts" a celebration of women creators, and she has toured extensively as a concert organist and harpsichordist, as well as being involved in the research, editing and publication of music by keyboard composers of the 1700s.

Ravel & Chausson
ISBN# 0 90404 94402 4
Official website of Trio Solisti
My Delight of the Week!  The critical raves for this trio of soloists speak eloquently.  The New Yorker hailed them as "the most exciting piano trio in America, with a performance style that includes exceptional virtuosity with penetrating musical insight."  Strad Magazine wrote of their "glorious music with rare commitment and insight."  The Wall Street Journal critic proclaimed them to "succeed the Beaux Arts Trio as the outstanding chambermusic ensemble of its king."  This CD features a pairing of two major trios by Ravel and Chausson.   The Ravel work - sometimes challenging, often hauntingly beautiful in its resolution of dissonances and it's syncopations - may be familiar to many as one of the Ravel works used in the 1992 French film "Un Coeur en Hiver."

Join us next week, for more new releases (and releases new to us) on Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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