The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Monday, March 16, 2015

Just Opened - March 13th, 2015

As we continue our recognition of Women's History Month, we have a variety of new releases featuring women, and dance music releases.

The Journey of Queen Vashti & Queen Esther
David Homan, composer
Homan's Official Website
ISBN# 8 88295 13969 4
Here are two riveting, accessible new chamber works for Ballet which premiered at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in 2014.  The Ariel Rivka Dance company, led by choregrapher Ariel Grossman
and composer David Homan, devised these new ballets of "female empowerment" based on Biblical texts.  They are written for an interesting chamber ensemble of piano, guitar, violin, clarinet, and cello.  The set that was sent to our station included a CD of the music, and a DVD of the ballets.  I'm finding the CD/DVD set difficult to locate online for purchase - your best bet is to contact them through their websites (listed above).

Paris Conservatoire Connections for Flute & Piano
Francesca Arnone, flute
Terry Lynn Hudson, piano
Arnone's Official Website
More info on Hudson
MSR 1431
ISBN# 6 81585 14312 4
My Delight of the Week.  This CD of works by mostly modern era composers, works composed for the Paris Conservatory, are a genuine surprise of accessibility and melody. Koechlin and Roussel are perhaps the best known composer names on the CD. Both are known for a sparkling sound in their orchestral works, and so the flute suits their musical voice; but the lesser known composers delight as well.  If you play and/or teach the flute, this is a natural pick, and a great encouraging gift for young flautists... but this will be an interesting, unusual, and appreciated gift for many music lovers who just might not have a flute and piano CD on their radar.

Spirit & Romance
Anna Shelest, piano
Shelest's Official Website
SC CD 001
ISBN# 8 88295 06021 9
In a crowed field of breathtakingly talented young pianists, Anna Shelest has been hailed as "the Franz Liszt of today." She has won competitions, performed at Carnegie Hall, and this CD is a major recognition in itself.  A new record label, Sorel Classics - dedicated to recording female performers and composers - chose her to be the artist of their first release.  Shelest shows her fire in these Romantic era works (and transcriptions) by Bach, Liszt, Schubert, Wagner and Schumann.

Joel Fan, piano
Fan's Official Website
Reference Records 134
ISBN# 0 30911 11342 1
The PR for this CD was - somewhat disconcertingly - called an "Anti Concerto" CD.  For those of us - and that means for a LOT of our listeners - who love Piano Concertos in general... it gave us some pause.  No need to pause, however, just go pick this one up!  These are works for piano and orchestra, played magnificently.  These are delightful works that are so often overlooked in the repertoire, only because they are not the big Concertos.  Overdue, and very welcome, is this program of works filled with melody, many of them either titled dance, or created for dance.  If this is a sample of the smaller works for piano and orchestra, please sir, may we have some more?!

Special thanks to our S.U. practicum, Taylor Goebel for pulling together the basic pix and details of this week's releases.  Join us again on Friday starting at 1PM for more new releases, "Just Opened."
Kara Dahl Russell

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