The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, April 17, 2015

Just Opened - April 17th, 2015 - Composer Compendium

Vivaldi, Beethoven, Hill and Sor.   You may not know every name, but these composers today are essentially connected to the timeline of great composers!

Avi Avital, mandolin
Avital's Official Website
B0022627 02
ISBN# 0 28947 94017 3
My Delight of the Week!  Many "classical music" listeners remain on the fence regarding the place of the mandolin in serious concert music, but Avi Avital, through his combination of charisma, technical facility, and informed musical selections reminds us of the historic importance of the mandolin.  In previous releases, his transcriptions of Bach works reminded us of Bach's use of the lute,  and here we have it showcased as one of Vivaldi's favored instruments. 

Matt Haimovitz, cello
Christopher O'Riley, piano
2 CD set
Haimovitz's Official Website
O'Riley's Official Website
PTC 5186 475
ISBN# 8 27949 04756 5
Complete Sonatas and Variations for Pianoforte and Violoncello recorded on period instruments.  Two established performers have joined forces in this labor of love to perform works by one of the world's best loved Composers of all time.  The range of Beethoven's work for cello and piano can be viewed as a microcosm of his compositional output, as they grew from Classical to pushing the established norms.  The inclusion of the "lesser" but very accessible themes and variations helps give context to Beethoven's works for this instrumental combination and make it easy classical listening.

Symphony No. 4
Peter Bay, conductor
More info on Bay
ISBN# 0 90404 94432 1
His name is now mostly forgotten, but he taught some of the biggest names in American Music: Virgil Thompson, Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, Walter Piston, Randall Thompson and Leonard Bernstein.  Hill studied in Paris with Carles Marie Widor, but along with many other composers of his day, Arthur Foote, Leo Sowerby, his works are largely passed over - as often happens with people at the end of a musical era.  When they are rediscovered, however, it means that they are easy on the ear, as you will find with this collection of works for piano and orchestra by Hill.

The Guitar Works of Fernando Sor
Jeff Dwarshuis, guitar
Dwarshuis's Official Website
CL 40014U
ISBN# 8 88295 19345 0
Gift-Giver's Delight!  Guitar music is always one of the easiest ways to introduce people to "classical" music.  In this case, it IS actually guitar music from the Classical era.  Sor's works were/are foundational for the guitar's acceptance as a "legitimate" instrument.  When Andre Segovia brought Sor's work back into the mainstream, we got to appreciate Sor's unique gift for embuing even pedogogical etudes with rich melodic content.   Dwarshius generously donated several of his CDs to be thank you gifts for our listeners who supported us during our drive.  His playing is clean and precise with musicality and warmth.   This Cd is an easy way to introduce friends and family to classical music and help them realize that there is a world of music to become familiar with, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks again to our S.U. practicum Taylor Goebel for her help pulling together the web links, pictures and info. to help you find your favorite of today's new releases.  Join us again next week for more new CDs, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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