The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, May 1, 2015

Just Opened - May 1st, 2015

From the familiar, beloved orchestral works of Bizet to challenging new orchestral works by modern Canadian composers,  from new works for quitar quartet and new eastern themed works for solo piano, to well known piano repertoire of Liszt and Beethoven, and a major choral work by Buxtehude - we're covering all the musical bases today in new releases, and releases new to us - Just Opened!

Martin West, Cond.
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
San Francisco Ballet website
Reference Recordings 131
ISBN # 0 30911 11312 4
Gift-Giver's Delight!  West conducts a welcome bouquet of orchestra works by Bizet in this melodic, accessible CD.  In a  recording that has been hailed for the separation of sound, balance, and depth, and a performance lauded as the highest quality, we have a new, full orchestration of the delightful work originally composed for piano 4 hands "Jeux D'Enfants (Children's Games)", and a first recording of Bizet's more adventuresome "Variations Chromatique."  West filled the shoes of a much loved and admired conductor and has maintained the expressive qualities of this orchestra with whimsy and lightness for which it has been so admired, and for which these pieces are a great showpiece.  This CD is bound to be an unusual and very welcome addition to any collection.

Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon
Guy Few, trumpet
Eric Paetkau, conductor
Jackson's Official Website
Paetkau's Official Website
MSR 1480
ISBN# 6 81585 14802 0
New works for orchestra and chamber groups by Canadian composers Michael Occhipinti, Glenn Buhr and Mathieu Lussier.  Lussier is all ready well known to our audiences through other CD works with Nadina Mackie Jackson and Guy Few, and we featured his works from this CD today.   No need to be afraid of these new, modern works - one or two of the works here are a challenge, but brief, and most are pleasantly surprising and highly listenable.

Susan Chan, piano
Chan's Official Website
MSR 1245
ISBN# 6 81585 12452 9
Chan is known for her committment to the works of female composers, as well as the kind of juxtaposition and interplay of Eastern and western works that is found on this CD, and very compelling.  She regularly gives masterclasses and performs regularly around the world.  She opens the program with two Eastern (or Eastern inspired) works.  Louie's "Scenes from a Jade Garden" are a display of force and ingenuity, and today we heard the movement "Warrior" before a Sonata of Beethoven.  I think this pairing from the CD shows off both works well, esp. as Beethoven is known for his use of forceful expression of the percussion aspect of the piano.

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
LAGQ's Official Website
LAGQ 0315
ISBN# 6 16892 27644 9
New Composers provide new takes on traditional works, and new works inspired by traditional works, for the beloved Los Angeles Quitar Quartet, in this aptly named "New Renaissance."  This particular CD revisits the traditional ground of renaissance music with the cross-over approach of new techniques and improvisational additions.  This is the "edge" of new music that is completely accessible to a variety of music listeners, due in part to the delicious blend of the always popular guitars that form this group, as well as their musical selections and sterling musicianship.

Membra Jesu Nostri
Duke Vespers Ensemble
Brian Schmidt, conductor
More info on the Ensemble
Schmidt's Official Website
MSR 1530
ISBN# 6 81585 15302 4
My Delight of the Week!  Buxtehude's major work of "The Passion" is the sole focus and offering of this CD, "The most holy limbs of our suffering Jesus"  a series of 7 Cantatas. Each cantata movement of this work is dedicated to a particular "limb" of the body of Christ.  The latin text is said to have come from a Medieval Hymn and the old Testament.  This is a lovely performance combining period instruments and a finely tuned and balanced vocal ensemble with exquisite restraint.

Thanks again to our S.U. practicum Taylor Goebel for pulling together the pictures, links and info. on today's new releases.   Join us again next Friday for more new releases, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell

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