The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Romantic Sensibility - Just Opened - May 29, 2015

Today we have a focus on Richard Strauss and Sergei Rachmaninov, but we also explore an inventive new CD of JSBach's works played on mandolin and mandocello, and tenor Julian Pregardien chimes in.

Concertos 2 & 3
Stewart Goodyear, piano
Czech National Symphony
Heiko Mathias Forster, cond.
ISBN# 0 34062 30047 1
Steinway & Sons website
Canadian pianist Goodyear has been hailed as "a phenomenon who deserves wide attention" (Los Angeles Times) and adds these 2 well-loved concertos to his previous recordings of Tchaikovsky and Grieg.   This particular performance  said to uncover the works from years of standard performance practice and a recording that highlight's Rachmaninov's use of orchestral coloring.  This CD gives us two basic, foundational pieces for any music library, with a rising young performer.

Strauss: Don Juan
Eiji Oue, cond.
ISBN# 0 30911 19072 9
CD available on this webpage
This CD marks Minnesota Orchestra's first release of Richard Strauss's Don Juan, and also features Ravel's "Alborada del Gracioso", Sibelius' "Finlandia" and Liadov's "Baba Yaga."   With excerpts from many popular orchestral standards, one song from Mahler's "Songs of the Earth" and Taylor's "Looking Glass Insects" it is a varied an enjoyable program.

Mike Marshall, mandocello
Caterina Lichtenberg, mandolin
ISBN# 8 23421 10942 4
Lichtenberg's website
Marshall's website
Grammy nominated cross-over musician Mike Marshall and multiple award-winning guitar/mandolinist Lichtenberg join forces in this CD to present Bach's 2 part inventions on mandolin and mandocello.  The 1700s was the first golden age of the mandolin, so this idea has historic veracity and transports us back to the way Bach's music may have been played in his day outside the church walls.  Lichtenberg is the only Professor of classical mandolin currently in the world - at the Cologne, Germany music Conservatory.  These inventions have been called "intense musical landscapes" and this pairing gives us a new perspective on these well known seminal works.

Ken Watson, oboe & arranger
Double Reed Quartet
ISBN# 7 00261 41921 3
Watson's website for purchasing info. & links
My Delight of the Week!  Ken Watson's biography is worth reading for it's depth and complexity... just fascinating.   Having been a member of "The President's Own" (and several of the other musicians on this CD either were or are currently part of that group) he decided to switch from musician to active duty... and has since worked in network security.  Such is the life of a musician!   Now able to focus more fully on music, he is particularly devoted to fostering knowledge and appreciation for double reed instruments.  With the lyricism of Mendelssohn, the appeal of Gershwin, and the lush melodies of Still, I'd say this is a great start! 

An Die Gelibte
with Christoph Schnackertz, piano
ISBN# 4 260183 51012 3
Son of renowned lyric tenor Christoph Pregardien, Julian has been called a "major discovery" and is performing internationally in opera, concerts, and - as here - performing lied.  In what he calls his "own very personal circle of songs" he sings works of Beethoven, von Weber, Richard Strauss and Wolf.

Join us again next Friday for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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