The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, June 12, 2015

JUST OPENED - Friday June 12, 2015 - Kings of Music

This week on Just Opened, we have the newly released Broadway Cast Recording of "The King And I" - which just won the Tony Award last weekend for Best Musical Revival.  This new CD just arrived in stores on Tuesday, and it will fill our 3PM hour closing out today's show.

Another big winner of the night was the play "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Nighttime" and it's young lead actor, Alex Sharp (one year out of Julliard, but playing a 15 year old), so today we have a musical mirror... a Chopin release from 20 year old Jan Lisiecki who won a major piano competition at 14... winning from the junior division over the competitors in the senior division!  That  "Curious" play also features a strong ensemble cast that pull a lot of duties -- just like the members of the incredibly fun Quartetto Gellato, and we have their new CD today, too.  A new release of Saint Saen's beloved "King of Instruments" Symphony rounds things out!

2015 Broadway Cast Recording
Kelly O'Hara & Ken Watanabe
ISBN# 6 02547 37204 8
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, it unites a long time Broadway star (O'Hara) with the major international heart-throb, Ken Watanabe in a production that remains faithful to the original, but is aware of modern sensibilities.  With the world-wide awareness of the place of women in many cultures, this classic remains startlingly relevant.

Jan Lisiecki, piano
D.G.  479 10399
ISBN # 0 28947 91039 -
Young piano phenomenon Jan Lisiecki was the focus of our weekend program "Collector's Corner" this past weekend.  His combination of natural talent and focused work is making him a major international concert draw as he turns 20 this year!  He plays the two etude opi with authority and nuance.   This is a great way to add basics to your music library, and also add a young performer who is clearly going to be a household name.

Quartetto Gelato
ISBN# 0 61297 45489 1
Multitalented, delightful, engaging musical performers, Quartetto Gelato have been part of our playlists for many years.   Their distinct sound is due largely to their replacement of the expected piano with the astonishing accordian playing of Alexander Sevastian.  Don't be put off by the fact that the works on this CD are all orignal.  QG are performers who know what an audience wants, and these new works are engaging, melodic, and easy to listen to again and again.  This is a chamber group that can take traditional concert works and make them relevant, fun, and exciting to listeners who say "I don't like "classical" music."   QG are proof that great music (and great musicians) are alive and well.

Symphony No. 3 "Organ"
Michael Stern, cond.
Kansas City Symphony
ISBN# 0 30911 11362 9
My Delight of the Week!  This perennial favorite work (with the closing movement hymn theme that was so movingly used in the film "Babe") features organist Jan Kraybill on "The King of Instruments."  The Symphony is the big finale on a program which begins with the logical opening work "Introduction and Capriccioso" which features violinist Noah Geller, and then cellist Mark Gibbs joins Geller for "La Muse et le Poete".   Poetry and power all from one Composer.   I especially like the way these selections allow different instruments to shine within the basis of an "orchestral wash."  This particular program presents an orchestral microcosm of why Camille Saint-Saens remains a major composer of beloved works.

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

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