Romantic German Lied Transcriptions
Andrew Parker, oboe
Alan Huckleberry, piano
ISBN# 6 81585 15142 6
My Delight of the Week!
Classics Today (reviewer Jed Disler): "Not only does Parker command a pleasant, singing sonority, but he also gauges his vibrato with expressive discretion. In strophic songs where the text ordinarily informs one’s interpretive game plan, Parker compensates by adjusting his phrasing and articulation, as you immediately hear in Schubert’s Die Forelle. Alan Huckleberry is far more than a mere accompanist; he imbues the piano parts with pinpointed articulation and multi-dimensional character. His ripplingly clear treatment of Gretchen am Spinnrade’s gentle arpeggiated figurations are right up there with Edwin Fischer and Gerald Moore, and that’s the ultimate compliment" Reviewers often feel obliged to compare instrumental song cycles unfavorably to sung, citing the loss of lyrics and the vocal drama -- but for many listeners who do no speak the foreign language of the art songs in question, the release from words is its own joy. Parker was just signed to the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin, having graduated from Yale in '03. He has performed around the country in numberous chamber groups and as a soloist. Huckleberry has performance experience and an interesting addition: He and pianist Jason Sifford have recorded standard repertoire for beginner to intermediate piano students, available on youtube's UIPianoPed. channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Avalon String Quartet
CEDILLE 90000 156
ISBN#7 351-- -1562 5
Avalon Quartet Official Site
American Record Guide: "It would be hard to overpraise the polished, adroit, deeply musical and sheerly gorgeous playing of the Avalon String Quartet." The Avalon Quartet takes us on a tour of "modern" music from the well known quartet of Debussy, into Brittens inventive and accessible "Divertimenti" and March to a challenging new work by Stacy Garrop that has been compared to Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" in that it provides musical illustrations of the illustrations in a Medieval manuscript, the "Book of Hours." Much of this work is melodically challenging and is in a modern compositional style that can be off-putting for many listeners. Closing with Golijov's "Tenebrae" we keep the mediaeval theme but add a lush cello melody which brings us back to a musical voice and brings us around to the current trend in "contemporary classical" music to keep the intellectual curiosity but blend it with a more accessible musical language and the blessing of melody. This musical tour of modern repertoire is, of course, a technical and musical tour de force by this quartet.
James Brawn, piano
ISBN# 6 81585 15012 2
Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" have been featured on several solo piano CDs recently, so the work seems to be back in vogue. The work has been compared to Debussy's Preludes in the expanse of tonal color, and Brawn has been hailed both for his ability to have the thundering quality and the finesse of clarity of line to bring the full pallate. Reviews are unequivocal in their high praise.
“… If one has never listened to this gentleman’s expertise, then perhaps this James Brawn in Recital would be a great place to start” -- American Record Guide
Works for Violin by Composers from
Francisco Caban, violin
Kevin Class, piano
Cermelo de los Santos, violin
ISBN# 8 88295 11768 5
Caban's official website for info. & purchase
Caban is Professor of Music at the Conservatory of Puerto Rico. A frequent soloist in the United States, Spain, Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico, he also serves as a member of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. His intensive pedagogical work includes the creation and artistic direction of the Conservatory’s annual violin festival. As with his first CD, his focus is on composers mostly from Latin America, including one of his own works for solo violin, reminiscent of Paganini's etudes. As with much contemporary work, some of these are a bit challenging, but most of them are accessible, and highly entertaining.
Dichterliebe & Liederkreis
Stanley Wilson, tenor
Malcolm Halliday, piano
ISBN# 6 81585 15132 7
Wilson and Halliday have partnered together before, on a CD of British Songs that received raves from Fanfare Magazine, among others. Schumann's song cycles are touchstones and significant calling cards for tenor and pianist alike. Both artists have estimable independent careers, so when they join forces on major cycles like these, we have to assume they have special meaning and import for both. Halliday's playing has been called "not a pianist who agonizes how chords should be weighted.... unruffled and homogenous" (which may have something to do with his also being an accomplished organist), and Wilson has an impressive growing career on international stages of opera and as a featured soloist.
Join us again next week for more new releases, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell