The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, October 2, 2015

Just Opened - Oct. 2nd, 2015

Favorites from many time periods today on Just Opened.

Piano works by
Debussy, Ravel & Kapustin
A commanding release of beloved familiar works by Debussy and Ravel, and one lesser known composer; Kapustin's Concert Etudes have been called "an encyclopedia of piano technique" and are in the "feuille d'album" form of salon pieces.   Pirojenko has won a firework display of awards, and this assured, nuanced, masterful CD is exactly what one would expect and hope for.

Geoffrey Andrews, tenor
ISBN# 8 88295 24790 0
Gift Giver's Delight.  A "natural" tenor with a powerful voice from Texas, who went to Nashville to try his luck and hit gold in the form of the production team of Hooper and Kevern, known for their classical crossover accousitc orchestra work.   Having overcome an infant bilateral clubfoot deformity, and living with tourette syndrome, he has the kind of "back story" to make him the darling of the "reality tv" set.  These logistics all fall away when we hear his powerful, clear, balanced voice.

Piano Concertos
Vadym Kholodenko, piano
Miquel Harth-Bedova, cond.
Norwegian Radio Orchestra
ISBN# 0 93046 76292 6
My Delight of the Week.  I'm personally so very happy to see and hear that Grieg is coming back into favor in concert halls and recordings after what has seemed like a long winter of absence.  As one might expect from a Van Cliburn winner (2013), critics have been trowing bouquets, praising theses performances as "as tender as you might want... and... passionate but not overwrought."  This welcome pairing of Grieg with Saint Saens' 2nd Concerto makes it a "no brainer" to add to your collection, especially if you do not have these works in your library.  Grammpone's Jeremy Nicholas called this Grieg "a truly outstanding recording" and said the Saint Saens was "even better" and thrilling!

Aralee Dorough, flute
Scott Holshouser, piano
ISBN# 7 00261 39071 0
Accomplished orchestral flautist Dorough shines in these transcriptions of orchestral works.  Most of these works all ready heavily featured the flute, so these reductions feel absolutely natural.  The choice of material has been smart (like starting the CD with Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn"), so that we rarely feel the lack of the orchestra, merely the flute being brought into forward focus, which allows us to bask in Dorough's painterly approach to ... colours.  She is joined by Judy Dines on a second flute part (with Hoshouser still holding down the orchestral reduction with a masterful blend of virtuosity and support) on a rousing closing work, the ever popular Stravinsky "Pulcinella Suite."

Zoe Black, violin
Joe Chindamo, piano
ISBN# 7 24131 54960 2
Chindamo made his name as a jazz pianist and has been recognized by great musicians of all genres, performing in concert halls with orchestras, rock bands and big names of all kinds of genres.  Aside from performances on over 23 CDs of his own, and countless with other groups, he has achieved recognition as a composer of chamber works.  To those credentials he offers this labor of love ... Bach's major keyboard work with counterpoint for violin.   What we have is a calling card of technical proficiency and variety for both piano and violin.  Zoe Black is completely up to the challenge of what - in this - amounts to an extensive and virtuosic violin "variation cycle".  Critics being what they are, the reviews have been a bit mixed, some want nothing other than the original, others gripe that he didn't stray far enough in creating the violin part.   These are quibbles that are easily drowned out by simply listening to the work.  Within the past few months, some chamber versions of this same originating work have been released, so, as usual, Chindamo has his finger on the pulse of what is current and performing with verve and excellence. 

Join us again next week (during our Fall Fundraiser) for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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