The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, October 30, 2015

Just Opened - Oct. 30, 2015 - Composer focus.

Exciting performers from the concert world presenting beloved time tested works and a few new works, too, with a focus on the Composers:  Bach, Puccini, Ravel, and Lieuwen.

According to Anna Magdalena
Matt Haimovitz, baroque cello & piccolo cello
ISBN# 8 27949 05556 0
Short biography of Anna Magdalena Bach
picture of a violoncello piccolo
(Note that the cello on the cover of this CD is the piccolo cello played by Haimovitz.)   Having recorded the Bach Cello Suites earlier in his career, Haimovitz has continued his studies over the years, hoping to find the clearest line of the composer's intention.  There being no manuscript by Bach of these works existing, cellists have been led by versions of other musicians.  Kellner, an acquaintance of Bach, had a version that has been greatly influential over the years.  Haimovitz has become increasingly convinced through study that the copy that belonged to Bach's second wife, Anna Magdalena had interpretive insights and articulation grammar and phrasing that have been almost entirely lost.  Adding the fact that the 6th suite was composed for the "piccolo cello", and performing that suite on this instrument, lends a completeness of approach to this entire project.   It is worth remembering that even the addition of the piccolo cello remains an element of subtlety of technique and tone; the average listener may not notice any difference in these recordings, but for those who are interested in the intricacies of phrasing and the subtleties of sound, this recording by an established artist can become an essential touchstone of interpretation.  Haimovitz continues his relationship with these works by recording newly commissioned overtures for these suites next spring.
Jonas Kaufmann, tenor
Antonio Pappano, cond.
Orchestra & Chorus of the
National Academy of Saint Cecilia
SONY #750 9249
ISBN# 8 8875 09249 2 6
Biography of Giacomo-Puccini
Gift Giver's Delight!  International heart-throb tenor Jonas Kaufmann released this CD in September, after years of having performed Puccini's heros on the great stages of Opera all over the world.  His European tour this fall is largely comprised of the works on this CD.  This month he has released a new Cinematic release of his concert from Teatro alla Scala, with behind the scenes glimpses.  Kauffmann has been hailed by "The Daily Telegraph" as "the greatest tenor of our day."  His is joined on some of the works by soprano Kristine Opolais, who has partnered with him in two productions of Manon Lescaut.
YUJA WANG (piano)
Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
Lionel Bringuier, cond.
D.G. #4794954
ISBN# not available currently
My Delight of the Week!  When a young piano virtuoso is continually hailed for her sartorial style as much as her phenomenal technique and musicality, when she becomes the model for Rolex watches internationally,  meanwhile performing some of the greatest works of the piano repertoire with the world's most renowned orchestras, we have the kind-of cross-over stardom that exceptionally few classical musicians achieve.  While other artists can become sidelined, subsumed or marginalized by these extra-musical factors, Wang has been able to deftly incorporate them into her being as a musician with a larger sense of herself as an artist on the world stage.  In this CD she performs two major concertos by Ravel, and a rarely heard "concertino" of Faure (one of my favorite works, his "Ballade for Piano & Orchestra") in an even more rarely heard solo piano version.  Brava!

The Music of Peter Lieuwen
SOLI Chamber Ensemble
Cumberland Wind Quintet
Various Soloists
MSR #1581
ISBN# 6 81585 15812 8
Lieuwen's compositions have been acclaimed for their orchestral balance, his instrumental palette, and their attractive, shimmering sonorities.  Influenced by the rhythms of jazz and world music, and by  romantic era impressions of nature and landscape.  These come together to form new music that has melody and accessibility that the listener wants to hear again.  This ability to engage both performers and audience has been rewarded with commissions and performances by leading orchestras on the world stage from the Royal Philharmonic and Orchestra of the Americas and the National Orchestra Association.  Born in the Netherlands and raised in New Mexico, Lieuwen currently is on faculty at Texas A&M University, where he served as the first head of their Department of Music Performance Studies.

We hope you enjoied today's exploration of Composers on Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell

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