The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, December 4, 2015

Just Opened, December 4, 2015 - The Christmas Releases Begin!

We begin working in Christmas releases this week, mixed with the usual melange of great music, Just Opened!

Andrea Bocelli, tenor
Abbey Roads Studio Orchestra
David Foster, piano, arrangs. & prod.
SUGAR # 23945
This year's "holiday" special produced by David Foster featuring beloved tenor Andrea Bocelli is a tribute to great film music.  Beloved songs in beautifully orchestrated arrangements.  Bocelli is joined by some regulars (his wife, whose voice is reminiscenet of Claudine Longet), and other current pop luminaries.  Andrea Bocelli's voice is both timeless and current - there is something very fullfilling about his vocal quality, and it seems that he has also striven for a simplicity (in the vocal music lines) in this production, letting the well known songs do their magic.

Jenni Olson, flute
Alison Bjorkedal, harp
available on itunes, cdbaby, and other online sources
Pure Tradition - My Gift-Giver's Delight!  Even the most dedicated orchestral listener turns to the combination of flute and harp music for Christmas.  Alison Bjorkedal is a grammy winning musician (and is under consideration for a solo grammy this year), and was my first harp teacher.   She is particular dedicated to new and challenging repertoire and new music, but she is nothing if not diverse and well-versed!  Bjorkedal is joined on this CD by versatile flautist Jenni Olson, who has also performed and recorded with major orchestras.  This CD has lovely and unusual arrangement of traditional carols, and a few non-traditional, but well known Christmas works added to the mix.

Andrew Wan, violin
Kent Nagano, cond.
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
ISBN# 7 74204 87702 6
Link to purchase the CD
My Delight of the Week!   Flawless musicianship, taste, musicality and excellence.  If these are the things you look for to add to your music library, (or as a gift,) then this is one for you!  Andrew Wan was named concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 2008 after performing Elgar's Violin Concerto with them in 2007.  He performs on this recording on a 1744 Bergonzi violin.  After serving as soloist and guest concert master for many major orchestras internationally (and winning competitions), the musical fit between performer and orchestra is unmistakable and simply adds to the chemistry of these live performances.

Early Christmas Music & Carols
from the British Isles
Quadriga Consort
ISBN# 8 88750 75722
Quadriga Consorts's Official Website
Egaging and appealing seasonal offerings played by a group of Austrian early instrument musicians.  Grammophone magazine has hailed them as "luminescently beautiful... utterly joyful."   They are known for their unconventional musical pairings which give them a unique charm and freshness.  Their previous Christmas album, "On a Cold Winter's Day" was a best-selling Christmas album of 2013.

Join us next week for more Christmas (and Hanukkah) releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell


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