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News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, January 1, 2016

Just Opened, December 1, 2016

The Composer's Choir
Daniel Shaw, Art. Dir.
CCR #43416
ISBN# 0 61297 43416 9
Available for download on multiple resources online
About the Composer's Choir
Daniel Shaw has served on the faculties of Duquesne University and John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. As a choral composer, Shaw has been received numerous commissions and his works are performed throughout the United States and Canada.  In addition to being Founder and Artistic Director of the Composer’s Choir, Shaw is Artistic Director of the New Haven Oratorio Choir and serves as Minister of Music at First Church, Woodbridge, CT with many previous prestigious posts. Singers of this Choir are predominantly graduates of the Yale School of Music.  Their performances of new choral works have been hailed for their outstanding singing, tuning and diction.

JOSEPH MOOG (pianist)
Greig & Moszkowski Piano Concertos
Nicholas Milton, cond.
German Radio Orch. S.K.
ONYX 4144
ISBN# 8 80040 41442 1
Moog received the Classical Grammy Young Artist of the Year last year, and this CD has been nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo this year.   The son of professional musicians, Moog has been playing the piano since the age of 4.  At the age of 28, and looking much younger, Moog has performed with major orchestras and conductors around the world, received numberous awards, and this is all read his 9th major release. Unadulterated romanticism is the order of this CD, with Grieg's well known Concerto (recorded live), paired with the luscious Concerto in E of Moritz Moskowski.  Piano Concertos fall in and out of favor, and what a joy to be reintroduced to the Moskowski Concerto that has all the lyricism, melody and pyrotechnics of the great film scores.  International critics are praising his performance of the Grieg, and thanking him for bringing the lovely Moszkowski back to the spotlight in such a shining performance.

Nina Stern, recorders & chalumeau
Glen Velez, frame drums & percussion
MSR 1577
ISBN# 6 81585 15772 5
for more information and purchase
“[ * * * * * ] a cosmopolitan range of sophisticated composers... The repertoire ranges from the 12th through 18th centuries, and winds up with an exquisitely unique solution to “Greensleeves.” The pleasures are not only gentle and real, they sometimes connect with deep inner feelings... The combination of Nina Stern playing variously six different recorders, and a diverting chalumeau, and Glen Velez playing a shruti box, an Eckermann Turkish drum, a Bruno Spana tamburello, a 20” Cooperman bodhran and a Contemporanea Surdo Frame Drum, for starters, is curiously intimate. The sound, recorded at Mozart Studios in Clifton, New Jersey, is exquisite.” -- Laurence Vittes, Audiophile Audition [December 2015]
Stern is recognized as a clarinetist and recorder player, and has appeared with the premier "original instrument" orchestras of the world.  She was appointed to the faculty of Juilliard’s Historical Performance program in 2012, and has served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music where from 1989 to 1996 she directed the Historical Performance Program, the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan, Oberlin Conservatory (Visiting Professor), and the Five Colleges in Massachusetts. A notable music educator, Nina Stern is an innovative teacher of school-age children, and a founder of S’Cool Sounds, a hands-on music education project in inner city public schools. For this important work, Stern was awarded an Endicott Fellowship in 2003 and Early Music America’s Early Music Brings History Alive award in 2005. This CD presents a grouping of her personal favorites, mostly early music, in arrangements that are vital and fresh.

IVAN ILIC (piano)
plays Morton Feldman
PARATY 135305
ISBN# 3 760213 650337
Ivan Ilic's Official Website 
This CD whas been nominated for 2016 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA), Solo Instrument Category
This CD consists of one extended work (in 22 movements) from 1985 titled "For Bunita Marcus."   To say that this work is rarely performed in it's entirety would be an understatement. And while the work has (surprisingly) been recorded several times, it remains a rarity.  Especially rare is that a pianist of the caliber of Ilic will have such an extended and multi-faceted relationship with the work.  Feldman's work is an acquired taste, and Ilic has acquired it, cultivated it, studied it, published articles and books about it, steeped in it, and allowed it to seep through him.  These works that leave most critics and listeners cold become something different in his hands, redolent of gregorian chant, meditative cloisters, with glistening particles of Scriabin-like melody momentarily reflected.  So it is no surprise that the critical acclaim for Ilic's interpretation praises his ability to instill warmth into the repetitions and silences of these hypnotic works. 
In discussing this CD (and Ilic's work with Feldman's music) with my co-worker, Chris Ranck, he hit on "le mot juste":  Ivan Ilic is doing a marvelous job of curating Feldman's work. "These are less narratives than situations ("territories") that Feldman's music grows and causes, arousing in the viewer / listener, a new field of consciousness, a new listening protocol. Spaciousness becomes essential here: it frees music and listener for endless explorations." -- Adrien De Vries,   This would definitely be a trial for many of our more conservative listeners, but if you are a fan of repetitive, meditative works, ancient chant, new age minimalism, and/or modern repetitions... you may find that this extended work speaks to you in illuminating ways.

BRAHMS String Quartets Op. 51
New Orford String Quartet
ISBN# 0 90404 94642 4
Formed in 2009 (after their famous predecessors disbanded), this New group of musicians have fully picked up the mantle of their predicessors, and continued the tradition of excellence and critical rave reviews.  After the breathtaking success of their recordings of Schubert and Beethoven, they now present us with two of Brahm's masterpieces.  "...I will dispense with the details of performance quality by describing the New Orford's playing succinctly as having perfection of intonation, superb tone quality, and unsurpassed clarity of musical line, while offering ensemble playing of the finest character..." - - Burton Rothleder, Fanfare

Alan Rinehart, guitar
NovaScribe 202
ISBN# 7 78224 12042 1
Since 1983 Rinehart has been on the music faculty of the University of British Columbia & Vancouver University.  He studied lute technique and performance practice extensively, classical guitar, and has many published editions of works (including several on this CD).  Since his critically acclaimed London debut in 1980 he has been a recognized contributor to the world of concert guitar as a performer, teacher and editor.  He has rave reviews from The Times of London, Fanfare, and more impressively, from industry specific publications, Classical Guitar Magazine and Guitar International Magazine.  The newer works are inspired by and reference more classical works, making the entire CD easy on the ears.  Incidentally, this is something that reviewers have mentioned, Rinehart's skill with putting together an appealing program.  The majority of works on this CD are either traditional works, from early music to works by Albeniz, Pujol and Duarte, ending with infectious upbeat works by Machado and Ross. 

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

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