Today on Just Opened, we explore music from many folk traditions: lush orchestral arrangments of celtic songs and other popular music featuring formal Royal Harpist Claire Jones, very early folk music and dances, spanish- inspired piano music by Vanessa Perez, and new music for the oldest instruments - percussion!
Claire Jones, harp
Chris Marshall, arranger
London Mozart Players
SILVA CLASSICS 6051
ISBN# 7 38572 60512 4
My Delight of the Week! A combination of luscious arrangements for harp and orchestra (arrangements by Claire's husband, Chris Marshall), of immense popularity. Almost all the arrangements are soothing, and only one or two solos (the magnificent "Les Dances des Sylphes" by Felix Godefroid). Jones is former "Royal Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales" and her beauty alone would be enough to attract attention... so her talent, and over 180 royal performance engagements in her 4 year tenure to the royals is icing on the cake. If my research serves me correctly, this CD is a compilation of 2 CDs sold in Britain, put out to coincide with her tour in the Unites States (she is due nearby in Washington D.C. in early March). All the works are popular, whether traditional celtic tunes, familiar film melodies, or great opera arias in instrumental arrangements. When people think of the sound of harp and orchestra, timeless beauty and magical melody, this is exactly what they expect. This CD is crossover in the best sense, combining popular melody with fine arrangements for orchestra, an easy favorite.
For info. & tickets on Claire Jones' performance in D.C. click here.
New York's Ensemble for Early Music
Frederick Renz, Dir.
ISBN# 7 44457 80162 8
Some of our listeners just can't get enough of music from 1500s and before. This particular selection (released way back in 1995) is an infectious grouping of dances from the 1300s. Music this old has a way of sounding extremely current, and it speaks to this CD still being available on many websites, including "world music" sites. Renz and New York's Ensemble for Early Music have a sizable CD output (on several different labels), and they have become synonymous with rigor in exploration of early music, and delightfully "present" performances.
Vanessa Perez, piano
STEINWAY & SONS 30036
ISBN# 0 34062 30036 5
Pianist Perez has received high praises from international luminaries like Gustavo Dudamel, Claudio Arrau, and Zubin Mehta. This CD features works inspired by Spain, focusing on two beloved composers: Manuel da Falla, and Claude Debussy. Her work has been called shimmering, powerful, vivid, and stylish. This are essential piano pieces, adding a flourish to your listening library.
(works by) Steve Reich
ISBN# 7 35131 61612 7
New works by Reich played by this accomplished and esteemed percussion ensemble.
Thank you for your support of new works, JUST OPENED!
Kara Dahl Russell