The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, February 26, 2016

Just Opened March 4, 2016

Kent Nagano, cond.
Montreal Symphony OrchestraOlivier Latry, organist emeritus of the MSO
ISBN# 7 74204 87792 7
The official premier performance of the new organ in the relatively new Montreal Symphony House gives us the opportunity to hear a beloved major work for orchestra and organ, as well as two new works.   The opening piece and major work of this CD is the Saint Saens "Organ Symphony."  The final work on the CD is the most challenging, very much of the "modern" era, and many of our listeners would find it excessively jarring and unpleasant, but these works are important for musicians remaining in the "serious" mode of exploring new compositions, and cultivating the working composers of today.  Between these two is a new work, "A Globe Itself Infolding" (yes, in-folding) which is meditative and layers tone on tone in a peaceful "new age-y" sort of contemplative work that is surprising mellow for the grand combination of organ and symphony.  It may be reading too much into it to say that the central location of this work may be an indicator of the importance they expect it to have... certainly it is a work that would be suitable for a variety of religious services (for the churches lucky enough to have a combination of organ and symphony at their disposal).

Piano Music of Robert Schumann
and Frederick Chopin
ALBANY/TROY 1601 & 2
2 CD set
ISBN# 0 34061 16012 0
It is rare for a mature, regularly performing, internationally recognized performer past the age of 80 to continue making CDs.  Cockrell asks and answers this question in the notes to this set.   Trained at Juliard and Harvard College, he has taught for over 40 years at the University of Albany, with additional private students, and has also conducted.   He says the purpose of playing is performing, and CDs fullfill the dual purpose of preserving and confirming favorite repertoire, but also the opportunity to perform beyond one own physical performance "region."  And, on a practical note, he mentions the hope that new performance dates may come from this extended reach of the CD.  So now I'm going to be a musical yenta:  concert producers take note - he's interested and available!

Seunghee Lee, clarinet
Evan Solomon, piano
ISBN# 0 99402 57792 0
My Delight of the Week!  One of the difficult pleasures of my job is having to listen to many, many new releases, and then choosing a delight from amongst a selection of wonderful and often incredibly varied CDs.  Seunghee Lee is an artist whose work I simply enjoy.  She simply gets out of the way and makes beautiful music for us (amply aided by pianist Evan Solomon).  Her previous CD has been a staple of our playlist, and this CD, with a continuation of well-loved, "timeless classic" works is simply more of the same, in the best possible way.  While many of our listeners enjoy a challenge from time to time, the majority of our listeners simply want to hear and enjoy beautiful music.  Here it is - again!

Manhattan Camerata
with Nathalie Pires, fado singer
Polly Ferman, piano & Daniel Binelli, bandoneon
ISBN# 8 88295 36815 5
Sorel Classics is a new, selective label that continues to impress in its commitment to female performers and variety of fine concert repertoire.  The connections (and contrasts) between Argentinian tango music and Portugese fado music are explored with all the craft, finesse, seriousness, utmost musicality - and - the infectious joy and spirited verve that you could hope for!

Kara Dahl Russell

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