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November 2013’s Choice CD List

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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Each month, WCLV’s Program Director Bill O’Connell selects seven special CDs to be featured on the air throughout the month. Here is the November CD list, with a few comments from Bill about why these discs are standouts. [Browse previous months of Choice CDs]

The Phoenix Rising: Tudor Church Music
Stile Antico (Harm Mundi 807572)

Among the many good works funded by the Carnegie UK Trust (celebrating its centenary this year), their publication of an anthology entitled Tudor Church Music in the 1920s helped transform the musical life England. For the first time, a significant body of the greatest compositions from around the turn of the 17th century became accessible to scholars, performers and listeners alike. On The Phoenix Rising, Stile Antico presents a varied selection of the finest pieces from the collection in a program centered around William Byrd’s masterful five-part mass. The ensemble recently appeared here in Cleveland singing selections from this new disc.
Featured Fri 11/1, Tue 11/12, Thu 11/21

Mendelssohn & Schumann Violin Concertos; Beethoven Romances Opp. 40 & 50
Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Göttingen Symphony/Christoph-Mathias Mueller (Çedille 144)

Here is another musician who appeared in Cleveland this fall: violinist Rachel Barton Pine helped open the CityMusic season in October playing all five Mozart concertos. Ms. Barton Pine told me during her recent visit to WCLV, “For the majority of my career, I had not been drawn to play Schumann’s concerto, but my opinion changed four years ago when I studied the score closely and collaborated with Maestro Mueller. His detailed and imaginative shaping of the orchestral accompaniment brought the music to life, and I was inspired to find new beauty in the solo violin part.” Hear the fruits of that partnership on this new disc!
Featured Mon 11/4, Wed 11/13, Fri 11/22

Glass, Rutter, Françaix Harpsichord Concertos
Christopher D. Lewis; West Side Chamber Orch/Kevin Mallon (Naxos 573146)

What a great disc this is, awarded 10s in Artistic Quality and Sound Quality by the ArkivMusic.com website. These three contemporary works for harpsichord and orchestra are easy on the ear, but clever and consistently interesting. John Rutter’s Suite Antique is a pure delight. Philip Glass’s Harpsichord Concerto displays and unquenchable vitality and touches of humor and takes advantage of the harpsichord’s natural role as soloist and accompanist. And the Concerto for Harpsichord, Flute and Strings by Jean Françaix is typically a zesty romp. The West Side Chamber Orchestra - based in New York - gave it first concert just two years ago.
Featured Tue 11/5, Thu 11/14, Mon 11/25

Ravel: Intimate Masterpieces
Yolanda Kondonassis, Jupiter String Quartet, Alexa Still, Ellie Dehn, Spencer Myer, Richard Hawkins (Oberlin Music 1304)

A CD on the brand new Oberlin Music label, released October 29th, features well-known artists who all have connections to Oberlin. Listen to the Ravel masterpieces on the disc - the String Quartet, Introduction & Allegro, Chansons madécasses and Cinq melodies populaires grecques - and read the authoritative liner notes by James O’Leary, the Oberlin musicologist.
Featured Wed 11/6, Fri 11/15, Tue 11/26

Stopping By
Kyle Bielfield, tenor; Lachlen Glen, piano (Delos 3445)

Add another singer to the list of champions of American art song: Kyle Bielfield. He and pianist Lachlen Glen offer an array of American songs - well-known and obscure - and all to texts by American poets! The album’s title comes from the fact that there are no less than three settings of Robert Frost’s famous Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - by Samuel Barber, Ned Rorem and John Duke.
Featured Thu 11/7, Mon 11/18, Wed 11/27

Also sprach Zarathustra
Berlin Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel (DeutGram 4791041)

It’s a breathtaking new recording and a rite of passage from the most exciting young conductor of our times: Gustavo Dudamel’s debut recording with the legendary Berlin Philharmonic. Recorded live at the Philharmonie in Berlin, it’s Also sprach Zarathustra along with two other Richard Strauss symphonic poems, Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks. This is the first significant new release for the Strauss 150th anniversary year (2014). Gustavo Dudamel earned a Best Orchestral Recording Grammy® in 2012 for his recording of Brahms Symphony No. 4 with the LA Philharmonic and was named Musical America’s “Musician of the Year” for 2013.
Featured Fri 11/8, Tue 11/19

The Barber of Neville: Howard Blake Wind Concertos
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields/Sir Neville Marriner (PentaTone 5186506)

Without being aware of it, composer Howard Blake (familiar for his Walking on the Air theme from The Snowman), conductor Sir Neville Marriner and his son Andrew all frequented the same hairdressing salon in west London. They turned this coincidence into a disc containing Mr. Blake’s concertos for flute, clarinet and bassoon, and his Serenade for Wind Octet.
Featured Mon 11/11, Wed 11/20

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