Program Archive

January 2010
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The New Releases
The New Releases

The New Releases for Thursday, January 21, 2010

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  • Piccolo Concerto (2001), 1st mvt; Mandolin Concerto (2006), 1st mvt; Piano Concerto (1995)
    Avner Dorman
    Mindy Kaufman, piccolo; Avi Avital, mandolin; Eliran Avni, piano; Metropolis Ensemble/Andrew Cyr, director;
    Naxos 8.559620
    Buy
    Intrigued by Baroque music since childhood, Dorman has created a collection of 'modern' pieces imbued with the formal clarity and rhythmic energy of 18th century music. Make no mistake, these pieces sound 'new', but they also sound fresh and friendly, and surprisingly 'original', despite the obvious derivations. Performances are breathtakingly fine, and if you pass by this album you're missing out on a disarmingly satisfying production. Go for it!
    10:03 p.m.
  • Flute Sonatas, Op. 11 (No. 3 in A);
    GASPARO FRITZ
    Claire Genewein, traverse flute; Nicoleta Paraschivescu, harpsichord; Maya Amrein, cello
    Guild 7330
    Buy
    Though his Calvinist neighbors may not have given much encouragement to this Swiss-born, German/French trained composer, he found the support he needed among the 'foreigners' who lived in Geneva (and had his works published in London and Paris, for good measure). In an agreeable and engaging 'galant' style, Fritz's sonatas might be better known if the listed composer were named Leclair or Quantz. The Swiss period-instrument ensemble needs make no excuses for these overlooked jewels. Finely done.
    10:24 p.m.
  • Guitar Pieces (Gran Vals; Capricho Arabe; Vals)
    Francisco Tarrega
    Michael Erni, guitar
    Guild 7332
    Buy
    Another Swiss performer of top-rank, recorded with a warm intimacy, Erni reminds us of the path-breaking originality of Tarrega's scores (made possible by advances in instrument building he championed). A sweet listening diversion.
    10:35 p.m.
  • Symphony No. 1, Op. 17, no. 2 ("Exile") (1936), 2nd mvt; Symphony No. 1, Op. 210 (1939), 1st mvt
    Alan Hovhaness; Darius Milhaud
    NBC Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski, conductor (r. 1942/1943)
    Guild Historical 2347
    Buy
    Though better known for his connection to the Philadelphia Orchestra, Stokowski was under contract to the NBC Symphony, too, and his performances from the 1940s provide premieres of first performances by early symphonies by four noteable composers (Copland and Serebrier, from Houston in 1957, also included). Indeed, his championing of Hovhaness provided that composer with his first American triumph (Stokowski soon afterwards premiered Hovhaness's Second Symphony, "Mysterious Mountain", and the die was cast). Relive some authentic historic moments. Archive sonics are more than passable.
    10:46 p.m.
  • Simple Lines of Eternity
    Ann Southam
    Eve Egoyan, piano
    Centrediscs 14609
    Buy
    This Canadian composer employs minimalist techniques to the 12-tones, creating haunted, stress-free soundscapes, delicately presented by Ms. Egoyan. Good for meditation, or unobstreperous background.
    11:00 p.m.
  • String Quartet No. 3 ("Old Time"), mvts 2/3
    Mark O'Connor
    Ida Kavafian & Mark O’Connor, violins; Paul Neubauer, viola; Matt Haimovitz, cello
    OMAC Records 14
    Buy
    O'Connor continues to evolve his blend of country-vernacular and classical idioms, and is backed by a stellar ensemble of fellow string players.
    11:15 p.m.
  • Symphony No. 6 in C, Op. 61 (1928)
    Kurt Atterberg
    NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini (r. 1943)
    Guild Historical 2348
    Buy
    Winner of a 1928 competition, Atterberg's symphony is one of relatively few contemporary scores championed by Toscanini. This performance, still vivid after all these years, projects all of the conductor's best characteristics...incredible sense of form, flawless ensemble, and ironclad rhythmic drive. Atterberg's score is good, but Toscanini's performance makes it sound 'great'. A delightful adventure, with other stunning 'classic era' performances of works by Barber, Strauss and Ravel. Breathtaking!!
    11:26 p.m.
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