Barber: Piano Concerto, Op 38 (25:05)
Keith Jarrett, piano; Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra / Dennis Russell Davies
For much of the 1980s, Keith Jarrett balanced his improvisational activities with performances of classical music and contemporary composition. On this disc, with concert recordings from 1984 and 1985, he is heard playing Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto and Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No 3, and rising to the challenges of these major works. After the Tokyo Bartók performance, Jarrett returned alone to the stage to play a touching improvised encore, also documented on this recording.
New Release of the Week
Gershwin: Promenade (3:11); Lullaby (7:26)
The Nash Ensemble of London celebrates its 50th anniversary during the 2015/16 season. On its latest recording, the group offers a program of original chamber works and arrangements by American composers. Included are rarely heard pieces by Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman, who are best known for their music for films. Center stage is Gershwin’s Song-book, arranged by the composer for solo piano in order to present the songs ‘as George Gershwin plays them himself.’
AR Thomas: Radiant Circles (9:15)
University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra / Donald Schleicher
Part of a major series of recordings of works by Augusta Read Thomas being released by Nimbus Records, this CD originates from a concert by musicians of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The event was envisioned and organized by conductor Donald Schleicher and took place at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on December 9, 2014, in celebration of Thomas’ 50th birthday.
Rodgers & Hammerstein: The King and I: Overture; Scene 1; Scene 2 (13:45)
Kelli O’Hara (Anna); Jake Lucas (Louis); Ashley Park (Tuptim); Orchestra / Ted Sperling
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “Hello Young Lovers” and “Shall We Dance.” Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the relationship that develops between the King of Siam and a British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens. This critically acclaimed revival, starring Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe, received an impressive nine Tony Award nominations.
Horner: Pas de Deux (Double Concerto): Part II (13:44); Part III (4:43)
Mari Samuelsen, violin; Hakon Samuelsen, cello; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko
Pas de Deux (2014) was the first concert work in 30 years from the late Academy Award-winning composer James Horner (Titanic, Avatar). The Concerto for Violin and Cello was commissioned and performed by the brother and sister duo of Mari (violin) and Hakon (cello) Samuelsen with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko. The album is completed with works by Pärt, Sollima and Einaudi that pair with Horner’s post-minimalist soundscape.
Mahler: Symphony No 9 in D major: II, Im Tempo eines gemächlichen Ländlers (15:07)
Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer
The Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer continue their Mahler cycle with the Symphony No 9. In the liner notes, Fischer writes that Mahler’s Ninth is ”a most complex, extremely forward-looking, visionary symphony… [with] the most tragic and beautiful ending Mahler ever composed. What he shares with us is his fading awareness of our beloved world.”
M Haydn: String Quintet in C major (23:31)
Salzburg Haydn Quintet
Michael Haydn, brother of Franz Joseph, has been a special focus for the CPO label. Following the symphonies, CPO has now released a group of five works for a quintet ensemble, entertaining court music on the highest level, consisting of two violins, two violas, and cello. The Haydn Quintet of Salzburg performs on historical instruments in a historical setting – the Kuenburg Palace in the heart of Salzburg.
New Release of the Week
Anonymous: Ave Maria (4:43); Dominus possedit me (0:36); Nihil Inquinatum (4:27); Alma Redemptoris Mater (1:58)
Monks of Norcia
The Monks of Norcia, a monastic Benedictine community of men from Norcia, Italy, are releasing their first international album. As the monks sing nine times per day, it is fitting that, after years of inquiries, they decided to release a recording of their classic-style Gregorian chant. Father Cassian Folsom, an American, founded the Monks of Norcia. Before he became a monk, Father Folsom was enrolled in the music program at Indiana University. He has inspired many with his dedication to monastic chant, clearly a central part of the young vibrant community.
Click here to read WFMT’s interview with Father Cassian Folsom.
Brahms: Three Intermezzos, Op 117: No 3 in C-sharp minor (6:21)
Dorman: After Brahms (Three Intermezzos): III, Adagio espressivo (5:50)
Orli Shaham, piano
Throughout her career, pianist Orli Shaham has displayed her unwavering passion and exceptional understanding of the music of Johannes Brahms. She places Brahms’s late works for solo piano as the keystone of a new recording. Shaham surrounds these masterworks with compositions that specifically inspired the romantic master: works by Bach, Chopin and Schumann. Her commitment to living composers led her to commission Avner Dorman and Bruce Adolphe to compose works purposefully influenced by Brahms.
Reger: Clarinet Sonata in A-flat major, Op 49 No 1 (20:39)
Guy Yehuda, clarinet; Ralph Votapek, piano
Israeli-American clarinetist Guy Yehuda, hailed by composer John Corigliano as “one of the most awe-inspiring clarinetists today,” collaborates with pianist Ralph Votapek on a release of Clarinet Sonatas by Brahms and Reger. Yehuda is a sought-after recitalist, performer, composer and clinician. Votapek has made hundreds of appearances with major American orchestras and has received critical acclaim for his many CD recordings.