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The month of February is a major month for the producers of Classical Music Discoveries as Ken and Sandy celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary.
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Choose from hundreds of titles from Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Verdi and labels like CMD Recordings, Parma Recordings, Sony Classical and much more.
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On March 3, 2017 the Southwest Symphony Orchestra in St. George, Utah continues the tradition of showcasing first-rate young musicians from the southern Utah area.
These dedicated, delightful prodigies demonstrate music education at its best and singularly produce a magnificent explosion of sounds.
This extremely popular annual concert begins at 7:30 PM at the Cox Performing Arts Center on the Dixie State University campus in St. George Utah on March 3, 2017.
For more information and to order tickets, please visit the orchestra’s website at SouthWestSymphony.co
Tickets are now available for the 31st Season of La Musica International Chamber Music Festival in Sarasota Florida.
Their season, entitled “The Search Continues”, begins on April 3, 2017 with works by Mendelssohn, Webern and Richard Strauss and concludes on April 12th.
Don’t miss out on special events like:
1. The ever popular “Sonata a Due” on December 6 and dine with “Musical Chefs,” where the musicians cook for YOU, held on April 7th.
2. Also, don’t forget to attend their daily rehearsals and pre-concert lectures.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.LaMusicaFestival.org today!
Welcome to Classical Music Discoveries' Season 13!
Our show is made possible by our sponsors La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, the Southwest Symphony Orchestra and Flowers.FM. Without our sponsors, advertisers and listeners like you, our show would not be possible.
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Navona Records is proud to present PHOENIX ENSEMBLE: CHAMBER WORKS OF HENRI MARTEAU AND ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY. The Phoenix Ensemble is a mixed instrument chamber music ensemble. Founded in 1991 by New York-based clarinetist Mark Lieb, the Phoenix Ensemble aims to “inspire a new and diverse audience for classical music.” They undertake this challenge by presenting two works by late romantic French composer Henri Marteau, who is relatively unknown in the music world, as well as presenting one work by Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky. Both composers were active at the turn of the 19th century.
The album’s three suites are presented in reverse chronological order, starting with the first ever recording of Henri Marteau’s Serenede, Op 20, which was penned in 1922. The four movement suite – which features 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet and 2 bassoons – begins with the delightful “Entranta,” a rollicking and regal composition that sets the tone for the entire nonet.
Next up is Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet, Op 13, which Marteau composed in 1908. Like Serenede, the four movement work is again inspired by the light and charming work of French composers like Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák.
With the selection of a mostly mysterious composer in Henri Marteau, the Phoenix Ensemble makes a lesser-known body of work sound like an old classic, and they educate modern listeners about a composer who has been largely unnoticed in his own era and forgotten by the passage of time. In the album’s liner notes, the Phoenix Ensemble claim that Marteau’s compositions remind them of “Les Six, the French musical movement of the day led by composers Francis Poulenc, Georges Auric and Darius Milhaud, whose aim was to rebel against the overly serious and complex grandeur of Richard Wagner.”
The second composer featured by the Phoenix Ensemble is Alexander Zemlinsky, presenting Trio Op 3, which Zemlinsky wrote in 1896 at the tender age of 25. Trio Op 3 is a stunning display of originality, presented as a chamber trio (piano and cello joining Lieb on clarinet). It begins with a stirring first movement, “Allegro ma non troppo”, that immediately captures the listener’s attention. “Andante,” the second movement, is more expressive and evocative and even a bit moody, before the rousing third movement, “Allegro,” guides the suite to its conclusion. It’s in “Allegro” that Zemlinsky’s imaginative writing truly shines. The Phoenix Ensemble feels right at home in their performance, each note filled with confidence and charisma.
By presenting somewhat obscure works from the early 20th century, Mark Lieb and the Phoenix Ensemble are able to educate their listeners on some of the lesser known composers of a past era while leaving their own imprint on the works.
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SERENADE, Op 20 (1922) HENRI MARTEAU
Catherine Gregory & Andrew Rehrig flute Arthur Sato & Michelle Farah oboe
Mark Lieb & Moran Katz clarinet Angela Shankar bass clarinet
Daniel Hane & Edward Burns bassoon
01 I. Entrata
02 II. Adagietto
03 III. Scherzino
04 IV. Tema con variazioni
QUINTET FOR CLARINET AND STRING QUARTET, OP 13 (1908)
Mark Lieb clarinet Igor Pikayzen & Bryan Hernandez-Luch violin
Eva Gerard viola Carrie Bean Stute cello
05 I. Andante - Moderato assai
06 II. Allegretto moderato
07 III. Andante sostenuto
08 IV. Andante sostenuto – Allegro molto
TRIO IN D MINOR, OP 3 (1896) ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY
Mark Lieb clarinet Alice Yoo cello Wayne Weng piano
09 I. Allegro ma non troppo
10 II. Andante
11 III. Allegro
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Sergio Cervetti returns with an exciting collection of works on his sixth Navona Records release, SUNSET AT NOON. A diverse composer, his works range from instrumental and vocal music to electronic compositions, often reflecting his South American, French and Italian heritage. His vocabulary draws from an early interest in twelve-tone and minimalism, and his current approach is flexible and free of constraint. With SUNSET AT NOON, Cervetti focuses on keyboard-based compositions for half of the album, with a foray into chamber music on the other half.
Cervetti’s keyboard compositions shine in this collection. On Ofrenda Para Guyunusa for Harpsichord, Cervetti delivers a peaceful and slightly meditative piece that very occasionally veers into Bachian territory. Some Realms I Owned is split into three piano movements – the first starts with a lively melodic line before landing on a relentless pedal point while Cervetti solos in a restrained manner; the second is the more contemplative of the three; and the third is a frantic piece featuring rapid arpeggios before settling on a more linear melodic sequence.
I Can’t Breathe, while based on a wild piano performance, centers around a pulsating rhythm that at times sounds like the fervent keys of a typewriter. The performance and composition both match the composition’s urgent title; it’s a quick burst of desperate sounds clawing their way out of the speaker, not quite two and a half minutes long.
Cervetti trades in his keyboards for clarinet and strings on And The Huddled Masses, a three-part suite, as well as Sunset At Noon, for violin and viola, a sprawling 18-minute opus that serves as the album’s grounding centerpiece. For the most part, Cervetti’s string scores deliver a more somber mood that counterbalances the upbeat and at times delirious vibe of the keyboard-based compositions.
As the sacred vocal arrangement on Lux Lucet in Tenebris closes the album, its contrast with the album’s secular pieces acts as a testament to Cervetti’s imagination and compositional fortitude. He has a keen ability to combine several different sounding compositions on one album and have it come across as a complete and congruent work. But ultimately, that is Cervetti’s strength – he is an enigmatic composer whose work knows no boundaries.
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SOME REALMS I OWNED, piano (2010)
Sergio Cervetti, piano
01 I. The art of losing isn’t hard to master
02 II. ...à ceux qui ont perdu ce qui ne se retrouve jamais...
03 III. Even losing you...
AND THE HUDDLED MASSES, clarinet quintet (2015)
Alden Ortuño Cabezas, clarinet; Leonardo Pérez Baster, violin I;
Luis Alberto Mariño Fernández, violin II; Yamed Aguillón Santa Cruz, viola;
Lester Monier Serrano, cello; Enrique Pérez Mesa; conductor
04 I. The Tired, the Poor, and the Huddled Masses
05 II. Hâves, déguenillés 0:00
06 III. Noemí Álvarez Quillay 0:00
07 OFRENDA PARA GUYUNUSA, harpsichord (2011)
María Teresa Chenlo, harpsichord
SUNSET AT NOON, violin and viola (1995)
Vit Muzik, violin; Dominika Mužíková, viola
08 I. In Memoriam Jon Mensinger
09 II. In Memoriam Michael Aiken
10 III. In Memoriam Patrick Kelly
11 IV. Hymn, In Memoriam Drew Dreeland
12 I CAN’T BREATHE, piano & percussion (2014)
Sergio Cervetti, piano
13 LUX LUCET IN TENEBRIS, a cappella choir (2002)
Kuhn Choir | Marek Vorlicek, conductor
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Maestro Yuri Botnari has been a favorite with our listeners for several years.
In this live recording, Maestro Botnari conducts the National Radio Orchestra of Romania as they performed Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Symphony No. 5.
This recording is available now at ClassicalRecordings.co and also through the Russian Music Society.
THE CROSSING | DONALD NALLY CONDUCTOR
The choral music of Minnesota-based composer Edie Hill shines on CLAY JUG, a compendium of large and small works for a cappella choir and choir accompanied by chamber ensemble. Though the works featured on CLAY JUG vary in scope, they all demonstrate Hill’s keen sensitivity to ensemble texture and harmonic density, as well as the incorporation of text across four languages.
In CLAY JUG, Hill excels at shifting the listener’s perspective as they listen to the choir. In the most straightforward cases, such as in The Fenix, Hill moves the choir in between the music’s foreground and background to accommodate a vocal soloist. More dramatic is what happens in From the Wingbone of the Swan and “Clay Jug” – an excerpt from a large work of Hill’s entitled A Sound Like This – wherein three or four musical layers converse within the choir itself, or between the choir and accompanying instruments.
It is obvious in the works on CLAY JUG that Hill has a strong connection to the texts she sets. Three of the album’s works – The Fenix, Alma beata et Bella and Cancion de el Alma – draw their texts from very old European sources dating back to the 10th, 15th and 16th centuries, respectively. Hill does not necessarily modernize these ancient words in her settings of them, but she succeeds in meaningfully personalizing them through her musical language.
Along these lines, Hill describes the influence of the language these works’ texts on their aesthetics, particularly in the case of The Fenix, which uses its poetry’s original medieval Anglo-Saxon language. Similarly, Alma beata et Bella seems to make homage to Renaissance-era musical tropes contemporaneous to its text’s origins, but, in both works, Hill’s individual voice comes through with only slight alteration.
The works on CLAY JUG feature a musical language that pairs beautifully with choir, employing dissonance with care and purpose, as well as freely shifting texture to serve Hill’s compositional designs.
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Edie Hill composer
The Crossing • Donald Nally conductor
From the Wingbone of a Swan
Edie Hill & Timothy O’Brien, text
1 i. Prelude to Speech
2 ii. Source
3 iii. Paleolithic Flute
4 The Fenix
Text from the Exeter Book
5 Cancion de el alma: en una noche escura
San Juan de la Cruz, text
6 Clay Jug
Kabir, text; VERSIONS by Robert Bly
7 We Bloomed in Spring
St. Teresa of Ávila, text; translated by Daniel Ladinsky
8 Alma Beata et Bella
Jacopo Sannazaro, text
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We have an escalating problem in the Mozart household and I will explain the problem to you.
First, we have Leopold Mozart. Leopold has been dragging the Mozart family all over Europe for many years, showing the world what a marvelous teacher he is. His children, instructed under the Mozart technique, are all wonderful musicians, even at such a young age of 6 to 8 years old. Their understanding and ability to perform music eclipses that of most adults. The Mozart family concerts are continually sold out and they are requested to perform for Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses all over the known world. It is widely known that the Mozart children simply regurgitate what Leopold has taught them all to the complete astonishment of everyone in Europe and Asia.
However, as the abilities of young Wolfgang increases, it becomes more and more difficult for Leopold to maintain the façade that he is the master and that Wolfgang is only the lowly student that relies solely on his father’s superior knowledge of music.
Secondly, we have Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a truly gifted musician who is unquestionably the greatest composer the world will ever see. Young Mozart may need some initial guidance by his father and other composers, but soon his compositions eclipses every composer of his day and for generations to come.
Now to the matter at hand, the 4 Symphonies in D. These are also known as Symphonies 44, 47, 45 and 11.
All 4 symphonies were composed in Italy in the Italian style and they were composed in April of 1770 during the Mozart family’s musical tour of Italy. Wolfgang is 14 years old now and is beginning to test the dominating grip of his father Leopold.
Young Mozart has already composed a few operas, piano concertos and several symphonies. Not to mention the many church works for the archbishop of Salzburg and everything has been met with great success.
The pressure is on Leopold to show that, he being the master teacher, is a far better composer than his young son. However, this image is beginning to wear thin and even Europe’s nobility is beginning to realize that young Mozart might be a truly gifted musician all on his own and not a great musician because of his father Leopold’s instructional capabilities.
The Symphonies in D thus continues a mild war between father and son. Wolfgang’s compositional skills are already far superior to Leopold’s, however Leopold must continue to prove that he is the superior musician even if this means taking credit for his son’s compositions.
While Leopold took credit for the 4 symphonies in D, this continues to be questioned today by music historians. Some musicologists may say that Symphony 44 is full of youthful charm and inventiveness and must be composed by Wolfgang, however others say of the same symphony that it is contrived and archaic and must have been composed by Leopold. Thus, the debate continues to this very day.
So, dear listener, we will play for you all 4 symphonies and we will let you decide if the symphony was written by the 14-year-old Wolfgang, or by his Father Leopold. We will play the 4 symphonies in order of composition.
WORKS FOR VIOLIN & ORCHESTRA
LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
MIRAN VAUPOTIĆ CONDUCTOR
While speaking on Édouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, Op.21, Pyotr Tchaikovsky posited that his colleague “does not strive after profundity, but carefully avoids routine, seeks out new forms, and thinks about musical beauty more than observing established traditions.” Acclaimed violinist Moonkyung Lee endeavors to emulate this approach on her Navona debut TCHAIKOVSKY – WORKS FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA, in which she presents several performances of beloved Tchaikovsky alongside the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Miran Vaupotić.
Lee finds particular success in this regard with her performance of Violin Concerto in D Major, Op.35, elevating several of the work’s unorthodoxies to the foreground. Her bow breathes new life into the unusual cadential sections in the first movement, its song-like Canzonetta second movement, and the Russian folk-infused finale.
The album also includes a performance of the Méditation, a piece originally written as a middle movement for the violin concerto before its inclusion as the first movement of the Souvenir d’un lieu cher (Memory of a dear place), Op.42. Its nostalgic emotions are quintessential Tchaikovsky, and its subsequent popularity has led to presentations as a standalone piece. Lee chooses to perform an arrangement for violin and orchestra made by Glazunov in 1896.
Finally, the violinist seizes the Sérénade mélancolique in B-flat minor, Op.26, Tchaikovsky’s first work for violin and orchestra. Like the Méditation and the violin concerto, it is filled with the intense emotion intrinsic to so much of his music. Lee singles out the end of the piece as particularly magical, lauding the moment “when the fragmented theme is reiterated by the clarinet and the solo violin in absolute stillness.”
London Symphony Orchestra | Miran Vaupotić conductor
Moonkyung Lee violin
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR, OP. 35
01 Allegro moderato
02 Canzonetta: Andante
03 Finale: Allegro vivacissimo
04 Méditation in D minor from Souvenir d’un lieu cher, Op. 42
05 Sérénade mélancolique in B-flat minor for violin and orchestra, Op. 26
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