Discover New Music with KDFC's CDs of the Week!
Tune in throughout the week for tracks from KDFC’s CD of the Week. More to discover with KDFC and KDFC.com.
Week of July 21
Stravinsky: Solo Piano Works
This week we feature two new releases from the American pianist, Jenny Lin. Born in Taiwan in 1973, Lin spent her early childhood in Austria, and emigrated to the United States when she was 14. She studied music at the Peobody Institute and also got a degree in German from Johns Hopkins. "If you enjoy Stravinsky and/or bravura pianism, this one is a no-brainer." Lynn Renee Bayley in Fanfare. Lin's adventurous choices have led her to Stravinsky's solo piano pieces, which pack as much theatricality as his larger and louder and better-known works.
Night Stories - Nocturnes for Solo Piano
Lin's Night Stories includes Nocturnes by Chopin (of course) but also impressions of the night like Debussy's Clair de lune and Charles Tomlinson Griffes' The Night Winds and many other seriously evocative night pieces.
Week of July 14
For his third album, the young Montenegrin guitarist, Milos, takes the super popular Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo as the starting point for a journey across the Spanish landscape, paying tribute to the great composers and musicians who placed the modern classical guitar firmly on the international stage. The disc also includes works by Falla and Rodrigo's second most popular work, Fantasia para un gentilhombre.
Brazilian Guitar Quartet
Founded in 1998, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet is made up of two 6-string guitars and two 8-string guitars. The group's latest album’s eighteen tracks are derived primarily from piano works by six of the best-known 20th-century Spanish composers: Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, Joaquin Rodrigo, Federico Mompou and Joaquin Turina.
Week of July 7
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Piano Concertos 1 & 2
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly
Saleem Ashkar, piano
Just released is a disc of music by Felix Mendelssohn performed by Mendelssohn's own orchestra. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra these days is under the direction of the Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly and he has put together a Mendelssohn program which includes incidental music to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as the two Piano Concertos with the Nazareth-born Saleem Ashkar as soloist.
Week of June 30
"Hidden Treasures" is a collection of short, captivating pieces arranged for clarinet and piano featuring clarinetist, Seunghee Lee. Born in Seoul and raised in Chicago, Seunghee Lee received her Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Charles Neidich and a Master's degree from Yale as a student of David Shifrin. Lee is also an accomplished golfer (under her married name, Sunny Kang). She recently spoke at TEDx Hong Kong
about the surprising similarities between golf and music, and the mental challenges in both fields as viewed through the lens of a perfectionist. Evan Solomon accompanies on piano. Check out the track listings for specifics.
Week of June 23
The Silver Album
Anne-Sophie Mutter/Lambert Orkis
With this special 2-CD collection, the celebrated German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and her piano partner, American Lambert Orkis mark 25 years of “a level of artistic partnership that is rare, even in the highest echelons of concert performance” (Seattle Times). Mutter says, “Meeting Lambert was a stroke of luck for me. It quickly became clear how perfectly we breathe and phrase together. With Lambert I can do anything.” The Silver Album includes world-premiere recordings of works by Andre Previn (Mutter's former husband) and Krzysztof Penderecki plus new recordings of Ravel and Massenet.
Week of June 16
Mozart: Violin Concertos 3, 4 & 5
This week we're listening to two new recordings with a lot in common. They both feature women violinists who have Japanese mothers and German fathers. Plus both artists have chosen to perform concertos from a composer who is a pillar of the classical period. Midori Seiler plays Concertos 1,3,& 4 by Haydn and Arabella Steinbacher plays Mozart's 3,4,& 5 Concertos.
Joseph Haydn: Violin Concertos
Week of June 9
A Scottish Soldier
Captain Tobias Hume
Tobias Hume was a Scottish Michael Praetorius in the sense that he collected and published music from his time (the early 1600's) and may have composed some of the tunes himself. It wasn't until 1991 that we knew for certain Hume's nationality. Apparently, he was in the service of James VI and his consort, Queen Anne of Denmark and received from her some kind of payment, the newly-discovered receipt for which refers to him as a Scottish musician. Based on titles alone, you have to like this guy. Track 16 is "tickle, tickle; Tickle me quickly". The Concerto Caledonia performs.
West Side Story
SF Symphony/ Michael Tilson Thomas
This is the release that everyone's been waiting for. If you were in the audience at Davies for these performances, you know that they were something special. Now you can relive the magic. With Cheyenne Jackson and Alexandra Silber as Tony and Maria, this recording of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story sets a new standard for this greatly-loved American classic.
Week of June 2
Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Carl Goldmark, Rubin Goldmark
Hungarian violinist Orsolya Korcsolan brings us back to a "colorful, turbulent and exotic place" with a recital of short pieces by three "Gold" composers. Beginning with the Viennese, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, who was a child prodigy and eventually a sought-after Hollywood film composer. Second, is Carl Goldmark, who was the pride of Hungary during the late 19th and early 20th-centuries. The third "Gold" composer is his nephew, the American, Rubin Goldmark, who famously taught Aaron Copland and George Gershwin. The disc also includes as a bonus the only surviving piece of Robert Dauber who was killed at Dachau in 1945.
Week of May 26
Myung Whun Chung
This week we feature a very personal solo piano recording from the renowned Korean-born conductor, Myung Whun Chung. Although piano was Maestro Chung's first instrument, he no longer considers himself a "real" pianist. He was persuaded to make this recording by his son (who works for the label) "as a gift for his grandkids." The program includes familiar works by Debussy, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, and Mozart and was made at the historic La Fenice Theater in Venice.
Week of May 19
PLAY: Works for Cello and Piano
Edgar Moreau, cello
Pierre-Yves Hodique, piano
PLAY is the debut CD for 19-year-old French cellist Edgar Moreau, who won the Young Soloist Prize at the 2009 Rostropovich Competition in Paris and the Silver Medal at the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The CD gives him a chance to show off the many voices of the cello, from the fireworks on Monti’s “Csardas” to the tender lyricism of Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” to the outright silliness of Francaix’s “Mouvement perpetual.” He is definitely up to the challenge, and this should be the start of a beautiful career.
Week of May 12
An Englishman in New York
Joe Brent & Alon Sariel
American mandolinist Joe Brent has teamed up with Israeli lutenist Alon Sariel for what they call “Impressions of John Dowland’s Lute Music” (the CD was recorded in Brooklyn – thus the New York connection). Trading off instruments, and using some newly designed mandolins created especially for this project, Brent and Sariel breathe new life into Dowland’s works with their own arrangements based on Renaissance originals.
Week of April 28
Some Other Time: American Classics for Cello and Piano
Zuill Bailey and Lara Downes
Pianist Lara Downes and cellist Zuill Bailey admit to a nostalgia for that period in American music when families gathered around their radios to hear the Saturday broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera and around their TV sets to watch Leonard Bernstein's Young Peoples' Concerts. "It's not a world we grew up in, but it's a world we dearly want to see.", says Downes. This new collection of transcriptions and concert pieces is a reflection of that "golden generation" with selections by Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss, Aaron Copland, and Samuel Barber. The CD title, "Some Other Time", refers to the wistful tune from Bernstein's On the Town which opens the disc.
Week of April 21
is the debut CD of guitarist Mak Grgic (pronounced Mock GER-gitch). It combines classical standards (Asturias, Sheep May Safely Graze, the Albinoni Adagio) with familiar tunes from the world of cinema like Chariots of Fire, Gabriel's Oboe
, and the Cavatina
from The Deer Hunter
. Originally from Slovenia, 26 year-old Grgic is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree at USC and is studying with William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant of the LA Guitar Quartet.
Week of April 14
The young German violin virtuoso, Julia Fischer, channels the spirit and artistry of her 19th-century counterpart, Pablo de Sarasate in this new recording of violin showpieces by the Spanish master. Described as "fiendishly challenging", the program includes the popular Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) and the complete set of Spanish Dances. Pianist Milana Chernyavska accompanies.
Week of March 24
Mozart: Piano Concertos and More
Karin Kei Nagano
Pianist Karin Kei Nagano was born in Berkeley in 1998(!) She is the daughter of the conductor Kent Nagano and the renowned Japanese pianist Mari Kodama. Following in her parents musical footsteps, Karin has just released a recording of Mozart's Concertos 12 &13. She is joined by the Cecilia String Quartet in Mozart's own rarely-heard arrangements for piano and string quartet.
Schumann: Carnaval; Papillons; Sonata In G Minor
The Bay Area's own Jon Nakamatsu has a new recording of music for the piano by the great Romantic composer, Robert Schumann. Included are the suites, Carnaval and Papillons (Butterflies), as well as the Sonata in g minor. Since winning the Gold Medal at the Tenth Van Cliburn Competition, Jon has enjoyed a busy concert career around the world. This Thursday he's back home in Saratoga for a sold-out recital at the Montalvo Arts Center.
Week of March 17
The Beethoven Journey: Piano Concertos 2 & 4
Leif Ove Andsnes
This is the follow-up to Leif's recording of the concertos 1 & 3, again with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Andsnes himself as both soloist and conductor. Of the Beethoven Piano Concertos, the Norwegian says, "this is music that feeds me constantly with joy, surprise, and discovery".
Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 7
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra recently marked 42 years of great (conductor-less) performances. Their latest recording is the first self-produced album for the group (which had been on the Deutsche Grammophon label pretty much forever) featuring what are arguably Beethoven's two best-loved symphonies: #5 & #7.
Week of March 10
Sojourn: The Very Best Of Xuefei Yang
This week on KDFC we feature a "greatest hits" compilation from the Chinese guitarist, Xuefei Yang. These are highlights from her best-selling CDs, personally chosen by Xuefei (or simply "Faye" to her English-speaking friends.) There's classic music from her homeland, including The Butterfly Lovers, as well as the exquisite Adagio from the Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo from the spiritual home of the guitar, Spain.
Week of March 3
Angele Dubeau, La Pieta
With her latest release, Blanc (White), violinist Angele Dubeau pays tribute to "everyone who has found strength and serenity through the trials of life." Dubeau recently survived a battle with breast cancer and credits music with helping her to stay the course. The selections on this CD, representing 12 very different composers, reflect the exceptional gifts of Dubeau and her renowned ensemble, La Pieta. For each CD sold, $2 will be donated to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.
Week of February 24
This album features the film’s original score composed by Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech, Argo, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
) who has previously collaborated with the director on such films as The Queen, Tamara Drewe
starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan tells the true story of an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption in the U.S.
Composer Steven Price is a BAFTA award winning British film composer. The score for Gravity
was recorded in small groups or single instruments as opposed to a collective orchestra in order for each sound to be electronically processed and mixed individually to create a layered and surrounding effect.The film stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts involved in the mid-orbit destruction of a space shuttle and their attempt to return to Earth.
The Book Thief
Directed by Brian Percival (known from the hit TV series Downton Abbey
), The Book Thief
tells the story of little girl Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) who, during the second World War, steals books to share them with the people around her. Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush also star in this war-time drama. The original score is by John Williams for whom this is his first non-Spielberg related assignment in a decade.
Saving Mr. Banks
Thomas Newman composed and conducted the original score for Saving Mr. Banks
. Newman has scored over 50 films. He has been nominated for ten Academy Awards with nine in the Best Original Score category for The Shawshank Redemption
, Little Women, Unsung Heroes, American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Good German, Wall-E,
. Saving Mr. Banks
is the true story of how Walt Disney courted P.L. Travers into letting him option the rights to Mary Poppins
starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, and Colin Farrell.
Week of February 17
The Four Seasons: The Vivaldi Album
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin
This new recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons marks the recording debut of the 1741 "Vieuxtemps" Guarneri del Gesù violin, considered one of the finest sounding violins in existence. Performing with the English Chamber Orchestra, Anne Akiko Meyers presents two Italian legends: Antonio Vivaldi and Guarneri del Gesù. The CD also includes Vivaldi's Concerto for 3 Violins and a Passacaglia by Arvo Part as a kind of palate-cleanser!
American cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins forces with the Czech Philharmonic and conductor Jiri Belohclavek in a performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto, recorded in Prague’s Rudolfinum, where Dvorák himself conducted the Czech Philharmonic’s inaugural concert in 1896. Other works on the album include the Rondo in G minor, Songs My Mother Taught Me, and an arrangement of the Largo from the New World Symphony for cello and piano.
Week of February 10
Mozart Violin Concertos
24 year-old Australian violinist, Ray Chen, has released an all-Mozart album including 2 Concertos plus the Violin Sonata #22. Chen is joined by conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach who leads his Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra.
Mozart: Piano Concertos #25 and #20
Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado
In (one of) his last recording(s), the late conductor Claudio Abbado (died January 20) and the legendary pianist Martha Argerich are featured in a new Mozart release, recorded at the Lucerne Festival of 2013. The disc is comprised of two of Mozart's best-loved concertos: the C major, #25 and, Beethoven's favorite, the d minor, #20.
Listen for selections from these two exciting new recordings on the air throughout this week. Remember that your CD purchase here benefits listener-supported KDFC.
Week of February 3
American classical guitartist Jason Vieaux celebrates his 20th anniversary as a performer with this new release, Play
. The album features classics from Spain, South America, France, Cuba, and America that he has found to be audience favorites for the past two decades. Included is Vieaux's own acclaimed arrangement of Duke Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood
by former LA Guitar Quartet member, Andrew York. A native of Buffalo, New York, Jason Vieaux is currently on the faculties of both the Cleveland and Curtis Institutes of Music.
Week of December 16
Bax & Chung - Piano Duo
Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung
Pianist Alessio Bax shares the keyboard with his wife, Lucille Chung, in a new recording of music for piano-four-hands by Stravinsky, Brahms, and Piazolla. Bax, originally from Bari, Italy, may be familiar to Bay Area concertgoers from his appearances at the Music @ Menlo Chamber Music Festival each summer. Chung is a Montreal native who is descendant of Korea's most influential philosopher, Dasan. The young couple make their home in New York City in an apartment that boasts two pianos and one superb wine cellar!
Week of December 9
For French pianist, Alexandre Tharaud, an enore is a "way of letting go once the concert programme is over, a way of maintaining the rapport with the listener." In his latest release, Tharaud presents 23 short pieces, some of which he has played as encores for years, others which are important to him for various other reasons. Composers include Bach, Couperin and Scarlatti from the Baroque; Mendelssohn, Chopin, Faure, and Satie from the 19th century; and surprises like Catalan Federico Mompou and Cuban Ignacio Cervantes. Listen for selections from this new CD throughout this week on KDFC.
Week of December 2
The Sound of Alison Balsom
Alison Balsom is among the most exciting classical artists out there. She was first inspired by Dizzy Gillespie to become a virtuosic trumpet soloist. This year she was named artist of the year by Gramophone Magazine.
'I've spent my whole life trying to show how versatile the trumpet can be,' she says. 'It's only limited by your imagination.' In this selection from her award-winning albums, she plays gems from the Baroque repertoire on both natural and valved instruments. We'll be sampling from this beautifully packaged CD all this week.
Week of November 25
We can't help but feel a special connection with internationally-renowned guitarist Milos Karadaglic. Ever since he released his bestselling debut CD, Mediterraneo, we've known that he had the right stuff to be a star. (Plus we're very proud to have figured out how to pronounce his last name!) His third recording is now available and we've chosen it as our CD of the Week. Milos: Cancion
is a collection of new recordings of popular pieces like "Besame Mucho", "The Girl from Ipanema" and "Somos Novios", alongside classical favorites from Villa- Lobos and Piazolla. A highlight is a guitar version of Ravel's Bolero
Week of November 18
This week's three CD of the Week selections feature three winners from the most recent Van Cliburn Competition. They are gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko from Ukraine, silver metalist Beatrice Rana from Italy and audience favorite Sean Chen from the United States.
Gold Medalist - 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Silver Medalist - 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Crystal Award - 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Week of October 28
Michael Lewin, piano
For Halloween week, we're releasing our inner ghoul with Michael Lewin's new CD, Piano Phantoms
. Ghosts, goblins, spirits, gnomes, and more will haunt the airwaves this week in the form of scary piano music by Schubert, Schumann, Dvorak, Grieg, and lesser-known composers. Included as well is the KDFC listener favorite, Graceful Ghost Rag by American William Bolcom. Boo!
Week of October 14
Philippe Quint, violin/Lily Maisky, piano
Russian-American violinist (and film star) Philippe Quint and pianist Lily Maisky (daughter of famed cellist Mischa Maisky) present Opera Breve
, a selection of attractive arrangements of opera favorites by Saint-Saens, Gershwin, Gluck, Rossini, and others.Featured are Quint's own arrangements of Una Furtiva lagrima
from The Elixir of Love
by Donizetti and The Evening Prayer
from Hansel and Gretel
Week of October 7
Jan Lisiecki, piano
Jan Lisiecki is not a normal kid. At just 18 years of age, the Canadian piano prodigy is being praised by the New York Times for his "pristine, lyrical, and intelligent (playing)". Fresh from winning this year's Leonard Bernstein Award, Lisiecki has released his second recording, consisting of the two sets of Etudes by Frederic Chopin. The choice of Chopin makes perfect sense for Jan, who is of Polish descent and who was first given a Chopin Etude to play when he was 7 years old. The young piano star likes to quote Chopin's instructions to his students: "Every single note must sing; and after all the work, the goal should be simplicity." Hear examples of Lisiecki's love of Chopin throughout this week on KDFC.
Week of September 30
Ferdinand David: Music for Violin and Piano
Stephen Schardt, violin/Philipp Vogler, piano
Ferdinand David (1810-1873) will always be best known for his association with Felix Mendelssohn. The two were close friends and it was David who gave the world premiere of Mendelssohn's famous e minor Violin Concerto. In fact, he served as a kind of collaborator on that work, stepping in with advice as needed for a composer who was not himself a violinist. Our CD of the Week this week is a collection of works written by David for violin and piano with German soloists, Stephen Schardt on violin and Philipp Vogler on piano. There's a cool Bay Area connection to this new CD; the violin for which David wrote this music is now in the hands of the SF Symphony's concertmaster, Alexander Barantschik!
Week of September 23
Arthur Foote: Complete Piano Music
Kirsten Johnson, piano
American composer Arthur Foote (1853-1937) was a member of the so-called "Boston Six" group of composers from the late 19th-century which also included Amy Beach, Horatio Parker, Edward MacDowell and John Knowles Paine. In this 3-CD set of the complete works for piano by Foote, pianist Kirsten Johnson gives this music the exposure it deserves; a number of the pieces are recorded here for the very first time. A Virginia native, Kirsten Johnson received her doctorate in music from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She now makes her home in England.
Week of September 16
Bach: Six Sonatas for Violin and Piano
Michelle Makarski, violin
Keith Jarrett, piano
This week we explore Jazz superstar Keith Jarrett's first "classical" recording since his Mozart Piano Concertos disc of 1998. For an artist renowned for his improvisations, this project taps into his ability to simply present the music as written. "This music does not need my assistance," he says. "I'm just throwing myself to the other guy, asking him (Bach) to show me something I still don't know about music". His partner in this recording is the Michigonian violinist, Michelle Makarski, who is committed to the standard classical repertory but experienced also in jazz and improvisation. This set of six sonatas was praised by the composer's son, C.P.E. Bach, as "among the best works of my dear father". A portion of the proceeds from the sale of our CD of the Week benefits KDFC.
Week of September 9
The Rascal and the Sparrow: Poulenc Meets Piaf
Antonio Pompa-Baldi, piano
It just so happens that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the deaths of both the legendary French cabaret singer, Edith Piaf (nicknamed The Little Sparrow) and important 20th-century French composer, Francis Poulenc. The Rascal and the Sparrow brings features songs made famous by Piaf as well as Poulenc's own art songs in new arrangements for solo piano.Though the two may never have met, Poulenc's Improvisation #15 is subtitled "Hommage a Edith Piaf" which suggests a mutual admiration. Italian pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi plays his own transcriptions of the Poulenc songs, while the Piaf songs (including her signature "La Vie en rose") are heard in what are described as "elaborations" composed by Roberto Piana.
Week of August 26
Bach: Complete Works for Lute
Ricardo Gallén, guitar
New from Spanish guitarist Ricardo Gallén is a recording of the complete works for lute by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on guitar. Bach wrote for the lute on and off for more than 30 years including Suites, Partitas, Preludes and Fugues, all transcribed for the guitar by Gallén. Born in 1972 in the hometown of Andres Segovia, Linares, he studied at various conservatories in Spain as well as at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In addition to the Bach selections, the CD includes Couperin's Mysterious Barricades as a bonus track!
Week of August 19
Wagner and the Piano
Severin von Eckardstein, piano
The concept of reducing the grand opera music of Wagner into solo piano versions may seem counter intuitive, however, it's an idea that has its roots in necessity. Back before there were recordings, piano transcriptions were vital for the dissemination of music. On this new CD, German pianist Severin von Eckardstein has included "reductions" from such masters of the piano transcription as Ferrucio Busoni and Moritz Moszkowski, as well as lesser-known composers, August Stradal and Louis Brassin. Of special interest is an arrangement of the Tristan and Isolde Prelude by the contemporary Hungarian pianist, Zoltan Kocsis.
Week of August 12
Zani: Complete Cello Concertos
Austrian cellist Martin Rummel describes the feeling of playing 12 "new" Cello Concertos from the Italian Baroque composer Andrea Zani as "comparable to the happy sentiment you have stepping onto a sunlit expanse of new snow in the mountains." (Spoken like a true son of the Alps!) The recent discovery can be credited to Dr. Jill Ward of Christchurch, New Zealand, who wrote her Ph.D. thesis on Zani and brought these concertos to light. They are a welcome addition to the limited cello repertory from the first half of the 18th-century. Selections from this world premiere recording are featured this week on KDFC.
Week of August 5
Nine Notes that Shook the World
Ronn McFarlane & Mindy Rosenfeld
Music for lute and flute is the order of the day on a new release from Grammy-nominated lutenist Ronn McFarlane and Philharmonia Baroque flutist Mindy Rosenfeld. "This recording is a gathering of some of our favorites," explains Mindy, "A cross section of.....timeless tunes from the past centuries that still touch us in ways words cannot." With pieces dating from the early English Renaissance (Dowland, Adson) to as late as the 18th-century (Handel and Locatelli), Nine Notes that Shook the World
is a musical feast that presents a wide range of styles. That title, by the way, refers to the limited 9-note range of the bagpipe, which Mindy plays, along with no less than seven period flutes, fifes, and harps.
Week of March 18th
Who was August Nolck (1862-1928)? The notes which accompany this new CD describe him as a respected and well-published cello teacher of his day, a director of the Vienna Conservatory and a "voice from the great German cello tradition of the 19th century." His name appears in none of the standard music dictionaries, so this disc is a very refreshing discovery of some great Romantic melodies. Americans Beth Vanderborgh and Theresa Bogard bring to life a sampling of Nolck's Salon Music for cello and piano resulting in a musical journey back to a golden period in Vienna's musical history. Hear selections from this new recording on the air throughout this week. Remember that your CD purchase here benefits listener-supported KDFC.
Week of March 11th
Pianist Lara Downes has become known for her thought-provoking musical concepts. She recently released "Thirteen Ways of Looking at Goldberg" in which she asked thirteen composers to write companion pieces to Bach's Variations. Her latest CD project is an exploration of musical miniatures created by composers in exile. Downes describes the Exiles' Cafe as "a place both real and metaphorical where travelers gather to find a home away from home." Composers represented include Chopin, Kurt Weill, Rachmaninoff, William Grant Still, Milhaud, and many others. Be sure to listen to Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr's conversation with Lara on a recent edition of KDFC's The State of the Arts and look for her this April when she hosts a new series at Yoshi's SF called "The Artist Sessions".
Week of March 4th
Cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio is a founding member of the Grammy-winning Eroica Trio. The Chopin Collection is her 4th solo recording and has garnered praise from, among others, Grammophone Magazine: "These performances grab you by the ears and refuse to let you go." (Ouch!) The New York Times wrote: "There is an irresistible warmth in everything Miss Sant'Ambrogio does." The CD (which is also available as a 2 GB Flash Drive) features pianist Robert Koenig in 11 Chopin selections. Tracks from this new recording will be showcased on the air all this week.
Week of February 25th
Would you believe a recording that celebrates planetary movement as an existential source of music, a concept historically known as "the music of the spheres"? That's the idea behind the latest release from the English violinist Daniel Hope. Hope explains,"My idea was to bring together works from different centuries, united by the age-old question: is there anything out there?" The disc includes four world premiere recordings plus contemporary arrangements of pieces by Bach and Faure. There are also selections by Karl Jenkins, Ludovico Einaudi, and Philip Glass. This CD is literally "out there"! Listen for excerpts from Spheres on the air all this week.
Week of January 7th
What a journey! Composer Percy Grainger was born in Melbourne, Australia (in 1882) and died in White Plains, New York (1961)! In between, he spent a great deal of time in England and the rest of Europe, perfecting his unique style of composing and trying to satisfy his hunger for musical discoveries. This new CD presents a selection of his folk-inspired music for piano duet. Included are familiar works like Molly on the Shore and Handel in the Strand as well as the super popular Country Gardens. Of special interest is the Fantasy on Gershiwn's Porgy and Bess. The Bilder Duo of Germany performs. As with all of our CDs of the Week, we'll be featuring tracks on the air. Your purchase here benefits listener-supported KDFC.