WRTI's Mark Pinto, your host for the Classical New Releases show, has several newly released CDs to recommend for your listening pleasure...
Rudolf Buchbinder: BEETHOVEN: THE PIANO CONCERTOS - The performances of these concertos are as authoritative as you’ll ever get. Esteemed pianist Rudolf Buchbinder engages in intelligent yet exciting music-making in these ‘live’ recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic recorded in 2011 in the “Great Hall” of the Musikverein.
Alisa Weilerstein: DVORAK - The raves keep coming in for this new recording of the great Czech’s American-inflected cello concerto pairing young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein with the Czech Philharmonic. Soulful, passionate, full-blooded, and captivating are just a few of the adjectives other reviewers have used to describe her performance, and I can’t disagree. Weilerstein’s gorgeous, singing tone also shines through in several Dvorak encores for cello and piano, with pianist Anna Polonsky.
Michael Lewin: PIANO PHANTOMS - Ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night are the subjects of this delightful and imaginative collection of piano miniatures from the 19th and 20th centuries. Michael Lewin, a Juilliard grad who’s studied with Leon Fleisher, sensitively conjures up the spirit world evoked by Schumann, Schubert, Grieg, Dvorak, Medtner, Lyapunov, William Bolcom, Florence Price, and a bevy of lesser-known composers, including eight world premiere recordings. Halloween or not, who could resist such titles as The Goblins’ Wedding Procession, The Ghost Ship, Night Music of the Mountain Goblin, and The Dance of the Phantoms? Andrew Lloyd Webber fans, look elsewhere.
Julia Fischer: SARASATE - German violinist Julia Fischer makes it sound all so easy in her performances of these delightful and colorful showpieces by the 19th-century Spanish virtuoso violinist and composer. Joined by Ukrainian pianist Milana Chernyavska, Fischer and her 1742 Guadagnini violin sail through the eight, idiomatic Spanish Dances and other works including the delicate and evocative Song of the Nightingale and the ever-popular Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs).
Peter Boyer: SYMPHONY NO.1 - Classical music listeners apprehensive about "new music" have nothing to fear, and everything to love, about Peter Boyer. The 44 year old American composer writes music in a neo-romantic style with an unabashedly direct and popular appeal. His work in movies and TV has honed his flair for the dramatic and his ability to create a desired atmosphere. His Symphony No. 1, a tribute to his muse Leonard Bernstein, is a stirring work, filled with soaring, “American sounding” themes and propulsive rhythms. Boyer also conducts four of his own festive occasional pieces here, in a recording that’s sure to win him many new fans.