Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rosenberg likes Lindberg

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's classical music critic, Don Rosenberg, reviews a stack of new classical music CDs and has some kind words for one of my favorite modern composers, Magnus Lindberg. Reviewing violinist Lisa Batiashvili's "Sibelius, Lindberg: Violin Concertos," he awards an A, and says she does justice both to Sibelius great work and to the other Finn's composition. "Magnus Lindberg's creation is almost a 21st-century extension of Sibelius' aesthetic, but with ample individual color," he writes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

An American sampler

The other day, I needed to use up a few dollars on a Best Buy gift card, so I filled in a hole in my record collection by getting a budget classical recording of two Beethoven violin sonatas, the "Spring" and the "Kreutzer."

When it arrived in the mail, it turned out to be a label I was unfamiliar with, Universal Classics. And although it was cheap, it had name performers -- Yehudi Menuhin on violin and Wilhelm Kempff on piano. Universal Classics, it seems draws its cheap recordings by reissuing performances from the Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Philips labels.

Naturally, I wondered if any modern classical music was made available by the label. As it turns out, there was a recording available -- one called "American Masters" with Barber's "Adagio for Strings," Roy Harris' "Symphony No. 3" and William Schuman's "Symphony No. 3," all conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Not a bad start, and if Universal Classics issued more 20th century music, it could make modern music much more available.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cleveland Chamber Symphony 2008 dates announced

The Cleveland Chamber Symphony has announced five concerts dates for January through May of 2008; details here. Among other pieces, they'll be doing "Promotheus Wept" by Dennis Eberhard (probably Cleveland's best-regarded composer when he died in 2005) and a new Margaret Brouwer piece.

Friday, November 09, 2007

New Quick piece to debut

Cleveland area composer Jeffrey Quick's new String Quartet in A will debut in a free show at 8 p.m. Sunday Nov. 18th at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at Coventry and Fairhill in Cleveland, Quick announces in his music blog (he has launched a separate blog for political musings.) New Sounds Outpost, a site devoted to the Cleveland new music scene, explains that the Cleveland Chamber Collective also will do work by four other Cleveland-area composers, viz. Loris Chobanian, Stephen Griebling, Robert Rollin and Katherine Louise O'Connell.

I haven't heard the new Quick, but after hearing some of his other works I harbor the dark suspicion that it will prove to be unfashionably melodic. I'm also worried I won't get to hear it, as I'm already committed to go out of town the weekend after next.