Fancy brass, flying flutes, and the glory of Slava!
Just some quick (I promise!) highlights of Tuesday's classical music on WFCR:
Two of the world's leading brass soloists have new releases that we commend to your immeditate attention: First, a little before 11:00 this morning, we'll play the amazing Norwegian tubist Øystein Baadsvik, from his "Tuba Carnival", performing perhaps the least likely music you'd ever imagine being transcribed for the king of the brass (I'm a former tubist, OK?). As Hans and Franz would say on Saturday Night Live, read me now, believe me later! Then during the noon hour, it's a WFCR favorite (and what's not to like?), English trumpeter Alison Balsom, and her crackling rendition of Armenian composer Alexander Arutiunian's Trumpet Concerto, from Balsom's new Seraph CD. That's Baadsvik above on the left and Balsom on the right. Just in case you needed clarification (ahem).
MIT music lecturer Elena Ruehr (above left) composes music filled with imagination, enjoyment and intelligent use of contemporary techniques. One such technique, looping, turns a single flute into an entire flute ensemble in the work coming up in the 11:00 hour this morning. Named for the composer's friend, a Cornell mechanical and aerospace engineer (above center), performed by flutist Sarah Brady (above right), Ruehr's "jane wang considers the dragonfly" is sweet, simple and refreshing. Give yourself a break and tune in.
From such legends as Pablo Casals to our current magnificent crop of virtuosi, the cello has traveled a great distance in the last century. Can any one cellist be considered the greatest of them all? If so, it would have to be the beloved Mstislav Rostropovich, whose 85th birth anniversary was today. The tone, the intonation, the agility, the sense of line, the personality — this is one of music's immortals. Stay tuned for the Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 1 and Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata (with Benjamin Britten) later today. And long live Slava!