Thursday, August 14, 2014
1). Leonidas Kavakos & Yuja Wang - Brahms “Violin Sonata No. 2”
2). Leonidas Kavakos & Yuja Wang - Brahms “Violin Sonata No. 3”
3). The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Marek Stilec (conductor) - Zdenek Fibich – “Zaboj, Slavoj a Ludek”
4). The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Marek Stilec (conductor) - Zdenek Fibich – “The Tempest”
5). The Zofo Duet - Gustav Holst – “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity”
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos is not often mistaken for his ancient namesake, the Trojan King Leonidas, but there are moments in his recording of Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3, when you could be forgiven for believing that he might hold back a wall of invading Persians with just a violin. On his new release Brahms: The Violin Sonatas, the exceptional Greek violinist is joined by 27-year-old pianist, Yuja Wang. Wang, a beneficiary of China’s effort to emphasize the arts, was already an established concert pianist by the age of 21. Her stature has only grown since then. There are moments in this recording when Wang and Kavakos are so in sync that they sound like one musician; it's thrilling to hear.
The Zofo Duet are a Grammy nominated duo that specializes in pieces for one piano four hands. Their name means 20 finger orchestra (with the "z" standing in for a "2"), and they do an admirable job of filling up musical space with a single piano. Both members, Eva-Marie Zimmerman and Keisuke Nakagoshi, had established themselves as international solo pianists before they joined forces. Their latest release on the Sono Luminus label, Zoforbit: A Space Odyssey includes a full rendition of the Planets by Holst. For anyone who is already familiar with the work, the Zofo Duo's performance is revealing, in that it gives a very clear view of the underlying structure of the full orchestral version. The Album also features works by George Crumb, Urmas Sisask and David Lang.
Grace Notes: Composers in World War I - A CapRadio Music Special
Tomorrow at 4:00 (PT) Cale explores how the lives and music of composers like Gustav Holt and Ralph Vaughn Williams were immeasurably altered by World War I.