Here's a New Year's resolution even before Christmas. I am going to try to do some short CD reviews here on Classical Musings.
Ever since our space was cut in the print P-G and the emphasis was put more on features and video than reviews (although I still do quite a few local reviews compared to some markets), I have not replaced the volume of CD reviews we used to do. OK, it was never all that much, but I used to do more, and that's a loss since there are so many that come out locally and nationally.
My problem is that I am so strapped with everything else that I look at a CD on my desk and think that I just can't give it the attention it deserves at this time -- but then I don't every find that time and the disc gets nothing.
Well, in these days of Twitter, it is clear that even a small amount on a disc is better than nothing, and a tweet-like review at least alerts you to a good disc. There have been some fine efforts in the last year and I should be pointing out some of them. So here goes:
Departing Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster Andres Cardenes is still putting out discs in his mammoth recording undertaking and this one finds him giving a brisk and lively version of Barber's Violin Concerto. He really knows the pressure points in this work and its passion pours out in the second movement. Local standout composer (formerly of Duquesne U) David Stock's Violin Concerto is rendered potent and singing, in the opening March and subsequent Intermezzo, respectively. Conductor Ian Hobson and the Sinfonia Varsovia are admirably pliant here, able to be both brutal and lyrical and still hit their marks in the fantastic and exciting finale, "Perpetual Motion."
I could easily see Stock's concerto getting more play in the future, and committed performances like Cardenes' will play a major role.
Short and sweet? I hope so...more CD reviews later (you know how resolutions are!).