Every weekday morning at 10 a.m., the hosts at Classical MPR play a stand-out work based on the theme for the week. We call them Morning Glories.
For the first week of July, we've got five fun new releases, presented (coincidentally) in the order in which the pieces were written.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata for Two Pianos
Christina and Michelle Naughton, pianos
Identical twin sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton have been playing piano since they were four years old, and made their debut as a piano duo in 1998. For their first CD, they've chosen a program of works surveying the repertoire for two pianos and piano four-hands that showcases their wide-ranging talent.
Robert Schumann: Scenes from Childhood
The Canadian Brass isn't just made up of excellent players, but also some very talented arrangers. The trumpet players in the group — Chris Coletti and Brandon Ridenour — created these masterful transcriptions of two of Schumann's great piano cycles, illuminating the music in an interesting new way using the very different voices of brass instruments.
Igor Stravinsky: Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
Steven Osborne, piano; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Ilan Volkov, conductor
Stravinsky wrote music for piano and orchestra throughout most of his career. Perhaps because he didn't allow anyone besides himself to publicly perform it for years, much of it remains neglected. This collection of all of Stravinsky's music for piano and orchestra by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is a strong argument for these compositions to be more well-known. It is a brilliant recording of works that represent nearly every period of Stravinsky's compositional output.
George Gershwin: Catfish Row
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Another fantastic performance from JoAnn Falletta's band in their continuing series of Gershwin recordings, this new disc features some of Gershwin's most familiar works, including a dazzling Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Orion Weiss, and the concert suite Catfish Row (a reworking of music from his opera Porgy and Bess).
Michael Daugherty: Radio City (Symphonic Fantasy on Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra)
Pacific Symphony; Carl St. Clair, conductor
Each piece on this CD of music by Daugherty pays homage to legendary people and their legacies. Mount Rushmore draws its texts from speeches given by those presidents memorialized in stone, and The Gospel According to Sister Aimee wordlessly tells the story of one of the first media evangelists, Aimee Semple McPherson. Radio City is a symphonic portrait of the extraordinary conductor Arturo Toscanini and his influence on the musical development of America through broadcasts of his performances leading the NBC Symphony Orchestra.