Here's your disc of the week for Dec. 30, 2012. Each week CBC Radio 2's In Concert looks at new classical music releases and selects one recording that you'll want to know about.
Artist: Jenny Lin, piano
Album: Get Happy: virtuoso show tunes for piano
Label: Steinway and Sons
Jenny Lin is among the most adventurous young pianists of our day, a fearless explorer of contemporary music as well as an admired exponent of the core classical repertoire. She's recorded more than 20 CDs ranging from Liszt and Schumann, to music of the 20th century inspired by insomnia and night terrors.
The latest release, Get Happy, from this Taiwanese-born, Viennese-trained pianist is a deliciously sassy exploration of mostly Broadway show tunes, arranged and adapted by some of the most esteemed concert pianists of our day. Called Get Happy, this brilliant, buoyant collection will leave you smiling.
You'll discover several cleverly conceived arrangements by the British virtuoso Stephen Hough of tunes from hit musicals such as Carousel, The King and I and The Sound of Music. The Canadian superstar Marc-André Hamelin provides a gorgeous Meditation on Laura based on theme music from the 1944 film classic. And there are a handful of feel-good romps by the incomparable Earl Wild, including a brilliant take on Gershwin's Fascinatin' Rhythm.
"What sets these arrangements apart," says Lin in the liner notes, "is that they are all from performing pianists. I have always admired pianists who can play and compose, and I wanted to pay tribute to them with this album. They are our present-day Liszts and Busonis."
And Jenny Lin is a brilliant interpreter of their arrangements.
Here are a couple of cuts to give you a taste. (Be patient: it may take a few seconds for the music to begin.)
listen Get Happy, the title track by Harold Arlen as arranged by Stephen Prutsman.
listen Meditation on Laura by David Raksin as arranged by Marc-André Hamelin.
Disc of the Week: The Hobbit soundtrack by Howard Shore
Disc of the Week: Zelenka and Shih perform Debussy
Disc of the week: Karina Gauvin sings with the Arion Baroque Orchestra
on Dec 30, 2012