The DCD Classical 'Cast is also available as an enhanced podcast. When played through iTunes, the DCD Enhanced Classical 'Cast displays the album art of the works as they play, and provide links to webpages where you can find out more information and purchase the selections.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

DCD 010 - A new release -- and a new label

Our tenth podcast was to be a showcase for another new label we've picked up; the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Music. It still basically is. We just had to make room for a new release.

Musica Rediviva's latest effort is an interesting collection of music by Helena Ek. A specialist in the field of early music, Ek presents a survey of songs devoted to various aspects of the Virgin Mary. There are some obvious choices, like selections from the Cantiguas de Santa Maria, the famous collection of Alfonso X. But mixed in with that are some other medieval, renaissance and even baroque compositions give the recital added dimension. Ek even includes some traditional folk songs and a contemporary composition or two. It's a compelling listen, and I (for one) thoroughly enjoyed it. On the podcast I play two tracks to give you an idea of the flow and overall sound of Maria.

The rest of the program is devoted to the releases of the UW-Madison label (that's not an official abbreviation, but the full name is a mouthful). There's some contemporary music commissioned by the school, as well as some outstanding performances by the faculty.

By an interesting confluence, the two newest labels to the DCD family also share the same artists. The Pro Arte Quartet has been the resident artists at UW-Madison since about the First World War, and their current lineup has recorded several quartets on the school label. They also, about a decade ago, recorded for Laurel Records. Next time, then, we'll finish our look at UW-Madison and continue our profile of Laurel by playing tracks from the Pro Arte Quartet on both labels.

And please remember that all comments are welcome! Positive more than negative would be nice, but criticism is given equal weight with kudos in influencing the direction of these podcasts. E-mail me at

- Ralph Graves
President, DCD Records

This program, we play the following:

Söderström: Jungfru Maria
Trad. 1500: St.Göran och draken

Helena Ek, soprano; Göran Måsson: pipes, frame drum, string drum, hurdy-gurdy
Musica Rediviva

Larsen: Concert Dances, Mvt. 1
UW-Madison Symphonic Wind Ensemble; David E. Becker, conductor

Schubert: Irrlich
Paul Rowe, baritone; Martha Fischer, piano

R. Strauss: “Improvisation” from the Violin Sonata, Op. 18
Parry Karp, cello; Howard Karp, piano

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

DCD 009 - Laurel Records: the Barshai recordings

This program we introduce a not-so-new label: Laurel Records. Laurel was founded in 1974 by noted film and TV composer Herschel Burke Gilbert, and is run today by his son. I've been a fan of Laurel for some time, and it's very exciting personally to be working with this distinguished label.

The Russian conductor Rudolph Barshai is well-represented with five Laurel releases. Barshai’s career includes work with the giants of Russian music, such as Shostakovich and Rostropovich, and has many highlights too numerous to mention here (although not here).

We sample three of Barshai's recordings with Laurel, and are offering all five for a special price on our website. Enjoy some great, unabashedly romantic music-making with this edition of our podcast.

And don't be shy about speaking your mind! It would be great to have some discussion about the music featured in our podcasts. Whether you love the music or hate my mispronunciations, send your bouquets and brickbats to

- Ralph Graves
President, DCD Records

This program, we play the following:

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 5 in D, K.175, Mvt. 1
Sviatoslav Richter, piano; Japan Shinsei Symphony Orchestra; Rudolph Barshai, conductor
Laurel Records

Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98, Mvt. 2
Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Rudolf Barshai, conductor
Laurel Records

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26, Mvt. 3
Mark Zeltzer, piano; Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Rudolf Barshai, conductor
Laurel Records