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Album of the Week

Classical WETA 90.9 FM showcases notable new (or newly reissued) albums each week. Hear selections from the album on-air throughout the week, and check online to learn more about the artist and the music.

July 13, 2020



Channel Classics 42320

This week’s featured album has a distinctly French flair. Only two of the composers are French – Debussy and Milhaud – but the performers added several French-influenced works for viola and piano to create a nicely varied recording. You can learn more about the artists, violist Dana Zemstov and pianist Anna Fedorova, and their own connections to France in the video below.

We’ll feature the album several times each day, and we’ve earmarked two selections for special placement. Join morning host Linda Carducci just before 6 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday for Classical Sunrise. She’ll play two short movements from the Milhaud Sonata for Viola and Piano. A French sunrise sounds like a great way to ease into a hot July day!

Album contents:

  • Rebecca Clarke: Sonata for Viola and Piano
  • Claude Debussy: La plus que lente; Clair de lune; Beau soir
  • Arne Workman: Suite for Viola and Piano
  • Darius Milhaud: Viola Sonata #1
  • Georges Enescu: Concert Piece for Viola and Piano

Album description by the performers:

Do you know that feeling when coming to a new place as if the atmosphere you are in has been with you forever, recognizing it like an old friend? Our upbringing was similar, and filled with Guy de Maupassant, Gustave Flaubert, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Jean de La Fontaine, Pierre Richard, Louis de Funès, Georges Brassens, Édith Piaf, Charles Trenet. This could be a logical explanation for us both experiencing this sense of familiarity every time we cross the border to France. Or maybe we have lived some of our previous lives in these surroundings that they seem so close to us?  

This is by no means a story about France. Each piece in this album has its own story, its own thoughts and feelings. However, throughout it, if you listen with your eyes closed, you will occasionally sense the presence of a furtive silhouette ‘à la Française’. 

-- Dana and Ana

Performance and Interview: