Disc and Stream

Power Of Music Transmutes Cruelty To Hope

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Conspirare artistic director Craig Hella Johnson’s
Considering Matthew Shepard is a masterpiece, the essence of which will still speak to us,
especially at times of loss and suffering, for years to come.

Novel Keyboards In Goldberg Feats Accent Variation

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

DIGITAL REVIEW – Angela Hewitt has recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations using her own Fazioli piano, and Mahan Esfahani has employed a Huw Saunders harpsichord based on a Thuringian model of c. 1710, tuned with sharp keys in mind.

Turn Up Volume: Einstein Revisited On Blu-ray, DVD

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – A video release of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach, with direction and design by Robert Wilson, looks as tradition-shattering and exhilarating as the opera must have been some 40 years ago when it was new.

Bruckner 3 Twice With Care, Insight From Nézet-Séguin

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – A sensational live recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 with Staatskapelle Dresden, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in 2008, makes for a fascinating comparison with his Orchestre Métropolitain CD of the work.

Adams On Rimsky, Scheherazade.2, Debuts On New CD

Share
By Richard Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – The star of the Arabian Nights is the raison d’être for a massive 2015 violin concerto that composer John Adams calls Scheherazade.2. Leila Josefowicz possesses and devours it on a new recording.

Live And On CDs, Flock of Messiahs To Feed The Fans

Share
By David Shengold

Rewarding performances in Philadelphia conducted by Natalie Stutzmann and in New York under Kent Tritle offered a high contrast in styles, while conductor Andrew Davis’ new CD proved a throwback to the grandiose Messiahs of old.

Young Russians Ace Etudes Of Liszt And Rachmaninoff

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Two prize winners in leading piano
competitions show brilliant technique and poetry in Franz Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes. A third surmounts Sergei Rachmaninoff’s cinematic Études-tableaux.

For Guitar, A New Golden Age Of Craft And Pluck

Share
By Ken Keaton

DIGITAL REVIEW – Recently released CDs reveal a plethora of gifted young classical
guitarists, some of them barely into their twenties, and a harvest of important new works (and new techniques) for the instrument.

Joy To The World On One Thin Disc: Vintage Beethoven

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Karajan’s second Beethoven cycle, recorded in 1961 and 1962, sold nearly a million LP box sets. Now the DG label is offering the nine symphonies on a single Blu-ray audio disc at a stocking-stuffer price.

Neglected Russian Operas Spotlighted In Spate Of DVDs

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Russian videos of Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Glinka operas add greatly to our appreciation of a neglected repertoire, and in some cases imaginative direction adds an appeal that transcends national origins.

Michael Daugherty Finds Eclectic Wit In American Icons

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Who wouldn’t want to hear what a composer does with this trio of subjects – fabled yarns of Ernest Hemingway, the rural American Gothic portrait by Grant Wood, and the epic film Citizen Kane of Orson Welles?

Jochum CD Bounty Accents Bruckner In First Release

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Deutsche Grammophon is celebrating German conductor Eugen Jochum by releasing his complete recordings for the label. Volume 1, comprising 42 compact discs, bulges with great orchestral performances.

Starry Cast Joins Nézet-Séguin In Fast-Paced Figaro

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – In the latest in a series of Mozart opera releases from DG, Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a dashing Marriage of Figaro that features Rolando Villazón, Anne Sofie von Otter, Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni.

Weilerstein Gains Cello’s Top Rung With Shostakovich

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – A bona fide world-class soloist, with this fine new recording of the two cello concertos, 34-year-old Alisa Weilerstein can fairly claim to be the most outstanding cellist to emerge in America since Yo-Yo Ma.

Wuthering Heights On CD Points Up The Opera’s Flaws

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Florentine Opera recording of a 1958 opera after Emily Brontë reveals lovely moments but Carlisle Floyd’s music is surprisingly mild when it comes to conveying the lovers’ self-destructive passion.

Dausgaard Makes Fervent Case For Mahler-Cooke 10th

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Thomas Dausgaard, conducting the Seattle Symphony, has turned in a live recording of the Deryck Cooke performing version of Mahler’s entire Symphony No. 10 that makes most of the others seem timid.

Gergiev Revisits Cosmic Scriabin, But Sans Ecstasy

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Valery Gergiev’s cycle of Scriabin symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra does not eclipse excellent earlier efforts by other orchestras. Nor does it surpass previous work by Gergiev himself.

Leaping Genres, Film Score Paints Winding Colorado

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Five composers, operating in specialized sound worlds of their own, wrote a tour-de-force for the vocal group Roomful of Teeth in evocation of a river diverted to serve the parched American West.

Guns & Coloratura Fuel Caesar & Cleo In Salzburg Remix

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Leiser and Caurier’s satirical 2012 production, now on DVD, has Cecilia Bartoli’s Cleopatra singing a Handel aria with a bag over her head, plus mind-bending sex, fantasy and horror that’s over the top.

Pianist Roe Enjoys A Field Day With Nocturnes on CD

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Elizabeth Joy Roe performs all 18 of Irish pianist and composer John Field’s nocturnes on her new recording for Decca, giving listeners a taste of the form that would be taken up with greater distinction by Chopin.