Disc and Stream

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.

Leoncavallo’s Zazà Revealed As Tragic Gem In Recording

Share
By Rebecca Schmid

DIGITAL REVIEW – Soprano Ermonela Jaho and tenor Riccardo Massi star as a naive French girl and her married lover in the CD rescue from obscurity of a verismo opera that trailed only Pagliacci in popularity for the composer.

Kavakos And Hope Work Wonders On New Recordings

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – These discs by two celebrated violinists in the prime of their careers could hardly be more different: Leonidas Kavakos plays virtuoso treats; Daniel Hope salutes his teacher, Yehudi Menuhin.

Gold Amid Pyrite On Modernist Disc By Utah Symphony

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – After a Mahler tribute to Maurice Abravanel, the orchestra and music director Thierry Fischer move on to contemporary American composers, and score with Andrew Norman’s percussion “concerto” Switch.

Abbado In Berlin: The Last Concert, A Lasting Imprint

Share
By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Berlin Philharmonic’s release of Claudio Abbado’s last concert with the orchestra, on CD and Blu-ray, recalls his gifts as a conductor in performance and in admiring anecdotes by musicians who played for him.

Hewitt Serves Up Scarlatti Sonatas In Detailed Style

Share
By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Pianist Angela Hewitt, a celebrated Bach authority, has now immersed herself in Scarlatti’s music with that same scholarly thoroughness and detailed preparation, and the results are equally insightful.

Honegger, Ibert Opera Delights In Montreal Release

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Montreal Symphony and music director Kent Nagano return to the Decca label with the first complete recording of L’Aiglon, a forgotten 1937 opera with music by Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert.

Turn Of Century Remix: The Latest Groove’s American

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Four orchestras are turning the West Coast into an hotbed of programming enterprise with recent recordings of music by American composers including Ives, Zappa, William Bolcom, and Mason Bates.

As NY Beckons, Van Zweden Hits, Misses On 2 CDs

Share
By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – An impressive Mahler Third with the Dallas Symphony and an uneven Rheingold with the Hong Kong Philharmonic may preview Jaap van Zweden’s coming directorship of the New York Philharmonic.

Pierrot Lunaire Illuminated On Salzburg DVD

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Pianist Mitsuko Uchida and colleagues explore the musical character and meaning of Schoenberg’s radical score in the documentary Solar Plexus of Modernism from the 2011 Salzburg Festival.

Fantastique-Lélio Fantasy Fulfilled By Chicago, Muti

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL – In some respects, Riccardo Muti’s 1985 disc of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique with the Philadelphia Orchestra tops the Chicago Symphony version, but this Lélio pairing with actor Gérard Depardieu is compelling.

Paradise Is Lost On London Symphony As Led By Rattle

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Robert Schumann’s neglected oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri, recorded live, bears the uneasy scramble of a performance led by Simon Rattle at home in London’s dry, acoustically challenging Barbican.

Buried Treasure: Horowitz Recital Sparkles On DG

Share
By Gary Lemco

DIGITAL REVIEW – A 1986 Chicago recital broadcast tape of pianist Vladimir Horowitz, lingering in the WFMT vaults until 2013, has been released by Deutsche Grammophon as a testament to the virtuoso’s extraordinary Indian summer.

Winter Streams: Classical Bounty Close As A Click

Share
By Nancy Malitz

Joyce DiDonato’s Carnegie Hall master classes are being captured by Medici.tv, and other live webcasts include a world premiere cello concerto in Detroit, Wagner’s Ring cycle in Vienna, and Dudamel’s Venezuelan kids on tour.

Coming Soon On CD, DVD, Vinyl: 2016’s New Spins

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL – John Corigliano’s 1991 Ghosts of Versailles via the Los Angeles Opera and R. Nathaniel Dett’s 1937 oratorio The Ordering of Moses via the Cincinnati May Festival are among the treats forthcoming on discs in this new year.

Getting To Know Berlin’s Mystery Maestro Via Discs

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – What do audio recordings tell us about Kirill Petrenko, the relatively unknown conductor chosen to succeed Simon Rattle at the Berlin Philharmonic? Enormous talent and breadth of musical interest.

Vinyl LP Revival: Sonic Gold From Classic Grooves

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

ANALOG REVIEW – The LP renaissance has given Decca another excuse to recirculate its Mercury Living Presence holdings from the 1950s and 1960s, and this time they’ve gone virtually all the way in the direction of authenticity.

Apple Music Test Drive Reveals Classical Quirks

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Having sent the compact disc into a tailspin in the previous decade, Apple is now trying to do the same to downloads. The company that gave you the iPod, iTunes and the iPhone has introduced Apple Music.

Esfahani Stretches Harpsichord’s Era From Then To Now

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Mahan Esfahani is a terrific musician with a beautiful touch and technique to burn. He is also an audaciously contemporary programmer, turning the usual marketing of harpsichord players on its Baroque head.