Disc and Stream

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.

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.