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Big Box Of Orpheus CDs Chronicles An Ensemble Sans Leader, Sans Need

DIGITAL REVIEW – Conventional wisdom tells us the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra shouldn't exist at all, let alone for 50 years. But the proof of this conductorless ensemble is in its live concerts and in a comprehensive new 55-CD boxed set.

Directorship Extended, Honeck Shows Affinity For Pittsburgh On CD

DIGITAL REVIEW - Manfred Honeck, who recently signed a six-year extension as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, offers a compelling match of Brahms' Fourth Symphony and James MacMillan's Larghetto for Orchestra.

Elgar’s Violin Concerto Twice: The Long And Far From Short Of It

DIGITAL REVIEW – Longer than the Beethoven and the Brahms, the expanse of Elgar's concerto has perhaps limited its popularity. Still, in appealing new CDs, Nicola Benedetti and Renaud Capuçon lend the work its full measure of indulgence.

Canadian Guitarist’s Art On Generous Display In Disc Of Her Own Works

DIGITAL REVIEW – Kavanagh Plays Kavanagh, the latest album by Dale Kavanagh, rides on the strength of the Canadian guitarist’s impeccable technique, which elevates her work as a composer of short pieces in an engaging style.

At Desert Crossroads, Stage And Film Collide In An Opera Miniseries

DIGITAL REVIEW – The streaming eight-part series desert in, co-produced by Boston Lyric and Long Beach Opera, spotlights a starry roster of creators and performers. Stay at the desert in, and find your dead lover. (Don't expect happiness.)

Echoes Of Mahler Ring In Berg Compilation By MTT and SF Symphony

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Michael Tilson Thomas era at the San Francisco Symphony is over, but the melody lingers on in CDs. Now added is a Berg disc that includes existing recordings of Three Pieces for Orchestra and the Violin Concerto.

Saariaho Opera Probes The Tragic Resonance Of Massacre At School

DIGITAL REVIEW – Kaija Saariaho"s Innocence, a gripping psychological portrait of a shaken community, reflects her characteristic dream world of saturated harmonies with swings from quietly insinuating power to operatic cataclysms.

Cuttings Of Kancheli: When ‘Simple’ Music Slips Into Shallowness

DIGITAL REVIEW –The late Georgian composer Giya Kancheli wrote more than 40 film scores, from which pianist Jenny Lin and accordionist Guy Klucevsek have recorded Kancheli's own excerpts. The experience proved repetitive and sweetly dull.

Nobility, Power, Sheen: Vänskä And Minnesota Cycle Through Sibelius

DIGITAL REVIEW – Osmo Vänskä, who traversed the cycle of Sibelius' seven symphonies in the 1990s with the Lahti Symphony, now offers a reprise with the Minnesota Orchestra. This new excursion also includes Sibelius' early Kullervo.

One Pianist’s Rising Sun Streams A Fresh Light On Black Composers

DIGITAL FEATURE – Lara Downes' recording project, called Rising Sun Music and offered on streaming platforms, explores the neglected legacy of composers ranging from Hazel Scott and Nora Holt to Benny Golson and Eubie Blake.

Crossover Song Cycle Dresses Sacred Harp Legacy In New Threads

DIGITAL REVIEW – At times winsome in its harmonic simplicity, and thoroughly captivating, Caroline Shaw's latest album, with soprano Dawn Upshaw, pianist Gilbert Kalish, and Sō Percussion, has a fantasy-like aura and a pop-classical vibe.

Virtuosity Rekindled: Neglected Pianists Blaze Anew On CDs

DIGITAL REVIEW – Ambitious new multidisc box sets provide intimate and revealing perspectives on the artistry of Hephzibah Menuhin, Pierre Barbizet, and Ruth Slenczynska – pianists whose careers slipped into the shadows of history.

Brisk Beethoven Ninth By Honeck, Pittsburgh Goes To Spiritual Core

DIGITAL REVIEW – Manfred Honeck’s riveting new CD of the transcendent Ninth with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Mendelssohn Choir and soloists reflects the conductor's thoughtful attention to Beethoven's swift metronome markings.

Blue Heron Explores French Secular Songs From The 15th Century

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Boston-based ensemble's virtual concert, titled A Blue Heron Valentine: French Songs II; the Next Generation, offered an array of secular songs that proved to be entertaining as it was stylistically impressive.

Sans Celluloid: Bernard Herrmann As A Radio Artist

DIGITAL REVIEW – Bernard Herrmann’s stirring score for the 1944 radio drama Whitman is played by the PostClassical Ensemble on a Naxos disc that also includes a symphonic reconstruction of his music for Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho.

Isolation, Anxiety: Pandemic In Music For Soulful Voices

DIGITAL REVIEW – Con Alma, a collaborative recording project between composer Paola Prestini and vocalist-composer Magos Herrera, reflects the experiences many of us recognize in our daily lives during this stressful time.

Schumann, Master Of Long Form For String Foursome

DIGITAL REVIEW -- A new recording of Schumann's three string quartets by the Emerson Quartet shows that one should never doubt the composer’s skill in large structures such as symphony, sonata or, clearly enough, string quartet.

Two Stellar Tenors Make Sparks Fly In Rossini Showcase

DIGITAL REVIEW – A joyful collaboration between two of America's most exciting tenors, Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres, offers a generous CD sampler drawn from seven Rossini operas, from the familiar to rarities.

Pärt’s New Voice Emerges On Disc Of Recent Works

DIGITAL REVIEW – Religious fervor and near-operatic passion resound across a CD of six works, four of them written in the 21st Century, performed by the Massachusetts-based choir Gloriae Dei Cantores directed by Richard K. Pugsley.

‘Dido’ In COVID: Intimacy On Film, At A Safe Distance

BOSTON – The early-music ensemble Boston Camerata, innovators in performance practice since 1954, planned a Purcell party. Then came COVID. And necessity sparked a film: Dido and Aeneas, An Opera for Distanced Lovers.
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