Disc and Stream

French Orientalist Opera Revived In Stylish Recording

By Marvin J. Ward
DIGITAL REVIEW – Félicien David's exotically tinged Lalla Roukh was popular at the Opéra-Comique in 1862, but it disappeared from the repertoire with its century. Naxos preserves its 2013 revival by Opera Lafayette.

Downsized Mahler Second Symphony Is Mixed Bargain

By Richard Ginell
DIGITAL REVIEW – Gilbert Kaplan, who conducts only one work in public, the "Resurrection" Symphony, and who has already made two recordings, has just issued a third, for small orchestra. Yes, the mighty "Resurrection."

New CD Captures Sonorous Power Of Adams’ ‘Other Mary’

By Richard S. Ginell
DIGITAL REVIEW – John Adams' 'The Gospel According to the Other Mary' has received an enviably high-powered sendoff, with an international tour and now a dynamic DG recording led by Gustavo Dudamel.

Bernstein Redux: TV Youth Concerts A Lasting Treasury

By Richard S. Ginell
DIGITAL REVIEW - Nearly half of Leonard Bernstein's 53 Young People's Concerts were released in 1993 to general rapture. Now, after an exhaustive process of locating, remastering and rights obtaining, we have 27 more.

Beethoven-To-Be Resonates In Early Cantata From SFSO

By Richard S. Ginell
DIGITAL REVIEW - Beethoven was 19 when he wrote the Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II, which the San Francisco Symphony has recorded live, and you can hear him already ripping through the boundaries of his classical upbringing.

Reassigning Voices In ‘Norma’ Delivers Glittering Rewards

By John W. Lambert
DIGITAL REVIEW -- With mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli in the title role, the historically-informed Decca recording is essential listening for music lovers who cherish what is arguably Vincenzo Bellini's most popular and stage-worthy opera.

Shadow of Stokie Hovers in Yannick ‘Rite’ of Passage

By Richard S. Ginell
DIGITAL REVIEW -- Though Leopold Stokowski still casts a mighty shadow upon the Philadelphia Orchestra, the orchestra's new music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is not afraid. Indeed, he meets the legend head-on.

Emersons (Plus 2) Retrace Epic Shift On ‘Journeys’ Disc

By Perry Tannenbaum
DIGITAL REVIEW - The Emerson String Quartet's latest album, with guest violist Paul Neubauer and cellist Colin Carr, offers two very different string sextets written in the pre-dawn of the 20th century.

Revisiting Britten ‘War Requiem,’ in Composer’s Hands

By Richard S. Ginell
DIGITAL REVIEW -- The 1963 recording of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was a sensation in its day. It's still at the head of the pack, not only for its stellar vocal soloists but also for producer John Culshaw's innovative use of space and stereo.

Muti Mulls Verdi As Chicago Cues Requiem Simulcast

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's live stream of Verdi's Requiem was Riccardo Muti's composition of choice to honor the great Italian composer's bicentennial. You can view it on demand here.

Denk Justifies ‘Genius’ Tag in Poetic ‘Goldberg’

By Donald Rosenberg
Talk about impeccable timing. Today's release of Jeremy Denk's Nonesuch recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations comes a few days after announcement that the pianist is the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur "Genius" Award.

Rhine Gold Lurks in Old Grooves, Even if No One Is Listening

By John W. Lambert
It’s a given that we tend to think of golden ages as being in the past. But when it comes to recordings and the ready availability thereof, we’ve never been in a better position than now.

Schubert Lieder Explored on Disc For Voice, Guitar

By Ken Keaton
Six Schubert songs, two ways: Guitarist Daniel Lippel performs solo transcriptions of Johann Kaspar Mertz, pairs with soprano Tony Arnold for voice-guitar arrangements stemming from Schubert's day. A New Focus recording for CD and download.

Pianist Tao Taps Simple Charms of Getty Miniatures

By Robert Markow
Gordon Getty has at least a dozen recordings to his credit, and with his 80th birthday approaching in late 2014, it's time attention was paid. Conrad Tao performs a selection of piano pieces for Pentatone Classics, miniatures composed over the span of half a century. Robert Markow reviews.

Bulgarian-Born Composer Penka Kouneva Debuts Instrumental Cinematic Album

By John W. Lambert
She arrived at Duke University in Durham, NC, 22 years ago, bearing an invitation for a fellowship - and $150 in cash. If you don't know her name, just ask any member of your family who is big on video games or sci-fi films.

The Complete Music of Charles Ruggles

By John von Rhein
The best of Ruggles’ works, including his masterpiece, Sun-Treader, carry a granitic power and dissonant grandeur that Ives, by comparison, achieved in only a handful of works, such as the transcendental Concord Sonata.
Classical Voice North America