Disc and Stream

2 Excursions Through Shadowy ‘Pelléas’ With Different Ideals In View

DIGITAL REVIEW – Few operas operate by such singular rules as Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. Despite similar starting points, two newly released performances are like trees with the same roots that end up turning different autumn colors.

Florence Price Revival Points To Musical Trove With Stature Of Legacy

PERSPECTIVE – While other Black composers also have enjoyed increased attention, the sustained resurgence of Price's music has been likened to the global reclamation of Gustav Mahler by musicians and the public in the mid-20th century.

2 New Bach Passions From Gardiner, Pichon Enhance Digital Options

DIGITAL REVIEW – At Eastertide, it’s no surprise to find the release of two high-profile Bach Passion recordings, the St. John led by John Eliot Gardiner and the St. Matthew under Raphaël Pichon. Both are worthy additions to an already crowded field.

DiDonato Album ‘Eden’ A Rewarding Return To ‘Essence Of Our Being’ 

DIGITAL REVIEW – Drawing inspiration from nature to forge a way to a better world, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato's new CD mixes repertoire from four centuries, in moods from confusion and fear to sorrow and optimism.

An Opera On The Rituals Of Marriage, Refitted To The Scale Of Television

DIGITAL REVIEW – Ana Sokolovic's opera Svadba ("Wedding"), adapted for streaming by Boston Lyric Opera, contemplates folkloric preparations for a nuptial ceremony. The trick was to re-scale the stage work as a vivid small-screen experience.

An Imaginative Pianist Hangs Mix Of Pictures At A Virtuosic Exhibition

DIGITAL REVIEW – With Phoenix, Stewart Goodyear’s latest album (out via Bright Shiny Things), the pianist-composer navigates a varied and challenging program, including his own works and an engaging Pictures at an Exhibition.

Visiting Ravel, Mahler, Artists Galore Through Archive’s Magic Portal

PERSPECTIVE – The vast Internet Archive, founded in 1996, preserves far-ranging materials online with free access to them. One LP collection alone offers lifelike rolls by renowned pianists as well as recordings by composers and early opera stars.

Crumb’s Piano Pictures As Vibrant Epitaph For An Enduring Composer

DIGITAL REVIEW – This review of George Crumb's Metamorphoses Books I and II, played by pianist Marcantonio Barone, was intended as a report on Crumb’s continuing sonic adventures. But with his death at age 92, the review has become a wake.

‘Orfeas21’ Puts A Bold Twist On Classic Story Of Monteverdi’s ‘Orfeo’

DIGITAL REVIEW – The new work, a de- and re-construction of Monteverdi's 1607 opera by the Greek creative duo FYTA, taps into LBGTQ+ themes in bringing the myth of Orpheus into the light of modern gender perspectives and conflicts.

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.
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