Disc and Stream

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.

Soldier’s Longing Echoes Undimmed From Across Time

DIGITAL REVIEW – Vivid letters in the collection of America's only World War I museum inspired Jonathan Leshnoff's Symphony No. 3 with baritone. Michael Stern conducts the Kansas City Symphony's all-Leshnoff disc.

Beethoven’s Inner Biography, Told In 16 String Quartets

DIGITAL REVIEW – A new CD cycle by the Miró Quartet, the re-release of the Juilliard's complete set and the first flourish of a projected Dover Quartet cycle remind us that these works provide unique insight into the composer.

Eighth Blackbird CD ‘Dead Of Night’ Finally Sees Light

DIGITAL REVIEW – Eleven years after it was recorded, the album Singing in the Dead of Night displays the rock-infused music of David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe, accented – not surprisingly – by a whiff of the Beatles.

Obscure Telemann Opera ‘Miriways’ Sparkles On Disc

DIGITAL REVIEW – Conductor Bernard Labadie, founder of Quebec's Les Violons du Roy, leads a stylish Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and a strong cast through this attractive score framing a tale of the exotic ancient Middle East.

Dinnerstein Probes Depths Of Stillness In Schubert, Glass

DIGITAL REVIEW – Simone Dinnerstein’s CD A Character of Quiet, devoted to Philip Glass piano etudes and Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat, D. 960, sprang from reading Wordsworth's The Prelude, an autobiographical poem.

Blaze Of Fanfares, With A Solo Twist, Recaptures Legacy

CINCINNATI – Recalling its World War II fanfare project, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops commissioned solo fanfares from 13 composers, including Tyshawn Sorey's terse flourish for trumpet, to air online.

Labadie Leads Telemann’s Sparkling ‘Miriways’ On New CD

DIGITAL REVIEW – A nice contrast to the flood of new Vivaldi opera recordings and collections by mezzos and countertenors of castrato-inspired baroque arias ...

Glass’ Long Lost ‘Music In 8 Parts’ Streams To Light

DIGITAL REVIEW – Unheard for half a century and thought to be lost, the 1970 work shows Philip Glass in his early minimalist style. It has been recorded for streaming by musicians performing their parts separately from home.

DiDonato Excels As Titular Heroine On ‘Agrippina’ CD

DIGITAL REVIEW - To coincide with the Metropolitan Opera's first-ever staging of Handel's comic masterpiece in February, Erato issued a splendid new recording of the entire piece starring the same leading lady, Joyce DiDonato.

‘Fidelio’ Streaming This Week From Vienna Source

DIGITAL REVIEW — Last month, as the coronavirus brought rehearsals for a new Theater an der Wien staging by the actor Christoph Waltz to a standstill, the theater decided a virtual audience was better than no audience.

Critics’ Choice: Video Treasures Historic And Novel

DIGITAL REVIEW – From concert broadcasts at the mid-century's cutting edge to musical bio-pics and fledgling livestream efforts by today's entrepreneurs (of necessity), the internet remains a source of discovery for our critics.
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