Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 31, 2016  |  19 comments
What better way to say goodbye to 2016 than to pop the champagne and blast your way through to the Trump Years with the latest version of a double-whammy warhorse pairing, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain, from Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon)? After all, there's no getting around the fact that fireworks are fireworks, and that New Year's Eve is a night for same.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 24, 2016  |  5 comments
With 2016 almost behind us, there's just enough time to speak of two of the many recordings issued this year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Equally commendable, albeit radically different in the way they honor the Bard, are Shakespeare Songs (Warner Classics) from tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist Anthony Pappano (available in 24/96 from HDTracks), and Take All my Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets (Deutsche Grammophon) from Rufus Wainwright and friends (available in 24/44.1 from HDTracks).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 10, 2016  |  8 comments
Eighteen years after 21-year old Matthew Shepard was robbed and beaten by two men who lured him to their truck, tied him to a fence in a field outside Laramie, WY, and left him to die, Harmonia Mundi has released a two-hybrid SACD set of Craig Hella Johnson's touching requiem, Considering Matthew Shepard. Johnson's sweet tribute, an apt reminder of the consequences of homophobia, is lovingly performed by Johnson's excellent, Grammy-winning Austin-based choir, Conspirare, and an occasionally augmented group of eight acoustic instrumentalists.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 19, 2016  |  4 comments
Just in time for the holidays and the soprano's 90th birthday, Sony Classical has gifted every confirmed or budding opera lover amongst us with Leontyne Price: Prima Donna Assoluta. Filled with 10 of Price's finest complete opera recordings, which were set down in her prime years of 1962-1972, the box's hi-rez remasterings (all remastered at 24/96 PCM, save for Madama Butterfly, which was remastered in DSD) are superb.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 11, 2016  |  21 comments
Did the election leave you on the edge, and wishing to scream? If so, and the need for catharsis remains, I have for you the scream to end all screams: And sing. . ., 2L's multi-format recording of two works by the astounding composer/artist Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje. The native DXD (352.8/24) hi-rez recording is available as either a 2-disc, optional multi-channel hybrid SACD/Pure Audio Blu-ray package that includes 9.1 Auro-3D and Dolby Atmos options, or in stereo or multi-channel download formats ranging from 320kbps MP3 and 44.1k/16 up to stereo DSD256, 352kHz FLAC, and stereo MQA.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 04, 2016  |  4 comments
Simple Gifts, a new live recording from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), is filled with eminently accessible, decidedly optimistic American music written between 1854 and 1993. Its frequently dance-worthy melodic beauty makes for a most lovely 77 minutes of pure pleasure, and is conducive to both focused listening and background enjoyment. Available as both a 24/48 download from HDTracks (which I auditioned) and other sites, as well as in CD form, the recording reflects the positive, "new world" outlook that inspired many of its compositions.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 30, 2016  |  8 comments
In honor of the 225th anniversary of Mozart's death at the age of 35, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation have together issued a whopping 24-lb box of recordings and commentary called Mozart 225. Billed as the most complete and authoritative edition of Mozart recordings ever assembled, the $480 box, in an edition limited to 15,000 copies worldwide, includes 200 CDs with 240 hours of music.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 23, 2016  |  5 comments
This release from VBI Classic Recordings, C.F. Kip Winger, is not only for all the rock'n'rollers amongst us, but also for lovers of classical music and ballet. That's because it showcases three ballet-inspired scores by the very same of C.F. Kip Winger who founded and lead the rock group, Winger. He's also the same Kip Winger who played bass with Alice Cooper from 1985–1987, and performed and recorded with Alan Parsons, Roger Daltrey, and Bob Dylan.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 07, 2016  |  16 comments
Not having listened to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6, aka the "Pathétique," in quite some time, I had forgotten how heart-tugging beautiful it is. While there are many recordings of the work, few can possibly sound as good and feel as right as the new hybrid SACD from Channel Classics with Iván Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Due out October 7, when it will also be available for download in high-resolution format from nativedsd.com, the recording also enlists the fine Brno Czech Philharmonic Choir for its atmospheric pairing, Borodin's Polovtsian Dances.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 26, 2016  |  5 comments
One of America's most vital living composers—New Yorker Steve Reich—turns 80 on October 3. In celebration, Deutsche Grammophon and ECM, two companies that greatly helped build Reich's reputation by recording his initially uncategorizable forays into minimalism, have reissued their seminal efforts. From DG comes the 3-LP set, Steve Reich: Drumming, a reissue of its 1974 vinyl box that included Drumming (1970–71), Six Pianos, and Music for Mallet Instrument, Voices and Organ (both from 1973). From ECM, in turn, comes a 3-CD set, Steve Reich: The ECM Recordings.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 02, 2016  |  3 comments
It's shocking to go from the sound of soprano Anna Netrebko's voice on her first DG recital of Opera Arias to that on her latest disc, Verismo. The earlier disc, recorded in March, 2003 when Netrebko was 32, showcases a true, shining lyric soprano whose vocal production is absolutely smooth. Over 12 years later, when Netrebko recorded Verismo between July 2015 and June 2016, her weightier low range lacks shine, and her stronger and sometimes wider vibrato occasionally shows signs of a beat.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 26, 2016  |  7 comments
Almost 20 years separate the First and Second Violin Concertos of Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953), but they share a language of such ravishing beauty and unexpected transitions that they seem like first cousins. Among their many recordings, violinist Vadim Gluzman reading with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO) under Neeme Järvi's on a BIS hybrid SACD, entitled Prokofiev • Violin Concertos, Etc, easily holds its own against classic recordings by Heifetz, Milstein, and, more recently, Vengerov with Rostropovich.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 14, 2016  |  7 comments
It is more than fair to say that In C (1964), a repetitive composition of unpredictable length by California native Terry Riley (b. 1935), forever changed the course of modern music. If you want to have a fabulous time learning why, listen to In C on Four Four Three: The Music of Terry Riley. The new DSD-native recording from Channel Classics by the Ragazze String Quartet, percussion quartet Slagwerk Den Haag, and genre-redefining drumkit/French horn/guitar trio Kapok, can be purchased in either CD format or as a stereo or multichannel download in resolutions up to Quad DSD. This collective achievement is so superbly recorded by Jared Sacks, and so colorful, that it will likely send your head spinning into another dimension.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 30, 2016  |  6 comments
Virtually every new recording of Mozart's great opera, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), is eagerly anticipated. The opera is, after all, an indisputable masterpiece, and frequently described as the most perfect opera ever written. Not only does it contain an irresistible flood of melody, with one hummable, ear worm-like tune after the other, but its music also unfailingly serves da Ponte's libretto. This recording, of concert performances that took place in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in July 2015, is especially important for two reasons. The first is its star-studded cast of younger and veteran singers, among whom are four extremely well knowns: bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni (Figaro), baritone Thomas Hampson (Count Almaviva), mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter (Marcellina), and tenor Rolando Villazón (Basilio).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 24, 2016  |  4 comments
One of the great joys of reviewing is discovering music with ideas so fresh, and harmonic progressions so inventive, that the simple act of listening without distraction inspires unique emotional and intellectual journeys. Such is the case every time I listen to the recent ECM New Series release, Danish String Quartet: Thomas Adès Per Nørgård Hans Abrahamsen.

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