Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 01, 2016  |  4 comments
When do 12 hands + 12 eyes = boundless creativity? When you gather up the six New York-based composers of the highly heralded Sleeping Giant collective, set them loose in an extraordinary collection of contemporary art, and invite them to compose art-inspired music for four-time Grammy-winning Chicago new-music sextet, Eighth Blackbird. From this is born Hand Eye, a recording that opens the ear, eye, and mind simultaneously as it transport you to landscapes all their own. If you crave music that stimulates and provokes, you have to hear it.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2017  |  2 comments
Twenty-four years after The Hilliard Ensemble and saxophonist Jan Garbarek recorded Officium, the first of their three haunting, century-crossing collaborations for ECM New Series, Trio Mediaeval has done something similar with trumpeter Arve Henriksen. On their latest ECM New Series album, Rímur, the vocal trio of Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fugiseth, and Berit Opheim teams up with Henriksen to produce timeless versions of chants, hymns, folk songs and improvisations based on Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish sources from earlier times.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 24, 2017  |  3 comments
How to describe music that is so personal, so deeply reflective and rooted in Buddhist contemplation that only listening to the music itself, without distraction, will suffice? Such is the conundrum that, hopefully, will lead you from this page to Channel Classics' hybrid SACD, Sounds & Clouds: Works by Hosokawa & Vivaldi.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 05, 2018  |  3 comments
There is music so new, so original, so contemplative, and so deeply felt that it makes you want to listen, and then demands that you listen again. It's music whose layers peel back over time, as it draws you deeper into its mysteries. For premiere recordings of compositions that address time and place, and then often take you beyond them, Transcendent (DE 3555), the first offering on Delos from composer/orchestrator Chad Cannon's Asia/America New Music Institute (AANMI), earns its title.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  12 comments
How many of us, when asked to name great American symphonists, typically start and stop with Copland, Ives, Bernstein, Barber and, among living composers, Glass and Adams? In doing so, we often ignore a host of others from the mid-to-late 20th century, including Schumann, Piston, Diamond, Cowell, Hanson, Harris, and Hovhaness (to name but a few)...Perception could very well change with the release of Lance Friedel and the London Symphony Orchestra's recent SACD for BIS, American Symphonies (BIS-2118).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 11, 2018  |  21 comments
Winner of the 2018 Grammy for "Best Classical Solo Album," "Recording of the Month" in BBC Music Magazine, nominated for a 2018 Juno Award (Canada's version of the Grammy, coming March 24), listed in "Best Classical Music Recordings 2017" of the New York Times, and recipient of multiple European honors, Crazy Girl Crazy must be heard. Created by the phenomenally versatile Canadian soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan, the Alpha label album/bonus DVD package showcases Hannigan and the Ludwig Orchestra performing three landmark 20th century masterworks—Berio's conception-shattering, impossibly acrobatic Sequenza III (1965); Berg's Lulu Suite (1926); and three Gershwin gems from Girl Crazy (1930)—arranged into a new Girl Crazy Suite (2016) by Bill Elliott and Hannigan.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  15 comments
Devastating in power and impact, Laurie Anderson's sonically all-encompassing, three-dimensional Landfall takes, as its ostensible start, the ravaging impact of Superstorm Sandy. But, given that this evening-long melding of string quartet, text, and electronically-manipulated soundscape, created for and with the Kronos Quartet, is by one of America's most prescient, larger-visioned multi-media performance artists, Landfall ultimately addresses the cataclysmic nature of life in modern times in ways that drive the sense of loss deep into one's being.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 18, 2018  |  26 comments
Back in October 2016, I was called to the table by Kal Rubinson when I heaped copious praise on Ivan Fischer's Channel Classics SACD of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6 in b, Op.74, "Pathétique." Now, after hearing Teodor Currentzis' devastating account for Sony of the Pathétique with Russia's MusicAeterna Orchestra, I understand the folly of my ways.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 27, 2017  |  5 comments
With their matching wide, distinctly un-stylish yellow ties and dark blue suits, the men of the Sibelius Piano Trio hardly look like world-class musicians. But once you hear their two-CD set from Yarlung Records, best appreciated via stereo and multi-channel DSD downloads from NativeDSD.com, you'll understand why their debut recording of trios by Sibelius and contemporary composers deserves a place in your collection.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 09, 2017  |  15 comments
Conductor Osmo Vänskä, whose Minnesota Orchestra has previously distinguished itself in multiple recordings of Sibelius and Beethoven, is now turning to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Newly arrived is his hybrid SACD, for BIS, of Mahler's Symphony 5. The first issue in a projected series that will next offer Mahler's Sixth and Second Symphonies at dates unspecified, it may not win over those whose allegiance adamantly rests with Bernstein, Chailly, Rattle, Abbado, Tilson-Thomas, Fischer, and/or other distinguished Mahler interpreters. Nonetheless, the strength of the recording's first movement alone, and its hi-rez provenance as DSD derived from 24/96 file, make its epic journey from darkness to light essential listening.
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  |  Apr 08, 2016  |  8 comments
Prediction: The visionary new music, system-testing percussion, and virtual rainbow of colors that distinguish Dawn to Dust, the latest hybrid SACD in Reference Recordings' Fresh! series, guarantee that it will become a hit among music-loving audiophiles who dare play tracks beyond 3 minutes in length. The inventive genius that courses through the recording's three compositions—Control (Five Landscapes for Orchestra) by Nico Muhly, 34; Switch by Andrew Norman, 37; and Eos (Goddess of the Dawn), a ballet for orchestra by Augusta Read Thomas, 52—is, in and of itself, enrapturing, formidable, and breathtaking. But when combined with the spectacular coloristic and percussive effects captured by the Soundmirror engineering team, you have a recording virtually certain to earn Dust to Dawn at least one Grammy nomination and countless airings at audio demos.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 03, 2017  |  56 comments
Warner's 5-CD box set, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: The Complete 78 rpm Recordings 1946–1952 is a vocal lover's dream. Filled with recordings made when the soprano was between 30 and 37 years of age—she was born December 9, 1915—this bargain bonanza confirms that Schwarzkopf's oft-brilliant, sometimes outré interpretations of art song and opera were an essential part of her artistic personality from the get-go.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 30, 2018  |  3 comments
Why review another recording of Stravinsky's great ballet score for the 1913 season of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)? Besides the fact that it's a fabulous performance, it's part of a disc that: 1) showcases one of our most renowned conductors, Riccardo Chailly, leading the superb Lucerne Festival Orchestra; 2) includes the world premiere recording of Stravinsky's long-lost 11-minute Chant Funèbre, Op.5 (1908), a tribute to his late teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov, which disappeared after its first performance at a memorial concert in St. Petersburg in 1909 and was only re-discovered in 2015; and 3) places Rite in the context of that early work and three that preceded it, thereby affording a long view of Stravinsky's path to first bloom artistic maturity.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 26, 2017  |  4 comments
Fear not. Not only is Adam Schoenberg, 36, one of America's most performed living composers, but his music (and, perhaps DNA) bears no relationship to the horrors of that 20th century demon of twelve-tone discord, Arnold Schoenberg. Quite the contrary. The three works on the new, vividly recorded Adam Schoenberg hybrid SACD from Reference Recordings, recorded in 24/176.4 surround and played by the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern, are deliciously tonal, filled with color and energy, and irrepressibly optimistic.

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