Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  47 comments
The Nonesuch Records CD Steve Reich: Pulse / Quartet arrived with its sonic bonus unheralded. With no MQA designation on the album cover or disc, few would have known of its MQA provenance had not posts appeared on Facebook that, when inserted in a player capable of decoding MQA, it can deliver high-resolution MQA.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 11, 2018  |  2 comments
Did you know that in May 1913, even before Diaghilev's ballet of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring caused fist-fights among Parisian concertgoers, Stravinsky and Debussy together played the newly printed four-hand reduction of the score? You can feel a hefty helping of the excitement created by the crashing keyboards of two geniuses in the percussive thrill that Marc-André Hamelin and Leif Ove Andsnes bring to the score on this new Hyperion recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Concerto for Two Pianos, and three other short works for two piano and four hands.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 04, 2018  |  9 comments
Jordi Savall, the gifted viola da gamba player and ensemble founder who, together with his late wife, soprano Montserrat Figueras, infused early music with inestimable life and color, has released his 16th high-resolution musical history book for Alia Vox. As one might expect from an artist dedicated to promoting music as the great unifier, the 37 tracks on the two-hybrid SACD set, Venezia Millenaria 700–1797, along with its copious illustrations and five comprehensive essays in six languages, explore the history of the water-surrounded refuge.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 28, 2018  |  13 comments
In 2016, when I received Oh Boy!, the first solo album from mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, I thought, "What a cute title for a compilation of male operatic roles that were written for female singers"—"trouser roles" in operatic parlance—and put it aside. Now, having heard Crebassa's newest album, Secrets: French Songs, I realize that I made a big mistake. Crebassa is a major artist, with a sound and temperament that make Secrets a must-listen for lovers of vocal artistry.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 20, 2018  |  1 comments
Given that David Chesky has just followed the digital release of his Second and Third Piano Concertos with a January 13 performance of his Violin Concerto No.3 by Rachel Barton Pine and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, some might say he's on a roll. Others, listening to the pace of two new piano concertos inspired what liner notes writer Harold Lester calls "the chaos of [Chesky's] adopted New York City," might instead think "roller coaster."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 31, 2017  |  3 comments
Cecilia Bartoli is back. After far too long without a new "solo" recording venture, the phenomenal mezzo-soprano returned to the microphone this past March, three months before she turned 51, to record nine Dolce Duello (Sweet Duels) with the 1759 baroque cello of Sol Gabetta. Supported by Sol's ensemble, Cappella Gabetta, under the leadership of her violinist brother, Andrés Gabetta, the two women deliver one sweet delight after the other.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 24, 2017  |  1 comments
If the holidays are a time for fantasy, what better way to celebrate than with the first complete recording of David Del Tredici's (b. 1937) absolutely fantastic fantasy, Child Alice for soprano and orchestra? Based on the "Alice" adventures of Lewis Carroll—Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and the sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found (1871)—the first part of Child Alice, entitled In Memory of a Summer Day, won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and helped solidify the then 43 year-old composer's position as the foremost exponent of the Neo-Romantic movement in music.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 17, 2017  |  11 comments
For those unfamiliar with the symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865–1931)—that includes me—the startling opening of his Third Symphony, "Sinfonia espansiva," will undoubtedly come as a shock. Its relentless pounding chords, played at an accelerating pace by the entire orchestra on the same pitch, may owe more than a little to Beethoven's Third Symphony, "Eroica," but their language is far more modern, and reflective of an era profoundly unsettled. Heard in high-resolution stereo (24/96 WAV) in the new live recording of Nielsen's Symphonies No. 3 and 4 from the Seattle Symphony, conducted by their Music Director Designate, Thomas Dausgaard, the symphony's opening volley seems calculated to catch us off guard, and convince us to listen with care to whatever may follow.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 10, 2017  |  3 comments
Few violinists would consider saddling a recording with a title as grand and potentially pretentious as Grandissima Gravita. But not only is Rachel Podger's latest Channel Classics hybrid SACD with her ensemble, Brecon Baroque, grandly played—Podger is brilliant as always—but its title also serves as an apt descriptor of the emotional tenor of most of the works on the program.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 03, 2017  |  4 comments
At age 16, South African soprano Pretty Yende (b. 1985) encountered the now legendary British Airways TV commercial whose soundtrack included the gorgeous "Flower Duet" from Délibes's Lakmé. Now, at twice that age, Metropolitan Opera star Yende has released her second solo album for Sony. Entitled Dreams, the recording is packed with well-known, high-flying soprano coloratura calling cards.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 26, 2017  |  5 comments
Overflowing with heart, Brahms' three Trios for violin, cello, and piano are amongst the most venerated chamber works in the literature. Completed over a span of 35 years, they reveal Brahms forever true to his love and longing. Again and again it surfaces, expressed through an irrepressible love for melody, Hungarian and gypsy sentiments, romance and drama that sings and sighs at its most vulnerable in this special, two-disc Sony recording of the Brahms Piano Trios from cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, and violinist Leonidas Kavakos.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 19, 2017  |  6 comments
Every conductor who undertakes Mozart's Requiem must ask one fundamental question: Whose Requiem shall I conduct? After René Jacobs asked the question, he can up with a novel solution for his new period-aware, decidedly contemporary Harmonia Mundi recording of the Requiem with the Freiburger Barockorchester and RIAS Kammerchor.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 10, 2017  |  10 comments
"Exquisite" is not a word to be invoked lightly. In the history of vocal music on record, there has been only one singer to earn that appellation—soprano Maggie Teyte, Debussy's second Melisande, whom the great Polish tenor Jean de Reszke dubbed "L'Exquise." To that exalted category must now be added countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, whose latest recording for Warner, The Handel Album, contains some of the most exquisite singing I have ever been privileged to hear.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 29, 2017  |  6 comments
Did I really listen to and love the hi-rez (24/44.1k) file equivalent of four CDs chock-full of piano music written by and for the great Terry Riley (b. 1935)? Not only is the answer in the affirmative, but I can now honestly attests that pianist/pedagogue Sarah Cahill's Eighty Trips Around the Sun abounds in opportunities to take you on multiple mind-bending excursions through the mind of a true master.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 22, 2017  |  14 comments
How many times can one write "beautiful" before the word loses all meaning? And yet, what else can I say when Brahms' sole violin concerto, as well as his first Violin Sonata, are so profoundly touching, and played so exquisitely by violinist Vadim Gluzman, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under James Gaffigan, and pianist Angela Yoffe?

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