Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 20, 2018  |  8 comments
Less than a minute into this rare realization of the Leçons de Ténèbres des Mercredi, Jeudi et Vendredi saints by Michel Lambert (ca 1610–1696), I knew I had to review it. Recorded for Harmonia Mundi in 24/88.2 hi-rez by Alban Moraud, who did a wonderful job capturing the resonant acoustic of La Courroie, Entraigues-sur-la-Sorgue, the 2-CD/51-track set showcases the extraordinarily agile, virtually vibrato-less and intentionally nasal bari-tenor of Marc Mauillon.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 09, 2018  |  3 comments
In this 100th anniversary year of the death of Claude Debussy (1862–1918), one of the finest recordings of his music released so far is Erato's Debussy Sonatas & Trios (Erato C565142). Appropriately recorded in Paris, in two different sounding venues, with an all-star French lineup—Emmanuel Pahud, flute; Gerard Caussé, viola; Edgar Moreau, cello; Marie-Pierre Langlamet, harp; and Bertrand Chamayou, piano—the recording is replete with the unique atmosphere, color, and textures that make Debussy's music so unforgettable.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 30, 2018  |  0 comments
Cellist Antonio Lysy, whose Yarlung Records recording Antonio Lysy at the Broad won a Latin Grammy for its inclusion of Lalo Schifrin's song "Pampas," has returned with a unique recording of South American-connected compositions and arrangements. Aptly titled South America (YAR80167DSD), the nine compositions honor Astor Piazzolla, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Gardel, Antonio's violinist father Alberto Lysy, and Argentine bandoneon master Coco Trivisonno. There's even some Brazilian-tinged J.S. Bach and a work by Spanish cellist Pablo Casals.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 21, 2018  |  17 comments
"Why should I bother with yet another recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons?" you may ask. "There are already 226 entries for it at arkivmusic.com!"

Because baroque violinist Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque's new, period instrument Channel Classics SACD of Le Quattro Stagioni and three other violin concertos by Vivaldi is likely the freshest, most joy-filled, and best-recorded of the bunch.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 08, 2018  |  4 comments
My excitement upon discovering the heretofore unavailable two-CD set, Régine Crespin: Rare Broadcast Recordings, in the catalog of historical performance specialist Norbeck Peters & Ford can only be partially conveyed through words. Crespin's London/Decca studio recordings of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'été and Ravel's Shéhérazade, accompanied by Ernest Ansermet et L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, which were captured in Victoria Hall, Geneva in September 1963, have long been coveted by audiophiles for both their sound quality and Crespin's incomparable artistry. The opportunity to hear the same two French song cycles, delivered with the extra frisson and interpretive touches that great singers share in live performance, in a collection that also includes other live and rarely encountered studio performances by Crespin, is not to be missed.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 01, 2018  |  7 comments
It is doubtful that pianist Alexander Melnikov had audiophiles in mind when he decided to record great works by Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Stravinsky on pianos the composers were accustomed to hearing and playing at the time of composition. Melnikov is, after all, an early music specialist who, like András Schiff, has a number of impeccably restored historic instruments in his personal collection. Nonetheless, given that Harmonia Mundi has recorded him in high resolution (24/96), seemingly without compression, in the fine acoustic of Teldex Studio Berlin, and that each instrument has a sound and dynamic range distinctly its own, the recording is an audiophile must-have.
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  |  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  |  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  |  Feb 25, 2018  |  5 comments
New, well-recorded albums of Verdi arias from two of the Metropolitan Opera's biggest and most heralded stars - Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva, 36, and Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, 40, give as much cause for excitement as they do for pause. As fine as the singing may be on Sonya Yoncheva: The Verdi Album (Sony) and Calleja: Verdi (Decca), the ways in which these artists push their voices to encompass heavier repertoire raises questions as to how long they can sustain such pressure on their instruments without serious sacrifice.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  73 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  |  3 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.

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