Jason Victor Serinus

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 22, 2019  |  16 comments
Ever go on a blind date? If you've been on more than one, you know what it's like to encounter an entirely new product at an audio show: Sometimes it's love at first listen, your only question being, "When can we get together again?" Other times, you can't wait to say goodbye.

My blind date with the Dragonfire Acoustics Mini Dragon DFA 2.1 nearfield monitor system ($10,000), accessorized with its Kimber Kable Axios Goliath cable upgrade ($1500), took place during its coming-out reception at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) in Denver. After listening to a 24/96 file of Cassandra Wilson's "Dance to the Drummer Again" on the Dragonfire system, I scribbled in my notebook, "totally absolutely impressive . . . musical flow reigned supreme."

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 18, 2019  |  5 comments
I expect every lover of jazz and classical music will want to check out Decca’s new recording of jazz great Wynton Marsalis’ thoroughly engaging Violin Concerto and Fiddle Dance Suite.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 13, 2019  |  0 comments
Patricia Barber: Higher
Patricia Barber, piano & vocals; Patrick Mulcahy, bass; Jon Deitemyer, drums; Neal Alger, acoustic guitar; Jim Gailloreto, tenor saxophone
ArtistShare AS01712 (CD). 2019, Patricia Barber, prod.; Martha Feldman, assoc. prod.; Jim Anderson, rec. and mixing eng.; Bob Ludwig, mastering eng. DDD. TT: 55:18
Performance *****
Sonics ****½

As a singer and writer, Patricia Barber has never been easy to define. In the audiophile world, she's too often defined—and her brilliance obscured—by her ubiquity at audio shows and her regrettable membership in a sorority of generic, well-recorded "female vocalists." But in what idiom?

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 26, 2019  |  0 comments
Czech composer Leoš Janáček was already in his 60s and married when, in 1917, he fell hopelessly in love with Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 38 years his junior. Although it wasn’t the first time that Janáček had fallen in love with an “unobtainable,” his passion for Kamila was all-consuming. During the final 11 years of his life, while he lived under the same roof with a wife whom he had informally divorced, he sent Stösslová almost 730 letters and was inspired by his love for her to compose many of his greatest works.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 23, 2019  |  35 comments
I love listening to new audio products and discovering how they make me feel. I do my best to open my mind, ears, and pores, to trust the process and see where it leads me. Ultimately, for all the words and analogies I or any reviewer may conjure up, what we do isn't very different from a dog sniffing out a new patch of grass or an insect sending out its antennae to determine what's what.

In all cases, the spirit and care with which we approach new territory helps inform our conclusions.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 18, 2019  |  5 comments
Henry Brant: Ice Field
Cameron Carpenter, organ, San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, Edwin Outwater, Conds.
SFS Media SFS 0075 (24/48 WAV). 2019. Jack Vad, prod, and eng.; Roni Jules, Gus Pollek, Jonathan Stevens, Denise Woodward, supporting engs.; Jack Vad, Mark Willsher, John Loose, Atmos post-prod. DDD. TT: 24.31
Performance *****
Sonics *****

Even though Henry Brant's mind-boggling Ice Field for orchestra and organ won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2002—the year after its premiere—and years later was revisited by the San Francisco Symphony, for which it was commissioned, no recording format has succeeded at capturing its musical and spatial wonders. Until now.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 12, 2019  |  12 comments
Thirty-two years after it was recorded, pianist Keith Jarrett’s live reading of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, has seen the light of day.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 01, 2019  |  6 comments
What’s the most frequently performed new opera in America at present? It’s Laura Kaminsky’s 2014 chamber opera, As One, whose libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed explores the coming out process of its protagonist, Hannah, as a transgender woman.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 25, 2019  |  22 comments
Has Serinus been demoted? You might well ask. This month, instead of reviewing a $58,000 stereo amplifier, I'm tackling a $599 powered loudspeaker system.

Truth be told, I'm always on the lookout for products that deliver outstanding sound at bargain prices. And since I maintain in my living room a modestly priced system built around powered speakers—this in addition to the far costlier system in my dedicated listening room—it's an easy fit for me to evaluate low-priced products in a real-world context.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 22, 2019  |  9 comments
Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla's (b. 1986) rendition of Polish-Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg's (1919–1996) final symphony, which is dedicated "to the memory of those who were murdered in the Warsaw Ghetto," has all the earmarks of a life-affirming Record to Die For. Rarely have I heard such hallowed silence, absolute control, and reverence for life and beauty from a conductor so young. For those willing to explore the mysteries of exquisite sadness amidst suffering, this recording cries out.

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