Latest Music Reviews

CD From Hell: Nano-Mahler Tenth Blows In On A Cold Wind from Lapland

by David Hurwitz

Mahler10Storg

The Mahler parasites are at it again, feasting on the corpse of the incomplete Tenth Symphony. Their latest atrocity consists of a chamber orchestra reduction made by one Michelle Castelletti. The Lapland Chamber Orchestra and conductor John Storgards, who really ought to know better, deploy... Continue Reading

Dvorák’s Gorgeous Saint Ludmila

by David Vernier

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Although I’m a “choral person”, I’m not a big fan of late 19th-century oratorios: too big, too serious, too drenched in grand and glorious effects (those drippy, dense, overwrought, ear-clogging harmonies!), not to mention that these things were often performed with choruses of hundreds and... Continue Reading

Intimate Duets, Salon Style

by Jed Distler

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This release aims to recreate a late 18th-century European musical salon, where hostesses played keyboard duos with family and friends. Although the fortepiano was in vogue then, it had not entirely replaced the harpsichord, and both instruments often would be used in tandem. Sometimes you’d... Continue Reading

A Harpsichordist At The Piano

by Jed Distler

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Having long made her mark as a harpsichordist and Baroque interpreter, Virginia Black has been revisiting this repertoire on the modern concert grand. Her Rameau resembles her Bach in that the playing sounds less like that of a pianist than a seasoned harpsichord virtuoso at... Continue Reading

Guitar Elemental and Modern

by David Vernier

Elementalguitar

Full disclosure: A couple of years ago I ran into Frank Wallace at a local event (we used to live a couple of towns apart in southern New Hampshire), and we spent some time talking about music–specifically about how the way most people listen to... Continue Reading

Kožená’s Delightful Garden Of Sighs

by David Vernier

PTC 5186655 Schubert Symphonies Foster cover

This project began as an idea for a staged performance involving a “garden”, the “tragic and joyous fates of ancient heroines”, a “revelation of the labyrinth of human emotions”, the “colorfulness and diversity of Italian Baroque music”, and, of course, the vocal artistry of Magdalena... Continue Reading

Roth’s Intermediate Performance of Mahler’s Intermediate First

by David Hurwitz

MahlerRoth

This disc purports to offer the 1893-94 “Hamburg/Weimar” version of the First Symphony with its original title of “Titan: A Tone Poem in Symphonic Form”. Let’s be clear: there is no such thing. Mahler altered the scoring of every one of his symphonies every time... Continue Reading

The Busoni Concerto We’ve Been Waiting For

by Jed Distler

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Kirill Gerstein’s March 2017 collaboration with Sakari Oramo and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Busoni’s mammoth Piano Concerto generated both intense interest and ecstatic reviews. Two years later we can hear what all the fuss was about, for this recording, culled from those concerts, is... Continue Reading

Budapest Bruckner: Unimpressive Sublime

by Jens F. Laurson

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If you dig deep enough into this Bruckner Ninth, if you are set up for SACD-Surround Sound and have no neighbors, and if you care about orchestral nuance more than goosebumps, this recording by Concerto Budapest might be for you. There is no doubt that... Continue Reading

Dropping In, And Chilling Out With Handel’s Op. 3

by David Vernier

handelopus3

It’s the way these things often happen: it had been a while since I last heard a recording of Handel’s Op. 3, and this one appeared just at the right moment, after a slog through the thorny, scrubby thicket of some woefully dissonant, persistently pointless,... Continue Reading

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