Latest Music Reviews

Nézet-Séguin’s Meddlesome Mendelssohn

by Victor Carr Jr

Yannick-Mendelssohn

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s decidedly effete approach to the Mendelssohn symphonies–small forces, light textures (wrongly) avoiding string vibrato in favor of a “mewing” technique to make a sustained sound–smooths away all traces of virility from what initially can be relatively inhibited music. This is Mendelssohn in rather... Continue Reading

Wit Excels In Dvorák’s Choral Works

by David Hurwitz

DvorakMass

Dvorák’s lovely and lyrical Mass in D has never been very popular. It’s a gentle work, simple in style, written to be used as part of an actual service. One Gramophone reviewer contemptuously called it “vanilla-flavored.” I’ve never understood why, if works such as Fauré’s... Continue Reading

Sequeira Costa’s Glacial “Hammerklavier”

by Jed Distler

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Sequeira Costa’s recording of Beethoven’s mighty “Hammerklavier” sonata clocks in 51:25, which gives an accurate indication of the veteran pianist’s glacial tempos. Costa’s robust, full-bodied tone and excellent ability to balance Beethoven’s gnarly contrapuntal textures hold interest. Yet his occasional broadenings of tempos that already... Continue Reading

Stoyanova’s Impressive Verismo

by Robert Levine

stoyanova

The whims of opera fans are legendary, and if justice were to be served, soprano Krassimira Stoyanova would be as famous as Anna Netrebko (perhaps) and Angela Gheorghiu (definitely). Hers is a grand sound, with metal behind it, formidable pitch-accuracy, and fine insights into the... Continue Reading

Stewart Goodyear’s Ravel: New Light On Familiar Fare

by Jed Distler

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Listeners familiar with the strong linear profile characterizing Stewart Goodyear’s Beethoven sonata recordings will find comparable clarity throughout the Ravel interpretations offered here. In Goodyear’s hands, Jeux d’eau represents sculpted classicism rather than shimmering impressionism, as does the Sonatine’s Menuet. With that in mind, you... Continue Reading

Brilliant Anna Pirozzi As Leonora In Macerata Trovatore

by Robert Levine

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Taken live from the stage of the Macerata (Italy) Festival in July and August of 2016, this performance has much to recommend it despite the fact that none of the singers are familiar names. This is the kind of regional performance that the big American... Continue Reading

Tennstedt Leads A Great “Eroica”

by David Hurwitz

Beet3Tenn

Tennstedt had a genuine affinity for this symphony. He left many live recordings, and his last official release from EMI consisted of the “Eroica” incongruously coupled to Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain. Go figure. This performance, with a palpably energized NDR Symphony Orchestra, is... Continue Reading

Stewart Goodyear’s Magical Nutcracker For Piano Solo

by Victor Carr Jr

Goodyear-Nutcracker

It’s tempting to scoff at the idea of The Nutcracker arranged for solo piano. After all, Tchaikovsky’s score is a masterpiece of melody and orchestration, and it’s easy to think that removing the latter would make for a lesser, inauthentic experience. Stewart Goodyear’s brilliant arrangement... Continue Reading

First Rate Novak from Falletta and Buffalo

by David Hurwitz

Novak

Here is yet another fine release from the Buffalo Philharmonic under its dynamic and enterprising conductor, JoAnn Falletta. All three of these works have been recorded before, almost exclusively by Czech artists, but the excellence of these performances shows, if any proof were necessary, that... Continue Reading

Major Discoveries: Two Röntgen Symphonies and a Serenade

by David Hurwitz

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Julius Röntgen was a remarkable composer: prolific, joyous, traditional at heart, but eclectic in practice. As with many, similarly productive artists, his output is often adjudged “variable” by those who haven’t heard most of it. Of the roughly two dozen symphonies that he composed, most... Continue Reading

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