Recording of the Month
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Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Jun 13, 2002 0 comments
WILCO: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Nonesuch 79669-2 (CD). 2002. Wilco, prods.; Jim O'Rourke, mix. AAD? TT: 51:51
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Jon Iverson Jun 29, 2003 1 comments
PINK FLOYD: Dark Side of the Moon
Capitol CDP 582136 2 (CD/SACD), Capitol (LP). 1973/2003. Pink Floyd, prods.; Alan Parsons, eng.; James Guthrie, 5.1 remix. AAD/AAA. TT: 43:00
Performance ****½
Sonics ***** (SACD layers) *** (CD layer)
Recording of the Month
David Patrick S... Jun 13, 2004 Published: Jun 01, 2004 0 comments
J.S. BACH: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
Till Fellner, piano
ECM 1853/54 (2 CDs). 2004. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Markus Heiland, eng. DDD. TT: 116:58
Performance *****
Sonics *****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Jun 12, 2005 0 comments
RENÉE FLEMING: Haunted Heart
Renée Fleming, vocals; Bill Frisell, guitar; Fred Hersch, piano, arrangements
Decca B00004406-02 (CD). 2005. Renée Fleming, prod.; Elliott Scheiner, prod., eng.; Peter Doris, Aya Takemura, Brian Montgomery, Anthony Ruotolo, asst. engs. DDD. TT: 63:58
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Jun 16, 2006 1 comments
DR. JOHN: Mercernary
Blue Note 3 54541 2 (CD). 2006. Dr. John, prod.; Mark Bingham, eng. AAD? TT: 49:45
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Jun 17, 2007 0 comments
WILCO: Sky Blue Sky
Nonesuch 131388 (CD). 2007. Wilco, prods.; TJ Doherty, eng.; Jim Scott, mix; Bob Ludwig, mastering. AAD? TT: 51:18
Performance *****
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Jun 10, 2008 0 comments
JENNY SCHEINMAN: Jenny Scheinman
Koch KOC-AD-4483 (CD). 2008. Jenny Scheinman, Tony Scherr, prods.; Scherr, eng. AAD? TT: 53:26
Performance ****
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
Thomas Conrad Jun 12, 2009 0 comments
GARY BURTON/PAT METHENY/STEVE SWALLOW/ANTONIO SÁNCHEZ: Quartet Live!
Gary Burton, vibraphone; Pat Metheny, guitar; Steve Swallow, electric bass; Antonio Sánchez, drums
Concord Jazz CJA-31303-02 (CD). 2009. Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, prods.; David Oakes, eng. DDD. TT: 79:22
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
Recording of the Month
John Atkinson Jun 10, 2010 0 comments
Jeff Beck: Emotion & Commotion
Atco R2 523695 (CD), R1 523695 (LP). 2010. Steve Lipson, prod., eng., mix; Trevor Horn, exec. prod. DDD. TT: 40:26
Performance *****
Sonics ***½
Recording of the Month
Robert Baird Jun 08, 2011 0 comments
Jordi Savall: Dinastía Borja
Music by Guillaume Dufay, Josquin Des Prez, Lluis del Mila and others Jordi Savall, viola da gamba, director; Hespèrion XXI, La Capella Reial de Catalunya
Alia Vox AVSA 9874A/C (3 SACD/CDs). 2010. Jordi Savall, prod.; Toni Figueras, recording coordinator; Aline Blondiau, Nicolas de Beco, Dominique de Spoolberg, Olivier de Spoolberg, recording assistants. AAD? TT: 3:43:19
Performance *****
Sonics *****

As is usually the case, a recent performance at New York's Lincoln Center by Jordi Savall, his instrumental ensemble, Hespèrion XXI, and his choir, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, was a triumph—his impeccably researched and realized early music had the crowd on their feet. In lesser hands, such exotica as old-world Spanish music influenced by indigenous forms from Mexico would have trouble drawing a paying crowd, let alone filling Alice Tully Hall; but Savall's unique vision has rescued and revitalized obscure musical forms aplenty, from the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods. Along the way he's also managed to record notable versions of more popular works of the standard classical repertoire, such as the Mozart Requiem, and J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

Recording of the Month
Robert Baird May 29, 2012 2 comments
Krzysztof Penderecki/Jonny Greenwood
Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima, Popcorn Superhet Receiver, Polymorphia, 48 Responses to Polymorphia
Aukso Orchestra, Penderecki, Marek Mos, conductors
Nonesuch 530223-2 (CD) Filip Berkowicz, Michal Merczynski, prods. Barbara Orzechowska, associate prod. Ewa Guziotek-Tubelewicz, Pitor Witkowski, engs. Performance ***** Sonics *****

For the past two decades, the "C" word in classical music— crossover—has been a bone of both hope and contention. Lured by the supposed riches that lurk amongst classical fans who want to slum it and popular music fans with upscale intellectual curiosities, artists from Caruso to Domingo to Joshua Bell have given in this concept in search of a success to mostly disappointing results. And then of course there's humble Gordon Sumner (aka Feyd Rautha Harkonnen) who blithely smeared his meager powers onto the work of poor John Dowland in Songs From the Labyrinth—an apt title if ever there was. In 2010 the great Renee Fleming, no stranger to taking risks and a jazz singer during her college years, dipped her toes, fairly disastrously it turns out, into the classical/rock crossover pool with Dark Hope, a record whose title again seems to carry a less than promising message.

Recording of the Month
Stephen Mejias May 29, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 2 comments
Though classically trained in flute and exceedingly capable on a wide range of other instruments, including drums, trombone, piano, and various electronics, Aidan Baker is best known for his work on acoustic and electric guitar. A perusal of his unofficial discography on Discogs.com reveals some 80 full-length albums, and another couple dozen singles, EPs, and compilation credits. Beyond merely prolific, Baker's recorded output is profound—and nearly impossible to chart.
Recording of the Month
Richard Lehnert Feb 22, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 1988 1 comments
Wagner: Lohengrin
Placido Domingo, Lohengrin; Jessye Norman, Elsa; Eva Randova, Ortrud; Siegmund Nimsgern, Telramund; Hans Sotin, Heinrich; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Heerrufer; Vienna State Opera Chorus; Georg Solti, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
London 421 053-1 (4 LPs), 421 053-2 (4 CDs). James Lock, John Pellowe, engs.; Christopher Raeburn, prod. DDD. TT: 222:54

It's always surprised me that Lohengrin, Wagner's most awkward, transitional, and static opera, was, for its first 100 years, his most popular. It didn't help, I suppose, that I began my study of things darkly Teutonic with The Ring and Tristan, working forward and backward from there. In Lohengrin we can hear the last reluctant pullings away from operatic conventions—especially choral—of the first half of the 19th century, and the gropings toward full-blown musikdrama—especially in Act II, scene i.

Recording of the Month
Richard Lehnert Mar 04, 2011 Published: Mar 01, 1989 0 comments
KEITH JARRETT: Dark Intervals
Keith Jarrett, piano
ECM 1379 (837 342-1, LP; -2, CD). Kimio Oikawa, eng.; Manfred Eicher, prod. DDA/DDD. TT: 58:22

After a five-year hiatus in which he explored jazz standards, classical music, the clavichord, and the unclassifiable Spirits, Keith Jarrett has returned, however briefly, to the form that gained him his widest reputation: solo piano improvisations. But with a difference—only a single LP this time (instead of two, three, or ten), that LP composed of eight short sections, each with a title. This is a far cry from unbroken piano improvs spanning three LP sides, titled only with the name and date of the venue.

Recording of the Month
Richard Lehnert Mar 03, 2010 Published: Mar 03, 1990 0 comments
THE PERSUASIONS: Live in the Whispering Gallery
Hammer n' Nails HNCD 1988 (CD only). Frank Kulaga, Larry Collen, engs.; David Ackerman, prod. D–D. TT: 34:39
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