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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 26, 2017 0 comments
Fear not. Not only is Adam Schoenberg, 36, one of America's most performed living composers, but his music (and, perhaps DNA) bears no relationship to the horrors of that 20th century demon of twelve-tone discord, Arnold Schoenberg. Quite the contrary. The three works on the new, vividly recorded Adam Schoenberg hybrid SACD from Reference Recordings, recorded in 24/176.4 surround and played by the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern, are deliciously tonal, filled with color and energy, and irrepressibly optimistic.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 20, 2017 25 comments
For the first time in a decade, Grammy Award-winning audiophile label Reference Recordings (RR) has updated its website. Filled with new features, including new blog posts and an "Audiophile Corner," the website offers physical media and hi-rez downloads of a host of Reference Recordings made by legendary, Grammy-feted recording engineer/digital pioneer Keith O. Johnson, along with Sean Royce Martin, and other recordings on the RR Fresh! label recorded by the SoundMirror team.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 16, 2017 16 comments
On February 16, Universal Music Group and MQA announced a multi-year agreement that will encode UMG's huge catalog of master recordings in MQA. In the language of the press release, the agreement promises "to make some of the world's most celebrated recordings available for the first time in Hi-Res Audio streaming." UMG's labels include ECM, Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Capitol, Island, Def Jam, Decca, Verve, Blue Note, Virgin, and EMI.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 14, 2017 17 comments
This year is not only one of fallout from the most divisive political campaigns of our time, but will also one of competing audio shows too close for comfort. Southern California will see dueling audio shows three months and 35 miles apart, and New York City and Washington, DC will host shows on consecutive weekends. While a proliferation of audio shows potentially presents plenty of opportunities for audiophiles to hear new gear, such conflicts ultimately limit which manufacturers can exhibit where, and can render some shows a poor value.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 13, 2017 4 comments
Prepare for one of those wild, hold-on-to-your-horses rides that will send minds and sound systems spinning (and horses bolting). Andrew Norman's award-winning, 47-minute orchestral work Play (2013), plays with musician and listener expectations simultaneously while proceeding on a course barely predictable from its opening salvos. Somewhat reflective of the worlds of rock and jazz, with a language all its own and ideas far more developed, dense, and unpredictable than all but the most experimental and far out excursions, Play's visceral and cerebral appeal reaches far beyond the confines of genres and settings.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 07, 2017 5 comments
Naxos, owner of online classical recording retailer ArkivMusic.com, has now launched ArkivJazz.com. A one-stop shopping destination for an international coterie of jazz lovers who seek CDs, vinyl, and DVDs, the site sells recordings from "all labels, major and independent." In addition to exclusive interviews and editorials, ArkivJazz also offers a VIP subscription that includes free US shipping and member-only specials, plus a complementary subscription to Downbeat magazine.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 04, 2017 2 comments
Nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for "Best Classical Compendium," ECM's Gesualdo pairs arrangements of the haunting music of Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa (1566–1613) with Gesualdo-inspired works by living composers Brett Dean (b. 1961) and Erkki-Sven Tüür (b. 1959). If at least one of those contemporary works, performed by Tõnu Kaljuste's justly famed Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, is not exactly what you'd expect, the "compendium" as a whole is unfailingly beautiful and engaging.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 27, 2017 5 comments
With their matching wide, distinctly un-stylish yellow ties and dark blue suits, the men of the Sibelius Piano Trio hardly look like world-class musicians. But once you hear their two-CD set from Yarlung Records, best appreciated via stereo and multi-channel DSD downloads from NativeDSD.com, you'll understand why their debut recording of trios by Sibelius and contemporary composers deserves a place in your collection.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 24, 2017 5 comments
On January 23, 2017, telecoms company Sprint acquired 33% of the Tidal music streaming service. According to the press release jointly issued by the two companies, the deal guarantees that Tidal, which now claims a catalog of over 42.5 million songs and 140,000 "high quality videos," will become available to Sprint's 45,000,000 retail customers, who will gain "unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else."
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 16, 2017 4 comments
"Great" is not an adjective to be invoked lightly. But once you hear mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton hold forth on her debut solo album, All Who Wander (Delos)—available in 24/96 from HDTracks, which features songs by Mahler, Sibelius, and Dvorák, you will harbor no doubt that she is one of the great vocal artists of our era.

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