LATEST ADDITIONS

Stereophile Staff  |  Sep 19, 2018  |  1 comments
Saturday, September 22: Alma Music and Audio (7847 Convoy Ct. #101, San Diego, CA 92111) is hosting an Audio Research event; the Pacific Northwest Audio Society and J-Corder custom Reel to Reels are holding a Technics turntable event at the Congregational Church (4545 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040); and Excel Audio (4678 Campus Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660) is holding its first Annual Open House and Customer Appreciation Night.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 18, 2018  |  20 comments
In 1959, in their musical revue At the Drop of a Hat, the British musical-comedy team of Flanders and Swann sang their "Song of Reproduction." It's not about sex. The song mocks audiophiles (you thought this was something recent?) for how we spend "all of that money to get the exact effect of an orchestra actually playing in their sitting room." Before launching into the song, Flanders quips, "Personally, I can't think of anything I should hate more than having an orchestra playing in my sitting room!"
Jim Austin  |  Sep 18, 2018  |  38 comments
I attend at least a couple of dozen classical-music performances each year. I also read reviews of recordings and live performances, and have even dabbled in writing them. Why, then, do I find classical music reviews so frequently annoying?

It's the vocabulary. In these reviews I often see words that I rarely see used elsewhere: scintillating, irresistible, delightful. One venerable reviewer for Gramophone magazine has used the word "beguiling" 100 times in some 900 reviews. When I read such words, I envision the poor music critic writhing in his (occasionally her) listening chair, approaching an involuntary state of aesthetic ecstasy. It isn't a pretty image.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 17, 2018  |  3 comments
After umpteen serious reviews, penned in serious and somber times, it's high time to lighten up. Hence to Leonard Bernstein's Wonderful Town we go, and to Sir Simon Rattle's new SACD of the musical, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and a stellar cast that includes Danielle de Niese (Eileen), Alysha Umphress (Ruth), and Nathan Gunn (Bob).
Larry Greenhill  |  Sep 14, 2018  |  9 comments
In late August, I attended the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Car Week at Weathertech Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. Porsche sponsored its own "Porsche Werks Reunion" at the nearby Corral De Tierra Country Club.

Walking around the golf course, I stumbled on a pair of KEF Blade Two speakers in the middle of a field of rare Porsche 911s!

Stereophile Staff  |  Sep 13, 2018  |  3 comments
Components listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile and have been found to be among the best available in each of four or five quality classes. Whether a component is listed in Class A or Class E, we highly recommend its purchase.

Each listing-in alphabetical order within classes-is followed by a brief description of the product's sonic characteristics and a code indicating the Stereophile Volume and Issue in which that product's report appeared. Thus the May 2017 issue is indicated as "Vol.40 No.5."

Stereophile Staff  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  15 comments
We have received the sad news that loudspeaker maven Siegfried Linkwitz, co-inventor of the innovative Linkwitz-Riley crossover network, has died. He had been suffering from prostate cancer for some years and had been receiving hospice care at his home.
John Marks  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  0 comments
One of the most important international competitions for young (ages 16–29) violinists takes place in the United States every four years. (The other top-tier classical-music competitions that include violinists, Moscow's International Tchaikovsky and Belgium's Queen Elizabeth, also run on four-year cycles.) While one might expect the US entry on that list to be hosted in California or New York, the venue is: Indianapolis, of 500-mile auto-race fame—land for excellent reasons.
Art Dudley  |  Sep 11, 2018  |  33 comments
"No one's buying music anymore: They're renting it."—John Atkinson, keynote speech, AXPONA 2018

Streaming music isn't new. US companies have been doing it since the 1920s, when it was discovered that multiplexing—the then-new practice of combining multiple signals over a single conductor—could be used to send live or recorded music over public power lines. The first of those companies was Muzak LLC.

File that away.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 11, 2018  |  1 comments
Berio, Boulez, Ravel: Sinfonia, Notations I–IV, La Valse
Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Roomful of Teeth
Seattle Symphony Media SSM 1018 (CD, 2.0- and 5.1-channel downloads at 24/96). 2018. Rosalie Contreras, Elena Dubinets, exec. prods.; Dmitriy Lipay, prod., eng.; Alexander Lipay, eng. DDD. TT: 58:20
Performance ****½
Sonics *****

What ties Luciano Berio's boundary-breaking Sinfonia for Eight Voices and Orchestra (1968–69) to Pierre Boulez's out-there Notations I–IV for Orchestra (1945/1978) to Maurice Ravel's progressively off-kilter La Valse (1906–1920)? The Seattle Symphony's about-to-depart music director, Ludovic Morlot, cites their "ingenious transformation of pre-existing musical material or styles." I'm also inclined to say that it's their descent into chaos, even madness, which these performances transcend with an impeccably controlled, highly refined aesthetic, which I auditioned in 24/96 2-channel.

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