Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 18, 2018  |  15 comments
Back in October 2016, I was called to the table by Kal Rubinson when I heaped copious praise on Ivan Fischer's Channel Classics SACD of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6 in b, Op.74, "Pathétique." Now, after hearing Teodor Currentzis' devastating account for Sony of the Pathétique with Russia's MusicAeterna Orchestra, I understand the folly of my ways.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 11, 2018  |  21 comments
Winner of the 2018 Grammy for "Best Classical Solo Album," "Recording of the Month" in BBC Music Magazine, nominated for a 2018 Juno Award (Canada's version of the Grammy, coming March 24), listed in "Best Classical Music Recordings 2017" of the New York Times, and recipient of multiple European honors, Crazy Girl Crazy must be heard. Created by the phenomenally versatile Canadian soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan, the Alpha label album/bonus DVD package showcases Hannigan and the Ludwig Orchestra performing three landmark 20th century masterworks—Berio's conception-shattering, impossibly acrobatic Sequenza III (1965); Berg's Lulu Suite (1926); and three Gershwin gems from Girl Crazy (1930)—arranged into a new Girl Crazy Suite (2016) by Bill Elliott and Hannigan.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  15 comments
Devastating in power and impact, Laurie Anderson's sonically all-encompassing, three-dimensional Landfall takes, as its ostensible start, the ravaging impact of Superstorm Sandy. But, given that this evening-long melding of string quartet, text, and electronically-manipulated soundscape, created for and with the Kronos Quartet, is by one of America's most prescient, larger-visioned multi-media performance artists, Landfall ultimately addresses the cataclysmic nature of life in modern times in ways that drive the sense of loss deep into one's being.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 25, 2018  |  5 comments
New, well-recorded albums of Verdi arias from two of the Metropolitan Opera's biggest and most heralded stars - Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva, 36, and Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, 40, give as much cause for excitement as they do for pause. As fine as the singing may be on Sonya Yoncheva: The Verdi Album (Sony) and Calleja: Verdi (Decca), the ways in which these artists push their voices to encompass heavier repertoire raises questions as to how long they can sustain such pressure on their instruments without serious sacrifice.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  73 comments
The Nonesuch Records CD Steve Reich: Pulse / Quartet arrived with its sonic bonus unheralded. With no MQA designation on the album cover or disc, few would have known of its MQA provenance had not posts appeared on Facebook that, when inserted in a player capable of decoding MQA, it can deliver high-resolution MQA.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 11, 2018  |  3 comments
Did you know that in May 1913, even before Diaghilev's ballet of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring caused fist-fights among Parisian concertgoers, Stravinsky and Debussy together played the newly printed four-hand reduction of the score? You can feel a hefty helping of the excitement created by the crashing keyboards of two geniuses in the percussive thrill that Marc-André Hamelin and Leif Ove Andsnes bring to the score on this new Hyperion recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Concerto for Two Pianos, and three other short works for two piano and four hands.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 04, 2018  |  9 comments
Jordi Savall, the gifted viola da gamba player and ensemble founder who, together with his late wife, soprano Montserrat Figueras, infused early music with inestimable life and color, has released his 16th high-resolution musical history book for Alia Vox. As one might expect from an artist dedicated to promoting music as the great unifier, the 37 tracks on the two-hybrid SACD set, Venezia Millenaria 700–1797, along with its copious illustrations and five comprehensive essays in six languages, explore the history of the water-surrounded refuge.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 28, 2018  |  13 comments
In 2016, when I received Oh Boy!, the first solo album from mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, I thought, "What a cute title for a compilation of male operatic roles that were written for female singers"—"trouser roles" in operatic parlance—and put it aside. Now, having heard Crebassa's newest album, Secrets: French Songs, I realize that I made a big mistake. Crebassa is a major artist, with a sound and temperament that make Secrets a must-listen for lovers of vocal artistry.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 20, 2018  |  1 comments
Given that David Chesky has just followed the digital release of his Second and Third Piano Concertos with a January 13 performance of his Violin Concerto No.3 by Rachel Barton Pine and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, some might say he's on a roll. Others, listening to the pace of two new piano concertos inspired what liner notes writer Harold Lester calls "the chaos of [Chesky's] adopted New York City," might instead think "roller coaster."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 31, 2017  |  3 comments
Cecilia Bartoli is back. After far too long without a new "solo" recording venture, the phenomenal mezzo-soprano returned to the microphone this past March, three months before she turned 51, to record nine Dolce Duello (Sweet Duels) with the 1759 baroque cello of Sol Gabetta. Supported by Sol's ensemble, Cappella Gabetta, under the leadership of her violinist brother, Andrés Gabetta, the two women deliver one sweet delight after the other.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 24, 2017  |  1 comments
If the holidays are a time for fantasy, what better way to celebrate than with the first complete recording of David Del Tredici's (b. 1937) absolutely fantastic fantasy, Child Alice for soprano and orchestra? Based on the "Alice" adventures of Lewis Carroll—Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and the sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found (1871)—the first part of Child Alice, entitled In Memory of a Summer Day, won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and helped solidify the then 43 year-old composer's position as the foremost exponent of the Neo-Romantic movement in music.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 17, 2017  |  11 comments
For those unfamiliar with the symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865–1931)—that includes me—the startling opening of his Third Symphony, "Sinfonia espansiva," will undoubtedly come as a shock. Its relentless pounding chords, played at an accelerating pace by the entire orchestra on the same pitch, may owe more than a little to Beethoven's Third Symphony, "Eroica," but their language is far more modern, and reflective of an era profoundly unsettled. Heard in high-resolution stereo (24/96 WAV) in the new live recording of Nielsen's Symphonies No. 3 and 4 from the Seattle Symphony, conducted by their Music Director Designate, Thomas Dausgaard, the symphony's opening volley seems calculated to catch us off guard, and convince us to listen with care to whatever may follow.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 10, 2017  |  3 comments
Few violinists would consider saddling a recording with a title as grand and potentially pretentious as Grandissima Gravita. But not only is Rachel Podger's latest Channel Classics hybrid SACD with her ensemble, Brecon Baroque, grandly played—Podger is brilliant as always—but its title also serves as an apt descriptor of the emotional tenor of most of the works on the program.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 03, 2017  |  4 comments
At age 16, South African soprano Pretty Yende (b. 1985) encountered the now legendary British Airways TV commercial whose soundtrack included the gorgeous "Flower Duet" from Délibes's Lakmé. Now, at twice that age, Metropolitan Opera star Yende has released her second solo album for Sony. Entitled Dreams, the recording is packed with well-known, high-flying soprano coloratura calling cards.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 26, 2017  |  5 comments
Overflowing with heart, Brahms' three Trios for violin, cello, and piano are amongst the most venerated chamber works in the literature. Completed over a span of 35 years, they reveal Brahms forever true to his love and longing. Again and again it surfaces, expressed through an irrepressible love for melody, Hungarian and gypsy sentiments, romance and drama that sings and sighs at its most vulnerable in this special, two-disc Sony recording of the Brahms Piano Trios from cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, and violinist Leonidas Kavakos.