Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 10, 2017  |  10 comments
"Exquisite" is not a word to be invoked lightly. In the history of vocal music on record, there has been only one singer to earn that appellation—soprano Maggie Teyte, Debussy's second Melisande, whom the great Polish tenor Jean de Reszke dubbed "L'Exquise." To that exalted category must now be added countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, whose latest recording for Warner, The Handel Album, contains some of the most exquisite singing I have ever been privileged to hear.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 29, 2017  |  6 comments
Did I really listen to and love the hi-rez (24/44.1k) file equivalent of four CDs chock-full of piano music written by and for the great Terry Riley (b. 1935)? Not only is the answer in the affirmative, but I can now honestly attests that pianist/pedagogue Sarah Cahill's Eighty Trips Around the Sun abounds in opportunities to take you on multiple mind-bending excursions through the mind of a true master.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 22, 2017  |  14 comments
How many times can one write "beautiful" before the word loses all meaning? And yet, what else can I say when Brahms' sole violin concerto, as well as his first Violin Sonata, are so profoundly touching, and played so exquisitely by violinist Vadim Gluzman, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under James Gaffigan, and pianist Angela Yoffe?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 07, 2017  |  3 comments
If the last thing you need is one more serious dive into the depths of the human psyche, you will find happiness in Handel Goes Wild: Improvisations on George Frideric Handel. A delight from start to finish, this latest Warner release from theorbist Christina Pluhar and her crack early music ensemble, L'Arpeggiata, lives up to its director's reputation for refreshing baroque repertoire with new, out-of-the-box ideas.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 24, 2017  |  3 comments
How to describe music that is so personal, so deeply reflective and rooted in Buddhist contemplation that only listening to the music itself, without distraction, will suffice? Such is the conundrum that, hopefully, will lead you from this page to Channel Classics' hybrid SACD, Sounds & Clouds: Works by Hosokawa & Vivaldi.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 17, 2017  |  11 comments
The most eagerly anticipated opera release of 2017, Warner's set of 20 remastered complete live opera performances and five filmed recitals by soprano Maria Callas (1923–1977), hit the real and virtual stands on September 15. Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the soprano's death, which occurred on September 16, the physical edition of Maria Callas LIVE: Remastered Live Recordings 1949–1964 includes a 200-page, multi-language booklet that frames introductions to each opera with numerous photographs of Callas both rare and frequently reproduced. Each of the 20 opera sets within the box also boasts a handsomely reproduced front photo, usually from the performance.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 10, 2017  |  11 comments
Semyon Bychkov and the Vienna Philharmonic's splendid recording of Franz Schmidt's Symphony No.2, recently released by Sony in CD and hi-rez formats, is dazzling in its pastoral splendor. The music is lush and liquid, with one gorgeous orchestral effusion after the other.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 03, 2017  |  56 comments
Warner's 5-CD box set, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: The Complete 78 rpm Recordings 1946–1952 is a vocal lover's dream. Filled with recordings made when the soprano was between 30 and 37 years of age—she was born December 9, 1915—this bargain bonanza confirms that Schwarzkopf's oft-brilliant, sometimes outré interpretations of art song and opera were an essential part of her artistic personality from the get-go.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 26, 2017  |  3 comments
Harmonia Mundi's recent hi-rez release, Bach Cantatas for Soprano with the Freiburger Barockorchester under Petra Müllejans, demonstrates why Carolyn Sampson has succeeded the divine Emma Kirkby as the leading British early music soprano of our time. Tuneful beyond belief, the recording delivers joy upon joy.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 20, 2017  |  1 comments
Judging from Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot's latest recording of the orchestral works of Charles Ives (1874–1954), much of his totally iconoclastic oeuvre sounds as if it could have been inspired by present day events. Ninety-one years since Ives ceased composing, his anything but conventional music continues to cast light on the contrasting and conflicting elements that make America the current meltdown melting pot that it is.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  18 comments
1915. Marcel Duchamp's nude has already descended the staircase, Arnold Schoenberg's Three Orchestral Pieces, Op.16 have shattered tonality, and the old order is crumbling. It is in this context that 30-year old Alban Berg completes his Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op.6, which is now available as the San Francisco Symphony's first download-only release in resolutions up to 24/192.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 02, 2017  |  14 comments
With so many great studio and live recordings of Mahler's three song cycles for solo voice readily available, any new contender has to offer something very special. On their new Pentatone hybrid SACD, Mahler Song Cycles, which is also available as a hi-rez PCM or DSD download in both stereo and surround here and here, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under Marc Albrecht present interpretations of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), the five Rückert-Lieder (settings of poems by Friedrich Rückert), and Kindertotenlieder (Songs to Dead Children) that can stand up against those of, to mention only a few leading mezzo-sopranos/contraltos of the last 70 years, Kathleen Ferrier, Janet Baker, Christa Ludwig, Brigitte Fassbaender, Anne Sofie Von Otter, and Frederica von Stade.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 22, 2017  |  5 comments
The latest installment in Ivan Fischer's near-complete Mahler cycle for Channel Classics, the Symphony No.3 (CCS SA 38817), renders the myriad beauties of this most wondrous of symphonies into an unforgettable experience. No matter what layer you audition on the two-disc hybrid SACD set, or whichever resolution DSD files you download—I listened in DSD128—you will discover the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Cantemus Children's Choir, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and alto Gerhild Romberger portrayed in stunning sound, with pounding percussion, cutting brass, tinkly triangles, and celestial children's voices laid out before you in a seamless soundstage.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 16, 2017  |  5 comments
It is undoubtedly far more romantic for us to imagine young Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736) spending his last weeks on earth writing four chamber cantatas in a Franciscan monastery on the Bay of Naples than it was for him to write feverishly while dying of tuberculosis. Had he experienced a miracle cure, he would have lived to discover that his Stabat Mater was fast becoming one of the most widely disseminated and frequently printed musical manuscripts of the 18th century.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 09, 2017  |  15 comments
Conductor Osmo Vänskä, whose Minnesota Orchestra has previously distinguished itself in multiple recordings of Sibelius and Beethoven, is now turning to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Newly arrived is his hybrid SACD, for BIS, of Mahler's Symphony 5. The first issue in a projected series that will next offer Mahler's Sixth and Second Symphonies at dates unspecified, it may not win over those whose allegiance adamantly rests with Bernstein, Chailly, Rattle, Abbado, Tilson-Thomas, Fischer, and/or other distinguished Mahler interpreters. Nonetheless, the strength of the recording's first movement alone, and its hi-rez provenance as DSD derived from 24/96 file, make its epic journey from darkness to light essential listening.

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