Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  17 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  |  4 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.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 02, 2017  |  16 comments
Imagine almost 86 minutes of superbly recorded percussion in which the traditional notions of steady beat, driving rhythms, and attention-catching melody rarely take center stage. Welcome to Beyond, a mind-bending /time-distorting three-disc percussion tour de force from Sono Luminus on which the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet plays a dazzling array of percussion as it explores the eloquence and beauty of color, texture, sustain and decay. Recorded in DXD (24/352.8k), Beyond is available as either a hi-rez download in multiple formats, including DSD, or as a three-disc album that includes two Red Book CDs and a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 24, 2017  |  9 comments
For his fourth Schumann disc since the 1998 Dichterliebe; Liederkreis collaboration with Vladimir Ashkenazy, the great German baritone Matthias Goerne joins pianist Markus Hinterhäuser in a 19-gem collection of heart-touching songs by Robert Schumann entitled Einsamkeit (Solitude). The singing on the Harmonia Mundi recital is gorgeous throughout, and the repertoire deeply communicative. This is especially the case in hi-rez from HDtracks, where the duo's artistic brilliance shines strongest.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2017  |  0 comments
Want to go from yang to ying by the simple switch of a silver disc? Try seguing from the two supremely energetic, densely populated chamber symphonies of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams (b. 1947), which we explored last week, to the far milder and less complicated choral work, Canticles of the Holy Wind (Cantaloupe) from the other Pulitzer Prize in Music-winning Adams, John Luther Adams (b. 1953).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2017  |  4 comments
Stick with me through this introduction, girls and boys, because the wild and wacky music I'm about to discuss is worth it! Scan any "A" list of living American composers, and the names of two Pulitzer Prize in Music recipients with the last name of Adams inevitably appears: John Adams (b. 1947, Worcester, MA), and John Luther Adams (b. 1953, Meridian, MS). Although a third Adams, John Adams' son Samuel Adams (b. 1985, San Francisco, CA) is fast emerging as a major composer, we'll spend the next two weeks exploring new recordings of music by the two elder Johns.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2017  |  2 comments
Newcomers to the music of Argentinean tango composer Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992) will undoubtedly join the already converted in hailing the arrival of Warner's two-disc CD compilation, The Sound of Piazzolla. Filled with one fascinating performance after the other, many of which were transcribed for the particular forces at hand when they were recorded between 1996 and 2016, this set will seduce many who are not already under Piazzolla's spell.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2017  |  2 comments
Twenty-four years after The Hilliard Ensemble and saxophonist Jan Garbarek recorded Officium, the first of their three haunting, century-crossing collaborations for ECM New Series, Trio Mediaeval has done something similar with trumpeter Arve Henriksen. On their latest ECM New Series album, Rímur, the vocal trio of Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fugiseth, and Berit Opheim teams up with Henriksen to produce timeless versions of chants, hymns, folk songs and improvisations based on Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish sources from earlier times.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 14, 2017  |  9 comments
Given the pedigree of its three artists—cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, and bassist Edgar Meyer—this new recording of Bach Trios is destined to become a best-seller. That the hour-long recording is available in multiple formats, including as a Nonesuch CD, 24/96 hi-rez download, LP, and MQA stream via Tidal Masters, and is filled with glorious music graand MQA stream via Tidal Masters, and is filled with glorious music grants it potential appeal to all music lovers, including audiophiles eager to compare formats.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 07, 2017  |  68 comments
By the time we had finished the house tour and admired the quiet beauty of the fir-canopied neighborhood, we sensed that we would follow our hearts from unsafe and increasingly unaffordable East Oakland, CA to the serene hamlet of Port Townsend, WA. We also knew that the only suitable place for my reference/review system would be in the 22' x 22' detached garage
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 30, 2017  |  4 comments
David Chesky's The Spanish Poems packs a lot of infectious, dance-like energy into a three-song, 24/48 (or 16/44.1) download. Available at a price commensurate with its 21:28 length, the short cycle sets "The Girl from Guatemala" by José Marti (1853–1895), Sonnet No.5 by Garcilaso De la Vega (1501–1536), and "The Romance of Love" by an unknown author. All dance away in a catchy style that makes ample use of bells, triangle, and other high-pitched percussion instruments.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 15, 2017  |  6 comments
In honor of the Lou Harrison Centennial, Naxos has just released a CD of three of Harrison's great pieces: the Violin Concerto (aka Concerto for the Violin with Percussion Orchestra), Grand Duo, and Double Music (with John Cage). Every piece on the recording, which is also available as a 24/48 download from multiple sites, is so unique and engaging, and the percussion so resounding, that tracks from the recording are guaranteed to open ears and turn heads in rooms I visit at the forthcoming AXPONA and LAAS audio shows.

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