Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 02, 2016  |  3 comments
It's shocking to go from the sound of soprano Anna Netrebko's voice on her first DG recital of Opera Arias to that on her latest disc, Verismo. The earlier disc, recorded in March, 2003 when Netrebko was 32, showcases a true, shining lyric soprano whose vocal production is absolutely smooth. Over 12 years later, when Netrebko recorded Verismo between July 2015 and June 2016, her weightier low range lacks shine, and her stronger and sometimes wider vibrato occasionally shows signs of a beat.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 26, 2016  |  7 comments
Almost 20 years separate the First and Second Violin Concertos of Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953), but they share a language of such ravishing beauty and unexpected transitions that they seem like first cousins. Among their many recordings, violinist Vadim Gluzman reading with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ENSO) under Neeme Järvi's on a BIS hybrid SACD, entitled Prokofiev • Violin Concertos, Etc, easily holds its own against classic recordings by Heifetz, Milstein, and, more recently, Vengerov with Rostropovich.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 14, 2016  |  7 comments
It is more than fair to say that In C (1964), a repetitive composition of unpredictable length by California native Terry Riley (b. 1935), forever changed the course of modern music. If you want to have a fabulous time learning why, listen to In C on Four Four Three: The Music of Terry Riley. The new DSD-native recording from Channel Classics by the Ragazze String Quartet, percussion quartet Slagwerk Den Haag, and genre-redefining drumkit/French horn/guitar trio Kapok, can be purchased in either CD format or as a stereo or multichannel download in resolutions up to Quad DSD. This collective achievement is so superbly recorded by Jared Sacks, and so colorful, that it will likely send your head spinning into another dimension.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 30, 2016  |  6 comments
Virtually every new recording of Mozart's great opera, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), is eagerly anticipated. The opera is, after all, an indisputable masterpiece, and frequently described as the most perfect opera ever written. Not only does it contain an irresistible flood of melody, with one hummable, ear worm-like tune after the other, but its music also unfailingly serves da Ponte's libretto. This recording, of concert performances that took place in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in July 2015, is especially important for two reasons. The first is its star-studded cast of younger and veteran singers, among whom are four extremely well knowns: bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni (Figaro), baritone Thomas Hampson (Count Almaviva), mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter (Marcellina), and tenor Rolando Villazón (Basilio).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 24, 2016  |  4 comments
One of the great joys of reviewing is discovering music with ideas so fresh, and harmonic progressions so inventive, that the simple act of listening without distraction inspires unique emotional and intellectual journeys. Such is the case every time I listen to the recent ECM New Series release, Danish String Quartet: Thomas Adès Per Nørgård Hans Abrahamsen.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 13, 2016  |  19 comments
You will have to hunt far and wide for a finer-sounding recording of Mahler's final Tenth Symphony than this one of the Deryck Cooke completion from the Seattle Symphony under Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Dausgaard. Captured in 24/96 hi-rez by Dmitry Lipay and Alexander Lipay, and available as both a 5.1 surround sound and stereo 24/96 download as well as in 16/44.1 on CD, the recording stands apart for the richness of its lower midrange, the impact of its bass drum thwacks, and the supremely saturated colors.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2016  |  2 comments
It would only be fair to expect that in the new historic box set, Decca Sound 55 Great Vocal Recitals, there would be a fair number of clunkers amongst the gold. But that is anything but the case. For just a bit more than $2 per CD, you will end up with so many superb performances, recorded by singers in their prime, that unless you already possess almost everything in the box—I do—or you require English translations for most of its contents, purchase is a no-brainer.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2016  |  2 comments
If you're looking for unusual, viscerally thrilling music guaranteed to give your system a run for its money, then Leos Janácek's Glagolitic Mass is for you. Recorded in Norway last summer by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Choirs, conducted by Edward Gardner, this gargantuan mass is the centerpiece of Janácek Orchestral Works, Vol.3, a new, extremely well-recorded hybrid SACD from Chandos.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 22, 2016  |  6 comments
No prosaic formal classification can begin to describe the universal embrace of life and death that is Schubert's final, posthumously published String Quintet in C major, D.956, which melds characteristically Viennese gemütlichkeit with far darker forebodings. . . Those who love Schubert's final quintet await every announcement of another recording or live performance that will hopefully take them closer to the essence of Schubert's genius. Which is, in some ways, what Quatuor Ebène and cellist Gautier Capuçon's new recording of the work for Erato does.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 08, 2016  |  8 comments
Prediction: The visionary new music, system-testing percussion, and virtual rainbow of colors that distinguish Dawn to Dust, the latest hybrid SACD in Reference Recordings' Fresh! series, guarantee that it will become a hit among music-loving audiophiles who dare play tracks beyond 3 minutes in length. The inventive genius that courses through the recording's three compositions—Control (Five Landscapes for Orchestra) by Nico Muhly, 34; Switch by Andrew Norman, 37; and Eos (Goddess of the Dawn), a ballet for orchestra by Augusta Read Thomas, 52—is, in and of itself, enrapturing, formidable, and breathtaking. But when combined with the spectacular coloristic and percussive effects captured by the Soundmirror engineering team, you have a recording virtually certain to earn Dust to Dawn at least one Grammy nomination and countless airings at audio demos.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 01, 2016  |  4 comments
When do 12 hands + 12 eyes = boundless creativity? When you gather up the six New York-based composers of the highly heralded Sleeping Giant collective, set them loose in an extraordinary collection of contemporary art, and invite them to compose art-inspired music for four-time Grammy-winning Chicago new-music sextet, Eighth Blackbird. From this is born Hand Eye, a recording that opens the ear, eye, and mind simultaneously as it transport you to landscapes all their own. If you crave music that stimulates and provokes, you have to hear it.

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