Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 22, 2018  |  12 comments
Although I'm far more of a "Happy Holidays" audiophile than anything else, the prospect of a high-resolution Christmas-themed recording from Masaaki Suzuki and his superb Bach Collegium Japan led me to their new hybrid SACD issue from BIS, Verbum caro factum est: A Christmas Greeting (BIS-2291). Auditioned as a 24/96 stereo download—downloading or streaming are the only ways to access the recording immediately, and in format choices that include surround—Masaaki Suzuki's recording managed to bring smiles, warmth, and good cheer to this admittedly down-on-religion Grinch.
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.
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  |  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  |  Aug 05, 2018  |  3 comments
There is music so new, so original, so contemplative, and so deeply felt that it makes you want to listen, and then demands that you listen again. It's music whose layers peel back over time, as it draws you deeper into its mysteries. For premiere recordings of compositions that address time and place, and then often take you beyond them, Transcendent (DE 3555), the first offering on Delos from composer/orchestrator Chad Cannon's Asia/America New Music Institute (AANMI), earns its title.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  12 comments
How many of us, when asked to name great American symphonists, typically start and stop with Copland, Ives, Bernstein, Barber and, among living composers, Glass and Adams? In doing so, we often ignore a host of others from the mid-to-late 20th century, including Schumann, Piston, Diamond, Cowell, Hanson, Harris, and Hovhaness (to name but a few)...Perception could very well change with the release of Lance Friedel and the London Symphony Orchestra's recent SACD for BIS, American Symphonies (BIS-2118).
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  |  Mar 18, 2018  |  26 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  |  Jan 27, 2017  |  5 comments
With their matching wide, distinctly un-stylish yellow ties and dark blue suits, the men of the Sibelius Piano Trio hardly look like world-class musicians. But once you hear their two-CD set from Yarlung Records, best appreciated via stereo and multi-channel DSD downloads from NativeDSD.com, you'll understand why their debut recording of trios by Sibelius and contemporary composers deserves a place in your collection.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 31, 2019  |  8 comments
A divine amalgam of joy and solemnity and one of Mozart’s most spiritually elevated creations, Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) brings each generation's finest conductors and singers to the microphone. Now, Metropolitan Opera conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and tenor-cum-baritone Rolando Villazón and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe add to their series of Mozart recordings for Deutsche Grammophon with a star-studded version that includes some of the best young and veteran artists of our time.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 09, 2018  |  3 comments
This review and its companion that will follow next week spotlight two very different and equally recommendable recordings of contemporary music with a common theme: the quest for freedom and justice in perilous times. This week's special, Lament/Witches' Sabbath (New Focus Recordings), due out today (November 9), contains four works by Mathew Rosenblum, an East Coast composer who occasionally ventures into forbidden territory as he blends percussion, acoustic instruments, electronics, voice and microtonal elements in extremely visceral, moving, and sometimes gut-wrenching ways.
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 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  |  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.

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