Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 31, 2016  |  20 comments
What better way to say goodbye to 2016 than to pop the champagne and blast your way through to the Trump Years with the latest version of a double-whammy warhorse pairing, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain, from Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon)? After all, there's no getting around the fact that fireworks are fireworks, and that New Year's Eve is a night for same.
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  |  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.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 02, 2019  |  6 comments
“Musical scavenger” Bryce Dessner, the composer/musician who gained fame as principal songwriter of American rock band The National, describes his process as collecting sounds that appeal to him and trying them out. Classically trained, he’s one of a growing number of artists whose cross-genre music, when performed by string quartets, orchestras, and ensembles, has been central to broadening the definition of classical music in the 21st century. Dessner is also one of eight “extraordinary artists, thinkers and doers” appointed to a collective that will help steer conductor/composer Esa-Pekka Salonen when he succeeds Michael Tilson Thomas as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony in September.
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  |  Oct 23, 2016  |  5 comments
This release from VBI Classic Recordings, C.F. Kip Winger, is not only for all the rock'n'rollers amongst us, but also for lovers of classical music and ballet. That's because it showcases three ballet-inspired scores by the very same of C.F. Kip Winger who founded and lead the rock group, Winger. He's also the same Kip Winger who played bass with Alice Cooper from 1985–1987, and performed and recorded with Alan Parsons, Roger Daltrey, and Bob Dylan.
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  |  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  |  Dec 31, 2018  |  3 comments
Many of us enter the New Year with a mixture of sorrow for our losses and hope for what lies ahead. While there's no right way to celebrate 2019's symbolic new start, one approach to creating space for the new is to pause long enough to acknowledge our lives and environment for exactly what they are at the present moment.

Cue David Chesky's Rap Symphony 2.0, a reworking of Chesky's original release currently available in download and video form.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 18, 2019  |  4 comments
Yup, it sounds weirder than hell, even if talk of hell is best tabled at Christmastime. But never mind: The New Orleans Jazz Band of Cologne’s Santa Claus is Coming to Town is the real swinging thing.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 25, 2019  |  10 comments
I'm not sure what possessed me to listen to young Edgar Moreau's Erato recording, Offenbach & Gulda: Cello Concertos, with Les Forces Majeures conducted by young Raphaël Merlin. Was the moon in that phase when it appears to be laughing at we earthlings? All that is certain is by the time I had heard but a minute of the first movement of cellist/composer Offenbach's concerto, it was clear that I'd be laughing through at least half of the notes that lay ahead.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 26, 2018  |  17 comments
The utter devastation and hopelessness conveyed by Teodor Currentzis' recent Sony Classics recording of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6, "Pathétique," was so shattering that I could not wait to hear what he and his MusicAererna orchestra of Perm, Russia would do with Mahler's Symphony No.6 in a, "Tragic." In fact, I was so eager to experience Currentzis' first recording of Mahler's music that I listened to the 24/96 download even before the physical CD becomes available on December 7.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 29, 2018  |  8 comments
The still youthful Danish String Quartet, whose 2016 release on ECM New Series inspired this glowing review in Stereophile, has returned with another hi-rez recording, Prism I (ECM New Series 2561), the first in a projected series of recordings for ECM New Series that will place one of Beethoven's late string quartets in the context of a related fugue by J.S. Bach and another linked quartet.
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  |  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.

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