Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 05, 2019  |  10 comments
Philip Glass (b. 1937) may not quite be a household name in America, but he's surely as well-known as any living classical composer, and the repetitive minimalism that is the hallmark of his music has influenced everything from rock music to TV commercials. Still, after 5 decades of composing, it took a commission from Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion for Glass to write his first concerto for percussion ensemble, Perpetulum—"What took them so long to ask me?" Glass has said about the commission. TCP has just released the premiere recording of the 21:23 minute concerto on their new 2-CD set, Perpetulum (OM 0132), from Glass's own label, Orange Mountain Music. The recording, which was engineered in 24/96, is also available as a download with those specifications.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 29, 2019  |  9 comments
The first and only time I heard a live performance of Mahler's five-movement Symphony No.7, from Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, I left Davies Symphony Hall confused. The bad press that the 70+ minute work has received for over a century, mainly for its innate ambiguity, convinced me that it was, at best, a problematic work—one that Mahler might have eventually revised had he lived long enough. But after listening to DSD128 files of Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra's new recording of the symphony for Channel Classics, released March 29 in SACD format, I've come to consider it a somewhat shy flower that puts on a brave face and remains in the shadows until a strong conductor coaxes it into the light and convinces it to share all of its bloom and fragrance.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 20, 2019  |  17 comments
For all those who love Beethoven, for all who wish to honor conductor Bernard Haitink's 90th birthday earlier this month (March 4), and for all who've been posting variations of, "Jason, for the love of God, free us from the horrors of contemporary music," this one's for you. Live from the London Symphony Orchestra, we present Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.2, Triple Concerto in C for piano, violin, and cello, and Leonore Overture No.2, Op.72a from LSO Live (LSO0745D). Although identified as a "CD" by arkivmusic.com and Amazon, this is a hi-resolution SACD, recorded in DSD64.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 08, 2019  |  9 comments
Given its engrossing, frequently radiant score, unflinching look at its timely subject matter, and superb cast of singing actors, Pentatone's live hi-rez recording of the premiere of Mason Bates and Mark Campbell's opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, fully deserves the Grammy recently bestowed upon it by the Recording Academy.
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  |  Feb 18, 2019  |  0 comments
Last summer, Music@Menlo devoted its season to a series of Creative Capitals programs. Through concerts, lectures, and more, the festival surveyed the diversity of Western chamber music that was birthed in Europe's "most flourishing" historic creative capitals—London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Leipzig, Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna.

You can hear the sum of Music@Menlo's accomplishments in the multi-CD sets of the their annual festivals, most of which are also available for streaming in Red-Book quality on Tidal...

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 28, 2019  |  7 comments
There are many ways to talk about the remarkable Symphonies Nos.1 & 4 • Jeux vénitiens of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski (1913–1994). You could, for example, approach them as does Kimmo Korhonen, whose extremely detailed and well-thought-out liner notes for the recent Ondine SACD of these works from Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra examine the evolution of Lutoslawski's tonal language and explain that they basically represent the beginning (Symphony No.1, 1947), middle (Venetian Games, 1960–1961) and end (Symphony No.4, 1992) of his arc as a mature composer. Or you could simply close your eyes and discover how many fantastic places they take you to.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 21, 2019  |  1 comments
To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the recent Women's March, we turn the spotlight on Symphonies Nos.1 & 4 of Florence Beatrice Price (1887–1953), the first African American woman to have her music performed by a major American orchestra. In doing so, I extend a big thank you to Naxos, whose invaluable American Classics series continues to record works by American composers both famous and relatively unknown.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 16, 2019  |  4 comments
That's the question raised by Antheil: Orchestral Works (Chandos 10982), the latest anthology of symphonic music by composer/pianist George Antheil (1900–1959). This second Antheil title from John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra finds Storgårds exploring music written on both sides of Antheil's successful Symphony No.4, which can be found on Vol.1 of what looks to be an ongoing Antheil series.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 06, 2019  |  3 comments
From last week's contemporary realities, as viewed through the lens of David Chesky, we move back in time to 1707–1710, when the emotionally overwrought women, mythological subjects, shepherds, shepherdesses, and nymphs of Handel Italian Cantatas were in vogue. If those subjects strike your fancy, and/or you love baroque artistry and great singing, this new Erato recording from Emmanuelle Haïm's Le Concert d'Astrée, French lyric coloratura soprano Sabine Devielhe, and Franco-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre belongs on your must-hear list.
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 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  |  Dec 15, 2018  |  11 comments
Terpsichore, the Greek goddess of dance and chorus. How appropriate that her delight in dancing should be honored in Terpsichore: Apotheóse de la Danse baroque (Alia Vox), the latest beautifully produced and packaged Alia Vox SACD from Jordi Savall and his baroque orchestra, Le Concert des Nations. Filled with high energy orchestral music by Jean-Ferry Rebel (1666–1747) and the even longer-lived Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767), the recording exalts the exuberant French style of instrumental dance music that became popular during the rise of the baroque orchestra in the courts of Kings Henry IV and Louis XIII in the early 17th century.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 09, 2018  |  8 comments
First came the press release, from San Francisco Symphony, announcing:

• Esa-Pekka Salonen is the Music Director Designate of SFS, to replace Michael Tilson Thomas when he voluntarily steps down after the summer of 2020.

• EPS will lead SFS in a program on January 18–20 that includes the SFS premiere of Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Metacosmos, Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra, and Sibelius's Four Legends from the Kalevala.

These led me to explore Thorvaldsdottir's music in two recent hi-rez releases from Sono Luminus: Aequa: International Contemporary Ensemble Performs Anna Thorvaldsdottir (DSL-92224), and Nordic Affect: H e (a) r (DSL-92227).

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 02, 2018  |  9 comments
There I was, driving through the streets of Port Townsend, dodging the dashing deer, when out of the blue, strains of Palestrina came floating by. Giving thanks to CBC Radio, which we can receive in the Pacific Northwest, I noticed immediately how my internal space had become far more peaceful after just a few bars of Palestrina's polyphonic writing for multiple voices. It was at that minute that I realized that I missed listening to sacred vocal music of the Renaissance, and that it was high time that more of it made its way on to the Stereophile.com.

French composer Antoine de Févin (ca 1470–1511/12) was, according to conductor Stephen Rice, one of the most accomplished and widely circulated creators of sacred music in France and Europe around 1500. With very few entire recordings devoted to Févin's music, there is no better way to make his acquaintance than the latest offering from Rice and The Brabant Ensemble, Antoine de Févin: Missa Ave Maria & Salve sancta parens (Hyperion CDA68265).

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