Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 17, 2018  |  7 comments
With very few exceptions, the 4th floor of the Renaissance Schaumberg was filled with fine to extraordinary sounding rooms. The sound was so good that Jana Dagdagan and I returned to the floor on Day Two to shoot video in three of the rooms. You'll see what fun we had (in very cramped quarters) when the video appears down the road…
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 15, 2018  |  6 comments
Most of my audio show experiences have been mixed, with strings of fine-sounding rooms punctuated by others that have sounded mediocre or worse. On the worst of days, the pattern has been reversed, with room after room sounding so dismal that I occasionally began to wonder if I was suffering from a temporary case of sonic indigestion. But on the Renaissance Schaumberg's 4th floor, despite room layouts that seemed to have been designed by the Son of the Set-up Demon himself, room after room delivered fine sound.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 14, 2018  |  5 comments
If AXPONA seemed to get off to a slow start on the 4th floor of the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center, it was only because, the second the clock struck 10am, huge numbers of people made a mad dash for the first level Marketplace. It was only after they had sated themselves with all the rare LPs and other paraphernalia they could find that they ventured forth into the great unknown.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 08, 2018  |  4 comments
My excitement upon discovering the heretofore unavailable two-CD set, Régine Crespin: Rare Broadcast Recordings, in the catalog of historical performance specialist Norbeck Peters & Ford can only be partially conveyed through words. Crespin's London/Decca studio recordings of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'été and Ravel's Shéhérazade, accompanied by Ernest Ansermet et L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, which were captured in Victoria Hall, Geneva in September 1963, have long been coveted by audiophiles for both their sound quality and Crespin's incomparable artistry. The opportunity to hear the same two French song cycles, delivered with the extra frisson and interpretive touches that great singers share in live performance, in a collection that also includes other live and rarely encountered studio performances by Crespin, is not to be missed.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 01, 2018  |  7 comments
It is doubtful that pianist Alexander Melnikov had audiophiles in mind when he decided to record great works by Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Stravinsky on pianos the composers were accustomed to hearing and playing at the time of composition. Melnikov is, after all, an early music specialist who, like András Schiff, has a number of impeccably restored historic instruments in his personal collection. Nonetheless, given that Harmonia Mundi has recorded him in high resolution (24/96), seemingly without compression, in the fine acoustic of Teldex Studio Berlin, and that each instrument has a sound and dynamic range distinctly its own, the recording is an audiophile must-have.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 30, 2018  |  3 comments
Why review another recording of Stravinsky's great ballet score for the 1913 season of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)? Besides the fact that it's a fabulous performance, it's part of a disc that: 1) showcases one of our most renowned conductors, Riccardo Chailly, leading the superb Lucerne Festival Orchestra; 2) includes the world premiere recording of Stravinsky's long-lost 11-minute Chant Funèbre, Op.5 (1908), a tribute to his late teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov, which disappeared after its first performance at a memorial concert in St. Petersburg in 1909 and was only re-discovered in 2015; and 3) places Rite in the context of that early work and three that preceded it, thereby affording a long view of Stravinsky's path to first bloom artistic maturity.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 22, 2018  |  3 comments
When Michael McCormick, president of Bel Canto Design, suggested that I review their Black ACI 600 integrated amplifier, I accepted without hesitation. As wonderful as my reference system may sound, its dCS digital front end alone comprises four boxes and a web of cables complex enough to send many a spider spinning. Given the choice between connecting that front end to a pair of expensive, enormous monoblocks—with their similarly expensive AC cords and equipment racks/isolation platforms—or to a single, visually elegant, 45-lb box that costs $25,000, produces 300Wpc into 8 ohms, and requires only a single power cord and shelf, I think many an audiophile, even those with lots of money, might gravitate toward the latter.
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  |  Mar 16, 2018  |  18 comments
Having fun at Music Matters 13: Peter McGrath (Wilson), Josh Clark (Transparent Cable), and Stereophile's Jason Victor Serinus (photo, Peter McGrath).

Hailed as the finest public audio retailer event in the United States, Definitive Audio's 13th annual Music Matters event on March 8 drew a huge crowd to the store's Seattle location. Having now covered four Music Matters, I can state with certainty that the sound at MM13 surpassed that heard on previous occasions, and showcased equipment in the best possible light.

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.

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