Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 26, 2021  |  15 comments
On top of a desk, an audio system must be able to deliver satisfying sound in a nonoptimal environment: a flat, reflective plane (the desktop) cluttered with keyboard (or maybe a laptop computer); a mouse; assorted papers, books, and trash; and, perpendicular to that, another flat, reflective plane (the computer display), which, if it's not a tiny laptop screen, will block some of the soundwaves emanating from the speakers. Such sonically inhospitable spaces can consign 3D stereo imaging (and other desirable sonic traits) to the realm of the imagination.
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Feb 05, 2021  |  0 comments
Béla Bartók: String Quartets Nos.1, 3 & 5, Nicholas Cords: Touch Harmonious and Joseph C. Phillips Jr.: The Grey Land: A Mono-Opera.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 28, 2021  |  15 comments
Joy. It's all about the joy.

Joy manifests during those moments when the critical mind suspends, the lens clears, and only union between you and your experience exists. When joy arises, time stands still, all sense of separation vanishes, and only wonder remains.

Many of us live for those moments. Moments of understanding that transcend verbiage and mental chatter and affirm what is real and eternal about the human condition.

Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Dec 31, 2020  |  5 comments
Jakob Bangsø: Corigliano, Caravassilis, Siegel: Guitar Concertos, Beethoven: Christus am Ölberge, Sir John Tavener: No Longer Mourn for Me and Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (excerpts).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 08, 2020  |  27 comments
How to explain the power that trained operatic voices hold over many of us? For me, the pull began days after I was born, when acoustic 78s of tenor Enrico Caruso and coloratura sopranos Amelita Galli-Curci and Luisa Tetrazzini played in the background. There was something about the way the dramatic-to-the-core Caruso sang, as if his life depended on it, while the high-flying coloraturas skipped lightly through impossible strings of notes. It moved me like little else.
Kurt Gottschalk, Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Dec 04, 2020  |  1 comments
Osvaldo Golijov: Falling Out of Time, John Luther Adams: The Become Trilogy, Alexander Scriabin: Le Poème del'extase and Honegger/Schoeck/Mitropoulos: Buried Alive.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 26, 2020  |  13 comments
"Oh goody!" thought self, to self: "Another Gryphon component to review." As eloquent and revelatory as that statement may be, there's an even more illuminating backstory.

I had been aware of Denmark-based Gryphon Audio since the advent of the Gryphon Exorcist, a now-discontinued demagnetizer that cost far more than your average break-in CD, but I only began to encounter Gryphon electronics at audio shows a few years ago. While at first they seemed available for review only as a complete package, Jim Austin was able to arrange for me to review the Gryphon Ethos CD player–D/A processor ($39,000).

Kurt Gottschalk, Sasha Matson, Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 30, 2020  |  9 comments
Eric Whitacre: The Sacred Veil, Beethoven: 9 Symphonies, Beethoven: The Piano Concertos, Shostakovich: Symphonies 5, 1, Gyda Valtysdottir: Epicycle II and Augustin Hadelich: Bohemian Tales.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 23, 2020  |  33 comments
"As long as you're happy."

That's the line long uttered by the most dreaded members of my family, and their friends, whenever they tried to pry into my personal affairs. Often the last word, "happy," was uttered with a downward cadence and accompanied by a shrug.

Then came the kicker. "You are happy, aren't you?" said with eyes boring into my soul. "Well, as long as you're happy."

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 13, 2020  |  5 comments
What's Next Vivaldi?
Antonio Vivaldi and others
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin; Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini, cond. and flute.
Alpha 624 (Auditioned as 24/192 WAV). 2020. Jean-Daniel Noir, prod., edit., master.
Performance *****
Sonics ****

Forget almost everything you know about Vivaldi performance practice, authentic and otherwise, and shush all "shoulds." Banish from your mind any thoughts that all Vivaldi sounds the same. Prepare your ears to hear Vivaldi as you've never heard him before.

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