Jason Victor Serinus

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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  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  18 comments
1915. Marcel Duchamp's nude has already descended the staircase, Arnold Schoenberg's Three Orchestral Pieces, Op.16 have shattered tonality, and the old order is crumbling. It is in this context that 30-year old Alban Berg completes his Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op.6, which is now available as the San Francisco Symphony's first download-only release in resolutions up to 24/192.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 02, 2017  |  14 comments
With so many great studio and live recordings of Mahler's three song cycles for solo voice readily available, any new contender has to offer something very special. On their new Pentatone hybrid SACD, Mahler Song Cycles, which is also available as a hi-rez PCM or DSD download in both stereo and surround here and here, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under Marc Albrecht present interpretations of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), the five Rückert-Lieder (settings of poems by Friedrich Rückert), and Kindertotenlieder (Songs to Dead Children) that can stand up against those of, to mention only a few leading mezzo-sopranos/contraltos of the last 70 years, Kathleen Ferrier, Janet Baker, Christa Ludwig, Brigitte Fassbaender, Anne Sofie Von Otter, and Frederica von Stade.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 22, 2017  |  5 comments
The latest installment in Ivan Fischer's near-complete Mahler cycle for Channel Classics, the Symphony No.3 (CCS SA 38817), renders the myriad beauties of this most wondrous of symphonies into an unforgettable experience. No matter what layer you audition on the two-disc hybrid SACD set, or whichever resolution DSD files you download—I listened in DSD128—you will discover the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Cantemus Children's Choir, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and alto Gerhild Romberger portrayed in stunning sound, with pounding percussion, cutting brass, tinkly triangles, and celestial children's voices laid out before you in a seamless soundstage.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 16, 2017  |  5 comments
It is undoubtedly far more romantic for us to imagine young Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736) spending his last weeks on earth writing four chamber cantatas in a Franciscan monastery on the Bay of Naples than it was for him to write feverishly while dying of tuberculosis. Had he experienced a miracle cure, he would have lived to discover that his Stabat Mater was fast becoming one of the most widely disseminated and frequently printed musical manuscripts of the 18th century.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 13, 2017  |  39 comments
For the longest time, I've found the label "hobby" inadequate to describe the audiophile goal of better sound reproduction. Yes, for some, the mechanics of the High End have become an end in themselves—a way to tinker and tweak, build and rebuild in classic hobby fashion. But for many others, specifically earbud listeners, folks with whole-house systems, and those who'd rather push a button on a remote and sit back or dance rather than roll tubes or tinker, the descriptor hobby falls woefully short.
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 02, 2017  |  16 comments
Imagine almost 86 minutes of superbly recorded percussion in which the traditional notions of steady beat, driving rhythms, and attention-catching melody rarely take center stage. Welcome to Beyond, a mind-bending /time-distorting three-disc percussion tour de force from Sono Luminus on which the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet plays a dazzling array of percussion as it explores the eloquence and beauty of color, texture, sustain and decay. Recorded in DXD (24/352.8k), Beyond is available as either a hi-rez download in multiple formats, including DSD, or as a three-disc album that includes two Red Book CDs and a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 24, 2017  |  9 comments
For his fourth Schumann disc since the 1998 Dichterliebe; Liederkreis collaboration with Vladimir Ashkenazy, the great German baritone Matthias Goerne joins pianist Markus Hinterhäuser in a 19-gem collection of heart-touching songs by Robert Schumann entitled Einsamkeit (Solitude). The singing on the Harmonia Mundi recital is gorgeous throughout, and the repertoire deeply communicative. This is especially the case in hi-rez from HDtracks, where the duo's artistic brilliance shines strongest.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2017  |  0 comments
Want to go from yang to ying by the simple switch of a silver disc? Try seguing from the two supremely energetic, densely populated chamber symphonies of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams (b. 1947), which we explored last week, to the far milder and less complicated choral work, Canticles of the Holy Wind (Cantaloupe) from the other Pulitzer Prize in Music-winning Adams, John Luther Adams (b. 1953).

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