Monthly Archive: March 2016

Snarky Puppy Vo. 1 – Sylva – Music of MICHAEL LEAGUE – Orch. cond. by Jules Buckley – Impulse /Universal CD + video DVD

Snarky Puppy Vo. 1 – Sylva – Music of MICHAEL LEAGUE – Orch. cond. by Jules Buckley – Impulse /Universal CD + video DVD

Probably the top big band performing today. Snarky Puppy & The Metropole Orkest – Sylva – (nearly 40 musicians plus sym. orch.) Compositions of Michael League/ Orch. cond. by Jules Buckley (Vol. 1) – Impulse!/Universal Classics/Ropeadope B0023119-00 CD + 16:9 PCM stereo DVD *****: I had never heard of this group before but it turns […]

SAINT-SAENS: Symphony No. 3 “Organ”; Intro and Rondo capriccioso in a; La muse et le poete for violin, cello & orch. – Jan Kraybill, pipe organ/Kansas City Sym./ Michael Stern – Reference Recordings (45 rpm vinyl)

SAINT-SAENS: Symphony No. 3 “Organ”; Intro and Rondo capriccioso in a; La muse et le poete for violin, cello & orch. – Jan Kraybill, pipe organ/Kansas City Sym./ Michael Stern – Reference Recordings (45 rpm vinyl)

A fine performance and a first on 45 rpm vinyl. SAINT-SAENS: Symphony No. 3 “Organ”; Intro and Rondo capriccioso in a; La muse et le poete for violin, cello & orch. – Jan Kraybill, pipe organ/Kansas City Sym./ Michael Stern – Reference Recordings stereo 45 rpm vinyl RM-1514, 35:27 (3/15/16) ****: The Kansas City Symphony […]

VIVALDI: The Seasons & works by TARTINI & LECLAIR – James Ehnes, v./ Sydney Sym. Orch./ Andrew Armstrong, p. – Onyx

VIVALDI: The Seasons & works by TARTINI & LECLAIR – James Ehnes, v./ Sydney Sym. Orch./ Andrew Armstrong, p. – Onyx


A new bottle of old wine – the Vivaldi Seasons – depends on your taste and the Ehnes charisma. VIVALDI: The Seasons, Op. 8; TARTINI: Violin Sonata in g “The Devil’s Trill”(arr. Kreisler); LECLAIR: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 9, No. 3 – James Ehnes, v./ Sydney Sym. Orch./ Andrew Armstrong, p. – Onyx […]

The Hateful Eight, Blu-ray (2016)

The Hateful Eight, Blu-ray (2016)

A typical bloody Tarantino film, but a good story, fine acting and lovely widescreen 65mm cinematography make it a great experience. The Hateful Eight, Blu-ray (2016) Director: Quentin Tarantino Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh Studio: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay 8063848, 2 discs (3/29/16) Video: Shot on 65mm film at […]

Learning to Drive (2014)

Learning to Drive (2014)

Learning to Drive (2014) Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley 
Director: Isabel Coixnet
 Studio: Broad Green Pictures 94174625 (1/19/16)
 Video: for 16:9 1080i HD color
 Audio: English DD stereo Subtitles: English, Spanish
 Length: 89 min.
 Rating: **** A ‘feel good’ film but the message is a little heavy handed. I have seen many positive reviews of […]

Audio News for March 18, 2016

Audio News for March 18, 2016

UK Audio Company Pure has Three All-In-One Music Systems; WBIR.com Has Feature on a $200 Home Theater; Stewart Filmscreen Introduces Acoustically Transparent Material; Wireless and Hi-Res Audio Grabs Market Share; Nielsen Company’s Year-End Report on Music

SVENDSEN: String Octet in A Major; BRUCH: String Octet – Tharice Virtuosi – Claves

SVENDSEN: String Octet in A Major; BRUCH: String Octet – Tharice Virtuosi – Claves

Two octets of impressive scale receive intimately ardent renditions in these 2011 performances. SVENDSEN: String Octet in A Major, Op. 3; BRUCH: String Octet in B-flat Major, Op. posth. – Tharice Virtuosi – Claves 50-1207, 67:38 (6/8/12) [Distr. by Albany] ****: Given the current amount of attention allotted to violinist and pedagogue Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), […]

SIBELIUS: Scaramouche – Soloists/ Turku Philharmonic Orch./Leif Segerstam – Naxos

SIBELIUS: Scaramouche – Soloists/ Turku Philharmonic Orch./Leif Segerstam – Naxos

Sibelius’ colorful theatrical score resplendently revealed. JEAN SIBELIUS: Scaramouche – Bendik Goldstein, viola – Roi Ruottinin, cello/ Turku Philharmonic Orch./Leif Segerstam – Naxos 8.573511, 71:01, *****: Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) wrote a large amount of music for the theatrical stage that deserves to be heard, and recordings are virtually the only way to hear them, unless […]

RAIN WORTHINGTON: “Dream Vapors” = var. works – Navona

RAIN WORTHINGTON: “Dream Vapors” = var. works – Navona

RAIN WORTHINGTON: “Dream Vapors” = Shredding Glass; Reversing Mirrors in the Quiet; Tracing a Dream; Fast Through Dark Winds; Within a Dance; Yet Still Night; Of Time Remembered – Czech Philharmonic Orch./Robert Ian Winstin/Moravian Philharmonic Orch./Petr Vronsky/Russian Philharmonic Orch./Ovidiu Marinescu – Navona NV6025 [Distr. by Parma], 52:58, (2/12/16) ***1/2: 
Very pleasant works from this emerging […]

Truth, Blu-ray (2016)

Truth, Blu-ray (2016)

A well-done journalistic thriller centered on Dan Rather. Truth, Blu-ray (2016) Cast: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Elisabeth Moss, Dennis Quaid Director: James Vanderbilt Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 46952 (2/2/16) Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DD 5.1 audio descriptive track Subtitles: English, English SDH Extras: Commentary track […]

*********** MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH ********** MAHLER: Sym. No. 1 / Blumine – Finnish Radio Sym. Orch. / Hannu Lintu – Ondine

*********** MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH ********** MAHLER: Sym. No. 1 / Blumine – Finnish Radio Sym. Orch. / Hannu Lintu – Ondine

* MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 / Blumine – Finnish Radio Sym. Orch. / Hannu Lintu – Ondine ODE 1264-5 multichannel 5.0 SACD, 62:33 [Distr. by Naxos]  (10/30/15) *****: A first class performance and recording of this symphony. Do we need yet another Mahler Symphony No. 1? We do need this one, which is an exceptionally […]

Romeo & Juliet = TCHAIKOVSKY, BERLIOZ, PROKOFIEV – Kondrashin/Monteux /Mravinsky – Praga

Romeo & Juliet = TCHAIKOVSKY, BERLIOZ, PROKOFIEV – Kondrashin/Monteux /Mravinsky – Praga

Despite an askew assemblage, the Romantic ethos of these scores has exemplary conductors at their respective helms. Romeo & Juliet = TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet – Overture Fantasy in b minor; BERLIOZ: Romeo et Juliette Symphonie, Op. 17: four excerpts; PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet Ballet – Suite 2, Op. 64b – Moscow Philharmonic Orch./ Kyrill […]

“Ensemble Pieces” = GAVIN BRYARS & CHRISTOPHER HOBBS – Soloists – Obscure

“Ensemble Pieces” = GAVIN BRYARS & CHRISTOPHER HOBBS – Soloists – Obscure

“Ensemble Pieces” = GAVIN BRYARS: 1,2,1-2-3-4; The Squirrel and the Ricketty Racketty Bridge; CHRISTOPHER HOBBS: Aran; McCrimmon Will Never Return – Gavin Bryars, Christopher Hobbs, Brian Eno, var. instruments/ensemble – Obscure BCGBCD23, 36:38 [Distr. by Allegro] (11/13/15) ***: Important reissue from the early British new wave. Obscure Records had a short but interesting tenure as […]

L’Inhumaine, silent, Blu-ray (1924/2016)

L’Inhumaine, silent, Blu-ray (1924/2016)

A path-breaking 1924 French film which brought together many leaders in modern art and design. L’Inhumaine, Blu-ray (1924/2016) Cast: Georgette Leblanc, Jaque Catelain Director: Marcel L’Herbier Titles & some sets: Ferdinand Leger Studio: Hermes/CNC/ Lobster/Blackhawk Films/ Flicker Alley FA0045 (3/1/16) Video: 4:3 black & white, silent New musical scores by: Aidje Tafial, The Alloy Orchestra […]

Audio News for March 15, 2016

Audio News for March 15, 2016

Keith Emerson of EL&P Dead at 71; Mighty Picks Up Where the iPod Shuffle Left Off; Aivvy Launches Cloud-based Music Platform and Smart Headphones; Spotify Has Playlist For Classical Music Beginners; Five National Anthems

CHINARY UNG Works – Susan Ung/BMOP/ Gil Rose – BMOP

CHINARY UNG Works – Susan Ung/BMOP/ Gil Rose – BMOP

More than just world music, Ung’s muse contemplates a life experience. CHINARY UNG: Singing Inside Aura; Water Rings Overture; Anicca; Antiphonal Spirals; Grand Spiral: Desert Flowers Bloom – Susan Ung, viola and voice/ Boston Modern Orchestra Project/ Gil Rose – BMOP/sound multichannel SACD 1044, 54:10 [Distr. by Albany] ****: The Boston Modern Orchestra Project is […]

MASON BATES: Works for Orch. – SF Sym./ Michael Tilson Thomas /Mason Bates, electronica – SFS Media

MASON BATES: Works for Orch. – SF Sym./ Michael Tilson Thomas /Mason Bates, electronica – SFS Media

MASON BATES: Works for Orchestra [TrackList below] – San Francisco Sym./ Michael Tilson Thomas /Mason Bates, electronica – SFS Media multichannel (5.1) SACD SFS0065 TT: 1:11:14 (3/11/16) ****: Contemporary music with a first-rate multichannel recording. This is a very fine collection of music by the prolific and talented Mason Bates, a contemporary composer who has […]

TIMOTHY BAXTER: Vol. 1- Various short compositions – Soloists – Claudio Records (Blu-ray & DVD-A)

TIMOTHY BAXTER: Vol. 1- Various short compositions – Soloists – Claudio Records (Blu-ray & DVD-A)

TIMOTHY BAXTER: Vol. 1- Various short compositions (TrackList follows) – Soloists: Ulrich Stærk, Anne Mette Stæhr, Galya Kolarova, Demetrios Karamintzas, Signe Asmussen, Anthony Ovenell, Paul Gregory – Claudio Records CC6025-2 Blu-ray (audio only) & DVD Audio (stereo) single disc TT: 65:48 (6/9/15) [Distr. by Naxos] ***1/2: A fine survey of Timothy Baxter’s instrumental music on […]