Monthly Archive: May 2016

SCHUBERT [arr. MAHLER]: Death and the Maiden; SHOSTAKOVICH [orch. Barshai]: Chamber Symphony in c – Roman Simovic & LSO String Ensemble – LSO Live

SCHUBERT [arr. MAHLER]: Death and the Maiden; SHOSTAKOVICH [orch. Barshai]: Chamber Symphony in c – Roman Simovic & LSO String Ensemble – LSO Live

SCHUBERT [arr. MAHLER]: Death and the Maiden; SHOSTAKOVICH [orch. Barshai]: Chamber Symphony in c – Roman Simovic & LSO String Ensemble – LSO Live multichannel 5.1 LSO0786 TT: 66:28 (3/11/16) ****: A stunning performance and recording of these two transcriptions of Schubert and Shostakovich. The LSO Live label offers us an interesting disc of string quartets […]

Vanessa Fernandez – When The Levee Breaks – Groove Note (3-45 rpm vinyls)

Vanessa Fernandez – When The Levee Breaks – Groove Note (3-45 rpm vinyls)

Vanessa Fernandez – When The Levee Breaks – Groove Note Records 45 rpm stereo vinyl (3 discs), (5/16/2016), 63:33 ****1/2: Singer pays homage to Led Zeppelin in acoustic glory! (Vanessa Fernandez – vocals; Tim Pierce – guitars, arrangements; Jim Keltner – drums; Chris Chaney – bass; Jim Cox – keyboards; Charlie Bisharat – violin; Luis […]

MAHLER: Symphony No. 5 – Vienna Philharmonic Orch./ Leonard Bernstein – DGG (2 vinyls)

MAHLER: Symphony No. 5 – Vienna Philharmonic Orch./ Leonard Bernstein – DGG (2 vinyls)

MAHLER: Symphony No. 5 – Vienna Philharmonic Orch./ Leonard Bernstein – Deutsche Grammophon 479580-7, 64 mins. remastered vinyl (2 discs), (3/25/16) *****: Mahler’s Fifth spread over two 33 vinyls… If you’re a vinyl freak and need massive orchestral recordings to show how loud you can play without exploding your portion of the known universe, Mahler’s […]

SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 3 in C Major; The Swan of Tuonela; Symphony No. 7 in C Major; DEBUSSY: Nuages et Fetes – Leningrad Philharmonic Orch./ Yevgeny Mravinsky – Praga Digitals

SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 3 in C Major; The Swan of Tuonela; Symphony No. 7 in C Major; DEBUSSY: Nuages et Fetes – Leningrad Philharmonic Orch./ Yevgeny Mravinsky – Praga Digitals

In the music of Sibelius and Debussy, Mravinsky’s live performances extend his repute as an epic interpreter. 
 SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 52; The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22, No. 3; Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 105; DEBUSSY: Two Nocturnes: Nuages et Fetes – Leningrad Philharmonic Orch./ Yevgeny Mravinsky […]

“The Return of Lost Noir Classics” = Too Late for Tears, Blu-ray (1949/2016); Woman On the Run, Blu-ray (1950/2016)

“The Return of Lost Noir Classics” = Too Late for Tears, Blu-ray (1949/2016); Woman On the Run, Blu-ray (1950/2016)

Two classic film noir features from around 1950, beautifully restored by the UCLA Film & TV Archive and distributed by Flicker Alley. “The Return of Lost Noir Classics” = Too Late for Tears, Blu-ray (1949/2016) Woman On the Run, Blu-ray (1950/2016) Too Late Cast: Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy Director: Byron Haskin Studio: Republic […]

Audio News for May 17, 2016

Audio News for May 17, 2016

LG Has Highest Operating Profit in Global Home Appliance Market – South Korea’s electronics giant LG Electronics has recorded the highest operating profit rate this year among the top home appliance producers in the world. The others are Whirlpool, Electrolux, Daikin and Samsung Electronics. Despite the off-season and unfavorable overseas business conditions caused by the […]

Ross Hammond & Sameer Gupta – Upward – Prescott

Ross Hammond & Sameer Gupta – Upward – Prescott

Improvised music which pushes boundaries. Ross Hammond & Sameer Gupta – Upward [TrackList follows] Prescott, 63:28 [3/15/16] ****: (Ross Hammond – 12-string guitar; Sameer Gupta – tabla) Jazz or improvisational duo albums offer something distinct. The reliance on just two instruments means both musicians have to have complete communication. Each artist is always doing something […]

Bruno Walter on The Standard Hour = WAGNER: Prelude from Parsifal; MOZART: Mass in c minor: Et incarnates est; Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; HAYDN: The Seasons: Oh, welcome now; Oh how pleasing to the senses; WEBER: Oberon Ov. – Brunetta Mazzolini, sop./ SF Sym. Orch./ Bruno Walter – Pristine Audio

Bruno Walter on The Standard Hour = WAGNER: Prelude from Parsifal; MOZART: Mass in c minor: Et incarnates est; Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; HAYDN: The Seasons: Oh, welcome now; Oh how pleasing to the senses; WEBER: Oberon Ov. – Brunetta Mazzolini, sop./ SF Sym. Orch./ Bruno Walter – Pristine Audio

A rare appearance by Bruno Walter in San Francisco makes a splendid impression in the Pristine incarnation. Bruno Walter on The Standard Hour = WAGNER: Prelude from Parsifal; MOZART: Mass in c minor, K. 427: Et incarnates est; Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525; HAYDN: The Seasons: Oh, welcome now; Oh how pleasing to the senses; […]

DVORAK: Sym. No. 8 in G Major; Carnival Ov,; SUK: Serenade for Strings in E Major – Bavarian Radio Sym., Orch./ Mariss Jansons – BR Klassik

DVORAK: Sym. No. 8 in G Major; Carnival Ov,; SUK: Serenade for Strings in E Major – Bavarian Radio Sym., Orch./ Mariss Jansons – BR Klassik

Mariss Janson continues his survey of Dvorak with an energy and style reminiscent of Vaclav Talich. DVORAK: Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88; Carnival Overture, Op. 93; SUK: Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 6 – Bavarian Radio Sym, Orch./ Mariss Jansons – BR Klassik 900145, 73:14 (4/8/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ****:
 […]

Audio News for May 13, 2016

Audio News for May 13, 2016

Classical Music Blaring from SF Store Curbs Crowd – Studies have shown that classical music can help calm nerves, enhance memory and make pets more calm, but a Burger King in downtown San Francisco is using works of Vivaldi and Bach to help clear a troubled street corner of the mobs that used to hang […]

Easy Rider, Blu-ray (1969/2016)

Easy Rider, Blu-ray (1969/2016)

The road movie to own if you don’t own any others at all. Easy Rider, Blu-ray (1969/2016) Cast: Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Karen Black, Jack Nicholson Director: Dennis Hopper Director of Cinemaphotography: Laszlo Kovacs Studio: Columbia/ The Criterion Collection 545 (5/3/16) Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 full screen color 1080p color & 16 mm color Audio: […]

Shaun the Sheep, Blu-ray (2015)

Shaun the Sheep, Blu-ray (2015)

May be the best animated family feature of the year. Shaun the Sheep, Blu-ray (2015) Directors: Mark Burton & Richard Starzak Based on: Shaun the Sheep, by Nick Park Voice-overs: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Dialili Studio: Aardman Animations/ StudioCanal/ Lionsgate (US) [2/6/15] Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 widescreen, 1080p HD color Audio: English & animal […]

SHOSTAKOVICH: Complete Symphonies and Concertos/ Valery Gergiev – Blu-ray (2015)

SHOSTAKOVICH: Complete Symphonies and Concertos/ Valery Gergiev – Blu-ray (2015)

Essential. Nothing else to say. SHOSTAKOVICH: Complete Symphonies and Concertos – Valery Gergiev, Blu-ray (2015) Performers: Orch. and Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre/ Valery Gergiev/ Alena Baeva, violin/ Vadin Repin, violin/ Mario Brunello, cello/ Gautier Capucon, cello/ Denis Matsuev, piano/ Danil Trifonov, piano/ Timur Martynov, trumpet/ Veroinika Dzhioeva, sop./ Mikhail Petrenko, bass (Live from Salle […]

HANDEL: Messiah at Grace Cathedral – audio-only Blu-ray (2015)

HANDEL: Messiah at Grace Cathedral – audio-only Blu-ray (2015)

Rather laidback for my taste. HANDEL: Messiah at Grace Cathedral (1753 Foundling Hospital Version) – audio-only Blu-ray (2015) Mary Wilson, sop./ Eric Jurenas, countertenor/ Kyle Stegall, tenor/ Jesse Blumberg, bar./ John Thiessen, trumpet/ American Bach Soloists/ American Bach Ch./ Jeffrey Thomas (Live from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco 2014) Producer: Abigail McKee Director: Frank Zamacona Studio: […]

BACH: Cantatas 131, 147, 35; Prelude in c; CPE BACH: Magnificat – The Bach Choir and Orch. Houston/ Rick Erickson/ Sigurd Melvaer Øgaard, organ cont./ soloists – HDTT

BACH: Cantatas 131, 147, 35; Prelude in c; CPE BACH: Magnificat – The Bach Choir and Orch. Houston/ Rick Erickson/ Sigurd Melvaer Øgaard, organ cont./ soloists – HDTT

Want to remember why you so love Bach? Just listen to this. BACH: Cantatas 131, 147, 35; Prelude in c, BWV 546/I; CPE BACH: Magnificat, Wq 215 – The Bach Choir and Orch. Houston/ Rick Erickson/ Sigurd Melvaer Øgaard, organ cont./ Jennifer Lane, mezzo (in Solo Cantata 35) – HDTT 5.0 24/192 (2015) & 2.0 […]

Audio News for May 10, 2016

Audio News for May 10, 2016

Adoptions Increase After Shelters Play Classical – The Rescue Animal MP3 Project in North Carolina is one of two shelters, humane societies and rescues across the state which has begun playing classical music in December to help cut the adjustment period for animals. The dogs are much calmer when families come to the shelter. The […]

TCHIAKOVSKY: Sym. No. 6 in b, “Pathetique”; DVORAK: Rusalka Fantasy – Reference

TCHIAKOVSKY: Sym. No. 6 in b, “Pathetique”; DVORAK: Rusalka Fantasy – Reference

************ MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH ************ 
A modern milestone recording for a work you thought you knew. TCHIAKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 in b, Op. 74 “Pathetique”; DVORAK: Rusalka Fantasy (arr. Honeck/Ille) – Reference Recordings multichannel HDCD SACD FR-720, 67:03 [Distr. by Naxos [5/13/16] *****: What a steal the Pittsburgians came up with when they […]

Sarah Vaughan – Live At Rosy’s – Resonance

Sarah Vaughan – Live At Rosy’s – Resonance

Sarah Vaughan – Live At Rosy’s – Resonance HCD-2017 86:50 (2 CDs) ****: A consummate jazz vocalist in peak form. (Sarah Vaughan – vocals; Carl Schroeder – piano; Walter Booker – bass; Jimmy Cobb – drums) Patricia Willard, in writing for The Oxford Companion To Jazz Edited by Bill Kirchner, said the following about Sarah […]

LARS-ERIK LARSSON: Symphony No. 2; Variations, Op. 50; Barococo Suite, Op. 64 – Helsingborg Sym. Orch./Andrew Manze – CPO

LARS-ERIK LARSSON: Symphony No. 2; Variations, Op. 50; Barococo Suite, Op. 64 – Helsingborg Sym. Orch./Andrew Manze – CPO

LARS-ERIK LARSSON: Symphony No. 2; Variations, Op. 50; Barococo Suite, Op. 64 – Helsingborg Sym. Orch./Andrew Manze – CPO 777 672-2 multichannel SACD [Distr. by Naxos], 69:53, (11/13/15) ***: 
Very dedicated performances of these works that remain pretty obscure. There are probably a lot of reasons why the music of Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986) […]

SIBELIUS: Belshazzar’s Feast, Scène de Ballet, Cortège and other works for the stage – Turku Philharmonic Orch., Leif Segerstam – Naxos

SIBELIUS: Belshazzar’s Feast, Scène de Ballet, Cortège and other works for the stage – Turku Philharmonic Orch., Leif Segerstam – Naxos

A wide-ranging and enjoyable tour of Sibelius’ music for the theatre, conducted by Leif Segerstam with the Turku Philharmonic. JEAN SIBELIUS: Belshazzar’s Feast, Scène de Ballet, Cortège and other works for the stage – Turku Philharmonic Orch., Leif Segerstam/ Pia Pajala, sop. – Naxos 8.573300, 63:01 *****: The feature work on this all-Sibelius (1865 – […]

Oppo Universal 3D Blu-Ray Player BDP-105D 
SRP: $1299

Oppo Universal 3D Blu-Ray Player BDP-105D 
SRP: $1299

Oppo Universal 3D Blu-Ray Player BDP-105D
SRP: $1299 Specs:
 Firmware Version: BDP10X-38-1220 (Jan. 2, 2013) 
Dimensions: 16.8” W x 12.2” D x 4.8” H
Weight: 17.3 pounds 
Voltage: 120/240 (for use anywhere in the world) 
Passive Cooling (i.e., no fan) 
Power Consumption: 55W, .5W (standby)
 Warranty: 2 years
 Rating: ***** Full Specs: http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-105/blu-ray-BDP-105D-Overview.aspx Oppo Digital 
2629 Terminal […]