Monthly Archive: February 2017

Audio News for February 28, 2017

Audio News for February 28, 2017

Home Electronics Spying on You? –  The convenience of your Amazon Echo and Google Home could come at a cost, according to some security experts. The “wake word” is either “Alexa” for the Echo or “Hey, Google” for Google Home, but in order to recognize those words, the two devices are, by definition, listening to […]

CSI: CYBER – TV Series, Final Season (2016)

CSI: CYBER – TV Series, Final Season (2016)

We are all potential targets in this exciting CSI finale season of TV episodes. CSI: CYBER – TV Series, Final Season (2016) Actors: Patricia Arquette, James Van Der Beek, Charley Koontz, Shad Moss, Ted Danson, Hayley Kiyoko Studio: CBS SVS/ Paramount [5 discs] (9/6/16) Video: for 16:9 screens, Tehnicolor Audio: English Dolby 5.1 Extras: Hack […]

Manchester by the Sea, Blu-ray (2016)

Manchester by the Sea, Blu-ray (2016)

A real downer of a film but worth watching, perhaps twice. Manchester by the Sea, Blu-ray (2016) Actors: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges Director: Kenneth Lonergan Studio: The Farm/ Lionsgate [2/21/17] (2 discs) Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p color HD Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish Extras: Conversation […]

ROBERT WARD: The Crucible – Purchase Opera/Jacques Trussel, artistic dir./Purchase Sym./Hugh Murphy – Albany (2 CDs)

ROBERT WARD: The Crucible – Purchase Opera/Jacques Trussel, artistic dir./Purchase Sym./Hugh Murphy – Albany (2 CDs)

An important American masterwork given a very fine performance. ROBERT WARD: The Crucible – Purchase Opera/Jacques Trussel, artistic dir./Purchase Sym./Hugh Murphy – Albany  TROY 1656/1657, 2 CDs: 113:54, (1/01/17) ***1/2: Robert Ward (1917-2013) was Eastman and Juilliard-trained and even studied with Aaron Copland for a bit. His opera, The Crucible, after the play by Arthur […]

BEETHOVEN: Missa solemnis in D – Soloists/ Arnold Schoenberg Chor /Concentus Musicus Wien /Nicholas Harnoncourt ‒ Sony

BEETHOVEN: Missa solemnis in D – Soloists/ Arnold Schoenberg Chor /Concentus Musicus Wien /Nicholas Harnoncourt ‒ Sony

BEETHOVEN: Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123 ‒ Laura Aikin, sop./ Bernarda Fink, alto / Johannes Chum, tenor/ Ruben Drole, bass/ Arnold Schoenberg Chor /Concentus Musicus Wien /Nicholas Harnoncourt ‒ Sony 88985313592, 81:00 (7/15/16) ***1/2: Harnoncourt was a great Beethoven conductor, but his final recording is not entirely successful. Did you know that Beethoven […]

MENDELSSOHN: Songs Without Words; Andante and Rondo capriccioso – Ania Dorfmann, p. – Pristine Audio (2 CDs)

MENDELSSOHN: Songs Without Words; Andante and Rondo capriccioso – Ania Dorfmann, p. – Pristine Audio (2 CDs)

Mark Obert-Thorn restores Ania Dorfmann’s impressive effort in the complete set of Mendelssohn’s poetic tone-pictures.  MENDELSSOHN: Songs Without Words; Andante and Rondo capriccioso, Op. 14 – Ania Dorfmann, p. – Pristine Audio PAKM 069 (2 CDs), TT: 2:12:21 [avail. in various formats from www.pristineclassical.com] ****:   In his extensive “Producer’s Note,” Mark Obert-Thorn justly laments […]

BEETHOVEN: Coriolan Ov.; Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica” – Vienna Philharmonic Orch./ Berlin Philharmonic Orch./ W. Furtwaengler – Pristine Audio

BEETHOVEN: Coriolan Ov.; Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica” – Vienna Philharmonic Orch./ Berlin Philharmonic Orch./ W. Furtwaengler – Pristine Audio

BEETHOVEN: Coriolan Overture, Op. 62; Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 “Eroica” – Vienna Philharmonic Orch. (Op. 55)/ Berlin Philharmonic Orch. (Op. 62)/ Wilhelm Furtwaengler – Pristine Audio PASC 488, 62:07 [avail. in various formats from www.pristineclassical.com] *****: Great performances in the best sound by the great Futwaengler from the World War II era. […]

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata in A Major; Violin Sonata No. 4 in a; Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major – Zanta Hofmeyr, v./ Ilia Radoslavov, p. – Blue Griffin

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata in A Major; Violin Sonata No. 4 in a; Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major – Zanta Hofmeyr, v./ Ilia Radoslavov, p. – Blue Griffin

Energetic, well-crafted readings of three selected Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano. BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 12, No. 2; Violin Sonata No. 4 in a, Op. 23; Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1 – Zanta Hofmeyr, v./ Ilia Radoslavov, p. – Blue Griffin BGR425, 57:45 (1/9/17) [Distr. […]

Eric VLOEIMANS / Holland Baroque Society – Old, New and Blue – Channel Classics

Eric VLOEIMANS / Holland Baroque Society – Old, New and Blue – Channel Classics

Eric VLOEIMANS / Holland Baroque Society – Old, New and Blue – Channel Classics multichannel SACD 35613, 63:05 (12/10/13) *****: (Eric Vloeimans; trumpet/ Marc Constandse; bandeon/ Judith Steenbrink; violin and director) A spectacular collaboration between Dutch genre-hopping trumpeter and Holland’s leading early music ensemble. Dutch jazz has for a long time now distinguished itself from […]

Curtis Stigers, vocals – One More For The Road – with The Danish Radio Big Band – Concord Jazz

Curtis Stigers, vocals – One More For The Road – with The Danish Radio Big Band – Concord Jazz

Curtis Stigers – One More For The Road – with The Danish Radio Big Band – Concord Jazz CJA00011, 33:28 ***: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (Curtis Stigers – vocals; The Danish Radio Big Band) Charles Caleb Colton, an English cleric of the 19th Century, offered the following quotation: “Imitation is the sincerest […]

Russian Ballet Transcriptions for 2 Pianos = STRAVINSKY, BORODIN, TCHAIKOVSKY, KHACHATURIAN – Piano 21

Russian Ballet Transcriptions for 2 Pianos = STRAVINSKY, BORODIN, TCHAIKOVSKY, KHACHATURIAN – Piano 21

Cyrpien Katsaris and Etsuko Hirose provide fingers and firepower to a compilation of Russian ballet favorites. Russian Ballet Transcriptions = STRAVINSKY: The Firebird – Suite No. 2; BORODIN: Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, Act II; TCHAIKOVSKY: Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66: Adagio; The Nutcracker – Suite, Op. 71a; Swan Lake, Op. 20: 3 Dances; KHACHATURIAN: Gayaneh: […]

Mordecai Shehori – The Celebrated New York Concerts, Vol. 10 = SCHUBERT: Impromptu in f, D, No. 1; CHOPIN: Piano Sonata No. 3 in b; Mazurka in c-sharp; PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet: Dance of the Girls with Lillies, The Montagues and the Capulets, Suggestion Diabolique; SHEHORI: Lament – In Memory of 9/11/2001 Victims; GLUCK: Melodie from Orfeo – Mordecai Shehori, p. – Cembal d’amour

Mordecai Shehori – The Celebrated New York Concerts, Vol. 10 = SCHUBERT: Impromptu in f, D, No. 1; CHOPIN: Piano Sonata No. 3 in b; Mazurka in c-sharp; PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet: Dance of the Girls with Lillies, The Montagues and the Capulets, Suggestion Diabolique; SHEHORI: Lament – In Memory of 9/11/2001 Victims; GLUCK: Melodie from Orfeo – Mordecai Shehori, p. – Cembal d’amour

The tenth of the Shehori New York recitals gives us a composite of gorgeously-rendered works. Mordecai Shehori – The Celebrated New York Concerts, Vol. 10 = SCHUBERT: Impromptu in f, D. 935, No. 1; CHOPIN: Piano Sonata No. 3 in b, Op. 58; Mazurka in c-sharp, Op. 30, No. 4; PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet, Op. […]

DVORAK: Piano Trio in f; Piano Trio in e, “Dumky” – Trio Wanderer  – Harmonia mundi

DVORAK: Piano Trio in f; Piano Trio in e, “Dumky” – Trio Wanderer – Harmonia mundi

Splendid renditions of Dvorak’s two late Piano Trios, part of Trio Wanderer’s thirtieth-year offerings.  DVORAK: Piano Trio in f, Op. 65; Piano Trio in e, Op. 90 “Dumky” – Trio Wanderer  – Harmonia mundi HMM 90228, 65:13 (2/24/17) *****: Recorded January 2016, this fine CD brings together two of Dvorak’s potent piano trios as performed […]

SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet & Othello (comp.productions by Royal Shakespeare Co.), Blu-ray (2016)

SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet & Othello (comp.productions by Royal Shakespeare Co.), Blu-ray (2016)

SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet & Othello (comp.productions by Royal Shakespeare Co.), Blu-ray (2016) SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet ‒ Paapa Essiedu, Hamlet / Natalie Simpson, Ophelia / Cyril Nri, Polonius / Clarence Smith, Claudius / Tanya Moodie, Gertrude / Hiran Abeysekera, Horatio / Marcus Griffiths, Laertes / Ewart James Walters, Ghost; Gravedigger / James Conney, Rosencrantz / Bethan Cullinane, Guildenstern […]

GINASTERA:  Panambi (complete ballet) – Piano Concerto No. 2 – Manchester Chamber Choir – BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena – Chandos

GINASTERA: Panambi (complete ballet) – Piano Concerto No. 2 – Manchester Chamber Choir – BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena – Chandos

Exciting, atmospheric and complex orchestral music from South America. GINASTERA:  Panambi (complete ballet) – Piano Concerto No. 2 – Manchester Chamber Choir – BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena – Chandos 10923, 69:07 ****: The music on this disc represents the early and late music of one of the most influential South American composers of the 20th century, […]

Ron Boustead – Unlikely Valentine – Art-Rock Music

Ron Boustead – Unlikely Valentine – Art-Rock Music

Ron Boustead – Unlikely Valentine – Art-Rock Music, 43:56 ***: A tasty treat. (Ron Boustead – vocals; Bill Cunliffe – piano, Fender Rhodes; Hammond B-3; Mitchel Forman – piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3, accordion; John Leftwich – acoustic bass; Jake Reed – drums, percussion; Pat Kelley – acoustic & electric guitar; Bob Sheppard – saxes, […]

Dave Douglas and Frank Woeste – Dada People – Greenleaf

Dave Douglas and Frank Woeste – Dada People – Greenleaf

Making music for Man Ray’s masterful art. Dave Douglas and Frank Woeste – Dada People [TrackList follows] – Greenleaf GRE-CD-1051, 63:14 [10/14/16] ****: (Dave Douglas – trumpet, co-producer; Frank Woeste – piano, Fender Rhodes, co-producer; Matt Brewer – bass; Clarence Penn – drums) Want to appreciate an artist’s efforts in a fresh way? Then try […]

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major; SCRIABIN: Piano Concerto in f-sharp; DVORAK: Sym. Variations – Paul Badura-Skoda, p./ Polish Radio Sym. Orch./ Charles Mackerras – Pristine Audio

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major; SCRIABIN: Piano Concerto in f-sharp; DVORAK: Sym. Variations – Paul Badura-Skoda, p./ Polish Radio Sym. Orch./ Charles Mackerras – Pristine Audio

Charles Mackerras makes his Pristine debut with a concert appearance in Scotland with the Polish Radio Orchestra. SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70; SCRIABIN: Piano Concerto in f-sharp minor, Op. 20; DVORAK: Symphonic Variations, Op. 78 – Paul Badura-Skoda, p./ Polish Radio Sym. Orch./ Charles Mackerras – Pristine Audio PASC 487, 74:47 […]

RICHARD DANIELPOUR: Songs of Solitude; War Songs; Toward the Splendid City – Thomas Hampson, bari./Nashville Sym. Orch./ Giancarlo Guerrero – Naxos

RICHARD DANIELPOUR: Songs of Solitude; War Songs; Toward the Splendid City – Thomas Hampson, bari./Nashville Sym. Orch./ Giancarlo Guerrero – Naxos

Some very moving and well-written songs on topics of war. RICHARD DANIELPOUR: Songs of Solitude; War Songs; Toward the Splendid City – Thomas Hampson, bari./Nashville Sym. Orch./Giancarlo Guerrero – Naxos 8.559792, 60:48, (10/14/16) ****: For people who follow American contemporary classical music only casually composer Richard Danielpour might not be one of the first names […]

“Schumann’s Enigma” = SCHUMANN: Sonata for V. and P. No. 1 in a; Sonata for V. and P. in d ‒ Svetlana Tsivinskaya, v. / Natalia Tokar, p, ‒ Blue Griffin

“Schumann’s Enigma” = SCHUMANN: Sonata for V. and P. No. 1 in a; Sonata for V. and P. in d ‒ Svetlana Tsivinskaya, v. / Natalia Tokar, p, ‒ Blue Griffin

“Schumann’s Enigma” = SCHUMANN: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in a, Op. 105; Sonata for Violin and Piano in d, Op. 121 ‒ Svetlana Tsivinskaya, v. / Natalia Tokar, p, ‒ Blue Griffin BGR 391, 48:10 [Distr. by Albany] **1/2: Sadly, the chief enigma here is why anyone would choose to invest in […]

“Fluvial” = SIBELIUS: Four Lyric Pieces; RAVEL: Jeux d’eau; BYSTRÖM: Air russe varié in g;  SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata in A – Anna Kuvaja, p. – Alba

“Fluvial” = SIBELIUS: Four Lyric Pieces; RAVEL: Jeux d’eau; BYSTRÖM: Air russe varié in g; SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata in A – Anna Kuvaja, p. – Alba

“Fluvial” = SIBELIUS: Four Lyric Pieces, Op. 74; RAVEL: Jeux d’eau; THOMAS BYSTRÖM: Air russe varié in G Minor; SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 959 – Anna Kuvaja, p. – Alba multichannel SACD ABCD 386, 70:53 [Distr. by Albany] (7/29/16) ****: Half of the music on this recital is new to me. Perhaps it […]

Audio News for February 17, 2017

Audio News for February 17, 2017

Your Next Home Phone May Be an Echo or Google Home – Both Amazon and Google are reportedly looking into bringing speakerphone functionality to their smart little speakers. It’s the next local step for increasingly popular devices, and one some consumers have asked for. The current roadblocks are concerns about privacy, telecom regulations, access to […]