Monthly Archive: February 2017

Graves – Season One (2016)

Graves – Season One (2016)

A fine TV series about an ex-president who is having second thoughts about his time in The White House. Graves – Season One (2016) Actors: Nick Nolte, Sela Ward, Skylar Astin, Helen Yorke, Chris Loewll Directors: Joshua M. Stern, Bob Balaban, Robert Weide, Iain B. MacDonald, Frank Coraci Studio: Kingsgate/ Lionsgate (2/7/17) [3 discs] Video: […]

Oded TZUR – Like a Great River – Enja

Oded TZUR – Like a Great River – Enja

Oded TZUR – Like a Great River – Enja 7754,  39:37 (9/4/16) ****: (Oded Tzur; alto saxophone/ Petros Klampanis; bass/ Shai Maestro; piano/ Ziv Ravitz; drums) An innovative Israeli saxophonist working on a concept inspired by the Indian Classical bansuri master Hariprasad Chaurasia. Israel has been profligate in its production and export of jazz musicians. […]

WEINBERG: Chamber Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 4; Piano Quintet – Gidon Kremer, v./ Yulianna Avdeeva, p./ Mate Bekavac, clarinet / Kremerata Baltica/Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla – ECM New Series

WEINBERG: Chamber Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 4; Piano Quintet – Gidon Kremer, v./ Yulianna Avdeeva, p./ Mate Bekavac, clarinet / Kremerata Baltica/Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla – ECM New Series

A major Russian composer emerges in these scintillating chamber works.  WEINBERG: Chamber Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 4; Piano Quintet – Gidon Kremer, v./ Yulianna Avdeeva, p./ Mate Bekavac, clarinet / Kremerata Baltica/Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla – ECM New Series 2538/39, 79:45, 79:40, *****: It’s hard to imagine how difficult it was to be a Polish Jew […]

JANÁCEK: Orchestral Suites – Prague Radio Sym. Orch. / Tomas Netopil – Supraphon

JANÁCEK: Orchestral Suites – Prague Radio Sym. Orch. / Tomas Netopil – Supraphon

JANÁCEK: Orchestral Suites – Prague Radio Sym. Orch. / Tomas Netopil – Supraphon SU4194-2, 52:00 (10/14/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ***: Janácek’s opera melodies reborn as orchestral suites. We know the music of Janácek best perhaps for his Sinfonietta. But the talented Czech composer was most often writing operas, and in truth, he didn’t leave us […]

Audio News for February 14, 2017

Audio News for February 14, 2017

Dolby Atmos Soundbars – Since a vast majority of households are thining of home theater in terms of a TV display plus a soundbar, the era of Dolby Atmos soundbars is upon us. Systems from LG, Sony, Onkyo, Samsung, Yamaha, Pioneer, Philips and Creative create a choice for consumers. Some of them support DTS:X as […]

SAINT-SAENS: Piano Concerto No. 2; RAVEL: Piano Concerto; GERSHWIN: Second Rhapsody; MASSENET: Meditation – Andrew von Oeyen, p./ Prague Philharmonia/ Emmanuel Villaume – Warner Classics

SAINT-SAENS: Piano Concerto No. 2; RAVEL: Piano Concerto; GERSHWIN: Second Rhapsody; MASSENET: Meditation – Andrew von Oeyen, p./ Prague Philharmonia/ Emmanuel Villaume – Warner Classics

Pianist Andrew von Oeyen embraces his twin cultural loyalties with brilliant elan. SAINT-SAENS: Piano Concerto No. 2 in g minor, Op. 22; RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G Major; GERSHWIN: Second Rhapsody; MASSENET: Meditation from Thais (trans. Oeyen) – Andrew von Oeyen, p./ Prague Philharmonia/ Emmanuel Villaume – Warner Classics 019029508485, 66:05 (1/13/17) ****: Pianist Andrew […]

“Works for Violin & Orchestra” = Music by TCHAIKOVSKY – Moonkyung Lee, v./London Sym. Orch./ Miran Vaupoticthe – Navona

“Works for Violin & Orchestra” = Music by TCHAIKOVSKY – Moonkyung Lee, v./London Sym. Orch./ Miran Vaupoticthe – Navona

“Works for Violin & Orchestra” = Music by TCHAIKOVSKY – Moonkyung Lee, v./London Sym. Orch./ Miran Vaupoticthe – Navona CD NV 6079, 57:40 (2/10/17) * 1/2: Excellent violin performances but with a mediocre recording. Navona Records has given us a very fine performance marred by a substandard recording. Soloist Moonkyung Lee gives her all in […]

Ken Fowser, sax – Now Hear This – PosiTone

Ken Fowser, sax – Now Hear This – PosiTone

Keeping it real… Ken Fowser, sax – Now Hear This – PosiTone PR8163, 55:21 ****: (Ken Fowser – tenor sax; Josh Bruneau – trumpet/Flugelhorn; Rick Germanson – piano; Paul Gill – bass; Jason Tiemann – drums) Last year, when we reviewed Ken Fowser’s initial CD as band leader, (his previous issues for PosiTone shared the limelight […]

ELGAR & TCHAIKOVSKY: Cello Concerto; Variations on a Rococo Theme – Johannes Moser, cello/ Orch. de la Suisse Romande/ Andrew Manze  – Pentatone

ELGAR & TCHAIKOVSKY: Cello Concerto; Variations on a Rococo Theme – Johannes Moser, cello/ Orch. de la Suisse Romande/ Andrew Manze – Pentatone

ELGAR & TCHAIKOVSKY: Cello Concerto; Variations on a Rococo Theme – Johannes Moser, cello/ Orch. de la Suisse Romande/ Andrew Manze  – Pentatone multichannel SACD 5186 570, 64:46 (2/3/17) *****: A compelling pairing of two works by like-minded composers, delivered in stunning super-audio format.  With a little imagination and modest time travel, it is possible […]

Giaches DE WERT: Divine Theater: Sacred Motets – Stile Antico – Harmonia mundi

Giaches DE WERT: Divine Theater: Sacred Motets – Stile Antico – Harmonia mundi

Giaches DE WERT: Divine Theater: Sacred Motets – Stile Antico – Harmonia mundi SACD 807620, 67:19 (2/ 24/ 17) [Distr. by PIAS] ****:  (Helen Ashby, Kate Ashby, Rebecca Hickey, (sopranos) Eleanor Harries, Kate Schofield, Emma Ashby, (altos) Jim Clements, Andrew Griffiths, Benedict Hymas, Ashley Turnell, (tenors) Will Dawes, Thomas Flint Matthew O’Donovan (basses)) Late Renaissance […]

The Mark MASTERS Ensemble – Blue Skylight – Capri 

The Mark MASTERS Ensemble – Blue Skylight – Capri 

The Mark MASTERS Ensemble – Blue Skylight – Capri 74143-2, 48:33  (2/17/17)  ****½: (Gary Foster; alto sax/ Jerry Pinter; tenor and soprano sax/ Gene Cipriano; tenor sax/ Adam Schroeder; baritone sax/ Ron Stout; trumpet/ Les Benedict; trombone/ Ed Czach; piano/ Putter Smith; doublebass/ Kendall Kay; drums ) Outstanding small concert-band arrangements of Monk and Mulligan compositions […]

Al Muirhead – Northern Adventures – The Canada Sessions Vol. 1 – Chronograph

Al Muirhead – Northern Adventures – The Canada Sessions Vol. 1 – Chronograph

Al Muirhead – Northern Adventures – The Canada Sessions Vol. 1 (TrackList follows) – Chronograph CRO 46, 57:58 [1/27/17] ***: A Canadian excursion into the Great American Songbook. (Al Muirhead – trumpet, Flugelhorn & bass trumpet; Tommy Banks – piano 2/6/10; Guido Basso – Flugelhorn 2/6/10; Mike Murley – tenor saxophone 4/9; Chris Andrew – […]

“Dreaming Awake” = Music by PHILIP GLASS –  Bruce Levingston (piano)/ Ethan Hawke (narration) – Sono Luminus (2-CDs)

“Dreaming Awake” = Music by PHILIP GLASS – Bruce Levingston (piano)/ Ethan Hawke (narration) – Sono Luminus (2-CDs)

“Dreaming Awake” = Music by PHILIP GLASS –  Bruce Levingston (piano)/ Ethan Hawke (narration) – Sono Luminus 2-CD set DSL 92205 TT: 109:44 (9/30/16) ***1/2: A fine survey of Glass’s music for piano and narrator. This is a Sono Luminus release of Bruce Levingston’s new album Dreaming Awake. Levingston, an acclaimed concert pianist and recording […]

Mumford & Sons – Live From South Africa: Dust And Thunder, Blu-ray (2017)

Mumford & Sons – Live From South Africa: Dust And Thunder, Blu-ray (2017)

Mumford & Sons – Live From South Africa: Dust And Thunder, Blu-ray (2017) British quartet impresses South African audience. Cast: Ted Dwane; Ben Lovett; Winston Marshall; Marcus Mumford; Chris Haas; Tom Hobden; Dave Williamson; Nick Etwell, Baaba Mal; Mamadou Sarre; The Brother Moves On; The Very Best; Beatenberg Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment EVB335619 [2/3/1017] Director: […]

TOD DOCKSTADER: From the Archives – Starkland

TOD DOCKSTADER: From the Archives – Starkland

An interesting compilation of later works by one of the great electronic/tape music composers. TOD DOCKSTADER: From the Archives (TrackList follows) – Starkland ST-226, 65:50 [11/18/16] ****: Dockstader died a couple years ago and was a key figure in the development of electronic music. As a child, before tape recording, he was fascinated by the […]

Audio News for February 10, 2017

Audio News for February 10, 2017

New Astell&Kern AK70 Supports aptX HD Hi-Res Streaming – The hi-res digital audio player is an improvement over the AKJr. iPod nano-like digital music player which had a sluggish user interface and Spartan feature set. Now they have an almost perfect price-performance champ that is not their flagship player, but seems to right from every […]