Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Imitations and Intimations

Alexei Lubimov: “The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross” (ECM) Alexei Lubimov, Ivan Monighetti: “Silvestrov: Piano Sonatas, Cello Sonata” (Erato) Radu Lupu, Zubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra: “Beethoven: Piano Concerto Nos. 3 & 5” (Decca) Nicholas Angelich: “Prokofiev: Visions Fugitives, Piano Sonata No. 8 and Romeo & Juliet” (Erato) “I play Haydn after […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Night Music

Justina Jaruševičiūtė: “Silhouettes” (Piano and Coffee Records) Camerata Zürich, Igor Karsko: “Leoš Janáček: On an Overgrown Path” (ECM) Golda Schultz, Jonathan Ware: “This Be Her Verse” (Alpha Classics) Justina Jaruševičiūtė describes the “Wolf Hour” as “that time of night in which people wake up without any particular reason and can’t fall back asleep.” It’s an […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Wild Locusts and Honey

Raphaël Pichon, Pygmalion, et. al.: “Bach: ‘Saint Matthew Passion’” (Harmonia Mundi) John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, et. al.: “Bach: ‘Saint John Passion’” (Deutsche Grammophon)  Harry Bickett, The English Concert, et. al: “Handel: ‘La Resurrezione’” (Outhere Music) In the Gospel of Mary of Magdala, a post-crucifixion Jesus returns to earth. He tells his […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

At Rest

Asmik Grigorian, Lukas Geniušas: “Dissonance” (Alpha Classics) Gegham Grigorian, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler: “Arias from Operas” (Melodiya; archival reissue) Irena Milkevičiūtė, Ričardas Biveinis: “Russian Romances” (Melodiya; archival reissue) As a rule, Chekhov’s plays end cynically, unceremoniously closing the door on yet another bleak house. The exception to this is “Uncle Vanya,” which offers a […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

The Polyhedral Spree

Ramon Lazkano, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, L’Instant Donnée, Johanna Zimmer, Manuel Nawri: “Diptyque Jabès” (Odradek) Les Siècles, François Xavier Roth, et. al.: ”Pelléas et Mélisande” (Harmonia Mundi) Kate Soper: “The Understanding of All Things” (New Focus Recordings) The Syrian poet and diplomat Nizar Qabbani wrote that words are like sparrows: they don’t require travel visas. I […]

Posted inReport

Fooling Mother Nature

It’s at around the 15-minute mark that I’m pretty sure I’ve pissed off Renée Fleming. Speaking with America’s most famous living soprano just before last October’s release of her latest recording, “Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene,” I’ve gone into our conversation anxious to discuss one of the album’s central themes: the climate crisis.  Programming for […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Floating in Gesture

Belcea Quartet, Tabea Zimmermann, Jean-Guihen Queyras: “Brahms String Sextets” (Alpha Classics) Rebeca Omordia: “African Pianism” (SOMM Recordings) Two things have been stuck in my head lately. The first comes from Anna Stavychenko’s recent interview with my colleague Hartmut Welscher, given just before Russia’s invasion, while the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra director was on permanent red alert. […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

You Want It Darker

Gidon Kremer: “Mieczysław Weinberg: Sonatas for Violin” (ECM) Stéphane Degout, Simon Lepper: “Epic: Lieder & Balladen” (Harmonia Mundi) Anna Prohaska, La Folia Barockorchester, Robin Peter Müller: “Celebration of Life in Death” (Alpha) There are several moments in the Torah when a figure, called on by God, answers that call with a single word: Hineni. It’s […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Artifacts of Past and Future

Svyatoslav Lunyov: “Panta Rhei” (Ukrainian Live Classic) Valentyn Silvestrov: “Requiem for Larissa” (Ukrainian Live Classic) Alla Zahaykevich: “Nord-Ouest” (Ukrainian Live Classic) Over the last week, I’ve jotted down several aphorisms from composer Svyatoslav Lunyov, in slapdash, automated translations from their original Ukrainian. “The artist is like a spider,” he told the Kyiv Daily. “To catch […]

Posted inOpinion

The Treachery of Images

Update Shortly after this article was published, the Metropolitan Opera announced that, after “not complying with the Met’s condition that she repudiate her public support for Vladimir Putin while he wages war on Ukraine, soprano Anna Netrebko has withdrawn from her upcoming Met performances in Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ this April and May, as well as the […]

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