Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

For Your (Re)consideration

Patricia Petibon, La Cetra, Andrea Marcon: “La Traversée” (Sony) BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo, Peter Donohoe: “Dora Pejačević: Piano Concerto & Symphony” (Chandos) Giulia Semenzato, Kammerorchester Basel: “Angelica Diabolica” (Alpha) We’re in the middle of a renaissance for historically-maligned women: Tonya Harding, Monica Lewinsky, Britney Spears, Lorena Bobbitt, and Pamela Anderson are among those whose […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Time Lost and Found

Czech Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov, Chen Reiss: “Mahler: Symphony No. 4” (Pentatone) Vicky Chow, Jane Antonia Cornish: “Sierra” (Cantaloupe) If you know anything about Proust’s mammoth In Search of Lost Time, it’s a moment from the first installment, Swann’s Way. In it, Proust describes the moment of unlocking an old memory of Sunday mornings spent with […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Moth Elegies

If there was ever a case for establishing a middle ground between separating the art from the artist and not, it’s Othmar Schoeck. Born in 1886 by the shores of Lake Lucerne, Schoeck found himself in the unfortunate position of being a dyed-in-the-wool Romantic working in a world that was trending inexorably towards the modern […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]