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 inInterview

The Desire to be Human

Andreas Scholl is one of the best-known German countertenors. His popstar potential can be measured by the fact that he was the first countertenor to be a guest at Last night of the Proms and on a few late-night talk shows. He’s played a key role in shaping the countertenor renaissance of the last 30 […]

Posted inInterview

Hit Me in the Belly

On March 18, the trumpet player Håkan Hardenberger celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he performed Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto “Dramatis personae,” and smiled gamely (and sipped champagne) through an encore rendition of the theme from “Superman” in his honor. (Disclosure: As with my recent interview with […]

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 inEssay

A Vigil to a Life

When the world falls to pieces, it’s hard to stick to a single story. The best I could do in these three weeks was to put up signposts. It’s my way of trying to remember some important things. The first day of the war, I woke up and read the news. The world had crumbled […]

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

Reflections and Refractions

Caroline Eidsten Dahl: “Telemann: 12 Solo Fantasias” (LAWO Classics) Jeanine De Bique: “Mirrors” (Berlin Classics) Leonidas Kavakos: “Bach: Sei Solo” (Sony) Lucile Boulanger: “Solo Bach-Abel” (Alpha) I’m convinced that, after enough listening to and reading about classical music, we each land on that one composer we can’t stand. Growing up outside of Boston, listening to […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Roadrunners

Martin Achrainer, Maki Namekawa: “Philip Glass: Songs” (Orange Mountain Music) Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini: “Daylight: Stories of Songs, Dances and Loves” (Naïve) Roderick Williams, Roger Vignoles: “Mirages: The Art of French Song” (Champs Hill Records)  There comes a point when, driving down a long stretch of highway, you get hit with a disorienting feeling of […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Movement in the Shadows

Sabine Devieilhe, Raphaël Pichon, Pygmalion: “Bach & Handel” (Erato) Sean Friar, NOW Ensemble: “Before and After” (New Amsterdam) Anthony Roth Costanzo, Justin Vivian Bond: “Only an Octave Apart” (Decca) All easygoing years are alike; each exhausting year is exhausting in its own way. For 2022, I can place my breaking point at West Elm Caleb. […]

Posted inInterview

Luxurious Boredom

When countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo was 11 years old, he performed in a Broadway production of “The Sound of Music” alongside capital-P Personality Marie Osmond. Out of the goodness of her heart, Osmond offered the boy a deep discount on her range of dolls, a line she developed with the television shopping channel QVC. Costanzo […]