Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

A Little Tenderness

Reinis Zarins: “Pēteris Vasks: Solo Works” (Ondine) Nicky Spence, Christopher Glynn: “Schubert: The Fair Maid of the Mill” (Signum) Overheard last week in Tempelhof Field—a public park fashioned, in true Berliner style, out of an abandoned airport:  “I hate it here.” “Berlin?”“No, this plane of existence.” A relatable feeling. Fortunately, there’s a new Pēteris Vasks recording. […]

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 […]

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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 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

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 […]

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Love Seeps Through

South-African soprano Golda Schultz is a regular at the Met and at Bayerische Staatsoper. In 2020, she sang at the Last Night of the Proms; this season she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic.  With this career stability, she’s confronting the luxurious challenge of “moving the needle” for women composers and women’s stories. […]

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 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 […]