Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Eavesdropping on something special

From November 2, 2010:


Fans of recorded music have always talked about the sense of being more or less in a concert hall, listening to music as real as a live concert. The sound from this disc is so vivid and lifelike that I had a more privileged, intimate feeling. I could imagine that I was present at the recording, one of a handful of hangers-on allowed to sit in Geneva's lovely Victoria Hall while the recording took place, experiencing the creation of something special.

I don't have the high-end system or the high-end ears of a true audiophile, but this feeling of the musicians' presence enhanced my enjoyment more than I thought it could. The outstanding quality of Arabella Steinbacher's performance of these two pieces (the second of which tops my list of the greatest 20th century violin concertos) was just as apparent to me when I listened to the MP3s on my iPhone, as was the musicality Marek Janowski brought out from the Suisse Romand Orchestra. But this Hybrid Multichannel Super Audio CD is at the intersection of the highest levels of creation, interpretation, and technology. Watch for this disc to show up on many "Best Of" lists to come!

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