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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A marvellous Maskarade

From October 8, 2015:
One of the highlights of the Nielsen Year (it’s going by so fast!) is this excellent new DaCapo recording of Maskarade, the comic opera Nielsen completed in 1906. It’s no wonder this marvellous work is called the Danish national opera: it has some great tunes, with many tender moments as well as stirring ensembles. There’s a fairly logical libretto with interesting and often funny situations. Perhaps most importantly, though, Nielsen’s orchestra plays the same role as Mozart’s in his finest comedies, with innumerable serious or comic touches coming from the pit rather than the stage. The soloists are uniformly excellent, and the chorus is vigorous and engaging. Michael Schonwandt conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in music that all the musicians have in their blood, and you can tell. The musicianship, the excellent Super Audio sound, and a high quality CD package all combine to present a masterwork to its best effect, in the 150th anniversary of its composer’s birth.

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