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.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Voice of the Century

From November 27, 2012:


Amalia Rodrigues had one of the great voices of the 20th Century, and looms large in the history of fado, Portugal's most vital and important musical form. Her voice is as strong and pure as Patsy Cline's, and as dramatic and full of pathos as Maria Callas's. She recorded so many records from 1945 until the late 1990s, providing lots to choose from in creating the second disc in this Queen of Fado series. The songs on the CD are all of great simplicity and power, and she is more than ably accompanied by her long-time guitarist partner Santos Moreira, along with Domingos Camarinha, Raul Nery or Jaime Santos playing guitarra portuguesa. There are also a few songs with orchestral accompaniment, which apparently caused quite a stir when they were first recorded. That fuss reminded me of the controversy when Bob Dylan first went electric. In the end, though, it's all about the music. And the voice.

ARC Music continues to enrich the musical life of the world through their recording and licensing of important music from around the globe. This disc, endorsed by the Foundation Amalia Rodrigues, has my enthusiastic endorsement as well.

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