Browsing: Romantic

One of the great delights of today’s viewer technology is sitting in your living room, a cup of chocolate in your hand, and, before you, a vibrant, young orchestra, a brilliant and famous conductor, and a dozen notable first-class singers embarked…eroticism…genius – in other words, Salome. Thanks to Medici.tv’s ample coverage of significant classical music events across the globe, we can attend landmark performances, live and in replay. The live concert performance appears on screen straight from the world-famous Verbier Festival in the Swiss Alps thanks to Medici.tv, the premier music live-streaming instrument for viewers. All I had to do…

Share:

Now here’s a surprise. A new release from Opera Rara usually consists of some bel canto work that has languished forgotten in a vault since its premiere 160 years ago, and usually for good reason (as becomes apparent when you’re halfway through the unreviewable second disc). This package, though, is different: a pair of debut releases by two fast-rising singers, soprano and tenor, mingling well-known arias with the fairly obscure. El-Khoury, a Lebanese-Canadian, sticks mostly to well-trodden tracks, albeit with interesting variations. The Berlioz setting of a Freischütz piece is new to me, as is anything from Hérold’s Le Pré aux clercs, which turns out…

Share:

Life, Death & Love: Puccini’s final opera Vancouver, BC – Colossal and colourful, spectacular and intimate—that’s a night at the opera as Vancouver Opera presents Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, the opening production of the company’s exciting 2017–2018 season. To stunning effect, Puccini’s final opera combines his musical mastery with a tale as old as time. Based on Persian legend, and set in ancient Beijing (Peking),Turandot is the dramatic story of an icy princess, emotionally imprisoned by her own vengeful cruelty, who sets herself and her people free when she opens her heart to love. Among the many highlights in Turandot is Calaf’s show-stopping aria “Nessun Dorma.” This…

Share:

I spent a morning with the great baritone in his Berlin home a couple of years before he died. Fischer-Dieskau was in morose mood. His wife Julia was out teaching, he told me twice, seeming to resent her absence. ‘I did too much,’ he confessed, regretting his dominance in Lieder, a field in which he covered not just German song but English, Russian and French. Still, sometimes too much is not enough. The present release is a 1989 duet recital he gave with his wife and the pianist Robert Höll at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, expecting that it would be…

Share:

Of the two UK finalists in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World last weekend, many felt the English soprano Louise Alder stood a better chance than the Scottish mezzo Catriona Morison. Alder commanded the stage with unfeigned confidence, a breeziness that shines through this, her well-timed debut recording. The repertoire is bold, as well. Songs by Richard Strauss are not for wallflowers. Everything has to be just-so, shimmering on the surface and hinting at Freudian urges below. Alder, who made an opera debut as Glyndebourne’s stand-in Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier in 2014, sounds undaunted by anything Strauss can throw at…

Share:

Congregation Shaar Hashomayim’s pews were recently packed to the proverbial rafters for a performance by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. In honor of its 170th birthday, ‘The Shaar’ welcomed esteemed maestro Kent Nagano, who led the OSM in a rousing performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s thrilling oratorio, Elijah.   Shaar Hashomayim’s own cantor Gideon Zelermyer interpreted the tenor roles, while baritone Russell Braun sang Elijah. Soprano Layla Claire and mezzo-soprano Lauren Segal rounded out the protagonists, who were backed by the OSM’s 30-member chorus. VIPs appreciated the pre-concert mini ‘crash course’ on Elijah, delivered by Kelly Rice from McGill’s Schulich School of Music, along…

Share:

Toquade Marina Thibeault, viola; Janelle Fung, piano ATMA 2017. ACD2 2759, 66 min 58 s. With the first recording of her career, violist Marina Thibeault strikes a balance ­between spirited and sentimental, tradition and innovation, accessibility and abstraction, leaving us with a clear and compelling understanding of the breadth of both the repertoire and the instrument itself. Thibeault has a sensitive but firm touch, painting long lines in which sounds become ideas. The disc opens with the Valse sentimentale from Tchaikovsky’s Six Pieces Op. 51. The transcription of the piece, originally written for piano, highlights the thematic binaries – the…

Share:

Inner Landscapes Windermere String Quartet; Elizabeth Loewen Andrews, violin; Michelle Odorico, violin; Anthony Rapoport, viola; Laura Jones, cello Pipistrelle Music, PIP 1216, 71 min 22 s. With Inner Lanscapes, the Windermere String Quartet shows how far they’ve come since their 2012 debut The Golden Age of String Quartets, which featured the Classical masters: Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart. This disc features a commission by Canadian composer Robert Rival, Traces of a Silent Landscape, which was inspired by the Beethoven and Mendelssohn quartets on either side. The group plays on Classical period instruments, a bit lighter in tone perhaps, but no less…

Share:

This year Opéra de Montréal is betting on a young, all-Canadian cast to present their last opera of the season, La bohème. Five of the eight singers in the opera are part of the alumni of the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal.   The soprano France Bellemare – who portrays the lead role of Mimì – is the indisputable star of the show. She displayed great legato and good chemistry with conductor James Meena, who pulled out some magical moments by emphasizing nuances in the score. Bellemare’s strongest moments came in Mimì’s aria “Si, mi chiamano Mimì” and in the duet scene with Marcello interpreted…

Share:

The trouble with keeping records is that library science has yet to devise a method of telling you where any piece of music will be just when you really need it. The Schumann piano concerto, for instance. If I look under Schumann, I find two versions. But then there are four more under Grieg – that’s how the record industry likes to pair them up – and heaven knows how many more in box sets of the lifetime works of individual great pianists. Online, it’s no easier, since the same recording will crop up a dozen times under different covers…

Share:
1 2 3 17