A Second Dive into Beethoven’s “Kitchen Sink”

Six more CDs sampled from the Naxos 90-disc every-note-he-wrote collection After what was mostly a taste of major and personal favorite works a few weeks ago, this installment of reviews from Naxos Records 90-CD ultra-complete Beethoven collection stays mostly off the beaten path. And in sum…it was a whole lot of fun! From the Orchestral… Continue reading A Second Dive into Beethoven’s “Kitchen Sink”

Beethoven—and His Kitchen Sink

Being the first of three reviews of the Naxos 90-CD boxed set   In case you hadn’t checked your calendar and done the math—or somehow hadn’t heard yet—2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. Since his birthday was December 16, we’re still more than a year away from the actual celebration, but that hasn’t… Continue reading Beethoven—and His Kitchen Sink

A True Operatic Rarity, a Major Masterpiece Masterfully Realized, and Something Truly New

Three recent releases from the Naxos family, each uniquely compelling   Charles Gounod: La nonne sanglante (Naxos DVD) Mention Gounod and at once Faust, and probably Romeo et Juliette come to mind. What…he wrote another dozen operas? Yes, and the story behind how La nonne sanglante came and got buried so quickly is fascinating; better… Continue reading A True Operatic Rarity, a Major Masterpiece Masterfully Realized, and Something Truly New

A Testament of Greatness

New documentary of Birgit Nilsson reminds us of what we had—and can still treasure I’ve spent most of my life believing that Birgit Nilsson was the greatest Wagnerian soprano of my lifetime. A 2018 Unitel DVD, “Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own,” (distributed by Naxos), gives ample evidence to even make the argument she… Continue reading A Testament of Greatness

A Requiem Review for a Birthday

We celebrate John Harbison’s 80th birthday with a review of the first recording of his Requiem   We don’t need a reason to join thousands of other music lovers around the world in honoring John Harbison, the Pulitzer Prize-winning (among many other high honors) composer born December 20, 1938. But it is particularly fitting (even… Continue reading A Requiem Review for a Birthday

Harbison and Stucky Headline a Stirring Naxos CD

Fascinating program from conductor David Alan Miller   A recent CD in the “American Classics” series from Naxos offers a compelling combination of works, masterfully played by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, conducted by David Alan Miller. John Harbison headlines the booklet, but the first work on the disc is the earliest, Sun-Treader, by Carl… Continue reading Harbison and Stucky Headline a Stirring Naxos CD

A Pair of New CDs from JoAnn Falletta

Naxos releases of Kodaly and Wagner highlight the Buffalo Philharmonic’s polish If there’s a busier conductor than JoAnn Falletta in the recording studio these days, please let me know: she has released nearly two dozen CDs since 2015, about half of them with the Buffalo Philharmonic. She has been music director there since 1999, and… Continue reading A Pair of New CDs from JoAnn Falletta