CD Review: A satisfying loll in the languors of Franz Schubert's final compositions
Volume 6 of German baritone Matthias Goerne’s remarkable repeat journey through the Lieder of Franz Schubert has arrived at the 14 songs assembled after the composer’s death in 1828, and named Schwanengesang (Swan Song).
RECORD KEEPING | Getting To Know The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Inside Out
The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg proposes a two-disc set to document their hall's inaugural concert, a felicitous capture.
SCRUTINY | Violinist James Ehnes Wows In Solo Recital
James Ehnes mounts a one-man show, rendered in "high-definition" for the Toronto Summer Music Festival audience.
THE CLASSICAL TRAVELER | Great Music (and Poutine) Deep in the Heart of Texas
Austin, Texas has become widely known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” This may well be true when you consider that 3,000 bands come to Austin every March as part of South by Southwest (SXSW); that Austin City Limits is a long-running and very popular public television series; and that the bars along Sixth Street in downtown Austin are hopping every night to the sound of country and rock bands. The city even boasts a statue of Austin country music icon, Willie Nelson.
OPERA REVIEW | Royal Conservatory of Music's Updated La Belle Helene an Amusing Romp
By Joseph So on March 19, 2015
Since its premiere on December 17th 1864, Offenbach’s La belle Helene has remained one of the most popular of French operettas. It’s easy to see why – a piece that takes place in mythical Greece, with larger than life characters caught in improbable situations, set to an inspired score full of memorable tunes. For a work that celebrated its 150th anniversary last December, its hold on the public remains strong...
SCRUTINY | Jamie Barton’s Resplendent Voice At Toronto Summer Music
By Joseph So on July 26, 2016
American Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton brings a down home style to Koerner Hall, with collaborative pianist Bradley Moore.
LEBRECHT LISTENS | Natalie Dessay Returns With "Odd" Album Of American Songs
Natalie Dessay makes her Sony Classical debut with a new release featuring the Paris Mozart Orchestra and 2 Jazz Musicians.
SCRUTINY | Singing is primo in Maometto II
This review of Maometto II appeared in the National Post but was removed after complaints by the Canadian Opera Company. While we are sensitive to concerns over unwarranted prejudice, we feel this review is balanced and have published it the spirit of open and fair criticism.
CD REVIEWS | Shostakovich: Beethoven Quartet & Pacifica Quartet
Here we have two complete cycles of the 15 Shostakovich string quartets. How to choose between them? Actually, anyone seriously interested in this music needs have both of them.
The Beethoven Quartet cycle is practically self-recommending. The original members of the quartet worked together for the first time in 1923 as the Moscow Conservatory Quartet and regularly thereafter into the 1970s. As the Beethoven Quartet this great Soviet ensemble worked closely with Shostakovich for most of his life and gave the premieres of most of his quartets. The details of the relationship between Shostakovich and the Beethoven Quartet are well told by producer Jacob Harnoy in his liner notes. He quotes first violinist Dimitry Tsyganov on the subject of how they went about preparing the composer’s new quartets...
Concert review: James Ehnes and Russell Braun made fine 115th birthday present for Women's Musical Club of Toronto
The icing on this particular birthday cake was the premiere of a new three-song cycle, commissioned from John Estacio.