Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • Krunoslav: Marshie, hope you enjoy all of Mozart’s triplets! :) 2:15 PM
  • marshiemarkII: Mille grazie Clitissssisima adoree, send all my love to my CammiB and tell her that parterre... 2:08 PM
  • Clita del Toro: Correction: Sorry, Cammiest will be back in NY later this year. 1:41 PM
  • Clita del Toro: MARSHIE, wherever you are: Madame Camilliest wants me to tell youz that she is now in the... 1:40 PM
  • Ilka Saro: September 22 is also the birthdate of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. A pleasant coincidence that this... 1:34 PM
  • operaassport: You’re right. I actually forgot that Netrebko was in it having already seen her do it.... 12:49 PM
  • Constantine A. Papas: After the Salzburg Leonora, Netrebko has taken the opera world hostage. If her LM is... 12:47 PM
  • Clita del Toro: Everyone have fun tonight, either at the performance or on the radio. I am going out to a... 12:41 PM
  • Clita del Toro: Let’s hope the “needle̶ 1; moves in the right direction. 11:51 AM
  • kashania: I guess it won’t imbed here. Oh well. I’m enjoying it so far. Surprisingly, he sings... 11:38 AM

State of grace

Ward Marston recently released a four-CD deluxe package of John McCormack’s lesser known Odeon recordings. These are not to be confused with his later, more well-known, and vocally revered discs he made on the Victor label. Recorded more than a century later, Lawrence Brownlee’s new album Virtuoso Rossini Arias demonstrate just how far the tenore di grazia has  come in the operatic world. The two albums are really useful bookends for each other.   Read more »

Low-fat Schoenberg

With orchestral and choral forces that could outnumber a small European village, Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder is a composition designed to overwhelm. The young composer was intent on cashing in on the pre-World War 1 fad for gigantism that spawned such works Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and on exploring a full palette of human emotions and natural wonders in a single evening. His fin-de-siècle oratorio deploys upward of 300 performers and contains a kitchen sink of effects, including trombone glissandi, percussion with chains and a surreal spoken “melodrama” about the transformative Nordic wind.   Read more »

Kraus purposes

Perhaps there are not that many people in the world who would look at a CD cover and think “Oh, goody, goody! A libretto by Eugène Scribe I’ve never come across before!” Scribe, a prolific creator of many forms of popular theatre in Paris, wrote the libretti for the most famous French grand operas but also produced works in many other genres. I knew I could expect a lot of variety, incident and entertainment from Ali Baba ou Les Quarante voleurs (“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”) and I was not disappointed. Read more »

stoyanova_amazon

Ladies in their sensitivities

As someone who thinks Verdi is the greatest composer who ever lived and who feels pretty meh about Mozart, I expected to love the Verdi and be bored by the Mozart. I wasn’t far wrong.

Read more »

florez_amazon

Where the boys are

When Norman Lebrecht is declaring on an almost daily basis that classical music is dead, it’s perhaps heartening that four of today’s prominent tenors have recently released what might be called fluff/vanity albums.

Read more »

tristan_amazon

Sex please: we’re British

The finer performances of Tristan und Isolde have a way of sounding like a four-hour improvisation, the fruit of a single moment of inspiration that makes one forget how emotionally manipulative and painstakingly crafted the music really is.

Read more »

jaroussky

Farinelli from heaven

My impossible wish would be to hear one of the great castrati who dominated opera for most of the 18th century.

Read more »

siegfried_amazon

Brass ring

Marek Janowski’s survey of Wagner operas on PentaTone so convincingly captures the pulse and dramatic flow of many of the works that the music-making at times sounds almost effortless.

Read more »

meli_amazon

New faces

Mr. Ian Rosenblatt is a London solicitor and patron of charitable causes in Britain primarily focused on classical music.

Read more »

angelica_amazon

Habit, forming

I’ve always had a fondness for Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and apparently so did he since he often referred to it as, “among the finest of my children.”

Read more »