Fairy tale Fairy tale

“Conduct Salome and Elektra as if they were by Mendelssohn: Fairy music.” Seriously, how often has that happened?

on July 25, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Bomb squad Bomb squad

Vienna never really forgave Erich Wolfgang Korngold for going to work in the movies.

on June 12, 2014 at 10:42 AM
New faces of 2014 New faces of 2014

Once upon a time, a man and a woman met. He could sing, she could sing. They fell in love, got married, and became a power couple to rival Billary.

on May 19, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Hothouse flower Hothouse flower

To some, Anne Schwanewilms will always be the soprano in the slinky black dress who replaced Deborah Voigt at Covent Garden a decade ago.

on May 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Blinded item Blinded item

His 75-minute setting of Oedipus in Kolonos, heard in a live 2009 performance on MDR Klassik, illustrates how Mendelssohn tried to link ancient forms with Romantic-era sensibilities by fashioning harmonically adventurous chorales and believable characters instead of abstract musical representations of mythical figures.

on April 29, 2014 at 2:38 PM
Stairway to heaven Stairway to heaven

Once again, beloveds, we approach the Milanese shrine that simultaneously attempted to  cultivate and destroy the career of Maria Meneghini Callas.

on April 27, 2014 at 9:17 PM
Call me Madame Call me Madame

“To play La Pompadour—what a delightful task! To be La Pompadour—what a gruesome fate!”

on April 22, 2014 at 10:29 PM
State of grace State of grace

Lawrence Brownlee’s new album Virtuoso Rossini Arias demonstrate both how far the tenore di grazia has  come in the operatic world.

on April 16, 2014 at 10:44 PM
Low-fat Schoenberg 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.

on April 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Kraus purposes 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!”

on March 31, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Ladies in their sensitivities 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.

on March 27, 2014 at 9:42 AM
Where the boys are 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.

on March 26, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Sex please: we’re British 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.

on March 11, 2014 at 1:17 AM
Farinelli from heaven Farinelli from heaven

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

on February 28, 2014 at 1:35 AM
Brass ring 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.

on February 13, 2014 at 6:00 AM
New faces New faces

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

on February 10, 2014 at 12:13 AM
Habit, forming 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.”

on January 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM
Meadow festival Meadow festival

Beneath the pageantry, the paeans to German art and the self-referential allusions to the creative process, Die Meistersinger is a story about a community and human qualities like love, friendship, envy and hatred.

on January 17, 2014 at 10:21 PM
Le jazz tiède Le jazz tiède

The crossover album: a hint that that an artist has either exhausted all the repertory at her command and owes her record label a new release or that her waning vocal resources really shouldn’t be taxed much further than an octave.

on January 06, 2014 at 11:10 AM
Appearing nightly Appearing nightly

I suspect most New York City opera-lovers had long since given up hope that the fascinating soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci would ever return to their city.

on November 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM
The music lovers The music lovers

The curious things about accepted wisdom is that sometimes it’s correct.

on October 12, 2013 at 6:20 PM
Drama queen Drama queen

Say what you will about Naxos, but this company has created a sizeable number of recordings of works on the periphery of the standard repertory and have managed to document quite a few interesting singers in the bargain-and at bargain prices.

on October 04, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Fan service Fan service

It’s hard to come up with any sensible reason to dislike Joyce DiDonato.

on September 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Piotr, principally Piotr, principally

Vanity project or not, these albums present a sensitive and talented artist showing off two little-seen sides of himself.

on September 12, 2013 at 9:55 AM