How do you make filmed opera relevant in the Age of COVID? The BLO isolated the performers isolated from one another and made E.A. Poe’s story the dream of an immigrant child in detention on the US/Mexico border.
My Father Knew Charles Ives and Harmonielehre make an excellent pairing on the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s new, all-Adams album led by music director Giancarlo Guerrero.
The long-forgotten Il paria (1829), a work that Donizetti himself prized more highly than many of his other works, has now been reconstructed by a scholarly team and given a splendid recording.
Sir Adrian Boult certainly had his ups and downs as a conductor, but these performances showcase him largely at his best.
Lovers of Baroque opera will want to scoop this one up quickly. I certainly have more respect and affection for Leonardo Vinci, now that I’ve come to know several of his operas.
The second recording of William Alwyn’s searing opera confirms the work’s vitality and importance. It is one of the best and most accessible operas to have been written in the past few decades.
The pandemic may have largely shut down live musical performances for 2020, but the recording industry remained alive and very active these past twelve months.
Two new recordings and one much-welcome re-release contain first-rate performances of Haydn’s 1798 “Lord Nelson” Mass, Dello Joio’s opera about Joan of Arc, and Virgil Thomson’s astonishing musical portraits of Alice B. Toklas, Picasso, and others.
A captivating and thought-provoking version of Missa solemnis from René Jacobs and his forces; the Michael Gielen Edition is one of this Beethoven anniversary-year’s highlights.
Calidore String Quartet’s Babel is one of the year’s best albums; Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered offers an unsettling and beautifully direct rethinking of the traditional Roman liturgy; for John Luther Adams fans – and the Adams-curious – Become Trilogy is a must.