Thomas Adès is a formidable pianist and his output for his native instrument is fundamentally gripping; yMusic’s new album is a spectacularly-played and -recorded disc; Michael Gordon’s Anonymous Man is undeniably hypnotic but gets stuck in a loop that goes on for a mite too long.
François-Xavier Roth and his period ensemble Les Siècles serve up freshness of playing and conviction of interpretation; Manfred Honeck is a conductor who can draw compelling, electrifying accounts of the standard canon as if on cue; the verdict’s mixed on the music of Lithuanian-born composer Mikalojus Čiurlionis.
James MacMillan’s Viola Concert is a magnificent addition to the repertoire; the debut recording of Magnus Lindberg’s song cycle Accused leaves a bit to be desired; a fetching, brilliant gathering of orchestral music by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.
Whither Must I Wander, the debut recording from baritone Will Liverman and pianist Jonathan King, is one of 2020’s finest classical releases; 12 ensemble provides a kinetically-played example of a large-ensemble arrangement of chamber music.
If ever there was a season the BSO needed to put its right foot forward — balancing the core repertory with some strong steps outside of it — this is the one.
The two best things about Simon Rattle’s new recording of Die Walküre are, well, Rattle, himself, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; a strongly played and majestically sung performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s unfairly neglected Die erste Walpurgisnacht.
More proof that Offenbach’s is a remarkable body of work; a serviceable, but not particularly notable, Cavalleria rusticana; another installment in the Rossini Project, brilliantly curated, stirringly played and sung, and beautifully recorded.
A terrific release showcases the Boston Symphony Orchestra and composer Thomas Adès. Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony deliver a radiantly honest recording of Aaron Copland’s Symphony 3.
Many of the qualities that mark Penderecki’s best work – exquisite technique, an innate feel for rhythmic athleticism, an ear for dazzling colors and theatrical gestures, an impeccable sense of musical structure, and the affinity for emotional immediacy – are also hallmarks of Rouse’s.
Soprano Ruby Hughes’ album is fine, well played, sung, and programmed; baritone Christoph Prégardien delivers vocal works by Mahler, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Max Reger with warmth; soprano Diana Damrau is in her glorious prime singing the songs of Strauss.