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.
Isabelle Faust makes Arnold Schoenberg’s thorny Violin Concerto sing; Mariss Jansons lends heft to Saint-Saëns’ Symphony no. 3, and John Wilson continues to be your go-to conductor for Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin’s pairing of Beethoven with Knecht is intelligent, programmatically and musically, but Thierry Fischer’s Symphony fantastique is a disappointing misfire.
Lovers of American music, don’t miss Aspects of America: The Pulitzer Edition ; Lindberg’s recording of Leonard Bernstein’s first two symphonies lacks a compelling command of the musician’s singular voice; the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra tackles four pieces by Morton Gould.
Desperate times, desperate measures.