Ralph P. Locke

Opera Album Review: Finally, “L’Egisto” — Complete and Amazingly Reimagined

December 3, 2023
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Tenor Zachary Wilder — a Boston favorite — and others shine in a Cavalli opera from 380 years ago.

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Opera Album Review: Hot News — Award-Winning First Recording of a Major Contemporary of the Young Verdi

November 25, 2023
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The whole recording reminds me that numerous forgotten but extremely accomplished nineteenth-century works can provide rich satisfactions when performed as well as this

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Opera Album Review: A Fabulous World Premiere Recording of a Major Work of the French Baroque Era

November 20, 2023
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This splendid album offers ample proof that Henry Desmarest stands shoulder to shoulder with his major 17th century French contemporaries, Lully and Marin Marais.

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Classical Album Review: World-Premiere Recording of Kurt Weill’s “Prophets” and Thomas Hampson in Weill’s “Whitman Songs”

November 12, 2023
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A world-premiere recording of Kurt Weill’s “Prophets” — originally intended as the last act of “The Eternal Road” — with excellent singers, plus Thomas Hampson in Weill’s Walt Whitman Songs.

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Opera Album Review: The Young Meyerbeer, in a Biblical Opera, Reveals His Musico-Theatrical Imagination

October 13, 2023
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A captivating world-premiere recording of a work by the 21-year-old who would later conquer the operatic world with “Les Huguenots” and “L’Africaine.”

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Classical Album Review: Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 90th(!) Recording — Orchestral Works by Grammy-Winning Composer Avner Dorman

October 6, 2023
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The Israeli-born composer, a professor at Gettysburg College, composes music that intrigues the mind and glistens with fresh sounds.

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Opera Album Review: A Sprightly First Recording of Auber’s Love-Potion Opera

September 23, 2023
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Auber’s 1831 “Le Philtre” (“The Love Potion”) is an engaging romp that helped give birth to Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore.” Immensely popular in his own day, why isn’t it revived more often?

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Opera Album Review: A Splendiferous First Recording of an Opera by the Near-Legendary Composer Marin Marais

September 14, 2023
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Marin Marais, memorably enacted by Gérard Depardieu (and his son Guillaume) in the film “Tous les matins du monde,” proves a master of Baroque opera in this splendid recording.

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Opera Album Review: An Engaging Opera by an 18th-Century Black Composer

September 10, 2023
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Joseph Bologne, whose mother was a slave in Guadeloupe, proves to be as skillful in vocal-dramatic music as we have long known he was in instrumental works.

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Classical Album Review: Kristin Ditlow’s Deeply Affectionate “Passages” — Making the Piano Sing

July 25, 2023
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In this splendid album, pianist Kristin Ditlow shares her love of the piano in melody-drenched works from many lands and peoples.

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