Ralph P. Locke

Opera Album Review: “Naughty Saint Vitalis” Targets Celibacy in the Priesthood

May 16, 2023
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Swiss composer Richard Flury’s engaging comic opera is a celebration of the life spirit, and a criticism of celibacy as a practice that cramps and distorts an individual’s basic humanity.

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Opera Album Review: A One-Hit Wonder Hits Another One Out of the Park

May 8, 2023
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A marvelous first recording of a highly engaging opera by Baroque composer Bernardo Pasquini, known until recently for a single piece: “The Cuckoo.”

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Film Review: Mari Bonnemaison’s “Blessed Unrest” — Captivating Glimpses of the Struggles and Growth of a Creative Artist

April 16, 2023
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This award-winning documentary offers precious glimpses of what music, or artistic activity, can mean in the life of a highly talented individual.

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Opera Album Review: The Love of a Fish-Man for a Terrestrial Woman, French-Baroque Style

April 12, 2023
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A masterful composer of French Baroque violin sonatas displays another side of his immense talent in this first-rate new recording of his Scylla et Glaucus.

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Classical Album Review: Allen Shawn — An American Composer of Vivid and Varied Imaginings

March 31, 2023
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Allen Shawn is one of the great composers of piano music in America today, with seven piano sonatas, various suites and shorter pieces. An astounding concerto of his has been recorded by the remarkable Ursula Oppens.

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Opera Album Review: A Major German Baroque Opera — Reinhard Keiser’s “Ulysses” Gets a Spiffy Recording

March 28, 2023
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Photo: Anton Saecki.

All in all, an ear-opening introduction to an important opera composer — and to the little-known tradition of German-language (with Italian touches) Baroque opera.

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Opera Album Review: A Groundbreaking French Grand Opera Receives Its First Major Commercial Recording

March 25, 2023
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Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable paved the way for major works by Meyerbeer himself, Halévy, Verdi, Wagner (in German), Saint-Saëns, Massenet, and others — and this splendid performance shows why.

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Classical Music Album Review: Paul Bowles’s “A Picnic Cantata” — A Bittersweet Charmer

March 19, 2023
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Festival of American Song Records has released an elegant, touching performance of the totally delightful half-hour long “Picnic Cantata.”

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