The Italian composer’s famous masterpiece “La Traviata” receives a production that is worthy of the opera’s enduring artistry. By Mark Kroll The Boston Lyric Opera has just begun a nice long run of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” and this is a good thing for Boston’s opera lovers. “La Traviata” finds Verdi at the height of […]
Classical Music Commentary: Mozart Mania
The composer turns 250 this year and everyone is trying to cash in on the worldwide party. By Mark Kroll You might not know if 2006 is the year of the dog or the dragon in the Chinese calendar, but you couldn’t have possibly missed the news that this year marks the 250th anniversary of […]
Two excellent books, one by Boston rocker Jen Trynin, plumb the insides of the worlds of jazz and rock ‘n’ roll.
Rock CD Reviews: A Pair of Golden Codgers
Old timers Ray Davies, an ex-Kink, and Donald Fagen, ex-Steely Dan, have released surprisingly youthful solo albums. “Morph the Cat” (Reprise); “Other People’s Lives” (V2) By James Marcus “Hope I die before I get old,” declared The Who’s Pete Townshend in 1965, and certainly there have been times, during his drink-and-drug-addled middle decades, when he […]
CD Reviews: Progressive Afropop
In new albums, three innovative African musicians manage to turn what has been called neotraditionalism into a progressive style. Amadou & Miriam, Dimanche a Bamako (Nonesuch); Thione Seck, Orientation (Stern’s Africa); Daby Balde, Introducing Daby Balde (Introducing/World Music Network). By Milo Miles Starting in the late 1980s, the watchword for many leading African-pop performers was […]
Classical CDs Review: New Tricks for Old Ponies
Recent stand-out classical recordings boast fresh interpretations of familiar works, recordings of little-known repertoire, and some legendary performances by Pablo Casals. By Mark Kroll Harmonia Mundi has an excellent new recording of Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” with Rene Jacobs and his Concerto Koln taking just the right approach to Mozart’s great comic opera. The packaging […]
Book Review: What’s Opera, Doc?
A groundbreaking book explores the music written for Hollywood’s animated cartoons and how the tunes shaped the characters and stories that are now a vital part of American culture.
Folk Album Review: Rebel Folk
Though the last presidential race has faded into a memory, two recent albums from singer-songwriters bring subtle artistry to simmering political anger and alienation. Pierce Woodward, “Blow Them Away” (Long Run Music); James McMurtry, “Childish Things” (Compadre Records) By Danielle Dreilinger A year ago, folk stages were filled with artists like Steve Earle urging people […]
It is remarkable that two prime discoveries in John Coltrane’s recording history should appear in the same year; one of them an improved elevation from the world of underground tapes, the other a total surprise.
Fuse Concert Review: An Opera Lost in Space
Handel and Haydn Society’s irreverent take on “Dido and Aeneas” is another example of an operatic trend in which production values push musical values to the sidelines