The VPO’s performance doesn’t want for energy or purpose because of the lack of a crowd. Rather, there seems to be an internal imperative to the ensemble’s music-making that isn’t always apparent at these events.
Uri Caine’s score about the life and murder of a 19th-century civil rights icon is direct and potent; touching documentation of Richard Pittman’s advocacy for the inventive composer Bernard Hoffer and a demonstration of the sheer musical excellence of Boston Musica Viva; Igor Levit’s keyboard playing is dynamic, precisely articulated, vividly felt, and beautifully voiced.
Evaluations of a smorgasbord of Beethoven symphony recordings.
Arguably, the strongest entry in the BSO’s complete Shostakovich symphony cycle thus far; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s 2016 Cello Concerto is emotionally direct and, at times, simply gorgeous; the resurgence of interest in the music of Boston-educated composer Florence Price is a good thing.
Markus Maskuniitty’s solo debut recording is stunning, Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra play Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto with zest, and this is one of the strongestNew Year’s Concerts of the decade from the Vienna Philharmonic.
Pražák Quartet’s Smetana is keeper, Sir Simon Rattle’s Haydn is a loser, and Lindberg’s “On the Waterfront” is a knockout.
A round-up that includes: irresistible Beethoven, welcome arrivals of spring, a spirited celebration of Toscanini, and spectacular, revelatory Tchaikovsky.
Nothing sleepy about the playing in the Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax disc; New Hampshire’s Heather Gilligan is a composer to watch.
Leif Ove Andsnes’ excellent all-Sibelius album is nothing short of revelatory; Borusan Quartet’s disc is creatively programmed and brilliantly played.
Two great tenor discs have recently been released