CD Reviews

Each week, our professional critics review the latest recording releases, from Bay Area music groups to international releases our editors think deserve your attention.


CD REVIEW
  Meredith Monk: Songs of Ascension Monk's Mesmerizing Tower of Ascension
May 17, 2011

Composer and performance artist Meredith Monk’s uncanny ability to express universal truths through highly evocative, elemental sounds has kept her in the forefront of contemporary music for over four decades. Her latest recording for ECM New Series, confirms that her work remains as vital as ever.

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CD REVIEW
  Gabriela Lena Frank: Hilos Bright Threads From Peru
May 5, 2011

Composer Gabriela Lena Frank, a master miniaturist, presents colorful chamber works drawn from her Peruvian heritage.

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CD REVIEW
  Garrick Ohlsson: Two Bridge Records Releases Ohlsson’s Russian Adventures Through Time
May 3, 2011

After all these years, Garrick Ohlsson continues to wow, he's a pianist whose career you can be willing to bet on, a technically superior artist with the hands to create transporting sounds.

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DVD REVIEW
  Puccini: <em>Tosca</em> It's Kaufmann's <em>Tosca</em>
May 3, 2011

Jonas Kaufmann's first complete Cavaradossi in Robert Carsen's fascinating modern update of Puccini's Tosca may find you devouring this DVD.

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CD REVIEW
  Retrospect Ensemble: Bach Easter and Ascension Oratorios With Retrospect to Bach
April 26, 2011

Smaller-scale oratorios that Bach repurposed are sung vibrantly by the Retrospect Ensemble, and wonderfully recorded.

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CD REVIEW
  Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky: Verdi Powerhouse Verdi From Hvorostovsky and Radvanovsky
April 26, 2011

Ranging from good to great, despite some odd tempos along the way, two brilliant singers render arias by Verdi, Mozart, Dvořák, and Puccini.

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CD REVIEW
  Cantus: That Eternal Day Cantus’ Eternal Day and Long Night
April 19, 2011

The latest CD from the Midwestern male vocal ensemble Cantus provocatively ventures into Chanticleer territory.

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CD REVIEW
  Hommage à Grażyna Bacewicz Krystian Zimerman: Final Triumph
April 19, 2011

Pianist Krystian Zimerman honors a great, if rarely heard, Polish composer whose music has overcome Stalinist oppression.

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CD REVIEW
  Gershwin: Stefano Bollani, Riccardo Chailly, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester Keep the Gershwin, Ditch the Ravioli
April 12, 2011

This European recording of Grofé's original jazz arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue is a raucous romp that thrives on improvisation. It also continually contrasts seemingly unstoppable propulsion with subtle, laid back lingering.

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CD REVIEW
  Lisa Batiashvili: Echoes of Time Strange Sweetness From Far Shores
April 5, 2011

The Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili takes listeners on a mesmerizing tour of the Soviet and post-Soviet musical landscape, with seraphic stops and sights along the way.

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