Index of CD reviews

Operaramblings was never intended as a source of reviews for audio recordings of standard operatic rep.  There are plenty of those and, anyway, the sheer size of the back catalogue would make creating a useful reference source virtually impossible.  However, a significant number of audio recordings; usually, but by no means always, of new music or recital disks by up and coming singers, do come my way and I think the time has come to create an index of them.  Provisionally, I’m going to divide the list into disks containing works by one composer (more or less) and recitals.  This section also reflects my audiophile geek tendencies.  See note at the bottom of the page.

indicates a hybrid SACD release

Works by one or two composers

Abrahamsen – let me tell you – Hannigan, BRSO, Nelsons
Adams – Doctor Atomic – BBC Symphony, composer
Ahvenniemi – Soundtrack for an Imaginary Opera – Various singers and instrumentalists
Al-Zand – The Leader and other works – Various singers and instrumentalists
Albarn – Dr. Dee – ENO
Beethoven – Symphony no.9 – Tafelmusik
Beethoven – Symphony no.9 – Bayreuth, Furtwängler
Beethoven – Folk Songs – Bohnet, Johannsen, Klimbacher, Herzer, Christelbauer, Bartos
Berg and Mahler – Sehnsucht – Hannigan, Steffani, Camerata RCO, Verbeek
Berlioz – L’Enfance du Christ – Melbourne Symphony, Davis, soloists
Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique etc – Toronto Symphony, Davis
Bernstein – Candide – soloists, LSO, Alsop
Bliss – The Enchantress etc – BBC Symphony, Davis, soloists
Bowles – A Picnic Cantata – New York Festival of Song
Brandt – Kassandra – Shumate, Besch et al, chamber ensemble, Isomura
Britten – Peter Grimes – Opera London, Langridge et al, Hickox
Britten – Peter Grimes – Skelton et al, Gardner
Bryars – A Native Hill – The Crossing
Buckley – From Ocean’s Floor – Buckley et al
Burry – Baby Kintyre – CBC
Couperin – Leçons de Ténèbre – La Nuova Musica
Crean – The Priestess of Morphine – Lyons, Bruton et al
Current – Airline Icarus – Brian Current et al
Dayton – Stories Out of Cherry Stems – Procell et al
Dove – A Brief History of Creation and Gaia Theory – BBC SO and Hallé
DiOrio – Fetter and Air – Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia
Eatock – Chamber Music – Niagara Brass Ensemble et al
Eötvös – Tri Sestry – Oper Frankfurt
Farrin – Dolce la morte – Eric Jurenas, International Contemporary Ensemble
Felice – The Beauty of Innuendos – Mitzi Westra, Gregory Martin
Floyd – Prince of Players – Florentine Opera
Golijov – Ayre – Miriam Khalil
Goldenthal – Jabberwocky – Charles Temkey et al
Gordon – Aquanetta – Bang on a Can and soloists
Graun – Opera arias – Julia Lezhneva
Greenberg – First Light – Slovak National Symphony et all
Greve – The Palace of the Dreamking – Various
Grieg – Edvard Grieg – Lise Davidsen & Leif Ove Andsnes
Heggie – Songs for Murdered Sisters – Hopkins, Heggie
Herbert – Songs of Muriel Herbert – Ailish Tynan et al
Hersch – the script of storms – Hong, Klang Ensemble, BBC Philharmonic, Muñoz
Higdon – Cold Mountain – Santa Fe Opera
Ho – The Lesson of Da Ji – Toronto Masque Theatre
Ho – A Woman’s Voice – Jianliang Zhu et al
Holman – Ash Roses – Lawrence Wiliford et al (review of release concert)
Holman – A Play of Passion – Colin Ainsworth et al
Horrocks-Hopayian – Welcome Party; Horrocks-Hopayian, LSO, Girton College Choir et al
Janáček – The Diary of One Who Disappeared – Pavol Breslik et al
Jóhannson – Drone Mass – ACME, Theatre of Voices, Hillier
Kallembach – Antigone – Lorelei Ensemble
Kapilow – The Polar Express – Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra
Kurka – The Good Soldier Schweik – Chicago Opera Theatre
Lambert/Walton – Façades – Greer, Woodley, West
Lang – love fail – Lorelei Ensemble
Lebel – field studies – Duvall, UltraViolet, Waniuk
Levy – The Anchoress – Pifarro, PRISM quartet, Yu
Lieberson – Songs of Love and Sorrow – Karttunen, Finley, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lintu
Louie – Take the Dog Sled – Mark, Sivuarapik, Esprit Orchestra, Pauk
Mack – The Travelled Road – Marino, Arida, Platte
Mahler – Das Lied von der Erde – Connolly, Dean Smith, RSB, Jurowski
Mahler – Lieder – Gerhaher, OSM, Nagano
Mahler/Wagner – Live from Salzburg (Wesendonck Lieder and Rückert Lieder) – Garanča, VPO, Thielemann
Mahler (arr. Schoenberg) – Songs – Platts et al
Mahler (arr. Schoenberg) – Lieder – Hendricks, Swedish Chamber Ensemble, Derwinger
Maria – Between Worlds – Margaret Maria, Donna Brown
Maxwell Davies – Black Pentecost and Stone Litany – Jones, Wilson-Johnson, BBC Philharmonic, composer
Maxwell Davies – Eight Songs for a Mad King – Kelvin Thomas, Psappha
Maxwell Davies – Le Jongleur de Notre Dame – Albert, Opera Sacra, Peltz
Maxwell Davies – Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot – Jane Manning, Psappha
Maxwell Davies – Mr. Emmet Takes a Walk – Clarke, Best, Caine, Psappha
Maxwell Davies – Resurrection – BBC Philharmonic
Mazzoli – Cathedral City – Victoire
Mazzoli – Dark with Excessive Bright – Herresthal, Bergen Philharmonic, Gaffigan, Arctic Philharmonic, Weiss
Mazzoli – Song From the Uproar – Fischer, NOW ensemble et al
Mazzoli – Vespers for a New Dark Age – Victoire et al
Meyerbeer – Robert le Diable – Osborne, Edris, Morley etc (review on Opera Canada website)
Mozart – Mozart 225 (complete works)
Musgrave – The Voices of Our Ancestors – The New York Virtuoso Singers, Rosenbaum
O’Riordan – Autumn Winds – Moss, Roadfeldt & Dutilly
Palej – Cloud Light – Michèle Bogdanowicz et al
Parry – Judith – William Vann, soloists, chorus and orchestra
Perkins – A New England Requiem – Da Capo Players and Choir
Perkins – The Stolen Child – Audivi
Perkins – Whispers of Heavenly Death – Julia Mintzner et al
Plant – I Will Fly Like A Bird – Thompson Street Opera
Primosch – Carthage – The Crossing
Puccini – Manon Lescaut – Anna Netrebko et al
Purcell – King Arthur – Gabrieli Consort, Paul McCreesh et al
Rachmaninov – Dissonance – Grigorian, Geniušas
Rautavaara – Rubáiyát etc – Finley etc
Richter – Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works – Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg
Rolfe – Breathe – Larry Beckwith et al
Roth – Sometime I Sing – Mark Padmore, Morgan Szymanski
Roth – Songs in Time of War – Mark Padmore, Philippe Honoré, Morgan Szymanski, Alison Nicholls
Ryan – Found Frozen – Danika Lorèn, Krisztina Szabó, Dion Mazerolle, Steven Philcox
Sabet – A Cup of Sins – Jacqueline Woodley et al
Sances – Complete arias 1636 – Bud Roach
Schubert – Heimweh – Anna Richter, Gerold Huber and Matthias Schorner
Schubert – Winterreise – Rod Williams and Iain Burnside
Shostakovich – Songs and Romances – Margarita Gritskova, Maria Prinz
Shostakovich – Symphony no.11 – BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds
Shostakovich – Symphony no.13 – Tikhomirov, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Muti
Sibelius – Luonnotar etc – Davidsen, Bergen Philharmonic, Gardner
Simms – Bestiaries – Cryptid Ensemble, ECM+
Skempton – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Only the Sound Remains – BCMG
Snider – Penelope – Worden, Signal, Lubman
Sokolović – Sirènes – Queen of Puddings and ECM+
Somervell – Maud/A Shropshire Lad – Roderick Williams, Susie Allan
Soper – The Understanding of All Things – Pat Soper, Sam Pluta
Staniland – Dark Star Requiem – Wayne Strongman et al
Staniland – Go by Contraries – Tyler Duncan, Martha Guth, Erika Switzer
Stott – Odysseus and the Sorceress – Abe Buckoke et al
Tamber – Torus – Mireille Asselin et al
Tann – Exultet Terra – Capella Clausura
Thomalla – Dark Spring – Mannheim Opera
Togni – hymns of heaven and earth – Stacie Dunlop et al
Togni – Responsio – LeBlanc etc
Ullmann – Der Kaiser von Atlantis – soloists, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Hahn
Vollrath – Old & New Poetry – Various
Wadsworth – The Far West – Luminous Voices
Wagner – The Golden Ring – soloists, VPO, Solti
Wagner – Die Walküre – soloists, VPO, Solti
Willans – Summer Night – Peter Barrett, Martha Guth, Allyson McHardy, Helen Becqué
Williams – Rocking Horse Winner – Tapestry Opera

Recitals and Collections

AANMI Ensemble, Tines, Aucoin – Transcendent
Allison Angelo – Moon Loves its Light
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Gardner, Skelton, Rice – Verklärte Nacht
Jamie Barton et al – An AIDS Quilt Songbook
Maureen Batt et al – Lady of the Lake
Isabel Bayrakdarian – Mother of Light
Isabel Bayrakdarian – The Other Cleopatra
Piotr Beczala – Vincerò
Julie Boulianne – Alma Oppressa
Brooklyn Art Song Society – New Voices
Cantus – Yggdrasil
Eliza Carthy – Rivers and Railways
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge – Remembrance
Layla Clare – Songbird
Sasha Cooke – how do I find you?
The Crossing – Born
The Crossing – Rising w/ The Crossing
The Crossing – The Tower and the Garden
The Crossing – Words Adorned
Joyce DiDonato – In War and Peace
Joyce El Khoury – Écho
Leslie Fagan – Thread of Winter
Renée Fleming – Distant Light
Elīna Garanča – Live from Salzburg
Elīna Garanča – Revive
Aida Garifullina – Aida Garifullina
Karina Gauvin – Divine Karina
Karina Gauvin etc – Nuits blanches
Alison Grant – Peripheral Visions
Christina Haldane – …let me explain
Christina Haldane – tu me voyais
Virginia Hatfield et al – Christmas at Casa Diva
Marianne Lambert – Mélodies Passagères
Brian Mulligan – Alburnum
Newspeak – sweet light crude
Nordic Affect – Clockworking and H e (a) r
Jessye Norman – The Unreleased Masters
Daniel Okulitch – The New American Art Song
Anne Sofie von Otter et al – Terezín/Theresienstadt
Payadora Tango Ensemble – Silent Tears: The Last Yiddish Tango
Adrianne Pieczonka – Adrianne Pieczonka sings Strauss and Wagner
Christoph Prégardien – Schumann and Wagner
Ana Maria Ruimonte and lan Lewine – Sephardic Treasures
Jennifer Rivera – Innocence/Experience
Xavier Sabata – I Dilettanti
Michael Taylor – To Die, to Sleep
Bryn Terfel – The Vagabond
Bryn Terfel – The Verbier Recital
Lawrence Wiliford – O Gladsome Light
Gillian Zammit, Frank Camilleri and Britt Arend – Cantilena

A note on my listening habits with a bit of audiophile geekery thrown in…

I’m blown away by the video and sound quality of the latest Blu-ray (video) and SACD (audio) releases.  Whether one listens in stereo or surround sound there is some amazing stuff.  Best, unlike the vinyl era, one doesn’t need to spend a fortune to get good gear.  Although high end speakers don’t, and likely won’t ever, come cheap.

My front end is a Sony disk player that I picked up on sale a few years ago.  It will play pretty much anything I throw at it; SACD, 4K Blu-ray and just about any file format off a UDB drive or from a UPnP server (much used by me until Apple made it almost impossible with a Mac).  It feeds a Sony 7.2 channel receiver that cranks out as much power as one can reasonably use in a condo.  The speaker set up is a 6.1 array of Bowers and Wilkins speakers (the luxury bit) but since I share my space with someone who doesn’t necessarily want too share my music all the time I use headphones more often than not.  I’ve experimented with lots of types; earbuds, closed backs, open backs, RF wireless, Bluetooth and wired and I have concluded that for best quality over the ear wired phones are the way to go.  I’m using Sennheiser HD598SRs at the moment and they are superb for classical music.

In terms of format for audio, SACD is the way to go if it’s available.  Failing that 24bit 48kHz recordings on CD or FLAC are pretty close.  Standard res CD and FLAC definitely come third.  As far as video formats go, there is so little opera available n 4K that it doesn’t really figure in my calculations.  Blu-ray is vastly superior to DVD though.  FWIW I have bothered to upgrade the TV that the disk player feeds to 4K.  With the lack of available opera content it seems a bit silly.