• Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

    How many versions of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle do you own? Whether the answer is one, two, five...or zero, this 14- CD box set, recorded at the 2008 Bayreuth Festival and reasonably priced at $139, ...
  • The Pixies: Doolittle

    The Pixies: Doolittle

    Even two decades after its initial release, the Pixies’ sophomore album remains a staggering achievement, toning down the group’s arty weirdness just enough for its natural pop sensibilities to shine. And shine they do on ...
  • Diana Krall: Live In Paris

    Diana Krall: Live In Paris

    For well over a decade, Diana Krall, the leggy, blonde, telegenic singer/pianist, has effectively deployed her engaging pop-sweetened-jazz style and consistently hit the crossover sweet spot. And like Dusty Springfield decades before, Krall achieved audiophile ...
  • Mendelssohn Discoveries

    Mendelssohn Discoveries

    The 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth has come and gone, without having produced much excitement on the recording front. Leaving us to wonder: Where are today’s Mendelssohnians? Well, one seems to be right where you ...
  • Rod Stewart: Soulbook

    Rod Stewart: Soulbook

    Go with what you know—good advice for a showman who staked his fortune as a blue-eyed soul man. British pop crooner Rod Stewart, 64, is no stranger to the American songbook— he began his career ...
  • Elina Duni Quartet: Matanë Malit

    Elina Duni Quartet: Matanë Malit

    When producer Manfred Eicher ventures into ethnic vocal music, in this case traditional and contemporary Albanian folk tunes sung by 31-year-old expatriate Duni, you can count on a recording with his label’s iconic cool and ...
  • Gassman: Overtures

    Gassman: Overtures

    Students of music’s Classical period are familiar with the name of Florian Leopold Gassmann, though few, it’s safe to say, have ever actually heard his music. It was the Bohemian-born, Italian-trained Gassmann (1729-74) who brought ...
  • Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street

    Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street

    Exile on Main Street was conceived and recorded when distractions and self-destruction ran rampant for the Rolling Stones. While they trudged ahead on endless recording sessions and added tracks held over from previous sessions, what ...
  • Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 3

    Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 3

    Brahms was famously casual about performance instructions for his own compositions. And, following Bach and Beethoven before him—both of whom recast their violin concertos using keyboard protagonists—he wasn’t at all averse to arrangements of his ...
  • John Mellencamp: No Better Than This

    John Mellencamp: No Better Than This

    The backstory of John Mellencamp’s No Better Than This is compelling: 13 songs written in thirteen consecutive fevered days, T Bone Burnett enlisted as producer, and recording done at three legendary American shrines—the Sun Studio ...
  • Wagner: Parsifal

    Wagner: Parsifal

    Hans Knappertsbusch (1888-1965) had a special affinity for Wagner—a connection to the source. In the early years of the last century, he was an assistant to the composer’s son Siegfried and a pupil of Hans ...
  • Bill Laswell: Means of Deliverance

    Bill Laswell: Means of Deliverance

    Brooding and darkly beautiful, deeply resonant and revealing, Bill Laswell’s solo bass meditations on the fretless acoustic bass guitar are as powerful, yet more intimate, than anything in his large discography. While Laswell fans are ...
  • Sade: Soldier of Love

    Sade: Soldier of Love

    Her first studio recording in a decade— and third comeback—shows Nigerian- British chanteuse Sade Adu still has the stuff. The danceable hip-hop-inflected title track thaws Sade’s ultra-cool, ice- princess image and already has carried this ...
  • Prokofiev, Gabriel: String Quartet No.1

    Prokofiev, Gabriel: String Quartet No.1

    New “classical” compositions on vinyl? Yep, here’s the First String Quartet by Gabriel Prokofiev, London-based grandson of the great Sergei. There’s a polycarbonate release of the complete quartet, but the vinyl incarnation includes only two ...

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