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Forty years and 52 discs in a treasure box: Emerson Quartet’s prodigious history, redux

Oct 19, 2016 – 2:48 pm
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Review: In observance of the Emerson String Quartet’s 40th anniversary, Deutsche Grammophon has issued a 52-CD retrospective of the quartet’s entire output on the label. It’s an astounding tour – indeed a tour de force – that confirms again and again the virtuosity, elegance, potency and range of a foursome that seems to embrace the entire quartet canon with the same singular breathtaking ease and penetrating insight.

Next season’s ‘Live in HD’ Met broadcasts begin at local cinemas Oct. 8 with ‘Tristan und Isolde’

Feb 18, 2016 – 1:45 pm
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This Just In: The following is a news release written by an arts organization, submitted to Chicago On the Aisle.

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA’S 2016-17 SEASON, ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY AT LINCOLN CENTER, WILL FEATURE 10 HD BROADCASTS …

Broadening stream of virtual performances ranges from master classes to masterworks

Jan 11, 2016 – 4:14 pm
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Digital Preview: With another Artic blast on the way, it’s a good time to check out the world’s top fine arts events available live or on-demand — Joyce DiDonato’s master classes at Carnegie Hall, a “Ring” in Vienna, a new cello concerto in Detroit. And the Lyric Opera of Chicago has just finished recording its new “Bel Canto” for a future PBS broadcast.

CD Review: Guitarist Karadaglić trumpets his Ravinia concerts with desert-isle Rodrigo disc

Jul 10, 2014 – 12:35 am
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Review: When I chatted with the young Montenegrin classical guitar virtuoso Miloš Karadaglić last November, about an impending solo appearance at City Winery, he made a brief digression to a major project then in progress – a recordng with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the London Philharmonic Orchestra that would pair Joaquin Rodrigo’s popular “Concierto de Aranjuez” and “Fantasía para un gentilhombre.” The CD has just been released, and it is a multifaceted beauty. ★★★★★

Orchestra for Peace honors Solti centenary; conductor left a prodigious recording legacy

Oct 20, 2012 – 2:00 pm
Sir Georg Solti conducting feature image credit Clive Barda London Records

An Appreciation: The birth centenary of any great contributor to human affairs gives us pause. But the Oct. 21 concert by the World Orchestra for Peace at Orchestra Hall, honoring the 100th anniversary of Sir Georg Solti’s birth, has personal relevance for me. At the same time Solti commenced his musical directorship of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in September 1969, I began my professional career as a music critic, at The Milwaukee Sentinel. There’s more to that connection than mere coincidence.

Digital: ‘Four Seasons’ and Haydn symphonies flash style, finesse under McGegan’s baton

Apr 25, 2012 – 6:09 pm
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CD Reviews: The latest evidence of the Philharmonia Baroque’s mastery of 18th century fare is a CD release of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” – plus three more violin concertos by the Red Priest, as Vivaldi was known – featuring the orchestra’s wizardly concertmaster and all-world Baroque star Elizabeth Blumenstock. ****

Chailly lifts his quick baton, and Beethoven’s symphonies emerge from the veil of tradition

Jan 6, 2012 – 4:31 pm
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CD review: Conductor Riccardo Chailly’s new recording of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, may finally be the document that changes the way we think of these seminal works – and the way the next generation of conductors approaches them. *****

HD sound check at the Berlin Philharmonic: Second look at stellar streaming concerts

Jan 2, 2012 – 11:18 pm
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The Berlin Philharmonic began live concert broadcasts over the Internet in mid-2009 amid some high-tech speed bumps. Is 2012 the year it all comes together?

Sip New Year’s bubbly at home, tune in to great performances from around the world

Dec 30, 2011 – 4:57 am
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Our selective guide to the best national broadcasts, international radio streams, concert replays and festive downloads to help you ring in New Year 2012.

The holly and the ivories proclaim Yuletide in sparking keyboard riffs on old favorites

Dec 25, 2011 – 1:00 am
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Review: “A Steinway Christmas Album,” a classy bundle of seasonal arrangements compiled and performed by pianist Jeffrey Biegel. (Steinway) ****

CD Review: Paul Lewis rambles Schubertian paths strewn with sonatas, fantasies, fragments

Dec 7, 2011 – 1:21 pm
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British pianist Paul Lewis brings a potent blend of ingredients to a diverse collection that shows Schubert as both Beethoven’s heir and an original, indeed daring creative spirit. ****

Glass’ meditative ‘Satyagraha,’ on Gandhi, takes Met’s Live HD series to new ground

Nov 17, 2011 – 7:41 pm
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Preview: The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts throughout the U.S. feature a landmark of American minimalism not to miss — ”Satyagraha” by Philip Glass, Nov. 19 and Dec. 7. Here’s a peek.

Ho-ho-ho! Best bet for giving is the 60-CD Leonard Bernstein treasury

Nov 16, 2011 – 1:59 pm
Discs for giving

In a quandary about what to give the person you dare not buy for? If that knotty assignment is a music or theater lover, we at Chicago On the Aisle have a garland of happy solutions: concert music, operas, plays and musicals on CDs, DVDs and downloadable recordings. We’ll be stringing our bright recommendations over the weeks ahead, so check back often.

CD Review: Invention, finesse of Mozart’s ‘Prussian’ Quartets revealed in Emerson’s hands

Nov 8, 2011 – 4:05 pm
Emerson String Quartet records Mozart's "Prussian" Quartets for Sony Classical

The last three string quartets Mozart composed, in 1789 just two years before his death, utterly belie the desperate financial straits into which he had fallen. These sunny, and technically brilliant, performances by the Emerson String Quartet reveal Mozart at the zenith of his creative powers.

CD review: Guitarist David Russell’s Albeniz displays mastery of instrument, style

Oct 26, 2011 – 4:11 pm
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The American guitarist David Russell got my attention a few years back with a CD of Renaissance music that included some very fine readings of works by John Dowland. That same technical finesse and artful musicianship grace this wide-ranging collection of pieces by Isaac Albeniz.

CD review: Back-country music, toned up with Kodaly

Oct 7, 2011 – 4:38 pm
Violinist Viktoria Mullova's album "The Peasant Girl"

This off-beat CD takes the Russian-born violin virtuoso Viktoria Mullova back to her ancestral roots in the Ukrainian outback, in the traditional music of gypsies and other rural folk. 3 stars

In Lisztian fireworks, pianist’s future looks sky-high

Sep 28, 2011 – 2:23 pm
Khatia Buniatishvili

In her Liszt debut CD, Khatia Buniatishvili reveals the heart of an old-school romantic virtuoso. Though she’s still little known in the U.S., the 24-year-old Georgian’s schedule is packed with European concert dates.

CD reissues point up Riccardo Muti’s early mastery

Sep 26, 2011 – 7:33 pm
Muti conducts Berlioz

Complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies are among the many major works in recordings from the 1970s and ‘80s by the CSO’s conductor with the Philadelphia and Philharmonia Orchestras.

CD review: Beethoven sonatas, with polish and affection

Sep 24, 2011 – 9:25 pm
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Ingrid Fliter’s fresh take on three favorite masterpieces. 4 stars!