Domingo / My Christmas

From simple evocations of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” to a mariachi version of “Feliz Navidad”, this album has a Christmas touch for every Christmas taste.

Two new releases of JS Bach

In the best possible way Bach is inescapable, and so we turn to him again and again and again. Recently, the violinist Joshua Bell and the pianist Igor Levit have done so on separate Sony releases, and it is a joy to hear these great – but very different – artists give their voices within his.

Kaufmann Means Something… But It’s Not Entirely Clear What

This is, perhaps, a recording that will be of special interest many years after the close of a great tenor’s career, and invariably accompanied by the question, “What was that all about?”

Mozart / Le Nozze di Figaro, 2014

It seems the good people of Perm (population 1,000,000 and located on the Kama River in the European Urals) have decided to invest in opera, in culture, and in identity. Judging by this first recording, they’re serious.

Domingo the Verdi baritone

This new recording is strongly recommended to all who admire its singer, and as a starter kit for all who wish to discover the central Verdi baritone repertoire in the hands of one of our great musicians. We have, for 50 years now, been living in the Age of Domingo. This album opens a new era in that age.

The Miracle of Heifetz

Listen to Heifetz for yourself, and see if you don’t agree with Howard Taubman, long­time music critic at the New York Times, who once offered a retort to the charge that Heifetz was “a splendid, heart­less violin playing machine” by saying that “anyone with ears to hear knows this charge is rubbish.” “For me and many others,” Taubman wrote, “he was a non­pareil of violinists. He had everything—technique in super­abundance, purity of tone, taste, loftiness of feeling.”

Shirley Verrett At Carnegie Hall / 1965

Much about the career of Shirley Verrett (1931-2010) went in unusual directions. She began her career as a mezzo, and ended as a soprano. She was a black woman who demanded attention and respect from a white-dominated world in opera. Born into a strict Seventh Day Adventist family, little about her early ambition was supported […]

Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Brahms Requiem

Johannes Brahms never wrote an opera. Nor did Mahler, nor Bruckner. But in every regard the dramatic impulse was present in all, and in this marvelous new recording of Ein deutsches Requiem, Op 45, it dominates. When first conducting the German Requiem as a grad student at Stanford, I was perplexed by the issue confronting […]

Carnegie Hall presents: Keeping the Doors Open

I met him once only. It was on 17 November 1974, at The Met. The occasion was Horowitz’ first recital in six years, and everyone was there. During intermission I spotted Isaac Stern and went to speak with him. He greeted me like an old but forgotten friend, asked what I was doing “these days”, […]

Boston Symphony Orchestra and Five by Mozart

Mozart thought of himself as a composer of opera above all. So too does conductor James Levine in a masterful new recording of five Mozart symphonies. Just released on the house label of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, these are five compelling essays in lyric and aria, all without words and all premised on song. They […]