I am way behind in reviewing the CDs & DVDs i have been receiving in the mail, or the ones i have been buying. This little summary may be too late for Christmas shopping although there are also the gifts we give ourselves, in that happy orgy known as Boxing Day (or is it boxing week?). It’s an anachronism speaking of recordings as if they’re exclusively on CD &DVD when so much content is now downloaded, but i find the discs convenient. Does the medium you use matter? I’m really talking about the content, whether it’s on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, VHS, or anything else you can think of.
Looking back at the year’s reviews I can see I’ve been very pre-occupied with certain sorts of content. As I do a quick statistical tally for 2014 I found the following:
- I wrote twelve reviews of either CDs or DVDs of classical music / opera
- Two of the dozen are DVDs of complete operas:
- The other ten are CDs:
- Two are complete operas: Orlando (1733) by Handel (a multi-CD set that i count as a single) and Baby Kintyre (2009) by Dean Burry
- One is a vocal recital : Maghan McPhee’s Portrait
- Two are solo piano CDs: Stewart Goodyear’s “Diabelli Variations” and Kayla Wong’s Allure
- One is a recording of early Christmas music from Toronto Consort
- One is new music from Jocelyn Morlock: Cobalt
- Three are CDs of romantic music conducted by Kerry Stratton
Or we can organize them chronologically:
- One is from the Renaissance
- One is from the baroque
- One covers about two centuries , ranging from Mozart (18th century) to Schubert to Massenet to Ravel to Menotti (McPhee’s Portrait)
- One is exclusively Beethoven (Stewart Goodyear)
- Four would be located in some part of the romantic period: Allure and the three Stratton CDs
- One is about half a century old (Riel) while the other three are from the new millennium (Baby Kintyre, Julie, Cobalt)
I am very fortunate to receive recordings from artists & recording labels, including unsolicited surprises turning up in the mail. Sometimes I have to wait a long time before writing, but occasionally I don’t write because I don’t know what to say. I have a few more reviews up my sleeve that I hope to publish in the next little while, likely too late for Christmas.
There are a few recordings that I listen to or watch obsessively.
- On my laptop? it’s Gerald Finley. I’ll be posting a review of his Meistersinger one of these days, which I watched on the weekend for the first time. I posted a bit about it (as well as other recordings he’s made) in the wake of the COC’s Falstaff earlier this autumn.
In the car? I’ve been playing the Toronto Consort Christmas recording The Little Barley-Corne in the car a great deal lately, which i reviewed recently. Speaking of Toronto Consort, the only CD I’ve played as frequently in the car is Dowland in Dublin, a CD that anticipates a March concert from that same Toronto Consort, who will be welcoming Michael Slattery and La Nef. I marked this on my calendar long ago as one not to miss.
I’ll be posting more reviews in the next little while.