Categories Delos Reviews, featured
“Largely unknown in the West, this calling-card CD provides an opportunity to hear Azerbaijani soprano Dinara Alieva in a variety of well known lyric and lirico-spinto roles from mainstream Italian repertoire. … What is immediately obvious that she is no tweety coloratura. Her voice is full, warm and well-coloured which alongside good diction enables to characterise the words and their emotions superbly… Taking the first two tracks as evidence, this was an interpretation more in the mode of Callas than Caballé. … It was after listening to the three concluding arias (trs. 11-13), comprising Tacea la note and D’amor sull’ali rosee from Trovatore and Pace, pace mio Dio! from La Forza del Destino that I finally convinced myself that after too many false starts among some contemporary over-hyped singers, I was listening to the genuine article. Here is a possible worthy successor to some of the greats. I have mentioned her characteristic vocal qualities and they are all heard to advantage in this final group of arias, plus the presence of a good grill. Not since I heard Inessa Galante’s debut album, which reached Gold and Platinum status (Campion), and reviewed her later disc of Verdi arias (see review) have I been so impressed by potential as I am with this singing from Dinara Alieva.” —Robert J Farr, MusicWeb International
Categories Delos Reviews
“The quartet has selected six of the best-known Spanish composers of piano music in the 20th century. With their brilliant flair for the sound and spirit of Spanish music, the quartet cannot help but shine in this repertory. … The entire album present the rich sonic depth, range and spatial layout of most any guitar quartet, but these performers have a special feeling for the Latin-American style and are well-captured in quality sonics.” —John Sunier, Audiophile Audition
One of Michael Samis’s Kickstarter funders has received their Reinecke: Cello Concerto CDs, and the results are in…
Categories Delos Reviews, featured
“…a couple weeks ago, I had Michael’s dream in my hands. A CD, you see, is sometimes something more than a piece of plastic enclosed in other pieces of plastic. The concerto was everything the excerpt had promised: lyrical, virtuosic, and lush. And then we came to a remarkable piece for solo cello: the Bloch Prelude Number One. …Michael seems to be the guy to do it—the technique is there, but so is the big, beautiful, lush tone, and the temperament to be unabashedly romantic. It’s curiously refreshing, in an age of increasingly safe, correct performance practice, to hear somebody with a musical personality.” —Marc Newhouse
Categories Delos Artist News, Delos Reviews, featured
“Pianist Tara Kamangar has done her homework. Not only has she put together, with her new album “East of Melancholy,” a luxuriously lovely recital of virtuoso piano music—and executed it with spectacular aplomb—she has curated it with a acute and subtle awareness of the connections between musical traditions. … Of course, it is easy to believe that these pieces share a musical lineage when they are unified by pianism as consistent as Kamangar’s. Her softly shaded chiaroscuro technique lends depth and warmth to the work of every composer in this collection, from the well-known Soviet masters to her singular Iranian finds.” —Daniel Stephen Johnson, Q2 Music
“The quartet, founded in 1999 and highly respected in its native Brazil, has released its sixth album on Delos, focusing on the rich and varied music of Spain. The album’s 18 selections are arrangements of pieces works originally written for piano by the country’s leading composers: Albéniz, Falla, Granados, Rodgrio, Mompou and Turina. Sounds range from the delicate Azulejos by Albeniz to the richly-textured Four Pieces by Rodgrio.”Categories Delos Reviews, featured
Superstar tenor Lawrence Brownlee continues to relentlessly rack up the plaudits in operatic circles with his recent Delos album, Virtuoso Rossini Arias (DE 3455). The most recent evidence of this comes with Judith Malafronte’s review in the August issue of Opera News (ON), in which she writes admiringly of “Brownlee’s sweet voice and elegant singing,” as well as his “…athletic vocal leaps and energized virtuosity.”
She goes on to say that “Brownlee employs his fresh sound with an aristocratic reserve that always serves the musical style. Runs and figuration are perfectly poised … High notes are secure and full, without a hint of strain or nasality (the high D in the Turco in Italia aria is huge), and Brownlee’s sense of timing for cadenzas and held notes is well developed.”
But don’t just take ON’s word for it. You should know that this remarkable album has emerged in recent months as Delos’ overall American bestseller thus far in 2014. And the only way you can fully appreciate this vocal magician’s glittering technique, elegant musicality and glowing sound is to experience them for yourself.
Fair warning: When you get your copy, you’d better be sitting down whenever Larry hits any of the album’s many high C’s and D’s – Delos cannot be held responsible if they make you go weak in the knees!Categories Delos Reviews
“It is an interesting field of study, and the guitars she selects are quite varied and excessively revealing in sound concept. Her program starts with Scarlatti and works its way to her own wonderful Balkan Dances, and she plays with a clean and scrubbed technique that is perfectly fitted to each style. It is obvious that she plays with a passion that belies any concern about “historicity” in that the music comes first and the performances must reflect this concern. … guitar lovers will want this for all kinds of reasons, and good music lovers have a good reason as well.” —Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition
Purchase Reinventing GuitarCategories Delos Reviews
Categories Delos Reviews
“Each of these three song cycles — given their first recorded performances on this Delos disc — displays composer Ben Moore’s aptitude for psychologically probing yet undeniably appealing storytelling. … Paul Appleby’s interpretation of Dear Theo seems fully realized: with his youthful tenor, Appleby applies the humanity and complexity of the wounded painter to Moore’s music. … So Free Am I is six settings of poems by women spanning more than 2,000 years. … Moore has compiled the twenty-first century’s response to Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben. … It begins with a skeletal texture and a melody oppressed by intervals that drop like slowly falling teardrops. Soprano Susanna Phillips whispers her anguish to herself until her voice opens into throat-splitting cries. … The third cycle on the album is a setting of Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale.” Baritone Brett Polegato assumes the role of the poet, reciting in melody Keats’s long poem with a bright, open sound. … Nearly all the songs are crowned with magnificent preludes, interludes and postludes that set the scene like a grand nineteenth-century landscape portrait, with pianist Brian Zeger functioning as J. M. W. Turner. … an album of dreams, explorations and exultations.” —Steven Jude Tietjen, Opera News
Categories Delos Reviews
“Composer Mark Abel draws on both his career as a rock musician and his classical roots by marrying the parameters of art song with the harmonies and figurations found more commonly in rock, pop and contemporary Broadway. And yet, even that description doesn’t quite capture the emotional directness and stylistic unpredictability of Abel’s music … . Abel also provides the texts for two of the song cycles and proves an equally inventive and provocative poet.
The standout is The Dark-Eyed Chameleon, which relates the pain of a traumatic breakup through an uncompromising, but oddly empathetic lens. Soprano Jamie Chamberlin brings a fresh-sounding, expressive soprano … , has an instinctive grasp of Abel’s style and knows how to balance her registers to most effectively communicate the emotional content of the music. She conveys frustrated passion and fear of impending loss in “Premonition,” and warmth and affection for her ex’s daughter in “Your Girl.” In the final “Cataclysm,” her belted “I don’t love you anymore,” followed by harsh janglings on the piano, drives home the shock and alienation of rejection.
… Rainbow Songs features long lines over motile piano figures, and once again, Chamberlin finds an appealing chesty mix and has no difficulty popping up to the occasional high float. … Victoria Kirsch tears up Abel’s complicated piano parts, playing with all the relish of a classical musician given a “get out of jail free” card.” —Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News
“What is remarkable about all of Alieva’s singing is her depth of feeling, conveyed without exaggeration, from the heart. It is not surprising that such divas as Montserrat Caballé and Teresa Berganza speak of Alieva with such warmth. This really is an exceptional soprano recital which should bring the name of Dinara Alieva to new prominence.” —Edward Greenfield, Gramophone Magazine
See the complete review in the July issue of Gramophone MagazineCategories Delos Reviews