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A TURNING POINT IN MY BLOG
June 7, 2019
My dear readers:
You may be wondering why I haven’t posted many reviews lately. The sad truth is that the nature of classical and jazz reviewing has changed once again, and not necessarily for the good.
My major distributor of the albums I review has decided to send out as few physical CDs as possible. Now, I normally review most of these recordings from downloads or streaming anyway (I often mention it in the reviews), but there always seem to be eight to ten items per month that are not available for streaming or download. In the past I was fortunate enough to get at least some of these as physical CDs, but that will no longer be the case.
The other side of the problem is that most of the recordings I choose to review, which are often non-repertoire items and modern music, aren’t available at all for download or streaming. This is because, I have learned, that these labels choose not to share sound files, booklets and/or album art with my distributor. They want the promotion my distributor affords, but they then want everyone, including the critics, to pay for the recordings. And this, sadly, I cannot afford to do.
Therefore I must tell you that the number of my reviews will unfortunately be limited from this point on. I have discovered, by prodding and poking around, that a few of them are available for free streaming on YouTube, Freegal and occasionally on Spotify. When that is the case, I will indeed review them, but when it is not I will endeavor to give you reviews of excellent music and/or performances that I believe are worthy of your attention. I assure you that no one is more frustrated by this than I am. My very existence revolves around great music, and I look forward to the listening experience.
Another reason for the reduction in reviews, however, has been a decrease in quality music and performances being offered to me. I have turned down or passed over a fairly large number of classical recordings because they are 1) of standard repertoire I’ve heard a hundred times and have no desire to revisit, 2) interesting older works whose impact is absolutely ruined by the nonsensical and ahistoric religion of Straight Tone and “original instruments,” or 3) the growing number of soft classical or “ambient classical” music, which I cannot stomach. In jazz, much the same thing is happening. I can’t tell you how many whispery singers are making records nowadays of such-and-such music “from the heart” and calling it “jazz,” or how even well-known jazz artists are softening their approach to cash in on the current trend in wimpy, uninteresting music. I’ve also turned down a fairly large number of “innovative” jazz orchestras who sound like Doc Severinsen’s Tonight Show Band of the 1960s and ‘70s.
This blog has always been about the very best in music and its performance; this aesthetic is also reflected in my Penguin’s Girlfriend’s Guide to Classical Music which is an adjunct of it. And I will doggedly fight to only bring you the very best music and performances.
So please bear with me as I and the recording industry adapt to these changes. Rest assured that, until and unless you see a posting telling you that I have passed on to the other side, I am still here and still digging up great music for you.
Thank you for your loyalty and patience!
*****READ LYNN’S BOOK: FROM BAROQUE TO BOP AND BEYOND!*****
*****OR MY 2006 BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF RECORDING & ITS RELATIONSHIP TO ART MUSIC: SPINNING THE RECORD*****
You’ll love it! Or you won’t!
Now complete all the way through Composers – X/Y/Z! Click on the link above to access it!
Toscanini In and Of His Time
An approach to Arturo Toscanini’s conducting style and musicianship in a different light. A work in progress, I’ve uploaded the first six segments for your enjoyment (I hope). Feedback appreciated. Now complete through the year 1952 and including a facsimile of the 1950 NBC Symphony-Toscanini Tour Booklet. Now complete through my final posting, “The Toscanini Recordings – 2.”
Check out my latest blog posts:
Zuill Bailey’s New Concerto CD
Hallenberg Explores the “Farinelli Manuscript”
Edith Mathis in a Rare 1975 Recital
Sarah Maria Sun’s Hypnotic “Harawi”
Let’s All Listen to Tune Town!
Trio Italiano d’Archi’s New Beethoven CD
Crumb’s Chamber Music Released by Dux
Resuscitating Salviucci’s Fascinating Music
Hey, John Yao: How We Do?
The Alexander Quartet Tackles Dvořák
Peter Mattei’s Stunning “Winterreise”
The Music of Franz Reizenstein
Nancy Dalberg’s String Quartets
Cesare Civetta’s “The Real Toscanini”
Trio Martinů Plays the Composer’s Piano Trios
Enrico Fazio’s “Wabi Sabi”
Ensemble 5 Explores the Collective Mind
Pago Libre’s Soundtracks for an Imaginary Film
Friedrich Gulda’s Stuttgart Recitals
Steckel Plays Kodály
Scheinman & Miller Play a Parlour Game
Miguel Zenón Plays the Music of Ismael Rivera
Exploring Winterberg’s Piano Music
Jenkinson & Farr Play Cello Sonatas
The Michell-Menuhin “Compassion Project” Reissued
Hans Gál’s Viola Music
Arnold Cooke’s Violin Sonatas
Chamber Works by Veress and Bartók
Preminger Presents Lampert’s “Zigsaw”
Lisa Rich on the Highwire
Trio Khnopff Plays Weinberg
The Pleyel Ensemble Revisits Cooke
Angelo Questa’s Superb “Mefistofele”
A Surprisingly Excellent 1960 “Don Giovanni”
Bane, Belliveau & O’Rourke Present Baritone Madness
Philip Grange’s Chamber Music
Donizetti’s Excellent “Requiem”
Geoffrey Simon’s Debussy CDs
Richard Blackford’s “Kalon”
Jansons’ Great Shostakovich Seventh
The Merel Quartet Plays Mendelssohn
Shifrin Plays Clarinet Quintets “For Our Time”
The Unusual Music of David Sawer
The IN Trio’s “Cascade”
For links to older blog posts (beginning March 2016) click HERE
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact me at artmusiclady(at)outlook .com
Other sites of wonder to discover:
The Opera Scribe
Jazz in Europe
Emily’s Music Dump
The Music Parlour – Historical Releases
Composer Charles Ruggiero
Jazz Radio Network
WWFM Classical Streaming
Jazzbreak (many sound clips & videos available here)
John Todaro Photography