Domingo/Milnes: Great Operatic Duets Album Review

Plácido Domingo: Great Opera Duets

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4.9 out of 5 stars (17 customer reviews)

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Review:

Another album I grew up listening to on vinyl and love. Domingo and Milnes were in their prime when they recorded these duets together, and they’re a perfect match. The gorgeous duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (“Au Fond du Temple Saint”) is simply sublime and the album’s standout for me, with “Solenne in quest’ora” from La Forza del destino and “Sì, pel ciel marmoreo giuro” from Othello close behind.

My rating: (5 / 5)

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64 / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35 Album Review



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Review:

This album is the reason the violin is my favorite instrument. My mom had it on vinyl when I was growing up (her album actually had two other violin concertos in addition to these two, but the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky were my favorites). Isaac Stern’s performance of both is brilliant – both technically correct and passionate. I’d be hard pressed to choose which I love more.

My rating: (5 / 5)

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Beethoven: 9 Symphonies (Karajan 1963) Album Review

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My mom had this cycle on vinyl while I was growing up and listened to it often (especially 5, 6, 7, and 9), so this is the standard by which I judge other performances of Beethoven’s symphonies, and a very high standard it is.

I especially like the performances of the 7th and 9th symphonies. The former sets a particularly good tempo in the Allegretto (possibly my single favorite piece of music ever written, certainly very high on the list), and the latter is just all-around outstanding (don’t listen only to the final movement either – the whole thing is brilliant). I have been meaning to explore other Beethoven cycles in a more systematic way to determine if there are any individual performances that I prefer, but for overall excellence, this set is hard to beat.

My rating: (5 / 5)

Save Rock and Roll Album Review

Review:



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Fall Out Boy gets a lot of hate, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me. I’m a music snob to the extent that I think the best classical is better than everything else, but outside of that basic hierarchy, I judge music on how much I like it, not on objective quality. I don’t play an instrument or sing, so I doubt I even know enough about music to judge it based on objective quality, especially when you get down to the nitty gritty details of things like guitar riffs and synth lines. So for all I know, Fall Out Boy does, objectively, suck, but even if they do, I don’t care. I like them.

In particular, I like Patrick Stump, and god, I missed his voice in my ears while they were on hiatus. This album shows it off to good effect, with lots of the soaring, drawn out notes I love. The band’s talent for killer hooks is also on full display. Even the songs I didn’t like as much had a few lines or notes that caught my ear and stuck in my head.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert Album Review

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If you’ve spent any time around theater geeks, you know that the question of which Les Miserables cast album is the best is a topic that can lead to heated arguments, and even feuds. This one gets my vote.

Though the production itself was visually bland (a bunch of people standing on stage in costumes and singing into microphones), it was able to get most of the most legendary stars of the first ten years, and the vocals are simply outstanding. Colm Wilkinson. Philip Quast. Lea Salonga. Michael Ball. Alun Armstrong. It’s called the “Dream Cast” for good reasons – the names are enough to send almost any theater lover into raptures. And they live up to their reputations.

My rating: (5 / 5)

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