Disc Man


Viva Vivaldi!

(Arthaus Musik)

This wonderfully produced surround-sound DVD conveys all the excitement and awesome musicianship that make mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's performances so thrilling. Captured live at the Th颴re des Champs-ɬys饳 in September 2000, the all-Vivaldi performance finds the mezzo and the Il Giardino Armonico original instrument ensemble in stunning form.

In the long-forgotten scores of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Bartoli has found music with expressive range that is a perfect match for her creative genius. Vivaldi's arias provide the singer countless opportunities to employ her unique shotgun coloratura technique, wealth of vocal color, interpretive insights, and infectious energy. Equally astounding is her range, which encompasses both the deep tones of the mezzo and the soaring freedom of a soprano.

Il Giardino Armonico provides perfect accompaniment. Conductor Giovanni Antonini is as visual as the mezzo, his thin body swaying and dancing with the music. Their partnership confirms Bartoli's place among the exalted singers of operatic history. Jason Serinus


Requiem for Adam


This moving collaboration between composer Terry Riley and the Kronos Quartet is one of three requiems he has written for the group. This, the longest of the three, was penned in memory of first violinist David Harrington's son, Adam, who died suddenly at age 16 while hiking with his family.

Riley's compositional style has changed considerably since 1964, when his groundbreaking full-length minimalist work In C paved the way for the careers of Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Requiem for Adam also reflects the influences of electronics, jazz, and studies with the late Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath. The results, including a second movement that mixes writing for string quartet with a percussive electronic score, are extraordinarily powerful. One cannot fail to feel the struggle between the pulse of life moving through Adam's youthful veins and the blood clot that stopped its flow. Highly recommended. Jason Serinus

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