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- Lebrecht Weekly - Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphonies 2 and 8 (Onyx) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online) 2016-5-20
'The eighth symphony, written towards the end of VW’s long life, is his shortest and, in some ways, most experimental, playing as it does with tuned gongs, tubular bells and other exotica. It’s sunny, melodic and intellectually undemanding, intended for enjoyment, going nowhere in particular. And it has got some of the best brass playing you will hear all year.'
- Critic Quits after Newspaper Bows to Pressure and Pulls his Opera Review (News , Norman Lebrecht - Slipped Disc) 2016-5-17
Arthur Kapitainis is probably the most respected music critic in Canada.
Just not by the Canadian Opera Company.
When COC read his review for Mametto II online in the National Post they sent over a complaint to demand its removal (recte: two corrections). Unbelievably, the weak-kneed newspaper obliged.
- Singing is primo in Maometto II (Review , Arthur Kaptainis - Musical Toronto) 2016-5-17
Not so long ago, The Barber of Seville was the only opera by Rossini in the regular rotation. Now we have access to such rarities as Maometto II. The three-hour-and-20-minute show at the Four Seasons Centre can be recommended heartily to bel canto enthusiasts and cautiously to general opera lovers who are endowed with the appropriate mix of curiosity and patience.
- Why a newspaper trashed its own opera review (Commentary , Anne Midgette - Washington Post) 2016-5-17
Two weeks ago, Canada’s National Post took down a review of the Canadian Opera Company’s “Maometto II.” On Tuesday afternoon, they put it up again. In the meantime, their critic – Arthur Kaptainis, who took a buyout from the Montreal Gazette in 2007 and has been contributing stories and reviews on a freelance basis to both the Gazette and the National Post in the years since – resigned. Which, for a freelancer, may be as simple as ceasing to pitch reviews.
- Lebrecht Weekly - Joseph Haydn: Violin concertos (Panclassics) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online) 2016-5-13
"There an infinity of happiness and invention in these pieces, at least as much as in the Mozart violin concertos. Why on earth don’t the Haydns get played more often? Or at all? Why are orchestra chiefs still afraid of Joseph Haydn?"
- Lebrecht Weekly - Beethoven: Symphonies 4 and 5 (Sony) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online) 2016-5-9
"Harnoncourt and his Concentus had spent their lives together trying to achieve a literal understanding of great art, written by great masters. Now, months before his death, aged 86, he set out to get ‘a millimetre closer’ to Beethoven’s intentions."
- Russia's Valery Gergiev conducts concert in Palmyra ruins (Article , - BBC ) 2016-5-5
A renowned Russian conductor has led a concert in the ruins of Palmyra in Syria, which were recaptured from the so-called Islamic State (IS) in March.
- Even Stravinsky fails to impress Guardian critic - archive (Article , Ernest Newman - The Guardian) 2016-5-5
5 May 1920: Our critic claims ‘no one seems to have understood’ Stravinsky’s new work
- Lebrecht Weekly - Mahler: 3rd symphony (DSO Live) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online) 2016-5-2
"Van Zweden takes a pace so safe that he struggles to introduce any kind of individuality to the shaping and phrasing of the 90-minute work....In the great roll of Maher 3 albums – Kubelik, Horenstein, Tennstedt, Abbado, Chailly – this does not pass my audition test. New York, I fear, could be in for a dull half-decade."
- Lebrecht Weekly - Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era, 1948-57 (51-CD Box Set) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online) 2016-4-25
"A fraction of these recordings – Haas’s Ravel, Haskil’s Mozart Furtwängler’s Schubert G major – survived into the stereo era, but most are dazzling rediscoveries. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more vivacious account of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream than Fricsay’s and you’d need ears of cold steel to resist Fritz Lehmann’s account of the Brahms German Requiem. Impossible to imagine that technology pushed such elysian performances into a closet. Here they are, revived on 50 CDs, another medium that is now heading for obsolescence."