. . . vocal subtleties achieve their own high definition, and we can better appreciate the period theorbo and recorders that conductor Harry Bicket adds for flavoring in the pit. Via this medium, characters give every sign of communicating with one another, while the producer's agile camera focuses tightly on individual expressions to register the characterizations that are so crucial to Baroque opera's theater of personality. It also helps that this matinée in December 2011 finds Renée Fleming, as Rodelinda, and countertenor Andreas Scholl, as the deposed king Bertarido, in stronger vocal form than when the revival opened a month earlier. The soprano invests her high-speed passagework with convincing venom in arias such as "Morrai, sì" and, when the occasion demands, spins a subtle line, easing effortlessly in and out of trills . . . David J. Baker, Opera News
Andreas Oberg's "Six String Evolution" CD features a host of fine players including Oberg on electric and acoustic guitars plus vocals on "Papa Gato" (penned by L.A.'s own Poncho Sanchez). He has Darmon Meader on saxophone and vocals on "Maniac;" Filo Machado, vocals and vocal percussion; Dave Kikoski, Rhodes piano; John Patitucci, acoustic and electric basses; Decebal Badila, electric bass; Lewis Nash, drums; Charlie Bisharat, violins; Enzo Todesco, percussion; Antal Steixner, cajon; Marius Preda, cymbalom; and John Beasley, synthesizer, percussion, vibes.
The music of Steve Reich has been heard in various venues, including electronic music dance clubs, but the full symphony orchestra treatment has been rare. That is changing, however, with the tenure of Kristjan Järvi as chief conductor of the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the result in that musically conservative, German city is this major-label double album of Reich's music, in many respects a first. Järvi's enthusiasm for the project is palpable here, most obviously in the live performance of the early Reich standard Clapping Music, which he and the composer perform together to the approval of the crowd.