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Ethelbert Nevin

[May 2023.]

Niccolò JOMMELLI: Introit (1756). W.A. MOZART: Requiem, K. 626 (ver. Paris, 1804). Giovanni PAISIELLO: Messe pour le sacre de Napoléon (1804). Nicolas Charles BOCHSA: Prélude pour harpe (1820?). Sandrine Piau (sop), Chantal Santon Jeffery (sop), Éléonore Pancrazi (m-sop), Mathias Vidal (ten), Thomas Dolié (bar), Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Le Concert de la Loge, Julien Chauvin (cond.). Alpha 919 (1 CD) (

An alternate Requiem edition, startling here and there, alongside a dramatic Mass by a prolific opera composer appreciated by Mozart. MAYBE.

Suzanne FARRIN: Dolce la Morte (2016). Eric Jurenas (c-ten), International Contemporary Ensemble: James Austin Smith (ob), Rebekah Heller (bsn), Bridget Kibbey (hrp), Miranda Cuckson (vln), Wendy Richman (vla), Kivie Cahn-Lipman (vlc, lirone), Randy Zigler (cbs), David Fulmer (cond.). Tundra TUN012 (1 CD) (

Michelangelo’s love poems in a monodrama for countertenor and spare ensemble. Entrancing and fecund, not unlike Sciarrino (yes, truly). YES.

Thomas BANGALTER: Mythologies (2022). Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Romain Dumas (cond.). Erato 5054197453977 (1 CD, 3 LPs) (

So much cool repetition and so much cool repetition. Ninety monochromatic minutes of a weary Bruckner encountering an exhausted Lully. NO.

Chad LAWSON: Breathe (2022). Chad Lawson (pno), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, James Southall (cond.). Decca 4858972 (2 CDs, 2 LPs) (

Sappy tonal slush makes me anxious, annoyed at the world, and angry at the music industry. Harmony ought to be discipline, not a blanket. NO.

Zdeněk LIŠKA: The Little Mermaid (1976). Finders Keepers FKR040 (1 CD) (

The easygoing score to Karel Kachyňa’s fantasy flick. It’s ecstatically campy and a skillful blend of electronics and studio musicians. YES.

Giovanni SGAMBATI: Symphony No. 2 in E-flat major (1883; ed. Rosalind TRÜBGER, 2006/11); Sinfonia epitalamio (1887). Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Francesco La Vecchia (cond.). Naxos 8.572686 (1 CD) (

We should celebrate the renewed views of an obscure 20th-century Italian who ignored opera. But these are frivolous and unremarkable. MAYBE.


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