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December 27, 2005


S Nasseri

Re: Don Carlo with Sondra Radvanovsky, Luciana d'Intino, Richard Margison, Dwayne Croft, Feruccio Furlanetto, Paata Burchuladze; Fabio Luisi conducting; Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, March 7. The very model of ensemble work, in one of Verdi's greatest achievements.

Right on! My pick for performance of the year!

Soheil Nasseri

Maury D'annato

Ach, I missed both of your operatic event picks. Distressing. I didn't consume enough culture this year to make very good lists, but would probably smack the Met Cosi on one if I did--wonder if you caught it?
Glad to see the Shakira album among the runners up. I'm sort of right on the verge of fandom with her, should probably pick up Fijacion on this recommendation.

Vaughan Allen Menchen

I really don't get the acclaim for Kremer's Bach. I find it ugly and harsh and rhythmically flat. Probing perhaps, but at the expense of the expanse and beauty and singing of the music.

Steve Smith

Soheil, nice to hear from you, and glad to know there were others who shared my awe at that particular Don Carlo.

Maury, sadly, yes, I did miss the latest Cosi. Would that one could see absolutely everything! I waffle on where I'd send the aspirant Shakira admirer. Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 is very strong; Oral Fixation, Vol. 2, is pretty silly by comparison, and the couple of tunes from the first set that are translated into English on the second are diminished in the process. I honestly think that for all of her globalist aspirations, Shakira continues to sound more natural in her native tongue. Her most acclaimed recording remains the 1998 Spanish-language album, Donde Estan Las Ladrones? (which includes the delirious Latin-cum-Lebanese rave-up, "Ojos Asi"). And oddly enough, my personal favorite might actually still be her MTV Unplugged album, where she wraps her biggest hits to that date (2000) in some most unexpected arrangements.

Vaughan, I draw short of reviewers who see Kremer's S&P as the final word on the subject, in part for the reason you cite. I do find him utterly persuasive in his chosen tack, but wouldn't want to be without other, more "singing" renditions. Thank god there's no need to choose.

Thanks to all of you for the feedback.

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