La Traviata, by Giuseppi Verdi

{Ed. Note:  In my article on the Limited Edition Club editions of Camille, I mentioned Verdi had written his famous opera La Traviata based on Camille. Since Books and Vines contributor DlphcOracl has provided many excellent articles in this realm, I asked him his thoughts on what the best versions of La Traviata are. Despite his protestations on a lack of formal musical training, his articles … Continue reading La Traviata, by Giuseppi Verdi

Beethoven’s Ninth, Best Recordings

{Ed Note:  I asked DlphcOracl his opinion on the best releases of Beethoven’s 9th, as it has always been my favorite Beethoven and perhaps my single favorite classical work. The below post is his informative and entertaining response. In fact, I would say it is one of the best classical reviews I have read anywhere.} The finest Beethoven’s 9th??  Well, NOW you’ve opened up a can … Continue reading Beethoven’s Ninth, Best Recordings

Greatest Soul Singers, A Comparison

{Ed Note:  In another of our series on great soul vocalists, Reader DlphcOracl provides another excellent article below, giving those who are interested an enlightening and entertaining homework assignment!} If you were to ask music aficionados who the greatest male soul singer of the twentieth century was, I suspect that three names would come up repeatedly: Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Al Green.  Unquestionably, Aretha Franklin would … Continue reading Greatest Soul Singers, A Comparison

Mozart, The Best Versions of Some Major Opera’s

{Ed Note:  I asked DlphcOracl his opinion on the best releases of Mozart’s main opera’s. The below post is his informative response.} Here are my favorites for a few of the major Mozart operas.   Many of my recommendations will be CD reissues from operas that were recorded on vinyl in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Say what???   Aren’t there better recordings that are more recent, recorded with … Continue reading Mozart, The Best Versions of Some Major Opera’s

Maria Callas, From the Opera ‘Gianni Schicchi’

{Ed Note: A number of weeks ago, I posted an article on Hayley Westenra, whom I adore. One of the clips I included was Westenra singing O Mio Babbino Caro. DlphcOracl sent me comments, pointing out  the importance of emotional connectivity and role interpretation in delivering an aria. Voice enough is not enough. To show what he meant, he pointed me to Maria Callas singing O Mio … Continue reading Maria Callas, From the Opera ‘Gianni Schicchi’

The Vocals of Marvin Gaye

{Ed Note:  This article is another excellent contribution from DlphcOracl. Having schooled me on the greatness of Sam Cooke, I asked for further recommendations to deepen my exposure to the great soul singers of the last century.} Having presented the marvelous vocals of Sam Cooke in a previous article, I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight another artist with a voice that also belongs in … Continue reading The Vocals of Marvin Gaye

Jan Sibelius Symphony No. 2

{Ed Note:  This article is another excellent contribution from DlphcOracl.} Jan Sibelius Symphony No. 2 Conductor: George Szell Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam (RCOA)   The Sibelius symphony no. 2 is, by far, the most popular of his seven symphonies and it has been adopted as the unofficial national anthem in Finland.  There are at least a dozen CD recordings, many by top-flight Scandinavian conductors … Continue reading Jan Sibelius Symphony No. 2