Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

La Divina Goes Hi-Def
A new high-definition set of recordings shows why Greek-American soprano Maria Callas remains a legend

December 17, 2014  •  Wall Street Journal

The voice, the look, the gossip, the headlines: The Greek-American soprano Maria Callas (1923-1977), known as La Divina, gave new meaning to the cliché "a legend in her own time." And a legend she remains, hands down the most influential diva in opera since Thomas Edison patented the phonograph. From generation to generation, her recordings have perpetuated her mystique. Ranging from jewels of bel canto to indispensable Verdi and Puccini, with Bizet's smoldering "Carmen" in the mix just to shake it up, the Callas discography, originally on the EMI label, has proved an enduring gold mine.

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review of Franz Schubert: The Complete Songs

December 12, 2014  •  Wall Street journal

While he lived, the schoolmaster's son Franz Schubert made no great splash in the world. Intimates called him Schwammerl, or Mushroom, supposedly because he was small and round. His occasional travels never took him more than 200 miles from his native Vienna. Before his death, much of his music was played only at private gatherings or not at all. Yet the catalog of symphonies, piano sonatas, chamber music and sacred works he brought forth in his brief 31 years—four years fewer than Mozart's, 26 fewer than Beethoven's—places him well and truly in the company of the immortals. Arguably most impressive of all is his legacy of song, inexhaustible in its Shakespearean variety, upward of 700 items, each, to the mind of Graham Johnson, "a law unto itself."

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Fitting Farewell to an Era
A recording of Wagner's 'Ring' cycle ushers out Speight Jenkins's 31-season tenure at the helm of Seattle Opera

December 11, 2014  •  Wall Street Journal

From the safety of two free seats on the aisle, what music critic can resist lecturing impresarios on how to run an opera house? But how many ever step up to the job?

Meet Speight Jenkins, who in 1983 moved straight from a desk at the New York Post to the general directorship of Seattle Opera, where his reign lasted a historic 31 seasons. A recording of Richard Wagner's "Ring des Nibelungen," taped live in 2013 and released by Avie on 14 handsomely boxed CDs (also available on iTunes), stands as the uniquely fitting memorial to his tenure, which ended this year.

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In Vienna, Heady Mix of Messiaen, Boulez, Schubert

November 4, 2014  •  Classical Voice North America

VIENNA — Mandarin French modernism to start, then a mighty slab of Schubert. Leading the opening programs of the Vienna Philharmonic's subscription season in late October and early November at the venerable Musikverein, Ingo Metzmacher and Daniel Barenboim followed the same template, to strikingly dissimilar effect.

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review of The Berlin Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, 1962

July 4, 2014  •  Opera News

VERDI: Messa da Requiem

 Leontyne Price, Giulietta Simionato; Giuseppe Zampieri, Nicolai Ghiaurov; Vienna Singverein, Berlin Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan. Testament SBT 1491

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MOZART: Symphony No. 40; MAHLER: Kindertotenlieder; R. STRAUSS: Also Sprach Zarathusthra

 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; Berlin Philharmonic, Karl Böhm. Testament SBT 21489 (2)

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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