Site hosted by Build your free website today!
New Opera CDs SUMMER 2000

New Opera CDs SUMMER 2000

Prokofiev: War and Peace"
Ekaterina Morozova, Roderick Williams, et al.; Russian State Symphonic Capella and Spoleto Festival Orchestra; Richard Hickox, conductor
See CD Sale
Prokofiev never got to see a full production of his complete four-hour rendition of Tolstoy's epic--and it's not exactly a frequently encountered option for audiences today. This nicely priced four-disc set of the uncut version is a good substitute. It comes from a live performance given at the 1999 Spoleto Festival, with a generally vital cast and excellent ensemble/choral work, all under the exemplary baton of Richard Hickox.

"Wagner: Love Duets"
Deborah Voigt, Placido Domingo; Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra; Antonio Pappano, conductor
See CD Sale
For this pairing of some of the most sublime love music Wagner ever penned--the meeting of Siegfried and Brunnhilde and the doomed "Liebesnacht" of Tristan and Isolde--Deborah Voigt and Placido Domingo are at their white-hot best. Covent Garden's new music director Antonio Pappano leads a thrilling performance that includes the first recording ever of a rediscovered concert ending for the Tristan duet.

"Daniel Taylor: Portrait"
Daniel Taylor, countertenor; Ensemble da Sonar and Les Voix Humaines
See CD Sale
The countertenor renaissance continues apace. The name of young Canadian exemplar Daniel Taylor may not be as familiar as those of his star brethren, but his creamy, gentle voice and musical intelligence offer much pleasure. This compilation includes music that's perfectly tailored to his unique sound, above all the sweet melancholy of Dowland and Purcell.

"Aribert Reimann: Lear"
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Helga Dernesch, et al.; Bayerisches Staatsorchester; Gerd Albrecht, conductor
See CD Sale
The Bard has proved a particularly fertile source of inspiration to opera composers. Still, the complexity of the tragedy "King Lear" makes any attempt to translate it to the operatic medium fairly forbidding (although Verdi, one of the most successful of all Shakespeare adapters, was at one point interested in such an attempt). But contemporary German composer Aribert Reimann created a monument of 20th-century opera with his project. Now available on CD is this recording taken from 1978, when the opera was premiered, and starring Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the title role.

"Magnificat: A Cappella Works"
See CD Sale
The Chaucer-inspired, all-male a cappella group Chanticleer, which won this year's Grammy Award for small ensemble performance with their "Colors of Love," returns to the realm of early music with this mellifluous, uplifting collection of Magnificat settings by Josquin, Palestrina, Victoria, and others.

"The Art of the Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano"
Dolora Zajick, mezzo; Royal Philharmonic; Charles Rosekranz, conductor
See CD Sale
Vocal categorizations sometimes can seem arbitrary, but if you're looking for an excellent illustration of the dramatic mezzo-soprano, Dolora Zajick is the real thing. And it translates beautifully onto disc--which isn't always the case, particularly for this voice type, which inspired composers as diverse as Gluck, Saint-Saens, and Verdi to create some of their most dramatically compelling operatic roles.

ANGEL RECORDS STORE *******************

As the oldest trademark in the recording industry, the famous winged logo of Angel Records has long been synonymous with many of the most legendary artists in the classical music catalog. Angel Records continues that tradition through promoting EMI and Virgin Classics, while at the same time fostering a remarkable range of such contemporary artists as Anoushka Shankar and Tin Hat Trio. The growing list of titles in the Great Recordings of the Century series in particular--with its impressive remasterings of legendary performances at midprice--offers an excellent way to firm up your opera collection.
See CD Sale

NEW BOCELLI ***********
Be on the lookout for a string of new efforts from superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli. His recent concert, given at the Statue of Liberty on July 6, will be seen on PBS stations throughout the rest of the summer (check your local listings for schedules). And the fall season brings two highly anticipated new releases featuring music by Verdi and Puccini. To look back over where the singer's career has taken him thus far, check out our Andrea Bocelli store.
See CD Sale

WOMEN OF NOTE *************

Libby Larsen's distinctly lyrical, bittersweet touch has earned her music a place of its own in the contemporary American artistic landscape. And Larsen's just one of the great female composers of the last thousand years or so. Looking for others? Check out our list.
See CD Sale

MARIA CALLAS VIDEO ******************
"Maria Callas - La Divina: A Portrait" (1987) DVD starring Maria Callas; directed by Tony Palmer
See CD Sale
Maria Callas's revolutionary opera career was distinguished by an uncanny instinct for dramatic portrayals. Her equally stormy personal life is recounted in the 1987 documentary "La Divina: A Portrait," which was produced by noted Callas biographer John Ardoin. It's a compelling story of on-stage triumphs and off-stage tragedies. And make sure to visit our Maria Callas Store.
See CD Sale

AMAZON.COM zSHOPS: CLASSICAL CDS ********************************

For an assortment of bargains on used classical CDs, visit zShops.
See CD Sale

Classical Music Obits ~ Classical Music Almanac ~ Classical Music NEWS ~ Latest Classical CDs ~ get E-Mail UPdates ~ New OPERA BOOKS ~ CLASSICAL MUSIC DIRECTORY Site Map ~ UPdates ~ BOOKstore

Click to subscribe to AnOPERAlist Search made simple
Affiliate Info

More recent Opera CD Releases

  • "Mahler: Kindertotenlieder and Ruckert-Lieder" Waltraud Meier, soprano; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lorin Maazel, conductor REVIEW
    Mahler had a sense of foreboding upon composing this grieving song cycle--indeed not long afterward he experienced the loss of his own daughter. Waltraud Meier's performance is darkly shaded and reflects her customary sensitivity to both poetic and musical lines. These are also lovely accounts of the "Ruckert-Lieder," in particular of the transcendent "Ich bin der Welt," which breathes the same atmosphere as the Adagietto of Mahler's Fifth Symphony.

  • "Nicolas Gombert et al.: Heavenly Spheres" Studio de musique ancienne de Montreal; Christopher Jackson, conductor REVIEW
    This is a superb introduction to the treasure trove of unaccompanied sacred music from the Renaissance. Not only are the selections culled with authority and taste, but this early-music group hailing from Montreal sings with such grace of tone that they may become the next Tallis Scholars.

  • "Mozart: Cosi fan tutte" Veronique Gens, Werner Gura et al.; Concerto Koln; Rene Jacobs, conductor REVIEW
    Too long considered an erotic trifle, this was the last of Mozart's three da Ponte operas to be recognized as a masterpiece of psychological insight, of the same caliber as Shakespeare's bittersweet comedies. This is a magnificently bracing period-instrument interpretation, but never fussy, under the keen and witty direction of Rene Jacobs. And the bonus CD-ROM allows you to explore the context and character of Mozart's opera in fascinating detail.

  • "Bach: Easter Oratorio; Magnificat" Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir; Ton Koopman, conductor REVIEW
    Many Bach lovers consider the "St. Matthew Passion" to be his towering masterpiece, but the "Easter Oratorio" is rich in exuberant invention and traverses a stirring musical journey. It picks up of course where the sorrowful lullaby at the end of the "Passion" left off and awakens an overwhelming spirit of joy.

  • "Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti; Facsimile" Nancy Williams, mezzo; Julian Patrick, bass-baritone; New York Philharmonic; Leonard Bernstein, conductor REVIEW
    Lenny's famous conflict between his "popular" and "serious" ambitions was perhaps most acute in his work for the lyrical stage. This early one-act opera (from 1952) shows just how creatively he addressed the tension, as in the over-the-top parody of "South Pacific" in "O what a terrible movie!" However dated the composer's satire of bourgeois life in the '50s, "Trouble" contains some of his most tender moments as he depicts the sadly misfired attempts of an unhappy couple desperate to recapture their lost love.

  • ~


    edited text copywrite, acousticCDigest associate