Christian Elsner

Tenor

Christian Elsner

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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123


Regine Hangler (soprano), Elisabeth Kulman (alto), Christian Elsner (tenor) and Franz-Josef Selig (bass)

MDR-Rundfunkchor Leipzig & Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, Marek Janowski

The conductor Marek Janowski and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin continue their critically acclaimed collaboration with Pentatone in a magnificent reading of Beethoven’s monumental Missa Solemnis, recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie in September 2016 in partnership with Deutschlandradio Kultur.

Considered by many to be his finest work, with the Missa Solemnis Beethoven updated the choral traditions of Handel and Bach with his own ineffable style to create a startlingly original and dramatic large scale work. By turns intimate and deeply moving, it’s also one of his most forward-looking works. With consummate skill, Beethoven marshals the disparate elements of liturgical, secular and operatic expression in a wholly original and compelling way. From the jubilant Gloria with its ecstatic outbursts, to the radiant Benedictus with its soaring, ethereal solo violin, it’s a riveting experience. And Beethoven constantly surprises throughout, especially in the closing Agnus Dei where the serenity is shattered by a terrifying militaristic outburst, eventually subsiding for a radiant conclusion.

Marek Janowski is no stranger to the Pentatone catalogue; his recordings with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin of the ten mature operas of Wagner were universally praised for setting new musical standards. The BBC Music Magazine described the Tannhäuser release as “…the best recording since that made in Bayreuth in 1962”. Also recorded in the superb acoustics of Berliner Philharmonie, the Parsifal release was praised by the critic Michael Tanner who wrote that the sound was “…so realistic as to be almost alarming.”

Marek Janowski and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin are joined on this recording by the world famous MDR-Rundfunkchor Leipzig and the soloists Regine Hangler (soprano), Elisabeth Kulman (alto), Christian Elsner (tenor) and Franz-Josef Selig (bass).

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Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel

Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel


Katrin Wundsam (Hansel), Alexandra Steiner (Gretel), Ricarda Merbeth (Gertrud), Albert Dohmen (Peter), Christian Elsner (Witch), Alexandra Hutton (Dew-Fairy), Annika Gerhards (Sandman)

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Kinderchor Staatsoper Berlin, Marek Janowski

Is it possible to administer at too early an age the intoxicating and gloriously sweet poison of opera, especially in an era of constant muzak? The clear answer is “No!”. In a splendidly moving new recording of Engelbert Humperdinck’s one-hit wonder Hansel and Gretel, Maestro Marek Janowski now introduces the perfect “gateway drug” to opera.

The fairy-tale opera Hansel and Gretel is a perfect choice as the first joint trip to the opera for parents and children to enjoy. The story of the two children who lose their way in the forest and are ensnared by the evil witch is well-known. The plot reflects the age-old conflict between good and evil, and has a happy ending. Add to this Humperdinck’s magical music: poetically childlike and powerfully dramatic at the same time. In the score, Humperdinck’s close connection to Richard Wagner is always discernible. The composition oscillates between childlike simplicity and adult monumentality.

To this day, Hansel and Gretel remains one of the most popular pieces in the German opera repertoire. One of the main reasons for this is certainly the seriousness with which Humperdinck approached the simple story. All emotions are truly felt: and this is obvious not only to a child, but also to any adult who has retained a childlike view of the world.

Who better than Marek Janowski here as conductor? Not only does he clearly feel completely at home in this late-Romantic German repertoire, he has also already given benchmark-setting interpretations of these works in both the major concert halls and the most important opera-houses. At the head of “his” Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin – which he previously led for 14 years, raising it to an outstanding level of playing – he takes the listeners into the forest-bird sound-world of this fairy-tale opera, at all times accompanied by a well-coordinated ensemble of singers.

Manuel Brug wrote the following for Klassiker Welt-Blog: “Coming from the Wagner camp are Albert Dohmen (Peter) and Ricarda Merbeth (Gertrud) as the parents, who pulled out all vocal stops in a highly dramatic and parodic manner. Tenor Christian Elsner was terrific as the wicked witch. The lyrical ladies’ quartet (Katrin Wundsam as Hansel, Alexandra Steiner as Gretel, Annika Gerhards and Alexandra Hutton as the Sandman and, respectively, the Dew Fairy) sang in sweetly beautiful voice, in accordance with their roles.”

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'


Simona Saturova (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (alto), Christian Elsner (tenor) & Christian Gerhaher (baritone)

MDR Rundfunkchor, GewandhausChor, GewandhausKinderchor & Gewandhausorchester, Herbert Blomstedt

Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the musical city of Leipzig are closley intertwined with each other: Felix Mendelssohn, Kapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester, made the work and indispensable part of the concert hall repertoire and Arthur Nikisch, one of his successors, established in 1918 the worldwide tradition of performing this groundbreaking and pioneering work at the end of the year. The phenomenal Herbert Blomstedt, Gewandhauskapellmeister from 1998 to 2005, once again conducted Beethoven's Ninth in Leipzig for the 2016 New Year celebrations.

With his former orchestra, of which he has been Conductor Laureate since 2005 and with whom he enjoys a close friendship, he achieves a gripping interpretation of this monumental work. Under the direction of Blomstedt, together with his excellent musicians, the choirs, and an outstanding quartet of soloists led by the magnificent voice of Christian Gerhaher, the utopia of global freedom and humanity in Friedrich Schiller's Ode to Joy, penned in Leipzig in 1785, grows to overwhelming dimensions.

Picture format: NTSC 16:9

Sound formats: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 74:13 min

Disc format: DVD-9

Subtitles: German (original), English, French, Japanese, Korean

FSK: 0

“[Blomstedt] looks as vigorous and youthful as ever, conducting (without a score or a baton) Beethoven's Ninth with no detail spared” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

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Accentus Music - ACC20381

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'


Simona Saturova (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (alto), Christian Elsner (tenor) & Christian Gerhaher (baritone)

MDR Rundfunkchor, GewandhausChor, GewandhausKinderchor & Gewandhausorchester, Herbert Blomstedt

Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the musical city of Leipzig are closley intertwined with each other: Felix Mendelssohn, Kapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester, made the work and indispensable part of the concert hall repertoire and Arthur Nikisch, one of his successors, established in 1918 the worldwide tradition of performing this groundbreaking and pioneering work at the end of the year. The phenomenal Herbert Blomstedt, Gewandhauskapellmeister from 1998 to 2005, once again conducted Beethoven's Ninth in Leipzig for the 2016 New Year celebrations.

With his former orchestra, of which he has been Conductor Laureate since 2005 and with whom he enjoys a close friendship, he achieves a gripping interpretation of this monumental work. Under the direction of Blomstedt, together with his excellent musicians, the choirs, and an outstanding quartet of soloists led by the magnificent voice of Christian Gerhaher, the utopia of global freedom and humanity in Friedrich Schiller's Ode to Joy, penned in Leipzig in 1785, grows to overwhelming dimensions.

Picture format: NTSC 16:9, Full HD

Sound formats: DTS HD Master Audio, PCM Stereo

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 74:13 min

Disc format: BD 25

Subtitles: German (original), English, French, Japanese, Korean

FSK: 0

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Accentus Music - ACC10381

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Braunfels: Grosse Messe (Great Mass), Op. 37

Braunfels: Grosse Messe (Great Mass), Op. 37


Simone Schneider (soprano), Gerhild Romberger (alto), Christian Elsner (tenor), Robert Holl (bass) & Heiko Holtmeier (organ)

Philharmonischer Chor Berlin, Berliner Singakademie, Knaben des Staats-und Domchores Berlin & Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Jorg-Peter Weigle

Braunfels' feeling for drama and responsiveness to words proved assets when composing not only his operas and songs, but also for those works with a spiritual dimension - his Te Deum and the Great Mass. He completed the latter in 1926, when he was at the height of his fame. It isn't a liturgical work, but it speaks with a distinct, sincere spiritual conviction.

“A fine, committed performance of Braunfels’ imposing Grosse Messe.” Music Week, October 2016

Capriccio - C5267

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Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58

Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58

Live from the KKL Concert Hall, Lucerne March 3 2015


Erin Wall (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (mezzo-soprano), Christian Elsner (tenor), Liang Li (bass)

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir, Mariss Jansons

"... stood the mournful Mother weeping" whispers the chorus after the orchestral introduction of Antonín Dvorák 's most celebrated choral work, the Stabat Mater Op. 58. As the work builds to include the four vocal soloists, the obsessively repeated main motif of a descending chromatic line begins to work its magic on the rapt audience.

And under the baton of Mariss Jansons, the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, graced with four superb soloists, take us to a higher sphere of artistry, where hushed tones alternate with glorious fortissimi. Next to a Bruckner symphony performed by Jansons and his ensemble, the Stabat Mater was, in the words of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, "the second high point of this year's Lucerne Easter Festival," the venue of our concert. Jansons sees within it a broad, profound range of sorrow. Having begun the work in late 1875 / early 1876, but soon set aside, Dvorák returned to it after two tragedies befell him and plunged him into an uncharacteristically melancholic mood: the accidental death of his 11-month-old daughter Rose and the succumbing to smallpox of his three-year-old son Otakar. Yet even stricken with grief, Dvorák could not resist writing simple, folk-like, life-affirming melodies for his luminous Stabat Mater. To master these tragic events, the devout Catholic Dvorák sought comfort and strength in God and in the composition of a work dedicated to the Mother of Sorrows.

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belvedere - BVD08013

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Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58

Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58

Live from the KKL Concert Hall, Lucerne March 3 2015


Erin Wall (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (mezzo-soprano), Christian Elsner (tenor), Liang Li (bass)

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir, Mariss Jansons

"... stood the mournful Mother weeping" whispers the chorus after the orchestral introduction of Antonín Dvorák 's most celebrated choral work, the Stabat Mater Op. 58. As the work builds to include the four vocal soloists, the obsessively repeated main motif of a descending chromatic line begins to work its magic on the rapt audience.

And under the baton of Mariss Jansons, the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, graced with four superb soloists, take us to a higher sphere of artistry, where hushed tones alternate with glorious fortissimi. Next to a Bruckner symphony performed by Jansons and his ensemble, the Stabat Mater was, in the words of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, "the second high point of this year's Lucerne Easter Festival," the venue of our concert. Jansons sees within it a broad, profound range of sorrow. Having begun the work in late 1875 / early 1876, but soon set aside, Dvorák returned to it after two tragedies befell him and plunged him into an uncharacteristically melancholic mood: the accidental death of his 11-month-old daughter Rose and the succumbing to smallpox of his three-year-old son Otakar. Yet even stricken with grief, Dvorák could not resist writing simple, folk-like, life-affirming melodies for his luminous Stabat Mater. To master these tragic events, the devout Catholic Dvorák sought comfort and strength in God and in the composition of a work dedicated to the Mother of Sorrows.

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belvedere - BVD08014

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$27.75

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Mariss Jansons conducts Dvorak: Stabat Mater

Mariss Jansons conducts Dvorak: Stabat Mater


Dvorak:

Stabat Mater, Op. 58

Live Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal der Residenz, 24.-26.03.2015


Erin Wall (soprano), Mihoko Fujimara (mezzo-soprano), Christian Elsner (tenor) & Liang Li (bass)

Chor and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

Dvořák's haunting 'Stabat Mater' for solo voices, chorus and orchestra is not only the most famous work of church music by the Bohemian composer - it is also one of the most impressive ever settings of the medieval hymn in which Mary, the mother of Jesus, gives vivid expression to the pain she feels at the sight of her crucified son. The terrible misfortunes that befell the composer in his private life during the creation of this work may have been a reason for this. It is the continuous expression of deep piety, above all, that gives this music its special dignity. It was precisely this intensity that was conveyed by the concert on March 26, 2015 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz, where the four renowned soloists were in fine voice, and the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks once again delivered the "crystal clear sound" and "incredible three-dimensionality" for which it is highly praised time and again. And the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by Mariss Jansons, performed Dvořák's deeply moving music authentically, in keeping with the composer's intentions: sensitively felt, yet with a resonant, magnificent sound. The live recording of Dvorak's "Stabat Mater" has been re-released by BR KLASSIK on CD.

“Under Jansons, the Bavarian Radio Chorus are in fine voice, crisp of enunciation and excellently balanced against the large orchestra [and] are joined by a distinguished solo quartet…this live performance is excellent in all respects” Gramophone Magazine, March 2016

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BR Klassik - 900142

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Schubert: Lieder

Schubert: Lieder

Orchestrated by Max Reger and Anton Webern


Schubert:

An die Musik D547

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Erlkönig, D328

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Du bist die Ruh D776 (Rückert)

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Greisengesang, D778

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

An den Mond, D296

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Prometheus, D674 (Goethe)

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Nacht und Träume, D827

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Harfenspieler I 'Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt', D478

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Harfenspieler III 'Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen ass', D480

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Harfenspieler II 'An die Türen will ich schleichen, D479

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, second version, D583 (Schiller)

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Tränenregen (No. 10 from Die schöne Müllerin, D795)

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Der Wegweiser (No. 20 from Winterreise, D911)

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Memnon, D541 (Mayrhofer)

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Ihr Bild, D957 No. 9

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen, D343

orchestrated by Reger & Webern

Im Abendrot, D799

orchestrated by Reger & Webern


Given his magnificent achievement in the field of art song, and the vast volume and consistently high quality of his Lieder oeuvre, it is not surprising that Schubert's songs have been recorded numerous times. It is not surprising either that many composers, such as Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Benjamin Britten, Hector Berlioz, Max Reger and Anton Webern made arrangements of Schubert's songs. What is surprising, however, is the fact that these arrangements —made by some of the greatest composers in musical history—are so seldom heard either in concert or on record.

With the release of this album, hopefully that situation will change. It combines 17 Schubert compositions, of which 13 were orchestrated by late-romantic German composer Reger Max, and four by a member of the Second Viennese School, Anton Webern. When listening to these songs, the listener will discover that these arrangements are made with such craftsmanship that they themselves became unparalleled works of art. The performers on this SACD are the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and German tenor Christian Elsner, conducted by Maestro Marek Janowski. The album's accompanying booklet contains the lyrics to the songs both in German and English, as well as programme notes and artists' biographies.

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Helmuth Rilling conducts Bruckner

Helmuth Rilling conducts Bruckner


Bruckner:

Te Deum in C major, WAB 45

Psalm 150, for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra

Mass No. 2 in E minor


Bruckner's career as a composer began with writing music for the church. Coming from humble rural origins, Bruckner would receive most of his musical education in monasteries, where he often worked as a teacher and organist. It wasn’t until the composition of the Mass in D Minor (1864), written when the composer was 40, that we begin to glimpse what would become his mature style.

This CD brings together works from Bruckner‘s late period - the Mass in E minor, originally composed in 1866 is heard here in the revised version for choir and brass of 1882 - perhaps his most symphonic Mass of all. Also on the program is his setting of the 150th

Psalm (1892). Written on commission for to provide a festive hymn to celebrate the opening of the exposition Internationale Ausstellung für Musik und Theatherwesen, it is one of his most important works, and as with the Te Deum (1884/85), an expansive and sonorous score.

Helmuth Rilling leads his Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, the Gächinger choir and four outstanding soloists: Pamela Coburn, Ingeborg Danz, Christian Elsner and Hans-Josef Selig in moving performances of Bruckner’s sacred works, bridging the gap between symphonic and sacred music, connecting these works both to the glorious traditions they sprang from to the bold new directions they would lead.

Hänssler - HAEN98054

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