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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Gluck: Iphigénie en Aulide, etc.

Gluck: Iphigénie en Aulide

Arranged by Richard Wagner 1847


Camilla Nylund (Iphigenie), Michelle Breedt (Clytemnestre), Christian Elsner (Achilles), Oliver Zwang (Agamemnon), Raimund Nolte (Calchas), Thilo Dahlmann (Arcas), Richard Logiewa (Anführer)

Chorus Musicus Köln, Das Neue Orchester, Christoph Spering

Christoph Spering is interested in the Gluck and Wagner years, his serendipity led him to early Wagner and his adaptation of the Gluck Opera Iphigenia in Aulis, from which Wagner formed an almost new opera.

“[Wagner's] adjustments seem admirable, but so is Gluck's original, so this new recording is mildly luxurious...Nylund in the title role is good...Elsner seems to me one of the most promising young tenors around...[Spering] gets his orchestra...to play as if giving a historically informed account of an 18th-century piece of music...which means that much of Wagner's painstaking is undone.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 **

“Spering makes an excellent case for this version, with lively singing from the chorus and equally vigorous playing, the brass splendidly prominent...Breedt powerfully expresses Clytaemnestra's agony and Camilla Nylund is an ideal Iphigenia: angry, dignified, resigned.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“Nylund has a clear soprano which covers the range of notes and that of changing events with assurance: a sympathetic presentation of the character...[Elsner's] tone is clean, he exerts no strain when Achilles does verbal battle with Agamemnon and deals successfully with a rather high line...Agamemnon and the priest Calchas are also well into the picture.” International Record Review, May 2014

“This is Gluck super-sized (and sung in German), but I think it's rather splendid - Christoph Spering conducts a cast of eminent Wagnerians in Wagner's 1847 Dresden arrangement, all rasping low brass and augmented winds, whilst retaining the Classical poise of the score.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, July 2014

“This is a beautiful set, but a curious one...Handsomely conducted by Christoph Spering, and boasting some terrific choral singing from the Chorus Musical Köln, the recording is very fine. The great performance comes from Oliver Zwarg as Agamemnon, dignified, anguished and trapped, Wotan-like, in a hell of his own making...Nylund makes a fine Iphigenia” The Guardian, 11th April 2014 ***

Oehms - OC953

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Mariss Jansons conducts Schubert and Gounod

Mariss Jansons conducts Schubert and Gounod

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal, 27.-29.03.2007


Gounod:

St Cecilia Mass

Schubert:

Mass No. 2 in G major, D167


These two popular 19th century orchestral masses could hardly be more different: even though there are only 40 years between Franz Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G major D. 167 and Charles Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass. While Schubert at the tender age of 18 wrote his mass - in a single week! - in the customary style at the time of the Missa brevis, Charles Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass stands out by virtue of lustrous tone colors with harp and winds - reminiscent in many places of grand opéra.

The recording of the present CD took place in March of 2007 in Munich’s Herkulessaal in the Residence and reveal Mariss Jansons, the Chief Conductor of the Chor and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in an especially deeply felt program.

Schubert and Gounod: two popular 19th century orchestral masses united on one CD.

After Haydn’s Harmony Mass the second BR-KLASSIK CD with masses under the direction of Chief Conductor Mariss Jansons.

“splendidly controlled by Mariss Jansons. There is also a fine tenor solo from Christian Elsner in the 'Sanctus', and both performance and recording do well with the three soloists in 'et incarnatus', which Gounod wanted sung as quietly as possible” International Record Review, February 2012

BR Klassik - 900114

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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 ****

DVD Video

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Accentus Music - ACC20381

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$22.25

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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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Region: all

Accentus Music - ACC10381

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$33.25

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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

(CD)

$14.25

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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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$21.00

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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.

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

belvedere - BVD08014

(Blu-ray)

$26.00

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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

BR Klassik - 900142

(CD)

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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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Pentatone - PTC5186394

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