Wiener Philharmoniker

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Strauss, R: Die Liebe der Danae, Op. 83

Strauss, R: Die Liebe der Danae, Op. 83

Salzburger Festspiele 2016


Krassimira Stoyanova (Danae), Tomasz Konieczny (Jupiter), Norbert Ernst (Merkur), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Pollux), Regine Hangler (Xanthe), Gerhard Siegel (Midas), Mária Celeng (Semele), Olga Bezsmertna (Europa), Michaela Selinger (Alkmene), Jennifer Johnston (Leda)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Konzertvereinigung, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Franz Welser-Möst (conductor) & Alvis Hermanis (stage director)

Richard Strauss’ penultimate, satirically mythological opera Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae, after a draft by Hugo von Hoffmansthal.

The Wiener Philharmoniker play under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst, under whom they “conveyed the glittering colors and lyrical intricacies of Strauss’s late score” (NY Times).

Krassimira Stoyanova, who is a regular fixture at the Salzburg Festival, is heading a truly supreme cast and emerges as the “one in a thousand, the true Strauss lyric-dramatic soprano who can soar and swoop, working miracles on phrases that never stop coming” (The Artsdesk).

Bass-Baritone Tomasz Konieczny, “sings this Jupiter almost unsurpassably” (FAZ), he “is so vocally majestic that Danae’s choice of Midas seems implausible” (Financial Times).

Alvis Hermanis’ colourful production brings oriental flair to the Salzach, his “staging was spectacular above all else” (Opera Today).

“Die Liebe der Danae” is narrowly linked to the Festival’s rich history. Due to conditions during World War II, the Salzburg Festival, which had commissioned the opera for summer 1944, couldn’t give the public premiere. Instead only a single dress rehearsal, attended by Strauss himself, was performed for an invited audience. Thereafter, the opera was staged in Salzburg only twice and very seldom anywhere else in the world.

“Once more, this very rarely presented opera returned successfully on stage, leaving the audience with unforgettable impressive images embedded in soft romantic sound.“ (Opera Online)

Picture: 16:9 -NTSC

Sound: PCM Stereo

Language: N/A

subtitles: N/A

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 126 mins

Production year: 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Summer Opera Sale

EuroArts - 8024297028

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


Even while creating a sensation across the US, with concerts in Chicago, Cleveland, New York and further afield, Rafael Kubelík recorded the four symphonies of Brahms with the Vienna Philharmonic for Decca (in stereo) in the 1950s. Long unavailable, they are here presented together for the first time on CD, in an economical 2CD package, further enhanced by both new digital remasterings from the original tapes, and an extensive appreciation of the happy marriage of composer and conductor by Rob Cowan.

Cowan observes that Kubelík came to take a more expansive view of this music in the recorded cycle he made almost 30 years later with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In Vienna, exposition repeats were cut, tempi were taut and often uncommonly swift for the time, even in the pastoral Second and ruminative Third symphonies; impulsiveness and sudden access to drama were paramount, yet always modulated by the renowned, sweetly refined string sound. ‘Music has always developed by moving on to something new once one idiom has been exhausted,’ the conductor once remarked, ‘but it has always had a form. Like a tree, like a man, it must have a skeleton, flesh and veins – it must have its own logic.’

Such sensitivity to nature and to his fellow man stood Kubelík in good stead when approaching the work of a composer who felt likewise, and yet whose creativity was indeed ruthlessly disciplined by musical logic, whether in the long-gestated, darkness-to-light journey of the First or the ineluctable tragedy of the Fourth. These qualities, too, Kubelík had absorbed from his father, the violinist Jan Kubelík, whom he always regarded with more than filial respect. There is, indeed, an evolving tradition at work in these performances which commands attention anew.

“Kubelík’s performance has a splendid impulse to it; and the Vienna Philharmonic is at its best … this is an exciting version.” Gramophone Magazine, February 1959 (Symphony No.2)

“The performance illuminated by the fine general quality of sound is a strong one … The symphony is kept moving throughout, culminating in a finale which is positively exhilarating.” Gramophone Magazine, June 1958 (Symphony No.1)

“Kubelík gives a smooth and loving reading of the work, reserving excitement, as such, for the finale. The excitement, in fact, is doubly effective when held in reserve.” Gramophone Magazine, October 1956 (Symphony No.4)

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Gounod: Faust

Gounod: Faust

Salzburger Festspiele 2016


Piotr Beczała (Faust), Ildar Abdrazakov (Méphistophélès), Maria Agresta (Marguerite), Alexey Markov (Valentin), Tara Erraught (Siébel), Paolo Rumetz (Wagner) & Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Marthe)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Philharmonia Chor Vienna, Alejo Pérez (conductor) & Reinhard von der Thannen (stage director)

Maria Agresta as convincingly innocent Marguerite struggling to resist temptation and to gain salvation: “She is fabulous!” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).

“Spectacular and photogenic” staging (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) by award winning stage director and designer Reinhard von der Thannen.

Gounod’s masterpiece is based on Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite, which in turn is based on Part I of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s dramatic poem Faust, one of the great works of European literature. The opera contains much-loved musical highlights including the memorable “Soldiers’ Chorus”, Méphistophélès’ rowdy “Song of the Golden Calf”, and Marguerite’s “Jewel Song” with its dazzling coloratura.

The Philharmonia Chor Wien and the Wiener Philharmoniker are performing under the baton of young Argentinian conductor Alejo Pérez.

Picture: 16:9 - NTSC

Sound: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Language/subtitles: English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Japanese, Korean

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 180 mins

Production year: 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Summer Opera Sale

EuroArts - 8024297038

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Gounod: Faust

Gounod: Faust

Salzburger Festspiele 2016


Piotr Beczała (Faust), Ildar Abdrazakov (Méphistophélès), Maria Agresta (Marguerite), Alexey Markov (Valentin), Tara Erraught (Siébel), Paolo Rumetz (Wagner) & Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Marthe)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Philharmonia Chor Vienna, Alejo Pérez (conductor) & Reinhard von der Thannen (stage director)

“Spectacular and photogenic” staging (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) by award winning stage director and designer Reinhard von der Thannen.

Gounod’s masterpiece is based on Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite, which in turn is based on Part I of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s dramatic poem Faust, one of the great works of European literature. The opera contains much-loved musical highlights including the memorable “Soldiers’ Chorus”, Méphistophélès’ rowdy “Song of the Golden Calf”, and Marguerite’s “Jewel Song” with its dazzling coloratura.

The Philharmonia Chor Wien and the Wiener Philharmoniker are performing under the baton of young Argentinian conductor Alejo Pérez.

Picture: 1080/60i Full HD – 16:9

Sound: PCM Stereo,

DTSH-HD Master Audio 5.1

Language/subtitles: English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Japanese, Korean

Region code: All (worldwide)

Running time: 180 mins

Production year: 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Summer Opera Sale

EuroArts - 8024297034

(Blu-ray)

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Sommernachtskonzert 2017

Sommernachtskonzert 2017

Summer Night Concert 2017


Dvorak:

Carnival Overture, Op. 92

Za tihlou Gazelou (from Armida)

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Mesícku na nebi hlubokém 'Song to the Moon' (from Rusalka)

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Humperdinck:

Hänsel & Gretel Overture

Rachmaninov:

Twilight, Op.21 No. 3

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne, Op. 4 No. 4

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Spring torrents, Op. 14 No.11

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Stravinsky:

The Firebird: Danse infernale du roi Kastchei

Berceuse from The Firebird

Finale from The Firebird

Tchaikovsky:

Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 - Pas d'action

Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66

Williams, John:

Hedwig's Theme (from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)


Fairytales and myths have inspired composers from time immemorial, and audiences, too, have invariably been enthralled by the unending struggle between good and evil. Central to the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2017 Summer Night Concert are German, French, Russian and Czech fairytales as well as a contemporary fantasy figure that is Anglo-Saxon in origin.

In 2017 the Summer Night Concert will again be conducted by one of the most distinguished musicians of our time. Christoph Eschenbach, who also conducted the 2014 Summer Night Concert, is in demand as a guest conductor for prominent orchestras and opera houses worldwide. Since 2010 he has been musical director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. Having begun his career as a pianist, he learned conducting under George Szell and Herbert von Karajan. Since making his debut as a conductor in 1972, he has led renowned orchestras, including the Tonhalle-Orchester in Zurich, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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Sony - 88985425949

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Sommernachtskonzert 2017

Sommernachtskonzert 2017

Summer Night Concert 2017


Dvorak:

Carnival Overture, Op. 92

Za tihlou Gazelou (from Armida)

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Mesícku na nebi hlubokém 'Song to the Moon' (from Rusalka)

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Humperdinck:

Hänsel & Gretel Overture

Rachmaninov:

Twilight, Op.21 No. 3

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne, Op. 4 No. 4

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Spring torrents, Op. 14 No.11

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Stravinsky:

The Firebird: Danse infernale du roi Kastchei

Berceuse from The Firebird

Finale from The Firebird

Tchaikovsky:

Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 - Pas d'action

Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66

Williams, John:

Hedwig's Theme (from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)


Fairytales and myths have inspired composers from time immemorial, and audiences, too, have invariably been enthralled by the unending struggle between good and evil. Central to the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2017 Summer Night Concert are German, French, Russian and Czech fairytales as well as a contemporary fantasy figure that is Anglo-Saxon in origin.

In 2017 the Summer Night Concert will again be conducted by one of the most distinguished musicians of our time. Christoph Eschenbach, who also conducted the 2014 Summer Night Concert, is in demand as a guest conductor for prominent orchestras and opera houses worldwide. Since 2010 he has been musical director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. Having begun his career as a pianist, he learned conducting under George Szell and Herbert von Karajan. Since making his debut as a conductor in 1972, he has led renowned orchestras, including the Tonhalle-Orchester in Zurich, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Sony - 88985425959

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $20.75

Special: $18.50

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Sommernachtskonzert

Sommernachtskonzert

Summer Night Concert 2017


Dvorak:

Carnival Overture, Op. 92

Za tihlou Gazelou (from Armida)

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Mesícku na nebi hlubokém 'Song to the Moon' (from Rusalka)

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Humperdinck:

Hänsel & Gretel Overture

Rachmaninov:

Twilight, Op.21 No. 3

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne, Op. 4 No. 4

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Spring torrents, Op. 14 No.11

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Stravinsky:

The Firebird: Danse infernale du roi Kastchei

Berceuse from The Firebird

Finale from The Firebird

Tchaikovsky:

Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 - Pas d'action

Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66

Williams, John:

Hedwig's Theme (from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)


Fairytales and myths have inspired composers from time immemorial, and audiences, too, have invariably been enthralled by the unending struggle between good and evil. Central to the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2017 Summer Night Concert are German, French, Russian and Czech fairytales as well as a contemporary fantasy figure that is Anglo-Saxon in origin.

In 2017 the Summer Night Concert will again be conducted by one of the most distinguished musicians of our time. Christoph Eschenbach, who also conducted the 2014 Summer Night Concert, is in demand as a guest conductor for prominent orchestras and opera houses worldwide. Since 2010 he has been musical director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. Having begun his career as a pianist, he learned conducting under George Szell and Herbert von Karajan. Since making his debut as a conductor in 1972, he has led renowned orchestras, including the Tonhalle-Orchester in Zurich, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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Sony - 88985425932

(CD - 2 discs)

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Lucerne Festival Historic Performances Vol. XI

Lucerne Festival Historic Performances Vol. XI

Brahms & Mozart


Brahms:

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

live recording 1962

Wiener Philharmoniker

Mozart:

Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K595

live recording 1961

Robert Casadesus (piano)

Swiss Festival Orchestra


January 8th, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Carl Schuricht. This release of two live recordings made in 1961 and 1962 pays tribute to a renowned conductor who was only to enjoy great international fame in his old age – as one of the last representatives of the generation of old German conductors, and as a master of the classical and romantic repertoire Absolute faithfulness to the musical text and youthful vigour right up to old age: Carl Schuricht (1880-1967), one of the last representatives of the generation of old German conductors during the post-war decades, focused on clear structures rather than romantic pathos or personal eccentricity. These two Lucerne live recordings demonstrate the compelling persuasiveness of his inspired objectivity, especially when performing alongside the celebrated Mozart interpreter Robert Casadesus, whose choice of tempi is particularly striking.

In cooperation with audite, LUCERNE FESTIVAL presents the “Historic Performances” series featuring outstanding concert recordings of artists who have shaped the festival throughout its history. The aim of this CD edition is to rediscover treasures – most of which have not been released previously – from the first six decades of the festival, which was founded in 1938 with a special gala concert conducted by Arturo Toscanini. These recordings have been made available by the archives of SRF Swiss Radio and Television, which has broadcast the Lucerne concerts from the outset. Painstakingly re-mastered and supplemented with photos and materials from the LUCERNE FESTIVAL archive, they represent a sonic history of the festival.

“Although brass overpowers strings in some orchestral tuttis, Schuricht’s Brahms is wonderfully fluid. Worth hearing for the Vienna Philharmonic’s glorious cellos in the second subject of the first movement.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2017 ****

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Audite Lucerne Festival Historic Performances - AUDITE95645

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Wolf, Weber, Wagner: Orchestral Works

Wolf, Weber, Wagner: Orchestral Works


includes

Wagner:

Der fliegende Holländer: Overture

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 3

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Overture

Tristan und Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod

Wiener Philharmoniker

Weber:

Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 19, J50

Euryanthe Overture

Der Beherrscher der Geister, J122: Overture

Abu Hassan Overture

Wiener Philharmoniker

Wolf, H:

Penthesilea

L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Der Corregidor: Orchestral Suite

L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande


During the golden age of LP, Horst Stein was among a select band of central-European conductors (Vaclav Neumann and Otmar Suitner another two notable examples) revered by Japanese orchestras and audiences, perhaps more than their Western counterparts. They had an uncomplicated mastery of the repertoire that shunned interpretative eccentricity and plugged listeners in to a strong current of cultivated orchestral sonority which seemed to grow from and continue a Kapellmeister lineage that built the great orchestras of the world in the first place.

As chief conductor of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Stein made recordings of Sibelius that have been prized since their first issue, and have been collected together on another Eloquence release (4823922). The present release returns to Stein’s heartland of German Romanticism. Indeed the progression from Weber to Wagner to Wolf traces the eventful development of the Romantic movement in music over 80 years, from the daring, post-Schubertian harmonies of Weber’s Symphony (no less touched by lyric genius than his music for the stage) to the tumultuous and multi-climactic tone-poem that is Wolf’s Penthesilea, which tells the story of an Amazon queen’s gruesome revenge for thwarted passion.

“Stein’s persuasive performance makes no apologies for the work … an important rediscovery.” Gramophone Magazine, February 1982 (Wolf: Penthesilea)

“Especially for the superb playing Stein gets from the VPO … this is much to be recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, July 1974 (Wagner)

“Stein’s gifts as a Wagner conductor have enabled him to see the richness and depth already glimpsed […] in the remarkable Andante.” Gramophone Magazine, September 1978 (Weber: Symphony)

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Schmidt: Symphony No. 2 & Strauss: Dreaming by the Fireside

Schmidt: Symphony No. 2 & Strauss: Dreaming by the Fireside


Schmidt, F:

Symphony No. 2 in E flat major

Strauss, R:

Träumerei am Kamin (from Intermezzo)


Franz Schmidt was a cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra himself and he allowed the orchestra to premiere his symphony in 1913, which since then belongs in the orchestra’s main repertoire.

With Semyon Bychkov, they are a proven team to champion Schmidt’s Symphony…

The second symphony is the most brilliant and extroverted one with the largest instrumentation.

The Strauss ‘Dreaming by the Fireside’ is a famous intermezzo from the same-named opera by Strauss.

On this album, the work is performed by The Strauss Orchestra.

“This is a golden performance…the opening is a transparent babbling brook…strings sweep forward in far from generic melody…[the central variations] balance sweetness with will-o’-the-wisp fantasy until the climatic variation…the finale builds in expressive counterpoint towards a great chorale…this is down on my list of the best discs of 2017 already, and it will take some toppling from first place” BBC Music Magazine, July 2017 *****

“With euphonious finesse and nuanced orchestral sonorities, his score – surely a masterpiece of fin-de-siècle Vienna – is unsurpassed by any orchestral work of his time. It is interpreted here with a comfortable familiarity that nonetheless never sounds routine.” FonoForum, June 2017 *****

“It's as apparent here as much as it was in [the Proms performance] the amount of affection with which both orchestra and conductor approach this work...this new recording makes a persuasive case for a work of considerable beauty. It's an important addition to the catalogue. A gentle, tender account of Strauss's most famous Intermezzo interlude makes a charming if hardly generous coupling.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Recording of the month - July 2017

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Sony - 88985355522

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$13.25

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