Samuel Ramey

Bass

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Rossini: La donna del lago

Rossini: La donna del lago


Katia Ricciarelli (Elena), Lucia Valentini-Terrani (Malcolm), Dalmacio Gonzalez (Uberto/Giacomo), Dano Raffanti (Rodrigo di Dhu), Samuel Ramey (Douglas d'Angus), Cecilia Valdenassi (Albina), Oslavio Di Credico (Serano), Antonio D' Uva (Bertram)

Prague Philharmonic Chorus & Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Maurizio Pollini

Rossini’s La donna del lago, loosely based on Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake, “succeeds in conjuring up the atmosphere of the Scottish Highlands,” said BBC Music Magazine. “This tuneful, delicately orchestrated opera of innocent Romantic charm is given a splendid performance by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Maurizio Pollini and its cast could hardly be bettered today. Katia Ricciarelli brings to the title role rich creamy tone and a fine appreciation of the style, and Lucia Valentini Terrani is impressive in the travesti role of Malcolm. The two high-lying tenor parts are sung with assurance by Dalmacio Gonzales and Dano Raffanti, and Samuel Ramey is a tower of strength as Douglas, the heroine’s father. The recording is admirably clear and sensibly balanced.”

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Sony - Sony Classical Opera - 88985397962

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

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Boito: Mefistofele

Boito: Mefistofele


Samuel Ramey (Mefistofele), Michele Crider (Elena/Margherita), Vincenzo La Scola (Faust), Eleonora Jankovic (Martha), Ernesto Gavazzi (Wagner/Nereo), Eleonora Jankovic (Pantalis)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala, Riccardo Muti

Arrigo Boito, Verdi’s greatest librettist, was also a noted composer, best known for his Italian operatic treatment of Goethe’s tragedy Faust. His MEFISTOFELE is much closer in spirit and letter to the original source than Gounod’s French version of a decade or so earlier. Boito seems to have been more fascinated by Mephistopheles than by the title character (he also augmented the role of another famous villain, Iago, in adapting Shakespeare’s Othello for Verdi). There are numerous complete versions of recordings of Mefistofele on disc, but BBC Music Magazine gave its highest rating to this 1995 live recording from La Scala, conducted by Riccardo Muti: “It is Samuel Ramey who dominates this new recording. Ramey was already a splendid Mefistofele on a 1991 recording, but here he is even more in command of the role, and has the advantage of Muti’s masterly conducting. Michele Crider is an affecting Margherita and Vincenzo La Scola a mellifluous Faust.”

RCA Sony Classical Opera - 88985334942

(CD - 2 discs)

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Lux Aeterna

Lux Aeterna

Claudio Abbado in Rehearsal


Verdi:

Requiem


Montserrat Caballé (soprano), Cecilia Gasdia (soprano), Lucia Valentini Terrani (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dvorsky (tenor), Chris Merritt (tenor) & Samuel Ramey (bass)

Milan La Scala Chorus and Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

A film by Norbert Beilharz

This Documentary shows Claudio Abbado as he is rehearsing Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with world-famous singers Montserrat Caballé, Cecilia Gasdia, Lucia Valentini-Terrani, Peter Dvorsky, Chris Merritt , Samuel Ramey and the Choir and Orchestra of the Scala di Milano.

It documents rehearsals in at three different locations: the church of San Marco in Milan, the main stage at Teatro alla Scala and in one of the rehearsal rooms of the opera house, recorded in 1985.

An opportunity to see and directly compare the performances of the well acclaimed sopranos Montserrat Caballé and Cecilia Gasdia and the tenors Peter Dvorsky and Chris Merritt.

Director Norbert Beilharz is a worldwide renowned specialist for classical music documentaries.

DVD release comes right in time for the 80th Anniversary Celebrations of Claudio Abbado in June 2013 and will be accompanied by two further EuroArts June releases: Claudio Abbado Anniversary Box (Item. No.: 2059588 and the Abbado Beethoven Box (Item No.: 2057374)

Special Packaging: Digipak with hotfoil embossing + Sticker 8Oth Anniversary Edition

Picture format DVD: NTSC 4:3

Sound format DVD: PCM Stereo

Region code: 0

Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish

Booklet notes: English, French, German

Running time: 119 mins

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EuroArts - 2001318

(DVD Video)

$27.25

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Handel: Rodelinda

Handel: Rodelinda


Joan Sutherland (Rodelinda), Alicia Nafé (Bertarido), Curtis Rayam (Grimoaldo), Isobel Buchanan (Eduigo), Huguette Tourangeau (Unulfo) & Samuel Ramey (Garibaldo)

Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Richard Bonynge

Rodelinda stems from a period of great creativity in Handel’s life, 1724-25, following hard on Giulio Cesare and Tamerlano. Although it met with only moderate success. One of its first revivals was via the German Handel Society in the 1920s, and then the Handel Opera Society revived it again, with a cast including Joan Sutherland, during the 1959 celebrations of Handel’s bicentenary. It was one of Sutherland/Bonynge’s later Decca operatic collaborations (1985) and their only Handel opera they recorded together.

“[The recorded sound] is vivid, rather spacious … Dame Joan Sutherland produces generous quantities of golden tone … Nafé does [‘Dove sei’] very beautifully, gently yet with firm, well-formed tone. Her siciliano aria, where Bertarido despairs over his wife's supposed inconstancy, is particularly fine, as too is the intense accompanied recitative sung in a prison cell. Curtis Rayam shows a capable tenor in the role—one of the earliest important ones for a tenor—of the usurper Grimoaldo, with accurate singing in the rapid music and graceful phrasing in the attractive aria early in Act 2. His siciliano sleep song in Act 3 is affectingly done.” Gramophone Magazine

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4806105

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Rossini: Il viaggio a Reims

Rossini: Il viaggio a Reims


Lucia Valentini-Terrani (Marchesa Melibea), Sylvia McNair (Corrina), Luciana Serra (Contessa di Folleville), Cheryl Studer (Madame Cortese), Raúl Giménez (Cavalier Belfiore), William Matteuzzi (Conte di Libenskof), Samuel Ramey (Lord Sidney), Ruggero Raimondi (Don Profondo), Enzo Dara (Baron di Trombonok), Lucio Gallo (Don Alvaro), Giorgio Surjan (Don Prudenzio), Guglielmo Mattei (Don Luigino)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

CD includes a booklet with a three-language synopsis (English/French/German), full cast list and detailed track list.

Sony - The Sony Opera House - 88697855682

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.75

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Bach: Mass in B minor

Bach: Mass in B minor


Bach, J S:

Mass in B minor, BWV232

Margaret Marshall (soprano I), Janet Baker (soprano II / alto), Robert Tear (tenor) & Samuel Ramey (bass)

Academy & Chorus of St Martin in the Fields

Cantata BWV56 'Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen'

John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)

The St. Anthony Singers & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields


For long out of the catalogue, Marriner’s (Philips) recording of Bach’s B Minor Mass, with an array of splendid soloists, returns to circulation. Its coupling is the first release on CD of this recording of the deeply moving Cantata BWV 56 ‘Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen’. It was one of two (extant) Bach cantatas for bass voice alone (the other being BWV 82 ‘Ich habe genug’: Shirley-Quirk’s recording with Marriner appears on Decca Eloquence 476 2684). The two items were recorded thirteen years apart, the Cantata in April 1964 and the Mass in June-July 1977. The partnership of Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is possibly the most recorded of all partnerships in recorded classical music. This pioneering 2CD set is issued in celebration of the Academy’s 50th anniversary this year and these recordings form part of a series of Marriner reissues on Eloquence.

Marriner’s glorious recording of Bach’s Mass in B minor returns to the catalogue – at budget price for the first time.

The Cantata BWV 56 receives its first release on CD.

Forms part of a series of recordings with Marriner and the Academy.

“I found the solo singing rewarding and in particular Dame Janet Baker’s account of the Agnus Dei very moving … the sound is rich with plenty of bloom ... Cum Sancto Spiritu is a real choral tour de force” Gramophone Magazine (Mass)

“This disc is, I would say, the one to have; and, more than any of his previous recordings, it makes apparent beyond doubt John Shirley-Quirk’s high standing as an artist” Gramophone Magazine (Cantata)

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4802338

(CD - 2 discs)

$11.75

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Puccini: La Rondine

Puccini: La Rondine


Angela Gheorghiu (Magda), Roberto Alagna (Ruggero), Lisette Oropesa (Lisette), Samuel Ramey (Ramblado), Marius Brenciu (Prunier)

Orchestra & Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Marco Armiliato

Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna star in the 2009 Metropolitan Opera production of Puccini’s La Rondine (The Swallow). This new production, directed by Nicholas Joël, was the company’s first staging in 70 years.

This elegant romance is the least-known work of the mature Giacomo Puccini. The story concerns a kept woman who defies convention to chase a dream of romantic love with an earnest, if naïve, young man. This Met Opera production features the dynamic soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Frenchborn tenor Roberto Alagna performing the roles of Magda and Ruggero, it blooms into its rightful place in the glorious Puccini canon.

La Rondine (The Swallow) was commissioned by Vienna’s Carltheater in 1913. Due to the impending outbreak of World War I, premiered in 1917, at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo with Gilda Dalla Rizza and Tito Schipa. Set in a Parisian salon, it is the story of Magda, the glamorous mistress of wealthy banker Rambaldo. Her yearning for romantic love compels her into the arms of the ardent and adoring young Ruggero.

The New York Times hailed the Art-Deco set production as “as sophisticated, charming and poignant”. This DVD features the 10th January, 2009 performance of the opera, which was aired globally in HD as well as two bonus interview featurettes: the first with Gheorghiu and Alagna; the second with Lisette Oropesa and Marius Brenciu, who sing the roles Lisette and Prunier respectively.

“Ms. Gheorghiu, as Magda, sings with gleaming sound and wonderfully dusky colorings…The conductor, Marco Armiliato, in what may be his best work to date at the Met, draws a nuanced and supple performance from the orchestra. I thought I knew this score quite well, but have never been so struck by the intricacies of the music”. The New York Times

“Mr Alagna supplied plenty of vocal and physical glamour and equal amounts of intelligent phrasing and text-reading; his boyish Ruggero was entirely sympathetic and very moving”. Classics Today

“I have never heard Alagna sing better, and Gheorghiu is at her sumptuous best. There are comparably beautiful performances by the younger couple, Marius Brenciu and Lisette Oropesa” New York Daily News

Bonuses:

Interview with Angela Gheorghiu & Roberto Alagna (3’35)

Interview with Lisette Oropesa & Marius Brenciu (4’21)

“Armiliato's conducting...captures the right warmth, and the former Dream Team still look superb...The lyrical young Ruggero still suits Alagna...Ramey's now leathery tone embodies Ramblado's elderly urbanity, and the Met's lesser roles are typically strong. Overall, then, this is [a] fine performance that undoubtedly confirms Rondine's renewed status.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2010 *****

“at the centre is Angela Gheorghiu in richest, creamiest voice. At her side for most of the time is Roberto Alagna, singing with tone that is resonant if not refulgent...Marco Armiliato conducts with enthusiasm, and the glimpses of scenery-changing reveal a hinter-realm of awesome complexity under unfazed control.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2010

“ Joël's production...has updated the opera to the 1920s without harming the action or sensibility of the work...Armiliato leads a reading that precisely catches the bittersweet quality of the score without falling into sentimentality; indeed he almost sells it as something other than 'the day off of a genius'.” International Record Review, December 2010

“the Metropolitan Opera sets are wonderfully elegant...Consistently, Gheorghiu makes you share the courtesan's wild dream of finding her young ardent lover...Alagna winningly characterizes in his freshest voice” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Presto Disc of the Week

6th September 2010

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EMI - 6316189

(DVD Video)

$16.50

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Rossini: Il viaggio a Reims

Rossini: Il viaggio a Reims


Katia Ricciarelli (Madame Cortese), Lucia Valentini Terrani (Marchesa Melibea), Lella Cuberli (Contessa di Folleville), Cecilia Gasdia (Corinna), Eduardo Giménez (Cavalier Belfiore), Francisco Araiza (Conte di Libenskof), Samuel Ramey (Lord Sidney), Ruggero Raimondi (Don Profondo), Enzo Dara (Baron di Trombonok), Leo Nucci (Don Alvaro)

Prague Philharmonic Chorus & The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Claudio Abbado

Recorded live in 1984

“The set is a triumph of scholarship, musicianship and managerial enterprise. At the price, it is irresistible.” Gramophone Magazine

“one of the most sparkling and totally successful live opera recordings available...Abbado's brilliance and sympathy draw the musical threads compellingly together with the help of superb, totally committed playing from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Awards 1986

Record of the Year

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

DG Grand Prix - 4777435

(CD - 2 discs)

$18.25

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Massenet: Manon

Massenet: Manon


Natalie Dessay (Manon), Rolando Villazon (Le Chevalier des Grieux), Samuel Ramey (Le Comte des Grieux), Manuel Lanza (Lescaut)

Orquesta Sinfónica e coro del Gran Teatre del Liceu, Victor Pablo Pérez

“David Caviar's production of Massenet's masterpiece is strong on period flavour… It's strong, too, in the delineation and interaction of the two protagonists… Dessay's Manon shines, not only in her prodigious technical skills… but also in a realisation of her conflicted character that shows Manon's desire for love running up against her penchant for the finer things in life.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2008 *****

“David McVicar's production of Manon takes a more than usually harsh view of the story, too often softened by Rococo prettiness. Here, everything and everybody is for sale, and behind the façade of 18th-century Paris lurks a world of corruption, disease and perversion. It is thrilling, sometimes even slightly shocking, and throughout the direction of the cast is faultless: every scene bears re-viewing for the amount of detail and dramatic energy that is released.
It is unlikely that Natalie Dessay will ever give a greater performance than this. First glimpsed as a gawky schoolgirl, wearing a travelling-coat two sizes too large, she grows into a coquettish lover, then a manipulative, avaricious courtesan before our eyes. Her singing of each of the great arias is equally fascinating, with delicate embellishments at such moments as 'Profitons de la jeunesse', and a really touching 'Adieu, notre petite table', ending up lying in a foetal position on top of the table. The scene in which she and Rolando Villazón size each other up before speaking is exquisitely managed.
Villazón makes a passionate hero. His interpretation is much more extrovert than Dessay's, and there are several moments when one would have wished him to sing yet more softly. This is considerably more subtle, though, than his reading of the same part in the modern-dress production in Berlin last year. Manuel Lanza makes a seductive, sleazy Lescaut, and Francisco Vas is sinister rather than just amusing as the vengeful Guillot.
Although his demeanour is suitably dignified as Des Grieux père, Samuel Ramey's voice now has such a perilous wobble that 'Epouse quelque brave fille' is rather painful, in the wrong way.
Tanya McCallin's set – a steep amphitheatre from which extras watch the action played out centre-stage – complements her costumes, inspired by the paintings of Chardin rather than the usual sugary Fragonard. The choreography of Michael Keegan-Dolan reaches its height in the elaborate hunting ballet in the Cours-La- Reine scene, one of Massenet's happiest bits of Baroque pastiche. It is hard to imagine that we will see another Manon to equal this for a long time: highly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“David McVicar's production of Manon takes a more than usually harsh view of the story…Here, everything and everybody is for sale… It is thrilling, sometimes even slightly shocking, and throughout the direction of the cast is faultless: every scene bears re-viewing for the amount of detail and dramatic energy that is released. It is unlikely that Natalie Dessay will ever give a greater performance than this. Her singing of each of the great arias is equally fascinating. The scene in which she and Rolando Villazón size each other up before speaking is exquisitely managed... Villazón makes a passionate hero. I cannot imagine that we will see another Manon to equal this for a long time: highly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - March 2008

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Erato - 5050689

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$19.50

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Lux Aeterna

Lux Aeterna

Claudio Abbado conducts Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem


Verdi:

Requiem

Performance - Documentary - Rehearsal


Margaret Price, Jessye Norman, José Carreras, Ruggero Raimondi, Monsterrat Caballé, Samuel Ramey & Peter Dvorsky

The Edinburgh Festival Choir & London Symphony Orchestra, The Choir and Orchestra of La Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

Recording Date: 1986
Place of recording: From the Edinburgh Festival & the Church of San Marco (Milan)
Running Time: 206 min
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Menu Languages PAL: D, F, GB, SP
Subtitle Languages PAL: D, F, GB, SP

DVD Video

Region: 2, 5 and 6

Format: PAL

Arthaus Musik - 101451

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$27.25

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