Brandon Jovanovich

Tenor

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Berg: Wozzeck

Berg: Wozzeck


Christian Gerhaher (Wozzeck), Brandon Jovanovich (Drum Major), Mauro Peter (Andres), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Captain), Lars Woldt (Doctor) & Gun-Brit Barkmin (Marie)

Chor der Oper Zurich & Philharmonia Zurich, Fabio Luisi (conductor) & Andreas Homoki (stage director)

The soldier Wozzeck flits through a world that he is unable to decipher. The Doctor torments him with absurd medical experiments; the Captain humiliates and ridicules him. And Wozzeck’s lover, Marie, with whom he has a child, cuckolds him with the Drum Major. Wozzeck becomes a murderer, stabbing Marie to death.

Georg Büchner’s drama fragment, on which Alban Berg based his first opera, is an unflinching case study of social injustice and human suffering. But it is also a grotesque piece that thrives on exaggeration – and in which only a fine line separates the unfathomable from the ridiculous. Accordingly, director Andreas Homoki forgoes all realism. His nightmarishly radical production is inspired by puppet theatre. Christian Gerhaher’s role début as Wozzeck can only be described as sensational: his capacity for vocal and dramatic subtlety is simply breath‐taking. At the rostrum of the Philharmonia Zurich, Fabio Luisi explores both the expressionistic and the more intimate aspects, reminiscent of chamber music, in Berg’s seminal score.

Picture Format: NTSC 16:9

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

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Running Time: 100:58 min

Disc Format: DVD‐9

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

“This is a triumph – gripping and moving. The performance of Christian Gerhaher is outstanding, but there is also much else to admire and recommend.” MusicWeb International, October 2016

“This is a finely honed production that follows its premise to an absurdist conclusion with slick theatricality and dispassionate zeal...All sentimentalism is banished here. So, largely, is the opera’s plea for justice and compassion. It is left to Christian Gerhaher’s Wozzeck to fight that battle, which he does with formidable diction and great lyrical beauty, offering, where he can, a still centre in the tumult.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“While the Lieder-like beauty of Gerhaher’s singing Is matchless – he can act too – this is no star vehicle. It is ensemble work of the highest order…the relationships are brilliantly drawn, and the murder of Marie is more shocking for its surrealism. The string and woodwind solos are incisive, and the blossoming of the orchestral interludes as directed by Luisi is almost indecently lovely” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 *****

“Something of a triumph for all concerned.” Opera, May 2017

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - November 2016

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017

DVD/Blu-ray Winner

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

BBC Award Winners - up to 25% off

Accentus Music - ACC20363

(DVD Video)

Normally: $28.25

Special: $21.18

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Schoenberg: Gurrelieder

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder


Barbara Haveman (soprano), Claudia Mahnke (mezzo), Brandon Jovanovich (tenor), Gerhard Siegel (tenor), Thomas Bauer (baritone), Johannes Martin Kränzle (speaker)

Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Domkantorei Köln, Männerstimmen des Kölner Domchores, Vokalensemble Kölner Dom, Chor des Bach-Vereins Köln, Kartäuserkantorei Köln, Markus Stenz

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

The Gürzenich-Orchester of Cologne has a pedigree second to none—counting Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss among those who have entrusted it with premieres of their works—and when you hear this new recording the reasons for this are clear. Devastating brass combines with mellifluous winds and strings in a performance of Schoenberg’s late Romantic masterpiece.

Markus Stenz conducts a fine line-up of soloists and marshalls the massed choirs in this most epic of works.

“a good resumé of Stenz’s qualities, his confidence in handling massive forces and his affinity with music composed on the cusp of modernism; he’s at his best in passages such as the orchestral interlude that precedes the Song of the Wood Dove...and the Wild Hunt of the Summer Wind.” The Guardian, 25th June 2015 ***

“This superb performance crowns Stenz’s tenure as Cologne’s general music director, with opulent playing from the Gürzenichers and six Cologne and Dutch choirs. Brandon Jovanovich’s thrilling Waldemar and Claudia Mahnke’s plangent Wood Dove are the pick of a fine team of soloists.” Sunday Times, 28th June 2015

“Live recording’s cast is swept along with élan by conductor Markus Stenz.” Financial Times, 26th June 2015

“The star of the set is undoubtedly tenor Brandon Jovanovich as Waldemar; his baritonal timbre suits the piece well, particularly the relatively low writing given to him for his first entry, but his top notes ring when necessary...the Cologne woodwind are on top form, as indeed is everyone in this fine new recording of a wonderfully colourful and dramatic piece.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 29th June 2015

“Excellent performances throughout from orchestra, soloists and choruses – rarely have the lush textures of Schoenberg’s late-Romantic cantata sounded this fresh.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

“makes a vivid and spacious overall impression thanks to the alternately measured and passionate sway of Markus Stenz and the golden tones of the Gurzenich Orchestra. It is also strongly cast with the heroic Brandon Jovanovich and the full-voiced Barbara Haveman as the illicit lovers.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2015 ****

“Not only does Markus Stenz secure a marvellously eloquent and superbly coordinated response from his massed choral and orchestral forces, his supple, authoritative conception harnesses impressive long-term rigour to a keen poetic and dramatic instinct...Hearty plaudits to all involved.” Classical Ear, 15th October 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

29th June 2015

GGramophone Awards 2016

Winner - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2015

Hyperion - CDA68081/2

(CD - 2 discs)

$28.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Berg: Wozzeck

Berg: Wozzeck


Christian Gerhaher (Wozzeck), Brandon Jovanovich (Drum Major), Mauro Peter (Andres), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Captain), Lars Woldt (Doctor) & Gun-Brit Barkmin (Marie)

Chor der Oper Zurich & Philharmonia Zurich, Fabio Luisi (conductor) & Andreas Homoki (stage director)

The soldier Wozzeck flits through a world that he is unable to decipher. The Doctor torments him with absurd medical experiments; the Captain humiliates and ridicules him. And Wozzeck’s lover, Marie, with whom he has a child, cuckolds him with the Drum Major. Wozzeck becomes a murderer, stabbing Marie to death.

Georg Büchner’s drama fragment, on which Alban Berg based his first opera, is an unflinching case study of social injustice and human suffering. But it is also a grotesque piece that thrives on exaggeration – and in which only a fine line separates the unfathomable from the ridiculous. Accordingly, director Andreas Homoki forgoes all realism. His nightmarishly radical production is inspired by puppet theatre. Christian Gerhaher’s role début as Wozzeck can only be described as sensational: his capacity for vocal and dramatic subtlety is simply breath‐taking. At the rostrum of the Philharmonia Zurich, Fabio Luisi explores both the expressionistic and the more intimate aspects, reminiscent of chamber music, in Berg’s seminal score.

Picture Format: NTSC 16:9, Full HD

Sound Formats: DTS HD Master Audio, PCM Stereo

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Running Time: 100:58 min

Disc Format: BD 25

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

“This is a finely honed production that follows its premise to an absurdist conclusion with slick theatricality and dispassionate zeal...All sentimentalism is banished here. So, largely, is the opera’s plea for justice and compassion. It is left to Christian Gerhaher’s Wozzeck to fight that battle, which he does with formidable diction and great lyrical beauty, offering, where he can, a still centre in the tumult.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“While the Lieder-like beauty of Gerhaher’s singing Is matchless – he can act too – this is no star vehicle. It is ensemble work of the highest order…the relationships are brilliantly drawn, and the murder of Marie is more shocking for its surrealism. The string and woodwind solos are incisive, and the blossoming of the orchestral interludes as directed by Luisi is almost indecently lovely” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 *****

“This is a triumph – gripping and moving. The performance of Christian Gerhaher is outstanding, but there is also much else to admire and recommend.” MusicWeb International, October 2016

“Something of a triumph for all concerned.” Opera, May 2017

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - November 2016

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017

DVD/Blu-ray Winner

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

BBC Award Winners - up to 25% off

Accentus Music - ACC10363

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $34.00

Special: $25.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E flat major 'Symphony of a Thousand'

Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E flat major 'Symphony of a Thousand'


Barbara Haveman (soprano), Orla Boylan (soprano), Christiane Oelze (soprano), Anna Palimina (soprano), Petra Lang (mezzo-soprano), Maria Radner (contralto), Brandon Jovanovich (tenor) & Hanno Müller-Brachmann (baritone)

Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Girls and Boys of Choirs at the Cologne Cathedral Choir of the Bach Society, Cologne; Cologne Cathedral Choir, Kartäuserkantorei Cologne, Philharmonic Choir of Bonn Vocal Ensemble Cologne Cathedral, Markus Stenz

Continuing the critically acclaimed series of Mahler recordings with the Gurzenich-

Orchester Cologne conducted by Markus Stenz, the orchestra is joined on this recording by various soloists. The series so far has been chosen as Gramophone Editor’s Choices and has been well reviewed by all other outlets, remarkable in such a crowded market place.

“Stenz outdoes himself in finding a level of musical depth rarely plumbed in this piece. So too is he blessed with a roster of singers who view the music as more than merely a series of dramatic effects. Combing operatic firepower with the interpretative acumen of recitalists, the cast uniformly docuses not so much on hitting the dramatic points as floating the moments in between.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2013

“Stenz excels at knitting together the disparate elements – the Veni, creator spiritus really feels like a component part of Mahler’s grand design instead of a clumsy prologue. The Gürzenich-Orchester make a burnished, very European sound. The brass play with incredible force and power, but never sound strident.” The Arts Desk, 8th December 2012

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Oehms Markus Stenz Mahler Cycle - OC653

(SACD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Braunfels: Die Vögel

Braunfels: Die Vögel

Live Recording From The Los Angeles Opera, 2009


Désirée Rancatore (Nightingale), Brandon Jovanovich (Good Hope), James Johnson (Loyal Friend) & Martin Gantner (Hoopoe)

Los Angeles Opera Orchestra & Chorus, James Conlon (conductor) & Darko Tresnjak (stage director)

World Premiere Recording on DVD

Set Design by David P. Gordon

A production of the LA Opera House ground-breaking Recovered Voices project, highlighting the works of composers affected by the Holocaust. Walter Braunfels, a strong advocate of neo-Romanticism, made significant contributions to the world of twentieth-century opera. Yet, he lost his rightful places in twentieth-century opera houses.

His music inhabits a very different world, both geographically and aesthetically, nurtured far from Vienna’s charged, multi-cultural atmosphere. Deeply rooted in German Classicism and Romanticism, he conceals none of his admiration for the inherited past and sees himself as building on its fundamentals. By almost any standard, he was a conservative. The premiere of Die Vögel in Munich in 1920, under the direction of Bruno Walter (who still lauded the work as late as 1950), was a huge public and critical success. The number of productions and performances in the following years was staggering. However, in the post- World War II years of his “rehabilitation,” Braunfels never regained a foothold. Die Vögel was not produced again until 1971 in Karlsruhe and 1994 in Berlin.

"A rare chance to hear Braunfels‘s lighthearted, tenderly spiritual and little-known fable…“ The New York Times

"A marvelous performance…the orchestra sounded radiant.“ Los Angeles Times

"Conlon conducted with lustrous élan…We should hear more of Braunfels‘ work.” Financial Times, London

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitle Languages: DE, GB, FR, ES, IT, JP

Running Time: 132 mins

FSK: 0

“Walter Braunfel's Die Vögel is that very rare thing - a neglected work which really is worth reviving...The staging is colourful, with plenty of well-coordinated movement, and James Conlon conducts his Los Angeles forces persuasively, as well as writing helpfully about the opera in the booklet.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus and Euroarts Sale - up to 60% off

Arthaus Musik - 101529

(DVD Video)

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Carlson, D: Anna Karenina

Carlson, D: Anna Karenina


Kelly Kaduce (Anna), Robert Gierlach (Vronsky), Christian Van Horn (Karenin), Brandon Jovanovich (Levin), Sarah Coburn (Kitty), Christine Abraham (Dolly) & Rosalind Elias (Agafia)

Opera Theatre Saint Louis & Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Stewart Robertson

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is one of the masterworks of 19th century literature; a parable on the struggle for personal freedom against the conventions of a hostile society, played out in a tragic love-story. With a libretto by the distinguished director Colin Graham (veteran opera producer and director who died 3 weeks before this production was originally staged in 2007),American composer David Carlson's opera vividly captures the drama and message of the original work, with commanding performances from members of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. It was commissioned by Florida Grand Opera to celebrate the opening of the Ziff Opera House in Miami, and co-produced by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Michigan Opera Theatre.

The New York Times called David Carlson's music "romantic and luxuriantly textured, with soaring vocal writing which retains interest with an underlying tension…."

"A great American opera has finally been written," Opera Today.

“Colourful orchestration, lucid word-setting and dramatic alertness are among its virtues.” The Telegraph, 1st April 2009 ***

Signum - SIGCD154

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.50

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Bennett, R R: The Mines of Sulphur

Bennett, R R: The Mines of Sulphur

An Opera in Three Acts


Kristopher Irmiter, Beth Clayton, Brandon Jovanovich, James Maddalena

Glimmerglass Opera, Stewart Robertson

“Stimulating and disturbing: no cause to regret this issue and everything to celebrate.” MusicWeb International, 28th December 2016

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - CHSA5036

(SACD - 2 discs)

$28.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

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Dvorak: Rusalka, Op. 114

Dvorak: Rusalka, Op. 114


Ana María Martínez (Rusalka), Brandon Jovanovich (Prince), Tatiana Pavlovskaya (Foreign Princess), Mischa Schelomianski (Vodnik), Larissa Diadkova (Ježibaba), Natasha Jouhl (1st Nymph), Barbara Senator (2nd Nymph), Élodie Méchain (3rd Nymph), Diana Axentii (Kitchen Boy), Alasdair Elliott (Gamekeeper)

London Philharmonic Orchestra & The Glyndebourne Chorus, Jirí Belohlávek

Dvorák’s opera Rusalka reaches extraordinary heights of melodic eloquence. Rusalka is also the most consciously ‘through-composed’ of Dvorák’s operas but this does not prevent Czech opera’s most famous aria the ineffably beautiful ‘Song to the Moon’, being frequently extracted from the score and sung as a stand alone aria. Sometimes thought of as a ‘one aria opera’, this is just one of many glorious arias for Rusalka, among them the moving first-act plea, ‘Your ancient wisdom everyone knows’ (‘Staleta moudrost tva vsechno vi’), made to the witch Jezibaba asking her to make her human, and her desolate lament ‘Robbed of my youth’ (‘Mladosti sve pozbavena’) at the start of Act 3.

Rusalka is by no means a mainstay in the operatic oeuvre but this new 2009 production and recording from Glyndebourne is destined to put this much overlooked masterpiece to the forefront of romantic repertory.

The recording is aided by a stellar cast. Ana María Martínez’s astonishing humanity shines through in her heart rending portrayal of Rusalka, burly tenor Brandon Jovanovich is a handsome Prince, with real Slavic flavour added with Mischa Schelomianski as Rusalka’s wise old father Vodnik, and Larissa Diadkova as the evil witch Ježíbaba, both giving exemplary performances, with Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, giving the music a wonderful emotional intensity at all the right moments.

‘There’s little doubt that it’s the conductor Jirí Belohlávek who is really in charge, and under his loving direction the London Philharmonic plays with luscious warmth.’ Guardian July 2009

‘… Jirí Belohlávek, whose intent is not merely to conduct the piece but to honour it as a treasured part of his heritage … we’re talking a very special alchemy around what we hear, see, and feel.’ Independent July 2009

‘With a cast who sing with unbridled passion, the tragic depth of Dvorák’s music is fully plumbed.’ The Times July 2009

“Belohlávek's conducting [is]...full of warmth, exuberance and humour, and lifting the London Philharmonic to great heights in the tragedy of the final act...[Martinez's] Rusalka is a moving portrayal of a wide-eyed innocent doomed to disillusion, sung with impassioned sincerity.” The Telegraph, 1st June 2010 ****

“Ana Maria Martinez’s Rusalka...gives one of the most ecstatic accounts of the famous Song to the Moon on disc. She is well partnered by Brandon Jovanovich’s Prince...displaying a virile young heroic tenor of limitless potential, especially moving in his yearning Liebestod...An unmissable classic.” Sunday Times, 6th June 2010

“...there is a sensational performance by Ana María Martínez and authoritative conducting from Jirí Belohlávek.” The Guardian, 8th July 2010 ****

“[Martinez is] a near-ideal heroine...naively yearning and tragically resigned, with an unforced sense of pathos...Jovanovich's Prince sounds equally young, his ardent tenor conveying impulsiveness rather than callous cruelty...The splendid mezzo Larissa Diadkova creates an unexaggerated but bloodcurdling Jezibaba” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - September 2010

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2011

Opera Finalist

Glyndebourne - GFOCD00709

(CD - 3 discs)

$28.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Mahler: Complete Symphonies

Mahler: Complete Symphonies


Mahler:

Symphony No. 1 in D major 'Titan'

Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major - Adagio

Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Christiane Oelze (soprano) & Michaela Schuster (mezzo)

Kartäuserkantorei Köln, Bach-Verein Köln

Symphony No. 3

Michaela Schuster (alto)

Mädchen und Knaben der Chöre am Kölner Dom, Damenchor der Oper Köln

Symphony No. 4

Christiane Oelze (soprano)

Symphony No. 5

Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic'

Symphony No. 7

Symphony No. 8 in E flat major 'Symphony of a Thousand'

Barbara Haveman (soprano), Orla Boylan (soprano), Christiane Oelze (soprano), Anna Palimina (soprano), Petra Lang (mezzo-soprano), Maria Radner (contralto), Brandon Jovanovich (tenor) & Hanno Müller-Brachmann (baritone)

Girls and Boys of Choirs at the Cologne Cathedral Choir of the Bach Society, Cologne; Cologne Cathedral Choir, Kartäuserkantorei Cologne, Philharmonic Choir of Bonn Vocal Ensemble Cologne Cathedral

Symphony No. 9


Oehms Markus Stenz Mahler Cycle - OC029

(CD - 13 discs)

$48.25

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