James Levine

Conductor

James Levine

James Levine (born June 23, 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American orchestral pianist and conductor and most well known as the music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He is also the current music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Levine was born into a musical family: his maternal grandfather was a cantor in a synagogue, his father was a violinist, who led a dance band, and his mother was an actress. He began to play the piano as a small child. At the age of 10, he made his concert debut as soloist in Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 2 at a youth concert of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

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Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore (highlights)

Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore (highlights)


James Levine assembled a cast of stars for his 1989 recording of Donizetti’s opera of potions and passions. Luciano Pavarotti (on loan from Decca) reprised the role he had recorded in July 1970 alongside Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, and his voice was noted to be ‘just as pure and steady’ as it was nearly twenty years before. For many, the generous selection of highlights on this set will be attractive for the inclusion of Kathleen Battle in her exquisite performance as Adina, not to mention the sumptuous sound and polished playing of the Met Orchestra under Levine.

“Levine conducts a lively performance, Battle makes a sympathetic Adina, Dara is a thoroughly professional purveyor of the elixir … spirited virtuosity in the orchestral playing” Gramophone Magazine, February 1991

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4825625

(CD)

$8.50

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Smetana: Má Vlast

Smetana: Má Vlast


Smetana’s monumental cycle of symphonic poems devoted to his Czech homeland here finds perfect advocates in James Levine and the sumptuous-toned Wiener Philharmoniker. First release of the entire cycle at mid-price.

“Levine’s performance of Smetana’s often elusive cycle of symphonic poems is quite splendid, full of momentum and thrust, aptly paced, with much imaginative detail. […] The sound is full-bodied and vivid, with a wide amplitude and range, to give the music plenty of atmosphere.” Penguin Guide, 1990

DG Originals - 4795884

(CD)

$9.25

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Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin


Thomas Allen (Eugene Onegin), Mirella Freni (Tatyana), Anne Sofie von Otter (Olga), Neil Shicoff (Lensky), Rosemary Lang (Larina), Ruthild Engert (Filipyevna), Paata Burchuladze (Gremin), Michel Sénéchal (Triquet), Gunther Emmerlich (Zaretzky), Jürgen Hartfiel (Captain)

Rundfunkchor Leipzig & Staatskapelle Dresden, James Levine

James Levine at the helm of the incomparable Staatskapelle Dresden conducts a distinguished reading of Tchaikovsky’s most famous opera with an outstanding international cast including Mirella Freni and Thomas Allen. First release at mid-price, including a booklet libretto in Russian and English.

“The new Onegin merits an almost unreserved recommendation […] the central performances by Mirella Freni and Thomas Allen are compellingly vivid.” Financial Times, 11th March 1989 (Andrew Clements)

“What Freni does is sensitive, intelligent and often touching. She can still sound vulnerable—as Tatyana must...Allen responds to her...Levine draws fine playing from the Staatskapelle Dresden, though he seems to find the opera more conventional than it is.” Gramophone Magazine

“this is a big performance: slowish, with the beautiful melodies drawn out in an almost Italian fashion but with Tchaikovsky’s Russian coloring intact, with big climaxes and great tension, and the Dresden forces play stunningly for Levine.” Classics Today

“a magnificent Onegin in Thomas Allen, the most satisfying account of the title-role ever recorded. It is matched by the Tatiana of Mirella Freni, even at a late stage in her career readily conveying girlish freshness in her voice. The other parts are also strongly taken...What welds all these fine components into a rich and exciting whole is the conducting of James Levine” Penguin Guide, 2010

Presto Greatest Recordings

1980s

DG Originals - 4795883

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Live from the Salzburg Festival 1982


Edita Gruberova (Königin der Nacht), Peter Schreier (Tamino), Christian Boesch (Papageno), Ileana Cotrubas (Pamina), Edda Moser (Erste Dame), Ann Murray (Zweite Dame), Ingrid Mayr (Dritte Dame), Martti Talvela (Sarastro), Horst Hiestermann (Monostatos), Gudrun Sieber (Papagena)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, James Levine (conductor) & Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (stage director)

This production of Mozart’s Zauberflöte received enormous and unanimous approval when it was premiered in Salzburg. The theatre wizard Jean-Pierre Ponnelle created a staging which became part and parcel of the festival programme for over nine years and soon acquired the status of a legend. Of course, none of that would have had the same appeal if it had not been in accord with Mozart’s music, performed with perfect blend of lightness and pathos, humour and profundity, by James Levine and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Nor would it all have worked without a truly Festival-worthy cast of singers: the Finnish bass Martti Talvela, who departed way too soon in 1989, in his famous role as Sarastro, the incomparable Edita Gruberová as “the best-ever Queen of the Night” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), the legendary Tamino Peter Schreier as well as the petite, lyrical soprano Ileana Cotrubaș as Pamina. Further, Christian Boesch, who sang the role of his life with Papageno, was credited most for his performance in this legendary Zauberflöte.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

Original Language: DE

Subtitles: IT, GB, DE, FR, ES

Running Time: 189 mins

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Blu-ray Disc 25 GB (Single Layer)

FSK: 0

Region free

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik Legendary Performances - 109191

(Blu-ray)

$16.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Live from the Salzburg Festival 1982


Edita Gruberova (Königin der Nacht), Peter Schreier (Tamino), Christian Boesch (Papageno), Ileana Cotrubas (Pamina), Edda Moser (Erste Dame), Ann Murray (Zweite Dame), Ingrid Mayr (Dritte Dame), Martti Talvela (Sarastro), Horst Hiestermann (Monostatos), Gudrun Sieber (Papagena)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, James Levine (conductor) & Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (stage director)

This production of Mozart’s Zauberflöte received enormous and unanimous approval when it was premiered in Salzburg. The theatre wizard Jean-Pierre Ponnelle created a staging which became part and parcel of the festival programme for over nine years and soon acquired the status of a legend. Of course, none of that would have had the same appeal if it had not been in accord with Mozart’s music, performed with perfect blend of lightness and pathos, humour and profundity, by James Levine and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Nor would it all have worked without a truly Festival-worthy cast of singers: the Finnish bass Martti Talvela, who departed way too soon in 1989, in his famous role as Sarastro, the incomparable Edita Gruberová as “the best-ever Queen of the Night” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), the legendary Tamino Peter Schreier as well as the petite, lyrical soprano Ileana Cotrubaș as Pamina. Further, Christian Boesch, who sang the role of his life with Papageno, was credited most for his performance in this legendary Zauberflöte.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

Original Language: DE

Subtitles: IT, GB, DE, FR, ES

Running Time: 189 mins

DVD 5 & DVD 9 / NTSC

FSK: 0

Region Code: 0

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik Legendary Performances - 109190

(DVD Video)

$16.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492 (highlights)

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492 (highlights)


DG Virtuoso - 4786402

(CD)

$7.25

(also available to download from $5.00)

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Wagner Choruses

Wagner Choruses


Wagner:

Steuermann, laß die Wacht! (from Der fliegende Holländer)

Gesegnet soll sie schreiten (from Lohengrin)

Bridal Chorus 'Treulich geführt' (from Lohengrin)

Freudig begrussen wir 'Entrance of the Guests' (from Tannhauser)

Begluckt darf nun dich 'Pilgrims' Chorus' (from Tannhauser)

Da zu dir der Heiland kam (from Die Meistersinger)

Sankt Krispin, lobet ihn! (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

lhr tanzt? Was werden die Meister sagen? (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

Wach' auf! Es nahet gen dem Tag (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

Hoiho! Hoihohoho! (from Götterdämmerung)

Zum letzten Liebesmahle gerüstet Tag für Tag (from Parsifal)

Parsifal: Transformation Scene

Höchsten Heiles Wunder! Erlösung dem Erlöser! (from Parsifal)


2013 sees a series of Wagner reissues on Eloquence from complete operas and highlights to Wagner singer portraits and even an audiobook!

Bayreuth is the holy grail of Wagner lovers and this outstanding disc captures great choral moments from Wagner’s operas over a period of nearly 30 years, with key ‘big’ moments from seven operas, from the Sawallisch Tannhäuser (1962) to Peter Schneider’s Lohengrin (1990). The choruses are among the glories of Wagner’s stage works. They are central, not extraneous, to the action, and the mood and style of each reflect the dramatic imperatives of the work concerned. This anthology includes the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin, the Sailors’ Chorus from The Flying Dutchman, the Pilgrims’ Chorus from Tannhäuser as well as the Guild Choruses from Die Mesitersinger and the dark Vassals’ Chorus from Götterdämmerung, as well as three defining moments from Wagner’s farewell to the world – Parsifal.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4807067

(CD)

$8.50

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Verdi: Ballet Music

Verdi: Ballet Music


“For those who like Verdi's music but could happily do without all that singing, this fine selection of ballet highlights played with both passion and eloquence should be just the ticket.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 ****

Sony Classical Masters - 88765478102

(CD)

$14.00

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Wagner: Das Rheingold

Wagner: Das Rheingold


Lisette Oropesa (Woglinde), Jennifer Johnson Cano (Wellgunde), Tamara Mumford (Flosshilde), Eric Owens (Alberich), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Richard Croft (Loge), Franz-Josef Selig (Fasolt), Hans-Peter König (Fafner), Wendy Bryn Harmer (Freia), Adam Diegel (Froh), Dwayne Croft (Donner), Patricia Bardon (Erda), Gerhard Siegel (Mime)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, James Levine

Production by Robert Lepage

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

DG - 0734852

(Blu-ray)

$20.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Wagner: Die Walküre

Wagner: Die Walküre


Jonas Kaufmann (Siegmund), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde), Hans-Peter König (Hunding), Deborah Voigt (Brünnhilde), Bryn Terfel (Wotan), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), Kelly Cae Hogan (Gerhilde), Molly Fillmore (Helmwige), Wendy Bryn Harmer (Ortlinde), Eve Gigliotti, Mary Ann McCormick (Grimgerde), Lindsay Ammann (Rossweisse) Marjorie Elinor Dix (Waltraute), Mary Phillips (Schwertleite)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, James Levine

Production by Robert Lepage

“Terfel is twice the Wotan he seemed at Covent Garden, displaying commanding tone and rough-hewn sensitivity. Deborah Voigt's Brunnhilde is attractively lyrical...Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek are superb Volsungs, in need of livelier direction.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

DG - 0734848

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$20.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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