Kent Nagano

Conductor

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Hosokawa: Stilles Meer

Hosokawa: Stilles Meer


Susanne Elmark (Claudia), Mihoko Fujimura (Haruko), Bejun Mehta (Stephan), Viktor Rud (Hiroto), Marek Gasztecki (Fisherman)

Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, Vokalsolisten Hamburg, Kent Nagano (conductor) & Oriza Hirata (director)

First Hamburgische Staatsoper production with Musical Director Kent Nagano to be released on DVD.

One of Germany’s most acclaimed theatrical events of recent years: Stilles Meer (Silent Sea), by Japan’s most important living composer, dedicated to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11, 2011.

Toshio Hosokawa‘s opera draws on the Noh play Sumidagawa (Sumida River) about a mother’s overwhelming grief on the death of her son, and Mori Ōgai’s book Maihime (The Dancing Girl), about an ill-fated German-Japanese love affair. The production is staged by the celebrated Japanese director-playwright Oriza Hirata.

A fantastic cast, led by stars such as Danish soprano Susanne Elmark and counter tenor Bejun Mehta.

Including a 15-minute documentary in which the lead cast visit the tsunami area and the production is explained.

DVD Picture: 16:9 – NTSC

DVD Sound: PCM Stereo,

DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Language/subtitles: N/A

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 120 mins (105 mins Concert, 15 mins Bonus)

Production year: 2016

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EuroArts - 8024272998

(DVD Video)

$16.50

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Danse Macabre: Kent Nagano

Danse Macabre: Kent Nagano


Balakirev:

Symphonic Poem 'Tamara'

Dukas:

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Dvorak:

The Noon Witch, Op. 108 (B196)

Ives, C:

Hallowe'en

chamber music version

Mussorgsky:

A Night on the Bare Mountain

orch. N. Rimsky-Korsakov

Saint-Saëns:

Danse macabre, Op. 40


The supernatural meets technical wizardry in this spectacularly recorded program of rare and familiar music to celebrate Halloween.

Kent Nagano conducts some of the best-loved classics of the macabre – including Rimsky-Korsakov’s technicolor re-orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain and Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice which achieved fame on the soundtrack for Disney’s film ‘Fantasia’.

The album is also filled with rarities such as Balakirev’s tone poem Tamara and Charles Ives’s Hallowe’en, the first of his ‘Three Outdoor Scenes’ of which Central Park in the Dark is the best-known.

This is the second recording to be released in Decca’s newly revived association with the Montreal Symphony under Music Director Kent Nagano. Always a benchmark for supreme audiophile quality this relationship now bears fruit with innovative and unusual repertoire: the first release of the rare Honegger/Ibert opera L’Aiglon (the first-ever recording of the complete opera) was an immediate critical success, voted ‘Album of the Week’ in The Sunday Times and ‘Recording of the Month’ in Opera magazine.

“This miscellany – linked thematically by spooks and sorcery – showcases Decca’s famed “Montreal” sound with the Orchestre Symphonique. Kent Nagano is in his element in the items known to millions from Disney’s Fantasia.” Sunday Times, 13th November 2016

“It is essentially a snapshot of Kent Nagano and his Montreal orchestra…the performances [are] for the most part smart and stylish…Tamara comes off best: Nagano generates a wonderfully gloomy atmosphere in the opening bars and a powerful sense of forward movement” Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

Decca - 4830396

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Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Gothenburg Concert Hall, November 2014


Kent Nagano and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra first became acquainted in 1993, when they worked together on Mahler’s Third Symphony. Love was immediate and Kent Nagano conducted the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra regularly over the next decades.

When Kent Nagano was appointed as Principal Guest Conductor starting in the autumn of 2013, one of the ideas turned into a project: performing and recording major orchestral works of Richard Strauss in connection with the composer’s 150th anniversary in 2014. Having worked for a long time as Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper, Kent Nagano has unique insights into Strauss’s music and the Strauss tradition, and can draw on information from authentic sources within the Strauss family.

What is perhaps less known is that the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra also has a solid Richard Strauss tradition. The orchestra already performed Don Juan in its inaugural season 1905-1906; it has been played more than 50 times since then. Under Wilhelm Stenhammar, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra played Macbeth (1908) and Tod und Verklärung (1913), as well as the overture to Guntram and Till Eulenspiegel (1913).

After Stenhammar’s period as Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, several of his later successors championed the music of Richard Strauss: Sergiu Comissiona (Don Quixote), Sixten Ehrling (Ein Heldenleben) and Charles Dutoit (Don Juan). Neeme Järvi and Gustavo Dudamel had a particular affinity with Don Juan, and Dudamel also conducted Ein Heldenleben.

Eine Alpensinfonie, the last of Strauss’s large orchestral pieces, entered the orchestra’s repertoire with Otmar Suitner in 1975, and since then has been one of the most popular pieces with both the orchestra and its audience. Neeme Järvi took it to the UK and Estonia (1999) and Gustavo Dudamel conducted it five times in Sweden (2007).

The orchestra was thus technically and musically familiar with the splendid score when performances were scheduled with Kent Nagano in 2014, including this recording.

For these performances and recording a new approach was taken. Conductor and orchestra wished to express not the bombastic aspects, but the subtle emotional changes, the colours and nuances of the vast and impressive landscape and the wanderer’s instinctive reaction to it, which is also expressed in the enormous orchestral apparatus. This was made possible only by the long and searching work orchestra and conductor carried out together over the years, which made possible new shades and depths in the re-creation of this magnificent piece of art.

“Admirers of this score will be interested in Nagano’s serious, intelligent take on it” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2016

“this is a well-engineered disc with immaculate orchestral playing and a tasteful concept of the work as a whole. I would recommend it…for its lyrical qualities and clarity of detail. In other words, it’s a refreshing change.” MusicWeb International, April 2017

Farao - B108091

(CD)

$16.75

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Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra & Violin Concerto No. 2

Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra & Violin Concerto No. 2


Bartók:

Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112

Augustin Dumay (violin)

Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116


When the eminent Hungarian violinist Zoltán Székely, a personal friend of the composer’s, as well as a frequent recital partner, commissioned Bartók to write a concerto in the summer of 1936, it was, according to the violinist’s recollection, a large-scale, one-movement, variation form, that Bartók was keen to explore. Székely, however, was more interested in having a conventional three-movement piece to add to his repertoire, and Bartók duly acquiesced, composing a work that takes the virtuosity and melodic richness of the Romantic concerto tradition and recasts it in the terms of his own, highly personal idiom, with all its contradictions – spiky yet warm, bold and yet contained. Bartók had made a late decision to leave Hungary, well after the outbreak of World War II, had been given a research post at Columbia University in New York, and embarked on concert and lecture tours across the US. But the Columbia post was soon curtailed, and Bartók’s rapidly deteriorating health snuffed out his concert career. The American performing rights society ASCAP took on financial responsibility for the composer’s healthcare, and two of Bartók’s fellow émigrés, Szigeti and the conductor Fritz Reiner, persuaded the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, to commission an orchestral piece. Convalescing at Saranac Lake, New York, in the summer and early autumn of 1943, Bartók wrote his 'Concerto for Orchestra', the perfect synthesis of all the elements of his mature style, and by virtue of its accessibility, the piece that brought him a far wider audience than he had previously known.

“The Concerto for Orchestra gets an upright and straight ahead performance, flecked with the string suppleness and woodwind finesse of mighty Montreal recordings of yore.” The Guardian, 21st April 2016 ***

“I enjoyed [the Second Violin Concerto] enormously, principally because it harks back to the wholesomely romantic approaches of Stern with Bernstein (Sony) and Menuhin with Dorati…Augustin Dumay digs lustily into the concerto’s opening and Kent Nagano’s big-boned response sings the same language…the Concerto for Orchestra again benefits from Nagano’s penchant for rich textures” Gramophone Magazine, June 2016

“This is a performance on the wing, as is evident in his use of rubato, and his willingness to modify dynamics to maximise projection.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2016 ***

Onyx - ONYX4138

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.00

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Brahms: Symphony No. 4

Brahms: Symphony No. 4


Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Schoenberg:

Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31


A little over 40 years separate Brahms’s Fourth Symphony from Schoenberg’s Variations Op.31: little enough for two sound-worlds so radically divergent. Yet a certain conscious classicism in the handling of variation forms (the chaconne in Brahms, balanced serialism in Schoenberg) and a common affiliation – to Bach – link these masterpieces of Romanticism and dodecaphony.

“Nagano delivers an overwhelming and superbly articulated account of the Schoenberg. His Brahms is beautifully played, but lacks the last ounce of passion, especially in the outer movements.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 ****

Harmonia Mundi Musique d'Abord - HMA1951884

(CD)

$8.00

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Beethoven: The Poetry of Freedom

Beethoven: The Poetry of Freedom

Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60


Sony - 88843089372

(CD)

$15.00

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Wagner: Lohengrin

Wagner: Lohengrin


Jonas Kaufmann (Lohengrin), Anja Harteros (Elsa), Wolfgang Koch (Telramund), Michaela Schuster (Ortrud), Christof Fischesser (König Heinrich), Evgeny Nikitin (Herald)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Kent Nagano (conductor) & Richard Jones (stage director)

Richard Jones’s radical new production of Lohengrin was the talk of the 2009 Munich Festival. It was also a triumph for Jonas Kaufmann in the title role — “the finest heldentenor since Jon Vickers” (La Scena Musicale). Die Welt added that they “could not think of any cast more perfectly matched, so youthfully enthralling, in short: so wonderful …”. With striking costumes and designs by Ultz —and directed by Maestro Kent Nagano — it represents a bold new Lohengrin for today’s world.

‘’This is the Lohengrin voice of dreams: both romantic and heroic, with a gentle, well-nourished warmth, capable of a perfectly graduated diminuendo to pianissimo.’’ John Steane, Gramophone, 2010

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Decca - 0743829

(Blu-ray)

$23.25

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Beethoven: Departure - Utopia

Beethoven: Departure - Utopia


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92


Sony - 88843036172

(CD)

$15.00

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Adams, J: El Niño

Adams, J: El Niño

Live from The Théâtre Musical De Paris - Châtelet, 2000


Dawn Upshaw (soprano), Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo-soprano) & Willard White (baritone)

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano (conductor) & Peter Sellars (stage director)

This composition by American minimalist composer John Adams is his take on the “Christmas Oratorio”: a large-scale music theatre work entitled El niño. How does one actually celebrate Christ’s birth in a land where palm trees and race conflicts flourish – in sunny California? Perhaps the way composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars portray it at the beginning of El Niño (La Nativité), which was fi rst performed nine days before Christmas 2000 at the Parisian Théâtre du Châtelet: with a tree and festoons of lights. Their interpretation is supported brilliantly by Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Willard White in the main roles.

Bonus Feature: Making of including Interviews with John Adams, Peter Sellars, Kent Nagano and Dawn Upshaw.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0, DTS 5.0

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Subtitle Languages: GB (Original Language), DE, FR, ES, JP

Running Time: 147 mins

(Opera: 119 mins, Making of: 28 mins)

FSK: 0

“Nagano's unfussy direction...ensures maximum clarity...Willard White shakes the heavens while soprano Dawn Upshaw and the late mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sing with ferocious intelligence and physicality. Neither has sounded better. Like Nixon in China before it, El Niño already feels like a classic.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014 *****

“I couldn’t imagine anyone else topping this performance...I find the stage “action” of this “Christmas Oratorio,” as it is referred to in the accompanying booklet, very watchable with the wonderful singing and acting of Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Willard White, the three counter-tenors, and the choruses quite moving. The dancers, although in a less important role, are also excellent.” MusicWeb International, 30th January 2014

“Adams and Sellars were lucky with their singers. Happy the show that can put up a trio like this, all in good voice...Hunt Lieberson's acting and movement are as impassioned as her singing...Hugely recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2014

GGramophone Awards 2002

Winner - DVD

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 101669

(DVD Video)

$29.50

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Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina

Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina

Recorded live at the Nationaltheater, Munich, 10 & 14 July 2007


Paata Burchuladze (Ivan Khovansky), Anatoly Kotscherga (Dosifey), Camilla Nylund (Emma), Doris Soffel (Marfa), Klaus Florian Vogt (Andrey Khovansky) & John Daszak (Vasily Golitsin)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Kent Nagano

Staged, directed and designed by Dmitri Tcherniakov

Kent Nagano superbly masters the challenges presented by this score, shapes the dynamics with subtle intensity, and casts the score in a mellow glow.

As Marfa, the spurned lover of Ivan Khovansky‘s son Andrei, Doris Soffel unfolds such a rich palette of sonorities, from the pathos of the lower ranges to shaded distant heights, that “one is tempted to speak of a Russian mezzo”.

Fantastic cast: Anatoly Kotscherga portrays the religious leader Dosifei with fervor and bluster, Klaus Florian Vogt dazzles heroically as Andrey, John Daszak is a technically flawless Golitsin, and bass-baritone Paata Burchuladze gives a charismatic, forceful account of Prince Ivan Khovansky.

The final chorus, which Mussorgsky did not compose, is played in the orchestrally transparent version of Igor Stravinsky – the third great Russian composer who contributed to making “Khovanshchina“ a gripping stage work for all times.

With his stripped-down sets and historicizing costumes, director Dmitri Tcherniakov, one of the new voices of contemporary Russian theater, builds a bridge to the political present.

Picture format: 1080i Full HD 16:9

Sound formats: PCM 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio Surround

Region code: All (worldwide)

Subtitles (Bonus): German English, French, Spanish

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 172 mins

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts - 2072424

(Blu-ray)

$35.25

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