Blu-ray Discs

John Adams (b.1947)

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Adams, J: Doctor Atomic

Adams, J: Doctor Atomic

Recorded live at Het Musiektheater, Amsterdam on 7th, 25th & 29th June 2007.


Gerald Finley (J. Robert Oppenheimer), Jessica Rivera (Kitty Oppenheimer), Eric Owens (General Leslie Groves), Richard Paul Fink (Edward Teller), James Maddalena (Jack Hubbard), Thomas Glenn (Robert R. Wilson), Jay Hunter Morris (Captain James Nolan), Ellen Rabiner (Pasqualita)

Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera & Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrence Renes (musical director) & Peter Sellars (stage director)

Note: This Blu-ray Disc (BD) is not compatible with standard DVD players

The longing to overcome human boundaries led the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer to begin an experiment that formed a threat to the whole of humanity, and whose scientific results still do today. The question of the moral implications of the atomic bomb is raised in John Adams’ opera, just as much as that of the influence on the private lives of the main characters. Doctor Atomic is the fifth work to result from almost twenty years of collaboration between the American composer and his fellow American director and Erasmus Prize-winner Peter Sellars.

'The cast is flawless… Adams has created a beautiful provocative work that refreshes the repertoire.’ The Times

PICTURE FORMAT: 1080i
LENGTH: 231 Mins
SOUND: DOLBY TrueHD 5.1 & 2.0
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL

“Doctor Atomic centres on the hours before the first detonation of the atomic bomb… Peter Sellars's film of the opera is expressionistic, claustrophobic, sometimes deliberately out of focus. The sound quality is exceptionally good, as is the singing and playing under conductor Lawrence Renes.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2008 *****

“The heart throbs...in scenes featuring Jessica Rivera as Oppenheimer’s wife, the opera’s symbol of warmth, sensuousness, and hope. But these are moments: the overall tone stays cool, intellectual. We watch as observers, not participants. Sellars directed this TV version himself. There are virtues here, and vices. Cinema aficionados dismayed by static shots may revel in the nervous visuals, the quick editing and close-ups (you grow very familiar with Rivera’s tongue). But by fidgeting so much, Sellars the film director often works against the interests of Sellars the stage director. Body movements are truncated; the patterns of Lucinda Childs’s choreography get lost. All too rarely do we grasp the big picture and enjoy the full impact of Adrianne Lobel’s stark sets, with desert hills silhouetted and the bomb, cradled with wires, looming overhead like a malevolent planet. Finley, Rivera, Eric Owens and the rest of the cast are always as eloquent as the opera allows, and Lawrence Renes’s conducting is on the ball. Extras are disappointing: too much of Sellars holding forth, not enough on the production” The Times, 1st August 2008 ***

“Gerald Finley carries the problems of the world on his shoulders as Oppenheimer and the Netherlands Philharmonic and Lawrence Renes play like it’s the best score since Fidelio.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2008

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte - OABD7020D

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Adams, J: Nixon in China

Adams, J: Nixon in China


James Maddalena (Richard Nixon), Janis Kelly (Pat), Kathleen Kim (Chiang Ch'ing), Robert Brubaker (Mao Tse-tung), Russell Braun (Chou En-lai) & Richard Paul Fink (Henry Kissinger)

Metropolitan Opera

‘The opera and the production may have come to the Met at just the right time to comprehend the continuing resonances of this audacious and moving opera.’ New York Times

‘A modern masterpiece.’ Washington Post

Nonesuch Records releases the Metropolitan Opera's performance of John Adams' Nixon in China, with the composer conducting, on Blu-ray and DVD together in one package on November 19. The Met's production, staged by Adams' long-time collaborator Peter Sellars, stars James Maddalena as Richard Nixon, a role he created at the opera's world premiere in 1987 and has since performed at international leading opera houses, including the English National Opera, Netherlands Opera, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Nixon in China was recorded and broadcast live in movie theatres around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD on February 12, 2011 - 10 days after the opera received its Met premiere.

The opera's libretto is by American poet Alice Goodman, who also collaborated with Adams and Sellars on The Death of Klinghoffer. The Met's production, which was originally created by the English National Opera, features the work of the 1987 world premiere's design team, including set designer Adrianne Lobel, costume designer Dunya Ramicova, lighting designer James F. Ingalls, and choreographer Mark Morris. Nixon in China also features Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon, Kathleen Kim as Chiang Ch'ing, Robert Brubaker as Mao Tse-tung, Russell Braun as Chou En-lai, and Richard Paul Fink as Henry Kissinger. Adams, who regularly conducts major orchestras around the world, made his Met debut as conductor with Nixon in China; his opera Doctor Atomic had its Met premiere in a well-reviewed 2008 production.

"I met Peter Sellars in 1983, and he proposed the idea and even the title for Nixon in China. My first response was pretty skeptical-Nixon was little more than a butt for late night comedians by that time," Adams tells the Met's Elena Park in an interview published in the Blu-ray/DVD's booklet. "But I eventually realized it was a perfect idea, and that it was right to find our mythology in our own contemporary history."

In the same interview, Sellars says of Nixon in China's arrival at the Met: "It's very sweet after 25 years. We created it as anti-grand opera originally, and now it's beautiful that at the Met it can be genuinely grand. The work was made by a group of very young, very idealistic people. We were trying to show what opera can contribute to history, which is to deepen it and move it into its more subtle, nuanced, and mysterious corners, which might just open into more surprising and satisfying possibilities for a future."

Menus: English

Picture Format: 1080i 29.97 HD 16:9

Colour Mode: Color

Region Code: All Region

Disc Format: BD25

Duration: 177 mins

Sound: (1) Dolby TrueHD 24-bit Surround (2) Dolby TrueHD 24-bit Stereo

Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese

Bluray with DVD.

“James Maddalena, the original Nixon, may have lost some vocal tautness, but his presentation of Nixon’s complex character has grown only richer. And most of his colleagues are magnificent: Janis Kelly, shining bright as Pat Nixon; Russell Braun, wonderfully pained and sombre as Zhou Enlai; Kathleen Kim as Chairman Mao’s wife, eyes and mouth dripping venom.” The Times, 30th November 2012 ****

“As a record of [Sellars's, Adams's and Maddalena's] achievement, this is a valuable document...by 2011 Maddalena was in vocal decline. Future generations will see Nixon in China as the composer intended But it gives due prominence to Janis Kelly’s Pat Nixon and Kathleen Kim’s Madame Mao, and it is wonderful to be re-acquainted with Mark Morris’s choreography.” Financial Times, 29th December 2012 ****

“Maddalena (though not in best voice) portrays a more noble Nixon pushed to his diplomatic limits. The heart of the opera is Pat Nixon, portrayed by Janis Kelly with less sense of submission and a lot more depth..Given Sellars's penchant for tight camera close-ups in his video direction, the opera often feels like the intimate chamber work that, in its conflicted heart, it actually wants to be.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2013

“Though vocally strained, James Maddalena brings baffled tenderness to the title role. Janis Kelly is a superb Pat Nixon, Russell Braun a noble Chou En-lai. Robert Brubaker's Mao is tetchy, while Kathleen Kim is an incendiary Madame Mao and Richard Paul Fink an oily Kissinger.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2013 ****

“It’s hard to imagine the piece looking better...It sounds terrific too. A beaming Adams conducts, the players sharing his delight in what remains his most melodically generous score...This production is brilliantly cast – Janis Kelly’s weary Pat Nixon is a joy” The Arts Desk, 1st June 2013

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Nonesuch - 7559796088

(Blu-ray - 2 discs)

$23.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

From the New World

From the New World


Adams, J:

Slonimsky's Earbox

Dvorak:

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'

Ives, C:

The Unanswered Question

Stravinsky:

Le Chant du Rossignol


Symphonie Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Andris Nelsons

C Major presents From the New World: a concert featuring Dvořák’s iconic Symphony No. 9 alongside works by Ives, Adams and Stravinsky.

The concert is performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons.

Andris Nelsons, Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is one world’s the most interesting up-coming conductors. He has appeared at Covent Garden, the Met, Bayreuth and the Wiener Staatsoper. He has also performed with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker.

PICTURE: 16:9, HD

BD: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM STEREO

RUNNING TIME: 95 MINUTES

AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE

“[Nelsons'] conducting of the world class Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks is exemplary, scrupulously prepared, colourful, committed and compelling.” MusicWeb International, 24th September 2013

“The highlight of this enjoyable, beautifully filmed concert is the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony, one of the gentlest and most tenderly phrased accounts I've ever heard...Camerawork is lively and informative, but then Nelsons himself is a real boon, perhaps the most visually likeable conductor since Carlos Kleiber.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2013

“a terrific memento of a marvellous concert...The performance of the New World...is out of the top drawer, with the same outstanding qualities as their audio recording....Nelsons makes the Symphony sound fresh and vibrant, finding a genuinely new and effective perspective...the playing [in Song of the Nightingale] is superb and Nelsons manages to surprise and delight” BBC Music Magazine, November 2013 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Blu-ray of the Month - October 2013

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major - 713504

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

San Francisco Symphony at 100

San Francisco Symphony at 100


Adams, J:

Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Britten:

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34

Copland:

Billy the Kid - Suite

Mendelssohn:

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Itzhak Perlman (violin)


‘San Francisco Symphony at 100’ celebrates the orchestra’s centenary in style.

With Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas at the helm and featuring violinist Itzhak Perlman, the DVD also includes vignettes documenting the orchestra's origins and its first 100 years.

San Francisco Symphony at 100 documents the glorious festivities of the orchestra’s centenary year, celebrated at the orchestra’s extravagant 2011-12 season opening night gala concert. With Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas at the helm, the evening symbolised the orchestra’s heritage, its importance in the life of the city as well as the American and international musical landscape, and highlighted supreme American musicians as well as the virtuosic members of the orchestra. The programme opens and closes with two American compositional giants - Aaron Copland and John Adams. The great violinist Itzhak Perlman unleashes his virtuosity on Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and the orchestra members shine in Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

Interspersed are documentary vignettes - hosted by Amy Tan (author of the famed Joy Luck Club) - tracing the history of the Symphony which like a phoenix rose out of the ashes of the city’s devastating earthquake in 1906, revitalised San Francisco’s cultural life and quickly set the orchestra on the world’s musical stage.

Special Features

Documentary vignettes tracing the San Francisco Symphony’s history. Narrated by Amy Tan. Produced by Janette Gitler.

Blu ray specifications:

Region: Region free

Rating: E (Exempt)

Picture Format: NTSC

Run time: 2:26:30

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

SFS Media - SFS0057

(Blu-ray)

$54.00

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Silvesterkonzert: New Year's Eve Concert 2008

Silvesterkonzert: New Year's Eve Concert 2008


Adams, J:

Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Barber:

Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Copland:

The Boatmen's Dance

The Dodger

Long Time Ago

Simple Gifts (from Old American Songs, Set I)

I Bought me a Cat

Gershwin:

Cuban Overture

Summertime (from Porgy and Bess)

Bess, you is my woman now (from Porgy and Bess)

An American in Paris, tone poem

Kern:

Ol' Man River (from Showboat)

Sousa:

The Liberty Bell


Pauline Malefane (soprano), Thomas Quasthoff (bass-baritone)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle

The 2008 New Year’s Eve gala from Berlin features the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton or Sir Simon Rattle, plus world-class singers Thomas Quasthoff and Pauline Malefane in an outstanding all-American program ranging from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and “An American in Paris” to Copland’s “Old American Songs”.

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts - 8024257394

(Blu-ray)

$19.25

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

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