Blu-ray Discs

Hector Berlioz (1803-69)

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Berlioz: Béatrice et Bénédict

Berlioz: Béatrice et Bénédict


Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Béatrice), Paul Appleby (Bénédict), Philippe Sly (Claudio), Sophie Karthäuser (Hero), Lionel Lhote (Somarone), Frédéric Caton (Don Pedro) & Katarina Bradić (Ursule)

London Philharmonic Orchestra & The Glyndebourne Chorus, Antonello Manacorda, Laurent Pelly (director)

Through the eye of French director Laurent Pelly this expression of Berlioz’s undying admiration for the Bard — his adaptation of Much Ado about Nothing as an opéra comique — becomes ‘an elegant treatise on love and music designed in shades of grey with 50s-era costumes’ (Sunday Express ????). Housed by designer Barbara de Limburg in a series of oversized boxes, it’s ‘terribly chic, terribly pretty’ (The Spectator). Soaring over the ‘warmly graceful playing of the London Philharmonic’, Paul Appleby sings ‘attractively’ as Bénédict and Stéphanie d’Oustrac ‘makes a marvellously wiry and fiery Béatrice, singing with charm and acting with gusto’ (The Telegraph).

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KO

Running time: 129 minutes

Sound format: DTS HD Master Audio (Blu-ray)

“I loved everything about Laurent Pelly’s elegantly monochrome production of Berlioz’s rom-com treatment of Much Ado About Nothing when I saw it in the cinema broadcast from Glyndebourne last summer, and it works just as beautifully on the small screen. Stephanie d’Oustrac’s chic, gamine Béatrice and Paul Appleby’s golden-toned Bénédict exude charm, and the drunken revels which open Act Two are a slapstick delight.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, June 2017

“This is Pellyland, a deeply satisfying comic world with its own style conjured up for Glyndebourne by one of the most assured opera directors at work today...The LPO rise magnificently to the challenge of Berlioz's vibrant orchestration and daring harmonies...d'Oustac is a perfect Béatrice, a comic actress with impeccable timing who relishes every word...Appleby's Bénédict is much more than the bluff soldier.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7219D

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini

Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini


Burkhard Fritz (Benvenuto Cellini), Maija Kovalevska (Teresa), Laurent Naouri (Fieramosca), Brindley Sherratt (Giacomo Balducci), Mikhail Petrenko (Pope Clemens VII) & Kate Aldrich (Ascanio)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Valery Gergiev

‘A mix of futurism à la Metropolis, fantasy à la Batman and quotes from Piranesi’s Carceri, juxtaposed in the form of photo montages, enhanced with … robots, a helicopter, a shark and the winged vehicle of a pop star Pope’, was how the Neue Zürcher Zeitung described this astonishing Salzburg Festival production of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini.

The high-calibre cast, headed by Burkhard Fritz as the temperamental Renaissance artist and the 26-year-old Latvian soprano Maija Kovalevska as Teresa, the woman with whom he tries to elope, is conducted by Valery Gergiev who “pulled out all the stops. He whips the Vienna Philharmonic into a delirium similar to that which possibly took hold of the composer” (Der Standard). This is French grand opera at its fast-paced and spectacularly-staged best.

HIGH DEFINITION 1080i 60

PCM Stereo. DTS-HD 5.1

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Naxos - NBD0006

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.

Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24

Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24

Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London, 1989


Anne Sofie von Otter (Marguerite), Keith Lewis (Faust), José van Dam (Méphistophélès) & Peter Rose (Brander)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Sir Georg Solti

Directed for TV by Rodney Greenberg

This live recording was made at the Royal Albert Hall during one of London’s famous Promenade Concert seasons. Georg Solti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a magnificent performance of Berlioz’s concert cantata La Damnation de Faust. This feast of Berlioz launched Solti’s farewell tour with the orchestra he had directed for twenty years and was described by The Times as “the unsurpassable culmination of two decades of music-making... one that summarised all that has been most admirable about Solti’s long reign in Chicago.”

Blu-ray Disc with High Resolution Audio in 192 kHz

This series of Hi-Res Audio releases features the pure sound experience of studio master tapes, available digitally for the first time in their uncompressed form. The 24 Bit resolution with 192 kHz sampling rate enable a whole new way to listen to the original.

Sound Formats: PCM 192 kHz / 48 kHz

Picture Format: 4:3

Languages/Subtitles: FR (Original Language), GB, DE, ES

Blu-ray Disc 50 GB (Dual Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Running Time: 134 mins | FSK: 0

Region: worldwide

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik Hi-Res Audio - 109182

(Blu-ray)

$23.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Berlioz: Les Troyens

Berlioz: Les Troyens

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, June 2012


Bryan Hymel (Énée), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Didon), Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandre), Fabio Capitanucci (Chorebe), Hanna Hipp (Anna), Brindley Sherratt (Narbal), Ashley Holland (Panthée), Pamela Helen Stephen (Hécube), Ed Lyon (Hylas), Ji-min Park (Iopas), Ji Hyun Kim (Hélénus), Robert Lloyd (Priam), Jenna Sloan (Polyxéne), Barbara Senator (Ascagne), Sophia McGregor (Andromaque), Lucas Jaconi (Captain), Adrian Clarke, Jeremy White (Soldiers)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Sir Antonio Pappano (conductor), Sir David McVicar (director)

Running time: 275 minutes

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES/JP/KR

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Les Troyens is a tour de force that ranges from fiery military marches to intense choruses, passionate soliloquies and the lyrical love duets of Dido and Aeneas. For Hector Berlioz, librettist and composer, the opera became the work of decades and the passion of a lifetime, the culmination of his literary love affair with Virgil's Aeneid and with two tragic heroines, Cassandra and Dido. David McVicar's staging is on an enormous scale, assembling one of the largest casts ever seen at Covent Garden. The sweeping theme of the rise and fall of empires runs throughout Les Troyens, along with moving meditations on love and honour.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Es Devlin’s set designs are brilliantly realised and effectively done...[Antonacci] is a magnificent Cassandra, worthy to compare with the best of them...it is [Westbroek's] humanity and vulnerability that impress most...Listening to [Hymel] you are never in any doubt that you are listening to a hero...this release is a triumph.” MusicWeb International, 31st October 2013

“It's powerful in all senses, not least Antonio Pappano's conducting, which is dramatically hard-driven but not without atmosphere, making the love music luminously sensuous...The huge cast is uniformly good and sometimes exceptional - especially tenor Bryan Hymel's Aeneas...It's an intelligent, theatrically energetic staging.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2014 *****

“It is magnificent...McVicar marshals his huge forces with a sure hand and shows an impressive concern for detail...[Antonacci's] every phrase, every gesture, is mesmerising...Westbroek as Dido is so heartbreaking in the final scenes that you forget how dramatically inept they are; and Bryan Hymel is a match for Davis's Jon Vickers” Gramophone Magazine, Janaury 2014

“Devlin’s sets certainly supply visual impact in spades...Hymel deliver[s] something very different, very special and (dare I say it?) more authentically ‘French’-sounding than Kaufmann might have been...[Antonacci] brings a no-holds-barred physicality to the role...Westbroek makes for a radiant, vulnerable Didon...this was one of the operatic highlights of 2012 and it retains much of its impact in this excellent DVD transfer.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 7th October 2013

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - January 2014

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7113D

(Blu-ray)

$41.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Berlioz: Les Troyens

Berlioz: Les Troyens

Recorded live at the Théâtre Musical de Paris/ Châtelet, October 2003.


Susan Graham (Didon), Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandre), Renata Pokupic (Anna), Gregory Kunde (Énée), Ludovic Tézier (Chorèbe), Nicolas Testé (Panthée), Laurent Naouri (Narbal), Mark Padmore (Iopas), René Schirrer (Priam/Mercure), Topi Lehtipuu (Hylas)

Monteverdi Choir, Choeur du Théâtre du Châtelet & Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor) & Yannis Kokkos (stage director)

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir, Choeur du Théâtre du Châtelet and Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique in a landmark recording of Berlioz's towering opera. A tragic tale of love and fate, war and peace and the intertwined destinies of two cities, the opera is based on Virgil's imperial vision of the founding myth of Rome. The American tenor Gregory Kunde as Aeneas and the Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci lead an international cast in this stunning production.

Bonus features:

Cast gallery.

Illustrated synopsis.

Documentary: The Trojans, a masterpiece revived – includes interviews with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Yannis Kokkos, Susan Graham, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Gregory Kunde and others.

“...a performance that is now the best available on DVD. …an unforgettably dramatic experience… a superb authentic instrument performance… The magnificent high-definition recording does it ample sonic and visual justice.” Gramophone

Running time 5 hours

Region code All regions

Video codec: AVC/MPEG-4

Disc size: 2 x BD50

Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9

Sound format 2.0 PCM & 5.0 DTS-Master Audio

Menu language EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“Les Troyens hasn't fared well on DVD, but this superb authentic-instrument performance of October 2003 from the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, equals Sir Colin Davis's pioneering original. Orchestrally it's everything we've come to expect from Gardiner's Berlioz, his tempi swift and dynamic, sharing the composer's delight in complex rhythmic interplay, yet always propelling the drama. Passages like Andromache's entrance and Hector's ghost nevertheless have their proper gravitas and sombre hues against the brighter shades of Carthage. Colour is the great gift of the period instruments, revealing a wide range of sonorities, and creating a sense of freshness and discovery. The effect is sometimes rawer, sometimes more classical, but almost always more complex and dramatic than the homogenised modern sound. Gardiner's singers, too, could hardly be more committed. Anna Caterina Antonacci is a fiery Cassandra, superbly classical-looking, so wrung and tormented that some moments of strain scarcely matter. Gregory Kunde tackles Aeneas with ringing tone, looks and acts pretty well, and brings a welcome bel canto touch to the gorgeous duet. Susan Graham, though, needs no caveats: a radiant Dido, queenly yet youthful, lyrical and lighter-toned than Janet Baker, but in her final despair no less tragically moving. Other roles are generally excellent. The mostly youthful chorus sounds marvellous, and is a constant force in Yannis Kokkos's moderately modern production. The stage is plain and bare, capped by a reflector in which most of the décor appears: an Italian Renaissance cityscape for Troy, and the Horse only as a menacing head. Carthage is a classical vision of white walls and blue sea with stylised ships. The Trojans wear the inescapable greatcoats the brutal Greeks, inevitably, American combat gear, and the Carthaginians vaguely North African whites and pastels. This is a mostly straightforward, lively staging which lets characters and drama speak for themselves, and so works well on screen. The magnificent high-definition recording does it ample sonic and visual justice. For anyone who loves Les Troyens, this is a revelatory and essential performance.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Gardiner has, as well as Antonacci's superb Cassandra, the regal dignity and warm mezzo tones of Susan Graham.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

GGramophone Awards 2005

Winner - DVD

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte - OABD7059D

(Blu-ray - 2 discs)

$41.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Berlioz: Les Troyens

Berlioz: Les Troyens


Daniela Barcellona (Didon), Lance Ryan (Énée), Elisabete Matos (Cassandre), Giorgio Giuseppini (Panthée), Gabriele Viviani (Chorebe), Stephen Milling (Narbal), Eric Cutler (Iopas), Dmitri Voropaev (Hylas), Zlata Bulicheva (Anna), Askar Abdrazaov (Priam), Oksana Shilvoa (Ascagne)

Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana & Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana, Valery Gergiev

After the very successful Ring from Valencia, here is another spectacular staging by La Fura dels Baus, this time conducted by Valery Gergiev.

This monumental opera complete with ballets, large choruses and orchestral set pieces was recorded at Valencia’s Palau de les Arts in 2009.

Great singers: Daniela Barcellona as “breathtaking Dido” (Opernglas), Lance Ryan, Elisabete Matos.

Only one other Blu-ray in the market available.

Staged by La Fura dels Baus

Bonus Making of (21 minutes)

Total: 261 minutes (Opera ´240 + ´21 Bonus ´)

English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean

BD: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM Stereo

"Ancient myth meets Star Wars, and the eye is constantly engaged with images ranging from space-age technology to details of soccer uniforms." The New York Times

"This is a worthy and compelling, glittering version of a sublime work." International Herald Tribune

“while Padrissa's computer projections and airborne acrobats achieve memorable visions, he underproduces the human element. Embattled Troy is a dystopian ruin under nuclear dustclouds, the robotic Trojan Horse unleashing, like an internet 'Trojan', computer breakdown...Padrissa makes the only real stab I've seen at Berlioz's spectacular scenario for the Royal Hunt...Gergiev relishes the score's exotic colours.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 ****

“The cast in Valencia has its strengths, prime among them the proud, brassy mezzo of Daniela Barcellona as Dido...Elisabete Matos is a properly intense Cassandra, and Lance Ryan as an Aeneas visiting from another planet, ray gun in hand, balances the lyrical and heroic sides of the role nicely...Gergiev rouses the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valencia to some energetic playing.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2011

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major - 706104

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Recorded Live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 31 March and 1 & 3 April 2016


Berlioz:

Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Liszt:

Orpheus, symphonic poem No. 4, S98

Wagner:

Tannhäuser: Overture (Dresden version)


With the release of this live recording of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, RCO Live celebrates the start of its collaboration with Daniele Gatti as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's seventh chief conductor on 9 September 2016. His unconventional take on this spectacular score evokes the astonishment audiences must have experienced at the time of the 1830 premiere. It is exactly this sense of surprise and freshness – founded on a thorough knowledge of the score – and the sheer joy of making music together that prompted the members of the RCO to choose Daniele Gatti as their new chief conductor.

The Bluray and DVD formats include Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture (Dresden version, 1845) and Franz Liszt's 'Orpheus' (1854).

Blu-Ray, PCM 2.0, DTS HD 5.0

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

RCO Live - RCO16108

(Blu-ray)

$19.50

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14


Following the success of the enlightening first series of Keeping Score, MTT and SFS return with three further programmes that combine one-hour documentaries with live concert performances. The new programmes explore the music and stories behind the music.

Each of the three DVDs in Keeping Score Series 2 features a documentary episode - with MTT guiding us through the composers’ perspectives and influences - coupled with a live concert performance of each work. The programmes are designed to engage and entertain viewers of all levels of musical background. With outstanding production values, they are released on DVD and Blu-Ray HD formats, making SFS the first orchestra to distribute its product on Blu-Ray disc.

Was Hector Berlioz writing music to get over his obsession with his distant love, Harriet Smithson? Was this symphony his way of saying goodbye, or even seeking revenge? Or was it instead his impassioned valentine to a woman he could not forget?

In 1827, Berlioz saw Harriet Smithson for the first time, playing Ophelia in a production of Hamlet. Hopelessly smitten, he turned his entire life upside down to meet her. Frantic months turned into years when he suddenly heard rumors about Harriet and another man. Believing himself cured, he wrote a ‘fantastic’ symphony complete with a special theme, the idée fixe, to represent his former obsession.

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

SFS Media Keeping Score - SFS0023

(Blu-ray)

$32.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Recorded at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 1989


In this live recording from the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Bernard Haitink conducts his Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a performance of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Berlioz wrote his symphony, subtitled Episodes in the Life of an Artist, in 1830. It deals, autobiographically, with his love for the famous Irish actress Harriet Smithson. With his composition Berlioz not only reached the breakthrough of his career as a composer, but also defined early Romanticism with his so-called “programme music”.

This innovative piece is made up of fi ve movements, held together by a musical theme, the Love Theme. The detailed literary programme portrays a lover pursuing his beloved through bouts of opium-smoking, his hallucinations ever more curious, until she becomes a malign witch on Walpurgis Night, dancing on the grave of his love.

It consists of a fantasy about the beloved, an evocation of a ball, a rustic scene, a Napoleonic march to the scaffold and the nightmare of the witches’ orgy, called the Witches’ Sabbath. Throughout the five movements, the love theme recurs constantly, holding them all tightly together. This piece of music, long regarded as virtuoso nonsense, is by now appreciated as a brilliant psychological fantasy in music, its texture finely adjusted to the acceptable music of its period.

Directed for TV by Hans Hulscher

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

Blu-ray Disc 25GB (Single Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Running Time: 58 mins

FSK: 0

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik - 109167

(Blu-ray)

$18.00

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Annette Dasch: Die Gretchenfrage

Annette Dasch: Die Gretchenfrage

The Crucial Question


Annette Dasch started her fulminant career as a winner of prestigious international singing competitions and is nowadays one of the most sought-after singers.

In 2011, an extraordinary concert of the star soprano took place. Based on "The crucial question",Annette Dasch dedicated the programme to mythical female characters in desperate crisis situations,with works by Schubert, Berlioz and Schumann.

Including the portrait of the singer “That is why music is the most important thing”, a film by AnnetteSchreier. This portrait follows Annette Dasch in her time in Bayreuth, Geneva, Munich and Berlin,during rehearsals, in performances, and in preparations of her show “Annettes DaschSalon”

Picture format Blu-ray Disc: 1080i Full HD - 16:9

Sound format Blu-ray Disc: PCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Subtitles: English, German, French

Running time: 90 mins + 30 mins Portrait

German FSK: 0

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts - 2059934

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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