Blu-ray Discs

Leos Janacek (1854-1928)

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Janacek: Jenufa

Janacek: Jenufa

Recorded live at the Teatro Real, October 2009


Mette Ejsing (Grandmother Buryja), Miroslav Dvorský (Laca Klemen), Nikolai Schukoff (Števa Buryja), Deborah Polaski (Kostelnicka Buryja), Amanda Roocroft (Jenufa), Károly Szemerédy (Foreman), Miguel Sola (Mayor), Marta Mathéu (Mayor’s wife), Marta Ubieta (Karolka), María José Suárez (Shepherdess), Sandra Ferrández (Barena), Elena Poesina (Jano) & Marina Makhmoutova (Aunt)

Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real, Ivor Bolton (conductor) & Stéphane Braunschweig (director)

The vulnerable young woman at the heart of Janacek's breakthrough opera is a signature role for the English soprano Amanda Roocroft. Here, in Stéphane Braunschweig's clear but deeply affecting production, she is partnered by the Slovak tenor Miroslav Dvorsky, as the man through whom she finds redemption, love and hope. The complex figure of the Kostelnicka becomes both tormentor and tormented in this fearless interpretation by the great dramatic soprano Deborah Polaski.

Extra features:

Cast gallery

Illustrated synopsis

Running time 136 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES

“Something in the composer's writing brings out the best in [Roocroft's] creamy voice and committed acting, and here she's superb as a young woman who forgives her stepmother for committing a terrible crime. Deborah Polaski, as the stepmother, sings with fierce power” Classic FM Magazine, November 2011 ***

“Braunschweig gives us Jenufa stark and simple, the stage almost bare, the opera's emotions stripped to the bone...Nothing is allowed to deflect concentration from the central human drama. Amanda Roocroft has won laurels as Jenufa in various stage productions and comes across as a deeply sincere performer here, even if the voice is apt to turn shrill at the top...[Polaski's] very understatement is moving in its own way.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011

“Roocroft plays a Jenufa who moves believably from innocent girl to disillusioned woman...Only very occasionally do the musical care and dramatic restraint of Polaski's Kostelnicka not go quite far enough, but rather that than over-the-top histrionics...Schukoff exudes unmistakable sexual allure in his caddish role.” International Record Review, October 2011

“[Roocroft's] voice seems perfect for the role and she sings it superbly, as does Polaski as the Kostelnicka. Both characters come off as multi-dimensional, but Roocroft seems older than what one would expect...[Bolton]has the measure of the score and the orchestra plays very well for him. He balances the powerful sections where the timpani pound and the brass are given the lead, with the more lyrical passages” MusicWeb International, August 2012

“With her luminous tone and air of fragility, British soprano Amanda Roocroft has made a speciality of Janáček's downtrodden heroines and appears to best advantage here in Stéphane Braunschweig's 2009 production from Madrid. Deborah Polaski blazes conflict and conviction as her stepmother, and Nikolai Schukoff oozes testosterone as the feckless Števa.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, May 2014

Blu-ray Disc

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Opus Arte - OABD7089D

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$35.75

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Janacek: Jenufa

Janacek: Jenufa

Live Recording from the Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2014


Michaela Kaune (Jenufa), Jennifer Larmore (Kostelnicka Buryjovka), Will Hartmann (Laca Klemen), Ladislav Elgr (Števa Buryja) & Hanna Schwarz (Grandmother Buryjovka)

Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Donald Runnicles (conductor) & Christof Loy (stage director)

Set Designer Dirk Becker

Costume Designer Judith Weihrauch

Jenufa, still Janácek’s most successful and most often performed opera, is a musical study of the social milieu. Christof Loy moves the action of Janácek’s drama, revolving around the strict sacristan (the Kostelnicka) who drowns her stepdaughter Jenufa’s illegitimate child for fear of gossip and concern for her future, to a bare white room in which the passage of the seasons is only hinted. It is the sacristan’s stark prison cell – where he recounts past events and takes the spectator into the story seen in retrospective.

Michaela Kaune sings the title role of Jenufa with warm soprano, her despair at her situation palpable at every moment, culminating finally in the discovery of her dead son. Jenufa’s stepmother is sung by American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore, who delights with her great vocal expressivity and beauty. Musical Director Donald Runnicles conducts the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, which perfectly balances the churning intensity and textural refinement.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.0

Picture Format: 16:9

Original Language: Czech

Subtitles: GB, DE, FR, ES, IT, KOR, CN

Blu-ray Disc 50 GB (Dual Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition

Running Time: 131 mins

FSK: 0

“If you like dramaturgical solutions to an opera hinted at rather than spelt out in capitals, this revival of Christof Loy's 2012 Deutsche Oper production may please. The action is lightly moved into the 20th century, to around the time of the opera's premiere...Both Larmore and Michaela Kaune's older-looking than usual Jenufa give full-voiced, fluent readings of their roles.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik - 109070

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Janacek: Káta Kabanová

Janacek: Káta Kabanová


Karita Mattila (Katia), Oleg Bryjak (Dikoi), Miroslav Dvorsky (Boris), Dalia Schaechter (Kabanicha), Guy de Mey (Tikhon), Gordon Gietz (Koudriash), Natascha Petrinsky (Varvara), Marco Moncloa (Kouliguine), Itxaro Mentxaka (Glacha) & Maria José Suerez (Flekloucha)

Coro y Orquesta del Teatro Real de Madrid, Jiří Bělohlávek

Critical edition by Sir Charles Mackerras

Production: Robert Carsen

Costumes and sets: Patrick Kinmonth

Lighting: Robert Carsen & Peter Van Praet

Production shared with Vlaamse Opera d’Anvers

At last, this magical production of Katia, by Robert Carsen, recorded at the Teatro Real de Madrid, in December 2008, and which was hailed unanimously by the critics as ‘almost perfect’. The Teatro Real Orchestra gives one of its best performances under maestro Jiří Bělohlávek, whose conducting emphasises the passion with delicacy and drama.

All the action takes place on a huge body of water which reflects images of extraordinary grace, sculpted by sublime light. The stage is dominated by the extraordinary Karita Mattila in a performance of incredible intensity: the best Katia imaginable for this Janacek masterpiece.

Running time: 1.48’ and extras: interviews with Robert Carsen and Jiri Belohlavek 23’30

“Its luminosity is reflected in Jiří Bělohlávek's conducting, undoubtedly the most airily lyrical Katya I can remember, which uses Mackerras's edition but applies less spiky gestures...[Mattila] refines her bright dramatic soprano sufficiently to sound fresh and eager, then captures an edge of hysterical guilt.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2011 *****

“Jiří Bělohlávek plainly loves this score and paces it well...Mattila is, without a doubt, an outstanding Kat'a...she gives a vocally splendid account, sensitively inflected and radiant at climactic moments...[Dalia Schaechter is] admirably bitter and twisted...[Oleg Bryjak] demonstrates a fine understanding of [his] role, singing with a kind of gruff belligerence that is just right for the part” International Record Review, March 2011

“This is an excellent production...Mattila as Kat'a is stupendous...[her] faultless in its progression from hesitancy to impassioned resolve. In the final monologue, her hair dishevelled, her misery and longing are heartbreaking. Throughout, Mattila sings with a flood of golden tone… Bělohlávek's conducting is beautifully judged, whether in tension or release. Utterly brilliant!” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2011

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

fRA - FRA503

(Blu-ray)

$37.50

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.

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, June 2012


Lucy Crowe (Vixen), Emma Bell (Fox), Sergei Leiferkus (Forester), William Dazeley (Harasta), Mischa Schelomianski (Badger/Parson), Jean Rigby (Forester's Wife/Owl), Adrian Thompson (Schoolmaster/Mosquito), Colin Judson (Pásek, Innkeeper), Sarah Pring (Innkeeper’s Wife)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Chorus, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor) & Melly Still (director)

Sung in Czech with subtitles in English, French, German and Korean.

The tale of a quick witted fox and her escape from confinement for a life in the forest that is by turns joyful and violent, The Cunning Little Vixen is an unsentimental parable of death and rebirth that lives through the instinctive and immediate world of nature, animal and human, which Janacek loved so much.

Melly Still's production for Glyndebourne finds the 'delicate balance between whimsy and mysticism' (Daily Telegraph) at the heart of the opera, which Vladimir Jurowski conducts 'with lustrous style: you can hear the birds in the score, feel the sunshine and thrill to the starlit night sky in the final scene' (Opera Today).

Running Time: 119 minutes

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/KR

Sound format: 2.0LPCD plus 5.1(5.0) DTS

“I was entranced throughout. The work's humour is realized extremely well but so is its more serious side...aside from Mackerras...I've never heard the opera conducted with such colour, wit, detail and dramatic urgency...Crowe's Vixen is vocally completely secure and delightfully and sharply characterized...[in the closing scene] there is just the right sense of pantheistic rapture...an outstanding achievement.” International Record Review, May 2013

“Still, with her background in choreography and a very visceral take on children's theatre, is an ideal director. There's nothing cutesy about her treatment of the animal characters...Jurowski allows this extraordinary score to glitter and sing, his orchestral interludes breathe luminescence. Both Emma Bell (the Fox) and Crowe blaze beside Leiferkus's poignant Forester.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 *****

“Still's unsentimental production plays up the dance elements in the music, well supported by Vladimir Jurowski in the pit. Lucy Crowe is a feisty, boho Vixen and the sonorous Russian baritone Sergei Leiferkus (well into his sixties by this point) ideal casting as the Forester. The supporting roles receive tender loving care from some of the best British singers around.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, May 2014

“Crowe particularly balances the contrasting elements of her character with skill. Sergei Leiferkus’s Forester is the other character underpinning this performance, his baritone, though aged, catches just the right element of humanity to express Janácek’s life view. Vladimir Jurowski relishes the lush orchestral palette he is given, and the score is played beautifully by the LPO” Opera Now ****

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7117D

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

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Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Live from the Théâtre Musical de Paris – Châtelet, 1995


Thomas Allen (The Forester), Eva Jenis (The Vixen), Hannah Minutillo (The Fox), Libuše Márová (The Forester’s Wife/The Owl) & Ivan Kusnjer (Harašta, the Poacher)

Choeur du Chatelet & Orchestre de Paris, Charles Mackerras (conductor) & Nicholas Hytner (stage director)

This enchanting production by Nicholas Hytner, sung in the original Czech, is conducted by Charles Mackerras, a master of the best Janáček style. Through myriad shifts of scene, the episodic story is presented in brightly coloured sets and costumes of blissful innocence and simplicity, designed by Bob Crowley. Jean-Claude Gallotta’s choreography for the insects and animals and Jean Kalman’s lighting add to the nostalgically poetic effect of the whole. With Thomas Allen as the Forester, the cast includes Eva Jenis, Hannah Minutillo, Richard Novák and Ivan Kusnjer.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 16:9

Original Language: CZ

Subtitles: GB, DE, FR, ES

Blu-ray Disc 25 GB (Single Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Running Time: 98 mins

FSK: 0

Region free

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik Legendary Performances - 109207

(Blu-ray)

$17.75

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Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Recorded live at the Opera Bastille in Paris Oct/Nov 2008


Elena Tsallagova (Vixen), Jukka Rasilainen (Forester), Michele Lagrange (Forester's Wife), David Kuebler (Schoolmaster), Roland Bracht (Priest), Paul Gay (Harasta), Hannah Esther Minutillo (Fox)

Orchestra, Chorus & Atelier Lyrique of Opera National de Paris, Dennis Russell Davies

+Bonus: An encounter backstage at the Paris Opera with Gerard Mortier, Andre Engel and Elena Tsallagova.

"Enchanting staging…The sound is splendid, the video direction simply fabulous. Everyone, Tsallagova above all, responds beautifully to close-ups…make sure your whole family enjoys it with you!" IRR

1080i 16:9, PCM 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio

Original Language: Czech, Subtitles: English, German, French

101 mins (Opera) + 20 mins (Bonus)

all audiences (FSK 0)

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Region: all

Medici Arts - 3078384

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Live Recording from Teatro Comunale, Florence, 2009


Isabel Bayrakdarian (Bystrouška, the vixen), Lauren Curnow (Fox), Quinn Kelsey (Gamekeeper), Judith Christin (Gamekeeper´s wife, Owl)

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Seiji Ozawa (conductor) & Laurent Pelly (director)

Based on an illustrated tale published as a newspaper serial, this fanciful opera is one of Janácek´s true masterworks – at once charming, frightening, tragic and, in the end, life-affirming. The Cunning Little Vixen has been seldom staged in Italy, and this Florence production stars Seiji Ozawa as conductor and Laurent Pelly as stage director and costume designer. The cast of unbelievable 13 soloists is lead on by the Armenian/Canadian soprano star Isabel Bayrakdarian as a sensual Bystrouška (vixen) and American Quinn Kelsey as the brash yet reflective Gamekeeper.

This production received rave reviews for beautifully bringing to life on stage the opera´s fantasy world of animal protagonists. This is a work that can be enjoyed by not only classical music fans but by anyone, from child to adult.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9, 1080i High Definition

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

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

Running Time: 103 mins

FSK: 0

Blu-ray Disc: 25 GB (Single Layer)

Region Code: worldwide

Worldwide available

“Pelly's staging has plenty of charm but precious little of the dramatic depth that makes the opera such an extraordinary experience in a great production...Bayrakadrian is an affecting Vixen and Lauren Curnow an excellent Fox but I wish they could be seen and heard in a more perceptive production...Quinn Kelsey has the right kind of voice for the Forester.” International Record Review, March 2014

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik - 108094

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Janacek: The Makropulos Case

Janacek: The Makropulos Case

from Salzburg Festival 2011


Angela Denoke (Emilia Marty), Raymond Very (Albert Gregor), Peter Hoare (Vitek), Jurgita Adamonyte (Krista), Johan Reuter (Jaroslav Prus), Jochen Schmeckenbecher (Dr. Kolenaty), Ales Briscein (Janek), Linda Ormiston (Scottish servant), Peter Lobert (civil servant), Ryland Davies (Hauk-Sendorf)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Staged by Christoph Marthaler

One of the highlights from the 2011 Salzburg Festival. With Angela Denoke in the lead role, this emotionally powerful opera was given superior treatment at the hands of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen. The staging by Christoph Marthaler received fantastic reviews from all over the world.

Janáček’s absorbing masterpiece The Makropulos Case reflects all the dominant musical styles of the early 20th century, from Bohemian tunefulness to big Straussian phrases, Berg-like jaggedness and primeval rhythms.

Running Time Total: 135 minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

BD: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM Stereo

Sung in Czech (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean subtitles

“The vocal performances are nearly all compelling. The men - Janacek's usual weak and neurotic bunch - are entirely believable...Both the lead and female roles are remarkably complete. Jurgita Adamonyte as the starry-eyed Krista, delivers abundant ravishing tone, and Angela Denoke is an utterly credible Marty: commanding elegantly seductive and exuding a poignantly believable world weariness.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 ****

“the Prelude is done with energy and a fine sense of Janacek's gritty, brilliantly lit orchestral writing...[Denoke] is vocally strong as well as having a striking stage presence: mysterious in the first and vulnerable in the last...Very's Albert Gregor is accurately sung and well characterized: Gregor is a hopelessly weak figure, in thrall to Marty and ridiculed by her. Very captures this astutely and sings the taxing role with a welcome lack of strain.” International Record Review, May 2012

“Musically this is a very fine version of The Makropulos Affair. It’s dominated by the superb presence of the Vienna Philharmonic in the pit. They’re Salzburg regulars but here they cast a special magic over a score that can sometimes sound jagged or fragmentary...[Denoke] commands the stage with her charismatic presence...her voice is superb, rich and beautiful with a lovely bloom that helps to suggest the character’s great experience” MusicWeb International, August 2012

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major - 709604

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Janacek: The Makropulos Case

Janacek: The Makropulos Case


Anja Silja (Emilia Marty), Kim Begley (Albert Gregor), Victor Braun (Baron Prus), Andrew Shore (Dr Kolenatý), Anthony Roden (Vítek), Manuela Kriscak (Kristina), Christopher Ventris (Janek), Robert Tear (Hauk-Šendorf), Susan Gorton (Chambermaid), Henry Waddington (Stage Hand), Menai Davies (Cleaner) & Jonathan Hinden (Celeste)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra & Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Andrew Davis

Director NIKOLAUS LEHNHOFF

Designer TOBIAS HOHEISEL

Lighting Designer MARK HENDERSON

Directed for video by BRIAN LARGE

The Makropulos Case focuses on the issue of longevity – the pros and cons of living for 337 years, as happens to the mysterious Emilia Marty, the sexually irresistible prima donna who’s seen it all and done it all. Part grotesque human comedy, part profound personal tragedy, this opera examines the eternal mystery of human existence with uniquely life-enhancing vision.

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in August 1995 and re-mastered in high-definition from the original master tape.

94 minutes

Region-free NTSC (compatible with all modern PAL players)

Audio L-PCM Stereo / 4:3

Sung in Czech with optional English subtitles

“The wide vibrato at Silja's top might worry some, but her genius as a singer-actress makes Nikolaus Lehnhoff's Gyndebourne Makropulos unforgettable. Riveting music; the production's half stark, half fussy.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 ****

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Warner Classics - 2564636281

(Blu-ray)

$16.75

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Dance & Quartet

Dance & Quartet

Three Ballets by Heinz Spoerli


Dvorak:

String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 'American'

In Spillville

Soloists: Sarah-Jane Brodbeck, Tigran Mikayelyan

Janacek:

String Quartet No. 2 'Intimate Letters'

Lettres Intimes

Soloists: Seh Yun Kim, Arsen Mehrabyan

Schubert:

String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D810 'Death and the Maiden'

Der Tod Und Das Mädchen

Soloists: Yen Han, Arsen Mehrabyan


Hagen Quartett: Lukas Hagen (1st violin), Rainer Schmidt (2nd violin), Veronika Hagen (viola), Clemens Hagen (violoncello)

Zürcher Ballett

Live Recording from The Felsenreitschule, Salzburg Festival, 2012

The Salzburg Festival presented a unique production in 2012: the renowned Hagen Quartett appeared together with the Zürcher Ballett. The Swiss grand master of dance Heinz Spoerli created three works for his Zurich Ballet set to three of the greatest works of the string-quartet literature: Leos Janáček’s string quartet “Intimate Letters”, Antonín Dvořák’s “American Quartet” and Franz Schubert’s string quartet “Death and the Maiden”.

Based in Salzburg, the Hagen Quartett is highly popular with the public for its high standard of musicality, serious artistic approach and its enthusiastic love of playing. The Hagens do not give themselves airs and graces; instead, an almost tender dedication to the composers is characteristic of their work. This is a triumph on home ground for this renowned ensemble.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9, 1080i FULL HD

Format: 25 GB (Single Layer)

Running Time: 94 mins

FSK: 0

Region Code: Worldwide

Worldwide available

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik - 108077

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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