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Puccini: Turandot

Puccini: Turandot


Daniela Dessi (Turandot), Mario Malagnini (Calaf), Ramaz Chikviladze (Timur)

Orchestra and chorus of Teatro Carlo Felice, Donato Renzetti (conductor) & Giuliano Montaldo (director)

Turandot, one of Puccini’s most powerful and original operas, is a favourite with audiences. Musically, it is one of the composer’s most modern and innovative scores, and also a work that calls for sumptuous sets and dramatic costumes. This production is directed by film director Guiliano Montaldo.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Format: NTSC

Dynamic - 33764

(DVD Video)

$33.50

Scheduled for release on 2 June 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Strauss, R: Elektra

Strauss, R: Elektra


Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra), Waltraud Meier (Klytämnestra), Adrianne Pieczonka (Chrysothemis), Mikhail Petrenko (Orest), Tom Randle (Aegisth), Franz Mazura (Der Pfleger des Orest), Bonita Hyman (Erste Magd), Andrea Hill (Zweite Magd), Silvia Hablowetz (Dritte Magd), Marie-Eve Munger (Vierte Magd), Roberta Alexander (Fünfte Magd)

Coro Gulbenkian & Orchestre de Paris, Esa-Pekka Salonen

The last production ever staged by Patrice Chéreau, this 'Elektra' will remain as the most striking events of recent years in Aix-en-Provence.

"This production, with Esa-Pekka Salonen on the podium, the Orchestre de Paris in the pit, an all-star cast and Patrice Chéreau directing, has been hyped so hard that it would be gratifying to be able to enumerate its imperfections. But there are none. Chéreau, Salonen and their cast get everything so appallingly right… Chéreau takes Hofmannsthal’s chilling libretto to the letter, in the most minutely exacting manner, and Salonen does the same with the score, conducting with all the dispassionate clarity of the gore in a Tarantino film. If it were merely gore, it would be bad enough. Far worse, though, both men see every moment of tenderness in text and score in perfect detail.

These murderous family members are not monsters. They are real people, filled with love and yearning, damaged beyond repair.

Evelyn Herlitzius lives and breathes the mammoth title role. She is a wild animal, a dirt-smeared urchin in oversized men’s clothes, her wiry body barely containing the huge, disturbing emotions of her matricidal character. Her jerky, broken dance is one of this production’s many unforgettable moments. The opening night audience leapt to its feet to applaud her.

As her far more feminine sister, Adrianne Pieczonka is a revelation, with a lavishly creamy voice capable of expressing all the emotions that Elektra forbids herself. Waltraud Meier’s Klytämnestra is so dignified as to be almost harmless, a frail figure whose subsequent slaughter seems out of proportion to her errors. The men are strong, led by Mikhail Petrenko as an unnervingly compassionate Orest.

Richard Peduzzi’s sets and Caroline de Vivaise’s costumes set the action somewhere that could be the vestiges of any modern conflict, from the Balkans to Afghanistan, a grey, comfortless world of concrete, fear and oppression. Under Salonen’s merciless direction, the Orchestre de Paris gives the lie to preconceptions about French orchestras and German romanticism, with playing that is transparent, brawny and seductive all at once.

The whole is so horribly compelling that it is hard to remember to breathe, and even harder not to join Elektra in eager passion for the closing bloodbath. Chéreau does not even bother with blood; in the end, Orest strangles his mother. It is vile, and utterly wonderful.

This production goes on to La Scala, Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Finnish National Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona and the Staatsoper Berlin. It has all the strengths of Chéreau’s legendary staging of Janácek’s 'From the House of the Dead'. Its shelf life will be long, and it will be talked about for even longer. A triumph for Aix."

*****Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times

133 min. (opera 110 min. & bonus 23 min) Bonus: interview with Patrice Chéreau.

Image: 16/9, NTSC, Sound: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Bel Air Classiques - BAC110

(DVD Video)

$41.50

Scheduled for release on 19 May 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Don Quixote

Don Quixote


I. Dans une bourgade de la Mancha: Una sañosa porfia, Donde se sufre Juana, Canto del Cavallero, Un cavalier de Spagna

II. Episode des Moulins: Propiñan de Melyor, Jançu janto, Por vida de mis ojos, Si abra en este baldres, Ande pues, Rodrigo Martinez, El Cervel mi nocte i die, La perra mora, Rey a quien reyes, Pavana de la trulla, Jacaras, la Tricotea, Ya es tiempo de recoger

III. Dulcinea de Toboso: Todos los bienes del mundo, Falalalanlera, Canario, No hay que decirle el primor, Tiento de batalla

IV. Scene des tréteaux: Oy comamos i bebamos, Bataille, Débat contre mes débateurs, Romance de Don Gaïfero, La Justa, Ninguno cierre las puertas, Aqui yaze en poca tierra, Levanta Pascual

V. Epilogue: La Guerra, La Chacona


Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse, Florent Tisseyre

A magical creation mixing together puppets, Cervantes and Spanish Renaissance music.

Puppets and puppeteers, narrator, singers, musicians: such is the remarkable team that Les Sacqueboutiers brought together for an original musical show. They bring to the stage the extravagant madness of Don Quichotte through his delusional life, tilting at windmills as well as the encounter with Dulcinea del Toboso, or the episode of 'El retablo de Maese Pedro'.

Les Sacqueboutiers are an ensemble based in Toulouse, playing on early brass instruments. They have been in existence for more than 30 years, during which time they have built up a reputation as one of the finest early music ensembles, regarded as a reference in the interpretation of 17th-century instrumental music, particularly that of Italy and Germany.

When they decided to form Les Sacqueboutiers in 1974, Jean-Pierre Canihac and Jean-Pierre Mathieu were among the first to embark on the adventurous rediscovery of early instruments. The quality of their work soon attracted attention, and they took part in the groundbreaking recording of Monteverdi's 'Vespro della Beata Vergine', conducted by Michel Corboz. Since then, they have performed music ranging from the Renaissance to Mozart, with many prestigious ensembles including Les Arts Florissantsand the Ens Clément Janequin. The group comprises a nucleus of cornetts and sackbuts, which are joined, as the needs arise, by other instruments (violins, viols, bassoons, shawms) and vocalists.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Flora - FLO3013

(DVD Video)

$32.00

Scheduled for release on 5 May 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Verdi: Aida

Verdi: Aida


Hui He (Aida), Fabio Sartori (Radamès), Giovanna Casolla (Amneris), Ambrogio Maestri (Amonasro), Adrian Sampetrean (Ramfis), Roberto Tagliavini (The King)

Orchestra, chorus, ballet of the Verona Arena, Omer Meir Wellber

Since 1913 operatic performances have been given in the Arena of Verona in Summer, with more than 17,000 spectators enjoying the show every evening. 'Aida' is the most popular opera of Verona Festival, the only one performed every year. 'Aida', the masterpiece which gave life to the Opera Festival in the Arena 100 years ago, was presented in two different versions: a revival of the 1913, that was launched with Zenatello singing; and a new one from Catalan theatre group La Fura des Baus.

La Fura opened the Centenary Festival: this version of 'Aida' was completely wacky: fire, inflatable sculptures, an aluminium pyramid assembled by crane, acrobats, mechanical camels, men in orange boiler suits with scarab beetle heads riding bumper cars, flooding the stage to make a lake inhabited by dancers dressed as crocodiles, solar panels… Under the night sky, it was a visual feast. This 'Aida' with its spectacular scenic techniques and technology, was directed by Carlus Padrissa and Àlex Ollé; choreography by Valentina Carrasco; set design Roland Olbeter; costume designer, Chu Uroz. The lighting is the work of Arena veteran, Paolo Mazzon. For Maestro Omer Meir Wellber this was his first time on the podium of the amphitheatre.

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Bel Air Classiques - BAC104

(DVD Video)

$41.50

Scheduled for release on 5 May 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Piano Man: James Rhodes

Piano Man: James Rhodes


 

Prelude in E Minor

Bach, J S:

French Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV816

Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 'Waldstein'

Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109

Blumenfeld:

Etude for the left hand, Op. 36

Busoni:

Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major (Bach BWV 564)

Chopin:

Étude Op. 25 No. 12 in C minor

Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 in E minor

Fantasia in F minor, Op. 49

Debussy:

Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

Grieg:

In the Hall of the Mountain King (from Peer Gynt)

Grieg/Ginsberg

Moszkowski:

Etincelles

Rachmaninov:

Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Ravel:

Le Tombeau de Couperin: Toccata


James Rhodes (piano)

With childhood abuse, drug addiction and suicide attempts behind him, James is not your typical concert pianist but with his passion and rock-star aura, he is bringing new audiences to classical piano. In 'Piano Man', James plays the music of his favourite composers, including Bach, Beethoven and Chopin, many of whom had, like James, troubled lives. In this highly personal collection, James explains how they’ve given him solace in his darkest moments and why we should all be listening. With stunning solo piano performances and witty insight into these lives 'Piano Man' is an exciting and radical new approach.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Signum - up to 25% off

Signum - SIGDVD010

(DVD Video)

Normally: $21.75

Special: $16.31

Scheduled for release on 5 May 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Massenet: Werther

Massenet: Werther


Roberto Alagna (Werther), Kate Aldrich (Charlotte), Nathalie Manfrino (Sophie), Michel Trempont (Le Bailli), Léonard Pezzino (Schmidt), Armando Gabba (Johann), Alessandro Inzillo (Brühlmann), Ivana Cravero (Kätchen)

Orchestre du Teatro Regio di Torino, Alain Guingal

World-renowned tenor Roberto Alagna stars in the most passionate of French operas, conveying the young poet’s journey from naïve hope to the agony of the much-loved aria ‘Pourquoi me réveiller?’ and the shattering final tragedy.

Massenet’s glorious opera, based on a novel by Goethe, is regularly performed all over the world and its central role is one in which Roberto Alagna has been celebrated for more than a decade.

The role of Werther’s beloved Charlotte is sung by American mezzo Kate Aldrich (an acclaimed Carmen at ‘The Met’), who has sung the role to critical acclaim in Europe and Japan.

Filmed live at the Teatro Regio in Turin, the powerful stage production is the work of another member of the Alagna family – the tenor’s younger brother, David.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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DG - F762883

(DVD Video)

$22.50

Scheduled for release on 5 May 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Donizetti: Don Pasquale

Donizetti: Don Pasquale

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, October 2013


Alessandro Corbelli (Don Pasquale), Danielle de Niese (Norina), Nikolay Borchev (Malatesta), Alek Shrader (Ernesto), James Platt (A Notary), Anna-Marie Sullivan (Servant)

Glyndebourne Festival Opera, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Enrique Mazzola (conductor) & Mariame Clément (director)

Designer: Julia Hansen

Lighting Designer: Bernd Purkrabek

One of the reasons why Donizetti's Don Pasquale is regarded as a cornerstone of the Italian comic opera tradition is because its characters are no mere commedia dell'arte stereotypes, but complex, vulnerable human beings. This is brought to the fore in Mariame Clément's sensitive and perceptive production, which was hailed by the Financial Times as a 'Glyndebourne classic'.

Acclaimed buffo baritone Alessandro Corbelli sings the title role 'with just the right degree of lugubriousness', while Danielle de Niese, one of today's most sought-after sopranos, is an 'engaging' and 'irrestible' Norina (The Telegraph).

Bel canto specialist Enrique Mazzola conducts with flair and panache.

Extra features: Behind the Curtain, Danielle de Niese introduction, Staging the Opera and a cast gallery.

Running time: 128 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/KO

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA1134D

(DVD Video)

Normally: $36.50

Special: $32.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Verdi: Don Carlo

Verdi: Don Carlo


Jonas Kaufmann (Don Carlo), Anja Harteros (Elisabetta di Valois), Matti Salminen (Filppo II), Thomas Hampson (Rodrigo, Marchese di Posa), Ekaterina Semenchuk (La Principessa Eboli), Eric Halfvarson (Il Grande Inquisitore), Robert Lloyd (Un frate), Maria Celeng (Tebaldo), Sen Guo (Una voce dal cielo), Benjamin Bernheim (Il Conte di Lerma/Un Araldo reale)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Sir Antonio Pappano (conductor), Peter Stein (director)

Giuseppe Verdi’s late opera Don Carlo delivers all the big topics while Ferdinand Wögerbauer’s ultra-simple décor provides a spartan counterpoint to the dramatic action.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Sony - 88843005769

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $21.50

Special: $18.50

Scheduled for release on 28 April 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Strauss, R: Ariadne auf Naxos (original 1912 version)

Strauss, R: Ariadne auf Naxos (original 1912 version)


Emily Magee (Prima Donna/Ariadne), Elena Moșuc (Zerbinetta), Jonas Kaufmann (The Tenor/Bacchus), Eva Liebau (Naiad/A Shepherdess), Marie-Claude Chappuis (Dryad/A Shepherd), Eleonora Buratto (Echo/A Singer), Gabriel Bermúdez (Harlequin), Michael Laurenz (Scaramuccio), Tobias Kehrer (Truffaldino), Martin Mitterrutzner (Brighella), Peter Matić (The Major-Domo) Cornelius Obonya (M. Jourdain), Thomas Frank (The Composer)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Daniel Harding (conductor), Sven-Eric Bechtolf (director)

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Sony - 88843005749 

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $21.50

Special: $18.50

Scheduled for release on 28 April 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620


Georg Zeppenfeld (Sarastro), Bernard Richter (Tamino), Mandy Fredrich (Queen of Night), Julia Kleiter (Pamina), Markus Werba (Papageno), Rudolf Schasching (Monostatos), Martin Gantner (Speaker), Elisabeth Schwarz (Papagena), Sandra Trattnigg (First Lady), Anja Schlosser (Second Lady), Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Third Lady), Members of the Tölzer Knaben (Three Boys), Lucian Krasznec (First Man in Armour/First Priest), Andreas Hörl (Second Man in Armour)

Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor), Jens-Daniel Herzog (director)

One of Mozart’s best-known opera, Die Zauberflöte, opened the series of new opera productions of the 2012 Salzburg Festival. Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducted his ensemble, the Concentus Musicus Wien, performing the Salzburg Festival’s first-ever performance of Die Zauberflöte on period instruments.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Sony - 88843005729

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $21.50

Special: $18.50

Scheduled for release on 28 April 2014. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

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