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Verdi: Les vêpres siciliennes

Verdi: Les vêpres siciliennes

Live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, 2013


Lianna Haroutounian (Helene), Bryan Hymel (Henri), Erwin Schrott (Procida), Michael Volle (Guy de Montfort), Michelle Daly (Ninetta), Neal Cooper (Thibault), Nico Darmanin (Daniéli), Jung Soo Yun (Mainfroid), Jihoon Kim (Robert), Jean Teitgen (Le Sire de Béthune) & Jeremy White (Le Comte de Vaudemont)

Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Stefan Herheim (stage director)

Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach - Dramaturg

Philipp Fürhofer - Set designs

Gesine Völlm - Costume designs

Anders Poll - Lighting design

André de Jong – Choreography

“Grand opera at its grandest – a gorgeous visual and musical treat,” declared The Telegraph of this lavish production of Verdi’s rarely-performed Les Vêpres siciliennes, the magnificent five-act grand opéra that first took Paris by storm in 1855.

Presented in its Covent Garden premiere in Autumn 2013, this staging – directed by Stefan Herheim and conducted by the Royal Opera’s Music Director, Verdi specialist Sir Antonio Pappano – went on to win the prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production. The Sunday Times hailed it “the best the Verdi year in Britain has to offer,” praising the standout event of the Verdi bicentenary celebrations. “The Royal Opera has done its favourite composer proud.”

Over the years, the opera has become better known in its Italian version (I vespri siciliani), but Verdi wrote it to a French libretto (by the celebrated Eugène Scribe) and adopted elements of the musical style of Giacomo Meyerbeer, who in the 1830s and 1840s defined the quintessentially Parisian genre of grand opéra. After its premiere La Presse stated that: “Verdi's music has conformed to the procedure invented by French genius without losing anything of its Italian ardour.” Although it saw Verdi moving away from the tight dramatic structures and daring innovations of Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata – the ‘Big Three’ that directly preceded it – its epic scale and rich colours paved the way for masterpieces like La forza del destino, Don Carlos and Aida.

Herheim, whose reputation was cemented with his production of Parsifal at Bayreuth in 2008, is a director with a flair for spectacle – and a sense of irony – who rarely takes an operatic scenario at face value. Rather than telling a story of 13th-century conflict between the Sicilians and their French oppressors, his production, transposed to the mid-19th century, provides a commentary on the extravagant world of Parisian opera with its politics, exploitation and betrayals. “The story is told very clearly,” explained Pappano in an interview, “but it's a discussion not only about the French against the Sicilians, but about art and the raping of art, and how art is used … It's a beautiful production; visually stunning and musically sumptuous.' The Financial Times praised the maestro for “the sense of scale and style that [he] brings to the score,” while the Observer spoke of “exciting singing and top orchestral playing under the baton of that matchless Verdi devotee, Antonio Pappano.”

All four leading roles in Les Vêpres siciliennes require exceptional singers, but the soprano and tenor must meet almost superhuman demands. Considered one of the most promising Verdians of her generation, the French-trained Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian rises to all these challenges as the Duchess Hélène. American tenor Bryan Hymel, whose recital album Héroïque is also released on Warner Classics in February 2015, takes on one of Verdi’s highest tenor roles. “Bryan Hymel was the admirable and ardent Henri,” wrote Opera magazine, “with his turbo-boosted bel canto tenor rising fearlessly to the top notes.” His father (and enemy) Montfort is sung by the imposing and charismatic baritone Michael Volle, and the bass Erwin Schrott gives a starry performance as the fanatical Procida. He unforgettably appears in a sparkling black ball-gown in the final scene, which culminates not in a massacre (as per the libretto) but in a dazzling coup de théâtre as the stage spotlights are turned mercilessly on the audience. As The Evening Standard wrote: “virtuoso stagecraft put to thought-provoking and dramatically powerful ends.”

Duration: 181 minutes 38 sec.

Languages: Sung in French, with subtitles available in English, German, Italian, Spanish

Audio spec: Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, NTSC – All regions – 16:9

Extras: Making off 6 minutes 30 sec.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Warner Classics - 2564616434

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $22.75

Special: $20.75

Scheduled for release on 23 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

2CELLOS: Celloverse

2CELLOS: Celloverse

Deluxe Edition, CD+DVD


The Trooper (Overture) - 1

I Will Wait - 2

Thunderstruck (Intro) - 3

Thunderstruck - 4

Hysteria - 5

Shape of My Heart - 6

Mombasa - 7

Time - 8

Wake Me Up - 9

They Don't Care About Us - 10

Live and Let Die (feat. Lang Lang) - 11

Street Spirit (Fade Out) - 12

Celloverse - 13


2CELLOS

2CELLOS, music’s most electric and dynamic instrumental duo, return with their new album Celloverse. Self-produced by Sulic and Hauser, Celloverse showcases 2CELLOS’ unique ability to reinvent classic rock and pop songs, starting with ‘The Trooper Overture’, a metal-meets-classical mash up of Iron Maiden’s hit and Rossini’s ‘William Tell Overture’. The album also includes their take on AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ (having garnered over 30 ‘million views on YouTube), ‘I Will Wait’ by Mumford & Sons and Michael Jackson’s ‘They Don’t Care About Us’. Rounding off Celloverse is the Paul McCartney classic ‘Live and Let Die’, with special guest Lang Lang alongside the title track which is an original song penned and arranged by 2CELLOS themselves.

Propelled into international fame in 2011 after their version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ went viral following an appearance on Glee, Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser return to their rock roots on their third al-bum, Celloverse. A visually dynamic act, 2CELLOS will create a music video for every song on the album. The deluxe edition of Celloverse features seven of their most popular videos including two live performances from sold-out arena shows in their native Croatia.

2CELLOS playing style has broken down the boundaries between different genres of music, from classical and film music to pop and rock. They have no limits when it comes to performing live and are equally as impressive when playing Bach and Vivaldi as they are when rocking out. They have sold out shows around the globe and frequently perform with Sir Elton John as part of his band, as well as opening his shows to rapturous acclaim.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Sony - 88875069352

(CD + DVD Video - 2 discs)

$19.25

Scheduled for release on 9 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Berg: Lulu

Berg: Lulu

completed by David Robert Coleman


Mojca Erdmann (Lulu), Deborah Polaski (Countess Geschwitz), Michael Volle (Jack the Ripper), Thomas Piffka (Alwa), Stephan Rügamer (Painter/Negro)

Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim

Deutsche Grammophon's DVD release of Alban Berg's Lulu ties in with a series of new performances starting in February 2015 at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in Berlin. The Staatsoper commissioned David Robert Coleman to complete the third act (which remained as a fragment after Berg's sudden death in 1935). He worked on the composer's sketches, added a number of jazz instruments and created this "Berlin version". Mojca Erdmann, famous for her interpretations of contemporary music, gives an incredible interpretation of Alban Berg's master piece Lulu. The Staatskappelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim play superbly and Andrea Breth, who directed DG’s Onegin with Daniel Barenboim was the stage director for LULU, which has been called “a milestone in Breth’s career” (Nürnberger Nachrichten).

STEREO: PCM / SURROUND: DTS 5.1

Picture format: 16:9 / NTSC

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

DG - 0734934

(DVD Video)

Normally: $18.00

Special: $16.50

Scheduled for release on 9 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Shakespeare: Henry IV Part 1

Shakespeare: Henry IV Part 1

Recorded live at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, May 2014


Antony Sher (Falstaff), Alex Hassell (Prince Hal), Jasper Britton (King Henry), Paola Dionisotti (Mistress Quickly), Trevor White (Hotspur), Antony Nyrne ( (Earl of Worcester), Sean Chapman (Earl of Northumberland/Earl of Douglas), Jennifer Kirby (Lady Percy), Sam Marks (Ned Poins), Jim Hooper (Sir Richard Vernon), Joshua Richards (Bardolph/Owen Glendower), Robert Gilbert (Lord Edmund Mortimer/Carrier), , Jonny Glynn (Rakehell), Nicolas Gerard-Martin (Carrier/Sir Michael), Simon Thorp (Sir Walter Blunt/Lord Chief Justice), Keith Osborn (Archbishop of York), Youseff Kerkour (Earl of Westmoreland/Ostler), Simon Yadoo (Chamberlain/Vintner), Lee Quinn (Traveller)

Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran (director)

With his crown under threat from enemies both foreign and domestic, Henry IV prepares for war.

Having deposed the previous king, he is only too aware how tenuous his position is, and the price to be paid if he falters.

As his father prepares to defend his crown, Prince Hal is languishing in the taverns and brothels of London, revelling in the company of his friend, the notorious Sir John Falstaff.

With the onset of war, Hal and Falstaff are thrust into the brutal reality of the battlefield, where Hal must confront his responsibilities to family and throne.

Running time: 168 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - up to 35% off

Opus Arte Royal Shakespeare Company - OA1162D

(DVD Video)

Normally: $26.00

Special: $19.50

Scheduled for release on 2 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Shakespeare: Henry IV Part 2

Shakespeare: Henry IV Part 2

Recorded live at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, May 2014


Antony Sher (Falstaff), Alex Hassell (Prince Hal), Jasper Britton (King Henry), Antony Byrne (Rumour/Porter/Pistol), Sean Chapman (Earl of Northumberland), Paola Denisotti (Mistress Quickly), Nia Gwynne (Doll Tearsheet/Lady Northumberland), Old Ford Davies (Jusitce Shallow), Robert Gilbert (Travers/Sir John Coleville), Jonny Glynn (Morton/Earl of Warwick/Shadow), Nicholas Gerard-Martin (Lord Hastings/Feeble/Davy), Jim Hooper (Justice Silence/Gower), Jinnfier Kirby (Lady Percy), Sam Marks (Ned Poins), Keith Osborn (Archbishop of York), Youssef Kerkour (Earl of Westmoreland/Fang/Bullcalf), Leigh Quinn (Wart/Duke of Gloucester), Joshua Richards (Bardolph), Luca Saraceni-Gunner (Falstaff's Page)

Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran (director)

King Henry's health is failing as a second rebellion against his reign threatens to surface.

Intent on securing his legacy, he is uncertain that his son Hal is a worthy heir, believing him more concerned with earthly pleasures than the responsibility of rule.

Sir John Falstaff is sent to the countryside to recruit fresh troops. Amongst the unwitting locals, opportunities for embezzlement and profiteering prove impossible to resist as Falstaff gleefully indulges in the business of lining his own pockets.

As the King's health continues to worsen, Hal must choose between duty and loyalty to an old friend.

Running time: 168 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - up to 35% off

Opus Arte Royal Shakespeare Company - OA1163D

(DVD Video)

Normally: $26.00

Special: $19.50

Scheduled for release on 2 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Shakespeare: Henry IV Parts 1 & 2

Shakespeare: Henry IV Parts 1 & 2

Recorded live at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, May 2014


Antony Sher (Falstaff), Alex Hassell (Prince Hal), Jasper Britton (King Henry)

Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran (director)

Containing Shakespeare's Henry IV parts 1 and 2, this double set features outstanding Royal Shakespeare Company productions available at mid-price for the very first time.

Running time: 6 hours 10 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - up to 35% off

Opus Arte Royal Shakespeare Company - OA1188BD

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $45.50

Special: $34.12

Scheduled for release on 2 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

The Orchestra

The Orchestra

Claudio Abbado and the musicians of the Mozart Orchestra


Mozart Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

A film by Helmut Failoni and Francesco Merini

The prestigious Mozart Orchestra, the last great musical adventure of Maestro Claudio Abbado, narrated following the public and private life of a group of its musicians during the 2013 tour of concerts around Europe.

The Mozart Orchestra was founded in Bologna (Italy) ten years ago by Maestro Claudio Abbado. The Orchestra brings together the best classical music performers in the world by mixing young promises and well established solo artists. Among them: Johani Gonzales, a young double bass player coming from one of the worst slum in Caracas and the famous German trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich.

The documentary, following the Orchestra's European tour in 2012-2013, offers a unique and favourite glance on Master Abbado's work and on classical music players' job in nowadays. The film narrates, both from musical and human point of view, the public and the private life of a group of musicians: Maria Francesca Latella, Federica Vignoni, Lucas Navarro, Alois Posh, Reinhold Friedrich, Alessio Allegrini, Johani Gonzales.

The documentary includes a long and unreleased interview to Maestro Abbado and concerts and rehearsals shot in Bologna, Luzern, Vienna, Madrid and Palermo.

Extra : Interviews with the Musicians of the Mozart Orchestra

Picture format DVD: NTSC - 16:9

Sound format DVD: PCM Stereo

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian

Booklet notes: English, German, French, Italian

Running time: 60 mins + 10 mins Bonus

German FSK: 0

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EuroArts - 2060738

(DVD Video)

$32.50

Scheduled for release on 2 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

R. Strauss: Four Last Songs & An Alpine Symphony

R. Strauss: Four Last Songs & An Alpine Symphony


Rihm:

Ernster Gesang (Serious Song) for orchestra

Strauss, R:

Vier letzte Lieder

Anja Harteros (soprano)

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Malven, AV 304

orchestral version, arranged specifically for Dresden by Wolfgang Rihm. German premiere


Many of Richard Strauss´s compositions had their world premiere in Dresden and the composer dedicated An Alpine Symphony to the Dresden orchestra. The programme includes Four Last Songs, Ernster Gesang by Wolfgang Rihm and the German premiere of the last completed Strauss song "Mallows" in an orchestral version, arranged specifically for Dresden by Wolfgang Rihm.

Anja Harteros performing the Last Songs is called “Soprano of the century” or “Stradivari of the voices”. She sung at the MET, Covent Garden, La Scala, Salzburg Festival, Paris, Munich etc. with conductors as Muti, Jansons, Mehta etc.

RECORDING DATE: 2014

SOUND FORMAT DVD: PCM Stereo, dts 5.1

PICTURE 16:9, HD

SUBTITLES: English, French, German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese

BOOKLET: E, G, F

TOTAL RUNNING TIME. 103 MINS

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major - 726408

(DVD Video)

$30.00

Scheduled for release on 2 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4


Mahler:

Symphony No. 3 in D minor

2007

Waltraud Meier (mezzo)

Symphony No. 4 in G major

2008

Genia Kühmeier (soprano)


Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchstra (HR-Sinfonie Orchster), Paavo Järvi

Symphonies Nos. 3 + 4 will continue the release of the complete Mahler cycle with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Bonus: Introductions to Symphonies Nos. 3 + 4 with Paavo Järvi.

Outstanding soloists: Waltraud Meier, Genia Kühmeier

SOUND FORMAT DVD: PCM Stereo, dts 5.1

PICTURE 16:9, HD

SUBTITLES Symphony No. 3 + 4: Original language: German, Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major - 719108

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $39.00

Special: $35.00

Scheduled for release on 2 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

New Year's Concert 2015

New Year's Concert 2015


Lumbye:

Champagne Galop

Strauss, E:

Wo man lacht und lebt. Polka schnell, Op. 108

Mit Dampf! Polka Schnell, Op. 70

Mit Chic, Op. 221

Strauss, J, I:

Freiheits-Marsch, Op. 226

Radetsky March, Op. 228

Strauss, J, II:

Märchen aus dem Orient. Walzer, Op. 444

Vom Donaustrande, Op. 356

Perpetuum Mobile, Op. 257

Accelerationen, Op. 234

Elektro-magnetische polka, Op. 110

Studenten, Op. 56

Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333

Annen-Polka, Op. 117

Explosions Polka, Op. 43

An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314

Strauss, Josef:

Wiener Leben, Polka francaise, Op. 218

Dorfschwalben aus Österreich - waltz, Op. 164

Suppe:

Ein Morgen, ein Mittag, ein Abend in Wien Overture


Sony Classical release the much-anticipated annual 'New Years Concert' release - The New Year’s Concert live from Vienna is one of the world’s most famous and spectacular classical music events. It is broadcast from the flower-filled Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein on TV and radio in almost 80 countries around the world with over 40 million viewers. The annual New Year's Day Concert in Vienna has been a major event for more than seven decades. The resulting recordings with works from the Strauss dynasty and their contemporaries are among the most classical important releases available today. For the 2015 concert, the Vienna Philharmonic has invited Zubin Mehta to conduct. This will be the 5th time that Maestro Mehta has ascended the podium. He previously conducted in 1990, 1995, 1998 and 2007.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Sony - 88875035509

(DVD Video)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $13.75

Scheduled for release on 2 February 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

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