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Rossini: La donna del lago


Joyce DiDonato (Elena), Juan Diego Florez (Giacomo V), John Osborn (Roderigo)

The Metropolitan Orchestra and Chorus, Michele Mariotti

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Erato - 2564605098

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $23.25

Special: $20.75

Scheduled for release on 13 November 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Bach, J S: Goldberg Variations, BWV988

Bach, J S: Goldberg Variations, BWV988

Limited Edition CD+DVD


Music of the Baroque era – Bach keyboard concertos and Scarlatti sonatas – already features in the eclectic Erato catalogue of the French pianist Alexandre Tharaud. Now he is giving us his interpretation of one of the monuments of the repertoire for piano (and harpsichord), Bach’s Goldberg Variations. “Bach is the father of all composers,” Tharaud has said. “He is the one who opened the way. When I am tired, or not playing at my best, I return to Bach. He refocuses me, he gives me new strength. His music has a centre, but it has no end ... To play Bach, you need to feel in harmony with yourself, to feel humble – Bach really is a matter of humility ... You cannot hide anything.”

Published in 1741, the work – which lasts over an hour – comprises 30 variations on an initial aria. Indeed, Bach originally called it simply “Aria mit verschiedenen Änderungen” (Aria with diverse variations), but its commonly-used title derives from the name of the harpsichordist (Johann Gottlieb Goldberg) of Bach’s Dresden patron Count Keyserlingk. It was written for a dual-manual harpsichord, and thus makes considerable demands on a pianist’s dexterity in the contrapuntal writing. It also contains very little in the way of directions for interpretation, so all in all it represents a mighty and exciting challenge to the performer.

Alexandre Tharaud prepared for this challenge – and for his first concert performance of the Goldberg Variations, which took place in April 2011 in Barcelona – with nine months’ sabbatical from public performance. “By taking a break from the stage I had an opportunity to work without having to look forward, to be free of stress, not having to worry about my timetable. In our normal life, we musicians always have to be thinking about a forthcoming concert, whether it’s the next day or three years off. I had the luxury of examining just a few notes from every angle. It’s exciting to spend five hours on a single bar ... Perhaps it’s a question of maturity – of taking one’s time, questioning oneself, of simply being alone with the piano and working on one’s playing ... Like an archaeologist, I’m digging away at the unknown, I’m searching. That was why I needed to stop for a while, and above all to spend time away from the concert platform.” Once he returned to a more conventional routine, Tharaud scheduled groups of four or five performances of the Goldberg Variations at intervals of six months or so, all the while working towards this recording, which was made in February and April 2015 in Aix en Provence.

Almost inevitably, the spirit of the idiosyncratic Canadian pianist Glenn Gould (1932-1982) hovers around any new recording on the piano of the Goldberg Variations: he has been credited with transforming perceptions of Bach played on a modern instrument. Tharaud readily points out that the first CD he bought, at the age of 15, was one of Gould’s recordings of the work. “While I might describe myself as a free electron, Gould was more of a UFO! No-one played like him and no-one can play like him ... His playing, his reinvention of the music create a total experience that I find fascinating, and I learned a great deal from him ... The Goldberg Variations is a work that is renewed each time it is recorded. Generally, I am someone who likes to have my expectations defied, to have my assumptions challenged – whether we’re talking about my tastes or the way I live – and great works of art change your life.”

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Erato - 2564605177

(CD + DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $15.50

Special: $12.50

Scheduled for release on 16 October 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Rameau: Les Indes Galantes

Rameau: Les Indes Galantes


Amel Brahim-Djelloul (Hébé, Fatime, Phani), Benoît Arnould (Bellone, Alvar), Eugénie Warnier (Roxane), Olivera Topalovic (Amour, Zima), Judith Van Wanroij (Emilie, Atalide), Vittorio Prato (Osman), Anders Dahlin (Valère, Tacmas, Carlos, Damon), Nathan Berg (Huascar), Thomas Dolié (Adario)

Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset (conductor) & Olivier Simonnet (director)

Laura Scozzi: Staging & choregraphy

For the launch of its DVD collection, Alpha is joining forces with Christophe Rousset’s Les Talens Lyriques in Rameau’s opera-ballet Les Indes galantes, his most famous work, here performed in its 1750 ‘Toulouse’ version.

Particularly rich both on the musical level and in atmosphere, scrutinizing love ‘in far-off lands’ (Turkey, Peru, Persia and America), it responds to the infatuation with exoticism that tinged all the arts of the century. Rameau’s dance music is always quite suggestive, evocative of a movement or a pictorial atmosphere. As for the staging, Laura Scozzi brings her contemporary vision to these countries and travels.

Filmed at the Bordeaux National Opera, this production marked the Rameau celebrations in 2014 and was unanimously hailed by the international press:

"One of the glories of 18th-century music [...]. A cast [...] well nigh perfect." Tim Ashley, The Guardian

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Alpha - ALPHA710

(DVD Video)

Normally: $34.00

Special: $30.26

Scheduled for release on 18 September 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Mahler: Symphony No. 7

Mahler: Symphony No. 7


“It is my best work, with a primarily cheerful character”. This was Gustav Mahler’s assessment of his Symphony No. 7, which was also highly regarded by Arnold Schoenberg, who said, “I had an impression of absolute peace based on artistic harmony. Something able to set me in motion without recklessly unsettling my center of gravity.” Riccardo Chailly, in his internationally acclaimed interpretations of Mahler’s symphonies – which he and the Gewandhaus Orchestra are bringing together in a complete cycle – focuses on the musical qualities of the works, eschewing false pathos and sentimentality while giving up none of the music’s dramatic intensity.

“Mahler’s Seventh Symphony, in which the composer pulled out all expressive stops and revealed himself to be an innovative modernist, has seldom been as persuasive and direct as in Chailly’s interpretation”, said the Frankfurter Neue Presse.

Picture Format DVD: NTSC 16:9

Sound Formats DVD: PCM Stereo

Dolby Digital 5.1

DTS 5.1

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Running Time: 83:35 min

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Accentus Music Riccardo Chailly Mahler Symphony cycle - ACC20309

(DVD Video)

Normally: $26.25

Special: $23.75

Scheduled for release on 11 September 2015. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Verdi: La Traviata

Verdi: La Traviata

Live from the Opéra National de Paris


Diana Damrau (Violetta), Francesco Demuro (Alfredo), Ludovic Tézier (Germont), Anna Pennisi (Flora), Cornelia Oncioiu (Annina), Kevin Amiel (Gastone), Fabio Previati (Il Barone Douphol), Igor Gnidii (Il Marchese d’Obigny), Nicolas Testé (Dottore Grenvil)

Orchestre et Chœur de l’Opéra National de Paris, Francesco Ivan Ciampa

Diana Damrau’s primacy as an interpreter of Violetta Valéry in La traviata can be inferred from the names of theatres where she has performed Verdi’s most popular opera: the Metropolitan, New York; La Scala, Milan; London’s Royal Opera House; the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Zurich Opera. Paris’s Opéra Bastille joined that list of leading houses in June 2014, when the German soprano appeared in a new production by the film director Benoît Jacquot. Conducted by Francesco Ivan Ciampa, it is presented on this DVD release from Warner Classics, which joins a DVD of Verdi’s Rigoletto, with Damrau as Gilda, recorded in Dresden and released in 2010, and the recent CD release of the soprano’s spine-tingling interpretation of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, recorded live in Munich.

When she first sang Violetta – in New York in 2013 – Damrau told the Metropolitan Opera’s Playbill that: “I waited a long time to tackle this role because it’s very special for me. I fell in love with opera watching the Franco Zeffirelli movie of La traviata with Teresa Stratas and Domingo as Alfredo. I was 12 and I sat glued to the TV screen and I cried, and afterwards I thought, ‘This is the most beautiful thing humankind can create.’ But I wanted to wait, because to sing Violetta and express her feelings you really have to understand life.

... Violetta’s done it all, and she knows she’s going to die and that when she’s gone people won’t care. But she has a very honest heart. She’s the only person in the opera who loves without limits. And to give up Alfredo for the sake of his family – greater love is not possible. She’s selfless.”

Jacquot’s production, praised for its beauty, elegance and intelligence by the French newspaper Les Echos, is set firmly in the 19th century. It takes inspiration from the paintings of Manet and features sumptuous 19th century costumes and striking decor, such as monumental canopy bed in Act I and a huge tree and a giant staircase for Act II.

When it came to the performances, Les Echos said that Diana Damrau “lived up to expectations” with “such expressive truth and such a palette of nuances in every phrase” and with her understanding of Violetta’s physical and psychological fragility. The Financial Times stated that “ ... [Damrau’s] voice is simply glorious, whether in cradled pianissimi or heroic outbursts,” and went on to praise her male partners: “Her good-looking Alfredo, Francesco Demuro, has youthful passion and ringing tenor tone ... As Germont père, Ludovic Tézier shows off his superb baritone.” The British magazine Opera, meanwhile, felt that: “Ludovic Tézier ... could hardly be bettered, blending velvet and steel and assuring a superb legato.”

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Erato - 2564616650

(DVD Video)

Normally: $18.50

Special: $16.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Rebirth of a Nation

Rebirth of a Nation


1. The Broken Compass (Intro Theme)

2. A Nation Divided

3. North Isn’t South

4. The Most Dangerous Woman in America

5. Stoneman

6. Cameron

7. The Parallax Waltz

8. Gettysburg Requiem

9. What Would Moses Say?

10. Lincoln and Booth Get Acquainted

11. Dixie As Anti-Utopia

12. Blackface (We Are All Sharecroppers Now)

13. Getting Biblical

14. The Election and Results: The New Montage

15. Gus, Elsie, Silas and The Klan

16. Black Militia

17. Ride of The Klansmen

18. The Next Election

19. Ghost of a Smile


DJ Spooky (narrator)

Kronos Quartet

Paul D Miller is probably most well-known under his 'onstructed persona' as DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid. He has recorded a huge volume of music and collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and composers, among them Iannis Xenakis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kronos Quartet, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore and many others. He also composed and recorded the score for the Cannes and Sundance Award-winning film 'Slam', starring acclaimed poet Saul Williams, and produced material on Yoko Ono’s recent album 'Yes, I’m a Witch'.

Conceived as a reimagining of director D W Griffith’s infamously racist 1915 silent film 'The Birth of a Nation', 'Rebirth of a Nati'on, recorded with Kronos Quartet, is a controversial and culturally significant project that examines how “…exploitation and political corruption still haunt the world to this day, but in radically different forms”.

Originally commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Weiner Festwochen, and the Festival d’Automne a Paris, the project was Miller’s first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed around the world, from the Sydney Festival to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater, more than fifty times.

“In an era where whistleblowers like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have shown us that perspective can truly alter global events,” Miller says, “we need more than ever to see the context that early cinema offers us. As my old friend Saul Williams likes to say: Another World Is Possible. A remix of a film as deeply important and problematic as 'The Birth of a Nation' reminds us that many of these issues still linger with us at every level.”

The original DVD version of 'Rebirth of a Nation' was released by Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media in 2008. Cantaloupe Music’s package will include a new print of the film, and marks the first time that the project’s entire recorded score will be made available on CD.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Cantaloupe - CA21110

(CD + DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $17.75

Special: $16.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Isang Yun: Inbetween North and South Korea

Isang Yun: Inbetween North and South Korea


Filmed in North and South Korea, this documentary explores whether music can overcome the boundaries of a divided country. There is one figure representing the two Koreas, a figure whose life in itself forms a bridge between both worlds: Korean composer Isang Yun is one of the very few people acknowledged on both sides.

The film traces the course of a life that has been interpreted in different ways, examining the worlds of North and South Korean music, taking the viewer on an exciting journey through two political systems that Isang Yun spent his life trying to reconcile.

Picture Format: NTSC 16:9

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS 5.1

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Running Time: 60:00 min

Disc Format: DVD‐9

Languages/Subtitles: Korean, English, Deutsch, Japanese, French

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Accentus Music - ACC20208

(DVD Video)

Normally: $26.25

Special: $23.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Satiesfictions: Promenades with Erik Satie

Satiesfictions: Promenades with Erik Satie

A film by Anne‐Kathrin Peitz & Youlian Tabakov


Satie:

La belle excentrique

Menus propos enfantins: Ce que dit la petite princesse des tulipes (No. 2)

Menus propos enfantins: Valse du chocolat aux amandes (No. 3)

Nocturne No. 4


Always armed with wisecracks, umbrella and a bowler hat, Erik Satie was not only on the outside one of the strangest figures in the early 20th century French avant‐garde, he was a composer, designer, church founder, PR pioneer, and master of witty remarks.

In playful episodes, the documentary illuminates the overall phenomenon of Satie. His countless imaginary advertisements evolve into real commercials, and his drawings take on a life of their own as cartoons. Divas, dogs, puppets and children, as well as pianists playing pianos stacked on top of each other are featured in scenic interludes, while performers turn into 'musical furniture' in swimming pools, factories or at train stations.

Interwoven with accounts by Satie’s associates and music experts, the film offers a unique insight into Satie's cosmos of word and sound.

With Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Henri Sauguet, Georges Auric, Pierre Bertin, Virgil Thomson, Steffen Schleiermacher, GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Jean‐Pierre Armengaud, Patrick Le Mauff.

Bonus:

- La Belle Excentrique

- Valse du Chocolat aux Amandes

- Ce que dit la petite Princesse des Tulipes

- Nocturne No.4

- Stock Market Report à la Satie

Picture Format: NTSC 16:9

Sound Format: PCM Stereo Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS 5.1

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Disc Format: DVD‐9

Running Time Film: 56:22 min

Running Time Bonus: 15:17 min

Languages/Subtitles Film: French, German, English, Japanese, Korean

Languages/Subtitles Bonus: German, English

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Accentus Music - ACC20312

(DVD Video)

Normally: $26.25

Special: $23.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Mathias Reumert: Solo

Mathias Reumert: Solo


Mathias Reumert (percussion)

Our topline release for 2015 is this awesome program which may be the first ‘music DVD’ devoted to contemporary percussion works. More than that, it has been produced with amazing graphics and visual enhancements as well as ‘straight’ video of the performances, thanks to the fine work of top Danish movie director Christian Holten Bonke.

Mathias Reumert is one of Europe’s foremost percussionists, and has been awarded the Danish Music Critics’ Prize for 2015.

The program includes the most iconic of modern percussion classics, ‘Psappha’ by Iannis Xenakis, together with his much more recent ‘Rebonds’. Works by Henze, Donatoni and Ferneyhough utilise wide ranges of tuned and unturned instruments, while the amazing pieces by Jodlowski and Globokar use different materials altogether. We predict Jodlowski’s ‘Time and Money’ will become a classic and hope to license this and other parts of the video to arts TV and online services.

Even for the non-percussion fan, the film is one to watch again and again.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Metier - MSVDX102

(DVD Video)

$20.00

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi in Mantua

Monteverdi in Mantua

the Genius of the Vespers


Monteverdi:

Vespro della beata Vergine (1610)


presented by Simon Russell Beale

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

The BBC’s celebrated Sacred Music journey continues with Monteverdi in Mantua - the story of a Renaissance duke and the composer who worked for him and how their volatile relationship would create one of the most revolutionary and beautiful collections of music ever published: The Monteverdi Vespers of 1610. The programme is presented by Shakespearean actor and former St Paul’s Cathedral chorister, Simon Russell Beale, whose enthusiasm for choral music is matched by his gift for storytelling. Together with conductor Harry Christophers and his virtuoso choir The Sixteen, Simon explores Monteverdi’s early career in Mantua, where he wrote the Vespers under the slave-like regime of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga, a man addicted to sex, luxury and art. Using the remarkable legacy of 127 surviving letters, Monteverdi is revealed as the first of a new breed of dramatic composer, straddling the worlds of the secular and sacred, whose bold experiments would change the way music sounds forever.

A Special Edition version (COR16137) is also available which includes The Sixteen’s audio recording of the Vespers of 1610.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Coro BBC Sacred Music - COR16131

(DVD Video)

Normally: $19.75

Special: $17.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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