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Shchedrin: The Left-Hander

Shchedrin: The Left-Hander


Andrei Popov, Edward Tsanga, Vladimir Moroz, Kristina Alieva, Maria Maksakova

Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus, Valery Gergiev

DVD/BLURAY

Specially written for Gergiev on the occasion of his 60th birthday, Rodion Shchedrin’s 'The Left-Hander' is a comedy of Russians and Englishmen, new technology, old traditions and strong drink. The premiere was given by the Mariinsky Opera in St Petersburg in July 2013.

Rodion Shchedrin is one of music’s greatest living humourists and his work is laced with pitch-black irony and deadpan wit. Based on Nikolai Leskov’s classical satirical novella of 1881, 'The Tale of Cross-Eyed Lefty From Tula and the Steel Flea', 'The Left-Hander' is a gloriously wry exploration of Russia’s relationship with the West in general and England in particular. The work recently received its UK premiere and was met with great acclaim.

“All in all, a useful addition to the catalogue, if maybe not a sure-fire hit.” The Telegraph, 21st March 2015 ***

“It fizzes with energy … I enjoyed this hugely.” CD Review, 11th April 2015

“Gergiev conducts a sharp performance, one fully alert to the satires that enmesh the work.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

“The SACD recording is very fine, the booklet impeccably presented. If you love opera and are attracted by the Russian traditions of surrealism and dark humour, then this is an extremely fertile place to plant your flag.” MusicWeb International, 24th June 2015

“Andrei Popov gives way to joy in the title role, passing by all states, excitement to dejection. The Flea is a small mechanical doll alla Offenbach, a light coloratura of course, much applauded after her numbers...the beautiful lyric soprano Maria Maksakova as Princess Charlotte deserved much applause.” Diapason

“Shchedrin parses and sets the text very cleverly, with lively and often humorous orchestration, folkish when needed… Levsha is definitely an ensemble piece best suited to a company like the Mariinsky, with its expert chorus and strongly enacted minor parts.” Opera News

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Mariinsky - MAR0588

(DVD Video + Blu-ray - 2 discs)

Normally: $37.00

Special: $33.25

Scheduled for release on 8 July 2016. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Handel: Alcina

Handel: Alcina


Patricia Petibon (Alcina), Philippe Jaroussky (Ruggiero), Anna Prohaska (Morgana), Katarina Bradic (Bradamante), Anthony Gregory (Oronte), Krzysztof Baczyk (Melisso), Elias Mädler, Lionel Wunsch (Oberto)

Freiburger Barockorchester, MusicAeterna (Chorus of the Perm Opera), Andrea Marcon (musical director) & Katie Mitchell (stage director)

Stage design: Chloe Lamford

Costumes design: Laura Hopkins

Light: James Farncombe

Choreography: Joseph W. Alford

Alcina, one of Handel’s most popular operas, is named after a dangerously seductive sorceress – soprano Patricia Petibon in this production from the 2015 Aix-en-Provence Festival; but perhaps the central figure is the bewitched warrior Ruggiero, performed here by Philippe Jaroussky. The role, which includes the haunting, lilting aria ‘Verdi prati’, was composed for the celebrated countertenor Giovanni Carestini, who provided the focus for Jaroussky’s superb 2007 album of arias by Handel, Hasse, Porpora, Leo and Gluck.

Ruggiero, captive on Alcina’s magic island, will be transformed into an animal or inanimate object once the enchantress tires of him, but fortunately his betrothed Bradamante (a mezzo-soprano) comes to save him, disguised as her brother, Ricciardo. Further complications ensue when Alcina’s sister, Morgana, falls in love with ‘Ricciardo’.

The production of Alcina, by the British director Katie Mitchell, was welcomed by the Financial Times as “meticulously executed …, rich in detail, consummately polished”. Like Mitchell’s Aix-en-Provence staging of George Benjamin’s hugely successful Written on Skin (first seen in 2012), it offers simultaneous action in multiple zones of the stage, with Alcina’s elegant boudoir taking pride of place. As the New York Times wrote: “It involves a huge sorcery machine for turning people into animals (or whatever). And Ms. Mitchell works magic of her own onstage, constantly showing the enchantresses Alcina and Morgana alternating between glamorous public personas and their ‘real life’, older, private selves …There are also bits of simulated sex, mingling genders and suggesting, among other things, inventive new ways to hit high notes.”

Describing the whole show as “a night of a thousand delights”, Bachtrack wrote that “Philippe Jaroussky cuts a mighty fine dash as the debonair knight Ruggiero … The French countertenor's yearning mezza voce delivery of ‘Verdi prati’ is sublime, possibly the evening's vocal highlight, although there is strong competition from Anna Prohaska's ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ [Morgana’s spectacular Act 1 closing number] and from Anthony Gregory's [Oronte] physically and vocally energetic ‘È un folle, un vile affetto’. Add some bell-clear, sweetly defined contributions from Katarina Bradić [Bradamante] and Krzysztof Baczyk [Melisso] as the gallant rescuers and this Alcina is a feast for the ear.” Le Monde reported that “Patricia Petibon throws herself into the title role, body, voice, soul and more, toying with the limits of style,” while the New York Times found that she was “little short of sensational vocally … and excellent at eliciting sympathy through her acting.”

The Financial Times praised the Freiburger Barockorchester for playing with “flair, energy and an easy, open sound ... [Conductor] Andrea Marcon lets the phrases breathe, gives a lush continuo section room to unfold, and knows how to drive the pace forward without sounding forced.” Describing Marcon as “exceptional”, Opera News felt that: “Musically, this was a performance of the highest festival level … the continuo and instrumental solos attained a rarely heard level of ensemble with an orchestra honed to perfection.”

Running time: 182 minutes

Colour . NTSC systems . Disc Format: 2 DVD 9

Sound Format: Stereo PCM 2.0 / Dolby Digital 5.1

Menu language: English

Subtitles: ENG, GER, FR, IT

Sung in Italian

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Up to 35% off Erato

Erato - 9029597436

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $22.75

Special: $19.33

Scheduled for release on 3 June 2016. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Renoir: Revered and Reviled

Renoir: Revered and Reviled

Written and Directed by Phil Grabsky


Pierre-Auguste Renoir is known and loved for his impressionist paintings of Paris which rank among the world’s favourites. Renoir, however, grew tired of this style and changed course.

This stunning film – based on the remarkable Renoir collection at Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation – explores the artist’s new approach. These later works still provoke extreme reactions - some people are repulsed by them and others seduced.

Two 20th century titans– Picasso and Matisse – are intriguingly among the many artists who were clearly influenced by Renoir’s later direction. This film is a new biography of an artistic giant - Renoir - but also uncovers an untold story that identifies him as a significant link between the art world’s old order and the new.

Duration: 90’

Format: Region All/ 0

Aspect Ratio: 16.9 Widescreen

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Seventh Art Exhibition On Screen - SEV191

(DVD Video)

$20.50

Scheduled for release on 27 May 2016. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Selected Songs from 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn'

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 & Selected Songs from 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn'

Lucerne Festival In Summer 2015


Mahler:

Symphony No. 5

Rheinlegendchen (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)

Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)

Das irdische Leben (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)

Urlicht (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)

Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)

Revelge (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)

Der Tambourg'sell (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)


Andris Nelsons conducted the Lucerne Festival Orchestra for the third time in August 2015, the orchestra’s second summer without founder and guiding spirit Claudio Abbado. The first half of his concert was already a highlight: the baritone Matthias Goerne seemed completely at home in a selection of songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. His warm, dark voice allows him to capture the somber and tragic atmosphere of this music like no one else. Its shaded timbre is most perfectly suited to the work’s melancholy and nocturnal moods, where one can directly experience how an artist of this caliber can bring music to the edge of the abyss. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra, renowned for its unique Mahler sound, had last played Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in the summer of 2004 with Abbado – a flowing, transparent, and ethereal interpretation. Nelsons finds a completely different approach to the work. His Mahler is fiery, expansive, and powerful. In spite of the introductory funeral march, his reading is more positive than tragic, radiating an intense vitality. It is breathtaking to observe the orchestra’s response to Nelsons’s energetic, physical, and emotional conducting style. The relationship between orchestra and conductor is one of giving and taking, nothing else.

Picture Format DVD: NTSC 16:9

Sound Formats DVD: PCM Stereo

Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS 5.1

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Running Time: 123:12 min

Disc Format: DVD‐9

Subtitles: German (Original), French, English, Japanese, Korean

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Accentus Music - ACC20354

(DVD Video)

Normally: $25.50

Special: $23.00

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

How To Build An Orchestra

How To Build An Orchestra

Music documentary directed by Sheila Hayman


Ruth Rogers (violin)

Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra

How To Build An Orchestra, directed by BAFTA award winner Sheila Hayman, is a unique record of all the musical and human effort and understanding that lie behind every orchestral concert.

Once a year, the little English country town of Chipping Campden is invaded by top classical musicians - and by music students from all over the world. They’re there for the Chipping Campden Music Festival. The students are there to learn how to work together to make something bigger than the sum of its parts: a symphony orchestra. This film tells the story of how that orchestra is built, from the ten piccolo players auditioning for one part, to the conductor’s hours of preparation and the soloist’s juggling of practice with domestic chores.

In this unique orchestra, every student sits beside a professional with many years’ experience. The students learn to blend their sound, breathe with their partners, and the social skills they’ll need to get hired as a freelance. The professionals feed off the excitement and enthusiasm of the students, and enjoy a rare chance to bring their kids to work.

The local residents of Chipping Campden open their homes, man the ticket desks, bake cakes for the tea breaks, and teach their Spanish and Chinese lodgers how to lay a proper English supper table.

The first Chipping Campden Music Festival was held in 2002, since when it has grown in stature and size year on year. It is now widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading festivals with visitors coming from Europe, America and Australia, as well as from all over the UK. The venue has become a favourite with many of the world’s finest musicians who all look forward to returning to this most beautiful of all the Cotswold towns.

PAL

STEREO

WIDESCREEN 19:9

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

47 MINUTES

NO SUBTITLES

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

Chipping Campden International Music Festival - CCMF004

(DVD Video)

$14.25

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Herbert Blomstedt conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra

Herbert Blomstedt conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra


Bruckner:

Symphony No. 7 in E Major

edited by L. Nowak, 1954

Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'


The special chemistry between the Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra stems from one of the most outstanding artistic partnerships in the music life of Scandinavia. Blomstedt was the very first chief conductor of the Danish orchestra and is today its honorary conductor – and the partnership is now in its seventh decade!

This DVD celebrates Herbert Blomstedt’s profound insight into the symphonic worlds of Franz Schubert and Anton Bruckner, unfolding in Denmark’s historic Roskilde Cathedral. Blomstedt’s dream of conducting in this dazzling acoustic came true at a memorable concert in 2007, now made available for fans of the Swedish conductor and his Danish orchestra to enjoy worldwide.

This DVD is released to celebrate Herbert Blomstedt’s reception of the prestigious Léonie Sonnings Music Prize 2016. Included is also a rare 80-minute interview with Blomstedt.

Bonus material: Interview – Herbert Blomstedt in a conservation with John Fellow

Bonus material: Interview with Herbert Blomstedt (English, German and Danish subtitles)

Menu language: English

Booklet notes: in English, German and Danish

Sound formats: Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Running time: 187 min.

DVD 9 / NTSC / 16:9 / Region code: 0

Recorded in High Definition

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Dacapo - 2110416

(DVD Video)

$32.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Revueltas: Redes Suite

Revueltas: Redes Suite


PostClassical Ensemble, Angel Gil-Ordóñez

An iconic product of the Mexican Revolution, Redes (1935) combines the talents of a master composer, Silvestre Revueltas, and a master cinematographer, Paul Strand. Its marriage of music and the moving image attains heights of epic grandeur. The co-directors are Fred Zinnemann (en route to Hollywood) and Emilio Gómez Muriel. Because dialogue rarely overlaps music, it is possible to re-record Revueltas’s galvanizing score and discover musical riches inaudible on the original monaural soundtrack. As the Redes concert suites by Revueltas and Erich Kleiber omit much, the present DVD is the world première recording of Revueltas’s full score, one of the highest achievements in the history of film music.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Up to 25% off Naxos

Naxos - 2110372

(DVD Video)

Normally: $12.75

Special: $10.20

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Yehudi Menuhin: The Long Lost Gstaad Tapes

Yehudi Menuhin: The Long Lost Gstaad Tapes


Bach, J S:

Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV1006

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041

Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004

Vivaldi:

Concerto for 3 violins in F major, RV 551

Concerto for 2 Violins in C minor, RV510


Probably no other violinist has a larger discography than Yehudi Menuhin. Yet we would be mistaken in imagining the recording industry fulfilled his every wish - which might explain why the artist produced this recording at his own expense. Surely Menuhin's intention was not only to document the happy years in Gstaad: he was aware that in 1976 he was at the height of his powers. The Saanen church proved the ideal setting, both optically and acoustically. Once again, Yehudi Menuhin comes across as a unique and charismatic violinist, producing a historical milestone in pictures and sound, and rendering any discussion of period performance practice superfluous. Not only do we experience the overwhelming architecture of Johann Sebastian Bach's creations, but also music characterised by passion and virtuosity, and inspired by Yehudi Menuhin's unique humanitarian message.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Tudor - TUDOR3339

(DVD Video)

Normally: $26.25

Special: $23.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Mariss Jansons conducts Dvorak & Mussorgsky

Mariss Jansons conducts Dvorak & Mussorgsky


Dvorak:

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'

Mussorgsky:

Pictures at an Exhibition


"What I compose is and always remains Czech music," asserted Antonín Dvorák, and we – the audiences who've been enraptured with the Ninth since its world premiere at New York's Carnegie Hall on 15 December 1893 – are all the richer for it. After a fleeting nod to Negro Spirituals and vaguely Native American rhythms, Dvorák dug into his seemingly bottomless reserve of catchy melodies, foot-tapping rhythms, burnished brass intonations, mellow woodwind lines and other Bohemian traits that would be unthinkable without the pillars of Austro-Germanic music.

"I simply wrote down themes of my own invention and gave them elements typical of the music of the Negroes and Indians. I then used these themes as subjects, developing them with all the resources of rhythm, harmony and counterpoint, and with all the colors of the modern orchestra," the composer once said. Interestingly, the galley proofs of the work were corrected by none other than Johannes Brahms.

Of course, the work would most probably never have been written if it hadn't been for a patron, or patroness, to be more precise, Jeanette Thurber, who founded the National Conservatory of Music of America and invited the composer to New York in the hope that he would give birth to a national American music; he had, after all, created a national Czech music.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

belvedere - BVD08015

(DVD Video)

$24.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Goya: Visions of Flesh and Blood

Goya: Visions of Flesh and Blood


Francisco Goya is considered to be the father of modern art. A brilliant observer of everyday life and Spain’s troubled past; a gifted portrait painter; and a social commentator par excellence, Goya took the genre of portraiture to new heights. Royals, aristocrats, politicians and friends were subjected to his highly modern approach capturing subtle expressions and gestures.

Goya’s vision and technical brilliance rank him among the greatest of painters. With stunning location footage; an exposition of Goya’s revealing letters and an exploration of his greatest work, this film builds a fascinating portrait of the painter and his colourful world.

Filmed and directed by David Bickerstaff

Duration: 90’

Format: Region All/ 0

Aspect ratio: 16.9 Widescreen

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Seventh Art Exhibition On Screen - SEV190

(DVD Video)

$20.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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