DVD Videos

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

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Paul Taylor Ballet Company in Paris

Paul Taylor Ballet Company in Paris


BACH: Brandenburgs - opus 88 (1988)

with Michael Trusnovec, Amy Young, Parisa Khobdeh, Eran Bugge, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson, Sean Mahoney, Michael Apuzzo, Michael Novak

POULENC: Beloved Renegade - opus 129 (2008)

with Michael Trusnovec, Amy Young, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson, Laura Halzack, Michelle Fleet, Parisa Khobdeh, Sean Mahoney, Jeffrey Smith, Eran Bugge, Francisco Graciano, Jamie Rae Walker, Michael Apuzzo, Aileen Roehl, Heather Mcginley


Paul Taylor Ballet Company

Paul Taylor is widely considered to be one of the foremost American choreographers of the 20th century. Paul Taylor is among the last living members of the second generation of America’s modern dance artists. He has continued to win acclaim for his recent creations as well as stagings of his earlier works. As prolific as ever, he may propel his dancers through space for the sheer beauty of it, or use them to wordlessly illuminate war, spirituality, sexuality, morality and mortality. This programme was recorded in 2012 at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris and is composed of two ballets.

First performed in 1988 to music from Bach’s Brandenburg concertos 3 and 6. 'Brandenburgs' is cast for a man and three women, plus an ensemble of five men. In an unusual stroke for Taylor, he uses the male quintet as a proper corps de ballet - that is, they frame the action and move only as a group, anonymously. The sharp hierarchical distinction between soloists and ensemble accounts for one aspect of the dance’s classical feel. More important, though, is the ensemble’s attitude toward the soloists.

Set to Francis Poulenc’s 'Gloria', the dance was inspired by the life and work of 19th-century American writer Walt Whitman, who revered body and soul as one and who famously loved all with equal ardour. It depicts the experiences of an artist described in a line from Whitman’s 'Leaves of Grass': “I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the soul.”

Choreography PAUL TAYLOR

Costumes: SANTO LOQUASTO

Lighting: JENNIFER TIPTON

HD recording Théâtre National de Chaillot, Festival Les Étés de la Danse 2012

“The performance given by his company boasts a display of energy that appears boundless, yet it is so carefully drawn to its exact architectural dimensions. It achieves a fluid freedom of expression in its erudition, yet its reading is never amorphous, but exact in pattern and shape … it is as if the mortal were expressing the immortal” international Dance Review, 5th June 2013

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live Recording from Teatro Degli Arcimboldi, Milan, 2004


Dagmar Schellenberger (Blanche), Anja Silja (Madame de Croissy), Barbara Dever (Mère Marie de l‘Incarnation), Laura Aikin (Soeur Constance de Saint-Denis) & Christopher Robertson (Le Marquis de la Force)

Teatro Alla Scala, Riccardo Muti (conductor) & Robert Carsen (director)

Stage Design by MICHAEL LEVINE

When Canadian opera director Robert Carsen produced his intense and cogent staging of Francis Poulenc’s compelling opera Les Dialogues des Carmélites at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam in 2001, it impressed audiences and critics alike, and also gained the interest of Riccardo Muti, then musical director of La Scala in Milan. He arranged for the production to be staged by the famous Milanese opera company. Muti himself conducted Orchestra and Chorus of the Scala and a superb, handpicked cast of singers.

German soprano Dagmar Schellenberger, who received much critical acclaim for this, her debut at La Scala, takes the role of the young aristocrat Blanche who, during the French Revolution, seeks salvation from her terror in a convent. The action takes place in Paris and Compiègne between 1789 and 1794 and highlights the impacts of the Revolution and later Robespierre’s Reign of Terror on religious institutions. Following a decree dissolving all the country’s religious houses, the Carmelite nuns take a vow of martyrdom and sing their way to the scaffold. The last to die is Blanche, together with Soeur Constance, her close friend in the convent, sung by the American soprano Laura Aikin.

American mezzo Barbara Dever gave her debut at La Scala in this production in the role of the assistant prioress Mother Marie. The production was particularly notable for the participation of Anja Silja as Madame de Croissy, and this recording allows us to experience one of the greatest singing actresses of our times.

Sound Format: LPCM Stereo, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitles: GB, DE, FR, ES, IT

Running Time: 149 mins

FSK: 6

“Scene changes and atmosphere are created wholly through Jean Kalman's state-of-the-art lighting...and by Carsen's detailed, realistic direction of the singing actors. If anything, Muti's contribution is the more radical...he sometimes pushes Poulenc's deliberately simple (but never simplistic) writing to points of hysteria that more suggest Stravinsky or Bartok. It's a view, and mostly it works...The cast are superb.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - November 2011

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Filmed in HD at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), 03/2010


Alain Vernhes (Marquis de la Force), Susan Gritton (Blanche de la Force), Bernard Richter (Chevalier de la Force), Sylvie Brunet (Madame de Croissy), Soile Isokoski (Madame Lidoine), Susanne Resmark (Mère Marie), Hélène Guilmette (Soeur Constance), Heike Grötzinger (Mère Jeanne) & Anaïk Morel (Soeur Mathilde)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester & Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Kent Nagano

Stage direction and set design: Dmitri Tcherniakov

Costumes Elena Zaytseva, Lighting Gleb Filshtinsky

A passionate lover of the human voice, Francis Poulenc composed the Dialogues des Carmélites in 1953, using a libretto he himself had written from a screenplay by Georges Bernanos. The first ever performances in Munich, this production was entrusted to Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose worldwide reputation is underpinned by productions like Eugene Onegin and Macbeth at the Paris Opera and Don Giovanni at Aixen-Provence.

The superb international cast includes a fine Blanche de la Force in Susan Gritton and an excellent Madame de Croissy by Sylvie Brunet, who was favourably compared to Rita Gorr in the press. They are superbly backed up by Soile Isokoski, Susanne Resmark, Hélène Guilmette, Alain Vernhes and the fabulous Bernard Richter.

Kent Nagano with the Dialogues literally at his fingertips – he recorded a landmark version some years ago – is at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Duration : 146 minutes

Subtitles : Fr, Eng, Ger, Spa

Colour 16/9, NTSC

PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

“[the production is] set in a soulless authoritarian state but filmed in a way that underlines individual dilemmas and common humanity. It is worth watching for Sylvie Brunet’s doughty Madame de Croissy, Soile Isokoski’s gracious Madame Lidoine and Susan Gritton’s winning Blanche.” Financial Times, 4th June 2011 ***

“Tcherniakov's production is probably the most physically active Dialogues ever staged. Everyone is seemingly in constant motion...Sylvie Brunet is a memorably formidable and pitiable Croissy...Helen Guilmette's Constance, lively but never cloying or cute, is immeasurably enhanced by heavenly floated pianissimi...Isokoski, suitably dignified in her role, is in ravishing voice.” International Record Review, July/August 2011

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La Voix Humaine & Une Education Manquee

La Voix Humaine & Une Education Manquee


Chabrier:

Une Education Manquee

Franck Cassard, Mary Saint Palais & Philippe Fourcade

Sinfonietta de Picardie, Michel Swierczewski

Poulenc:

La Voix Humaine

Anne-Sophie Schmidt

Orchestre Ostinato, Jean-Luc Tingaud


The third release in ‘L’Opéra Français Collection’ series of DVDs, covering the diverse repertoire of French Opera. This DVD, with a duration of 112 mins plus a bonus DVD exploring the Theatre Imperial, duration 187 mins, comes in glowing 5.1 surround sound for the main DVD plus English subtitles.

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Cascavelle L’Opéra Français - DVDVELD7001

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Susan Graham - French Songs

Susan Graham - French Songs

Recorded at Verbier Festival, July 2009


Bachelet:

Chère nuit

Bizet:

Chanson d'Avril

Caplet:

Le corbeau et le renard

Chabrier:

Les Cigales

Debussy:

Colloque sentimental

Duparc:

Au pays ou se fait la guerre

Fauré:

Vocalise-étude

Franck, C:

Nocturne

Hahn, R:

A Chloris

Honegger:

Trois Chansons de la Petite Sirène H 63

Poulenc:

La Dame de Monte Carlo

Ravel:

Le paon

Rosenthal, Manuel:

La souris d'Angleterre

Roussel:

Réponse d'une épouse sage, Op. 35 No. 2

Saint-Saëns:

Danse macabre, Op. 40


Susan Graham (mezzo-soprano) & Malcolm Martineau (piano)

This series of TV programmes presents the very best of the 16th Verbier Festival with worldwide renowned artists such as Susan Graham, Martha Argerich, Yuri Temirkanov, Stephen Kovacevich, and Philippe Jaroussky.

Together with Malcolm Martineau on the piano, the Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham features a fascinating compilation of well-known French composers.

Both have also toured with the program - comprising nearly two dozen songs by as many composers - to great acclaim. The recital Graham and Martineau gave this past summer at the Verbier Festival in French-speaking Switzerland brought down the house.

Being Musical America’s 2004 Vocalist of the year, Graham is well-known as an expert in French melodies. The genre is known as a very tricky one, but she presents the songs with a fascinating jewel-like clarity and gleaming tone. Martineau is the perfect counter-part who adds some finely judged French seasoning.

Picture format DVD: NTSC 16:9

Sounds formats DVD: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Region code: 0

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 60 min

FSK: 0

“An hour of pure delight...Graham is utterly at home in this repertoire an performs it with élan...Martineau is the perfect partner throughout, perfectly jusging depth of tone, moving as one with Graham and displaying the same level of control...with a gentle smile, Hahn's sublime 'À Chloris' surpasses all that has come before.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2010 *****

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - December 2010

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Ideale Audience International Live at Verbier Festival - 3079128

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live Recording from The Staatsoper Hamburg, 2008


Alexia Voulgaridou (Blanche de la Force), Wolfgang Schöne (Marquis de la Force), Nikolai Schukoff (Le chevalier de la Force), Kathryn Harries (Madame de Croissy), Anne Schwanewilms (Madame Lidoine), Gabriele Schnaut (Mère Marie de l‘Incarnation)

Staatsoper Hamburg, Simone Young (conductor) & Nikolaus Lehnhoff (director)

Set Design by Raimund Bauer.

The opera Dialogues of the Carmelites is the only opera the French composer Francis Poulenc has ever written. It is based on the screenplay Die begnadigte Angst by Georges Bernanos. The material for the opera is based on actual historic events. Poulenc converges religion and revolution: The young Blanche de la Force who suffers from existential fear all life long, escapes into a convent hoping to conquer her paralysing fear of life and death. Even the walls of the convent cannot stop the French Revolution. The nuns of the Carmelite Order fail to resist it and accept to die in martyrdom. Fascinated by their constancy finally Blanche overcomes her angst and follows her sisters to the scaffold. This dramatic opera in three acts had its debut performance at La Scala in Milan in 1957. With its religious theme this opera takes a special position in the theatre of music in the 20th century. Poulencs clear and insistent musical language is perfectly interpreted by conductor Simone Young and the Philharmoniker Hamburg. This production showcases big, vibrant voices from all age categories who are not only brilliant in singing but also in acting. Besides the great musical performance, the main reason for the huge success of the opera is stage director Nikolaus Lehnhoff. His simplistic stage design together with the mystic light installation this opera guarantees great listening and also an amazing viewing pleasure.

“…the sheer power of Lehnhoff’s final scene simply takes your breath away.” Hamburger Abendblatt

“It is remarkable how Lehnhoff succeeds in narrating the events of a two-and-a-half hour drama that is low on action without losing power or intensity.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Sound Format: PCM STEREO, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

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

Running Time: 166 mins

FSK: 0

“Lehnhoff takes a relatively minimalist approach...The principals are generally strong. Kathryn Harries is moving as the dying Madame de Croissy...Laura Aikin is effective as the gregarious Sister Constance and Gabriele Schnaut captures the frustrations of Mere Marie...Simone Young draws some marvellous textures from the orchestra” BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 ***

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The King's Singers - Live at The BBC Proms

The King's Singers - Live at The BBC Proms

Recorded Royal Albert Hall, London 5th August 2008


Bridge, Frederick:

The Goslings

Hobbs:

Phillis is my only joy

Janequin:

La guerre

Lasso:

Dessus le Marche d'Arras

Toutes les Nuitz

McCabe:

Scenes in America Deserta

Passereau:

Il est bel et bon

Poulenc:

Chansons françaises

Rogers, J:

Hears not my Phyllis

Sullivan, A:

The long day closes

trad.:

The Little Green Lane

arr. S. E. Lovatt

Greensleeves

arr. Bob Chilcott

Blow Away the Morning Dew

arr. Gordon Langford

The Turtle Dove

arr. Philip Lawson

Widdicombe Fair

arr. Gordon Langford


A live and televised recording from this year's BBC Proms performance on 5th August by the most famous a cappella group ever: the King's Singers. Regularly performing in excess of 100 concerts every season complemented by recording and teaching, The King's Singers delight audiences around the world with their incomparable musicianship, charm and wit.With the recent album release Landscape and Time having been described as possessing "singing of rare distinction", and "stunningly high musical standards", they have maintained their place at the apex of a cappella singing, and are counted amongst the world's elite classical performers. Continuing Signum's release series in celebration of the group's 40th Anniversary year, Simple Gifts (SIGCD121) and a 5-CD ‘best of’ (SIGCD120), this performance was in many ways a retrospective of the groups musical history, encompassing some of the earliest arrangements that the original line-up performed right up to contemporary works that they recently commissioned. Available on CD and DVD, the DVD includes extra interviews with the group from Suzy Klein and Gareth Malone, star of BBC series The Choir, and can also be enjoyed in 5.1 surround sound.

CONCERT REVIEW:

"In an exquisitely programmed concert, there was music ranging from the Renaissance to the present, including the opening selection of Poulenc's witty “Chansons françaises" and various Victorian parlour songs "in the biggest Victorian parlour ever built." …the pure quality of the vocal balance is quite extraordinary. The King's Singers had travelled back in time some 400 years (who needs Dr Who at the Proms?). Then followed an example of the many works the group has commissioned, John McCabe's haunting evocation of American wastelands, "Scenes in America deserta", based on the writings of architectural historian Reyner Banham. McCabe took his bow. The evening ended with folksongs arranged by Gordon Langford and members of the group, Bob Chilcott (who left in 1997) and current baritone Philip Lawson. Langford's "Widdicombe" Fair played to the group's effortless resource of funny voices and genial comedy. The encore was Arthur Sullivan's arrangement of "The Long Day Closes", apposite for a concert finishing at fifteen minutes short of midnight and perfectly judged in this performance." Classical Source

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The Best of Joan Sutherland

The Best of Joan Sutherland

Featuring works by Donizetti, Cilea, Poulenc, Delibes & Lehár


Joan Sutherland

Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra & Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Bonynge

Dame Joan Sutherland, Australian Icon and declared National Treasure, has been described as the foremost soprano of our age and one of the greatest operatic artists of all time. This DVD contains highlights of her stage performances with Opera Australia, including many of her most internationally famous and highly acclaimed roles.

PICTURE FORMAT: 4:3
LENGTH: 83 Mins
SOUND: STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN

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Poulenc: Stabat Mater

Poulenc: Stabat Mater


Poulenc:

Stabat Mater

Litanies à la Vierge noire

Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence


Judith Howarth (soprano)

St. John’s, Clare and Gonville & Caius Choirs, BBC Philharmonic, Christopher Robinson

Specials:

•'Virtual Visit’ to the shrine of the Black Madonna of Rocamadour.

•Documentary on Black Madonnas

•32 page illustrated booklet in English, French and German with an in-depth article on Poulenc, Rocamadour and Black Madonnas.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9

LENGTH: 78 MINS

SOUND: DOLBY SURROUND / LPCM STEREO

SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES

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Carole Farley in…

Carole Farley in…


Menotti:

The Telephone

Poulenc:

La Voix Humaine


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VAI - DVDVAI4374

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