Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

May 2012

Editor's Choice

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Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Recorded live at La Teatro alla Scala, 20 March, 2011


Günther Groissböck (Sarastro), Saimir Pirgu (Tamino), Albina Shagimuratova (Queen of the Night), Genia Kühmeier (Pamina), Ailish Tynan (Papagena), Alex Esposito (Papageno) & Peter Bronder (Monostatos)

Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala & Choir of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Roland Böer (conductor) & William Kentridge (stage director)

From the Queen of the Night's vocal pyrotechnics to Papageno's chirpy birdsongs, The Magic Flute is one of Mozart's most charming and engaging operas. However, its fairytale surface conceals the mysteries of an initiation ritual and a multi-layered plot, packed with allegories to fire up the imagination.

This celebrated production by artist William Kentridge joyfully bursts onto the stage of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, featuring the dazzling Russian coloratura Albina Shagimuratova as the Queen of the Night, and Italian bass Alex Esposito as Papageno, one of the most sought after artists of his generation.

Extra features:

Overview of the Magic Flute

Cast gallery

Running time 150 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/IT

“This is a wonderful performance...I was more moved and enchanted by this than by any other Magic Flute I have seen on DVD...[Esposito's Papageno] sung with glorious abandon, while his acting strikes notes of pathos...Kuhmeier is as expressive as it's possible to be, without transgressing Mozart's idiom...The most sensational performance is by [Shagimuratova], the finest Queen of the Night I have ever heard...This is a noble, ennobling achievement.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012

“It is world-worthy; the conception, by South African artist William Kentridge, emphasizes the concepts of light and dark, exploration and love...It's endlessly good to look at...Musically, there is also much to admire...Esposito's Papageno is a well-sung charmer - more serious than many, deeply sincere...this is a fascinating take on the work that Flute aficionados will appreciate for plenty of reasons.” International Record Review, March 2012

“It is very much 'producer's opera' and it will annoy some people. I found it fascinating...Lively musical direction, incorporating Rene Jacobs's superfluous keyboard interjections. Don't miss this visually enchanting and thought-provoking treat.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Blu-ray of the Month - May 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD & Blu-ray Choice - April 2012

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte La Scala Collection - OABD7099D

(Blu-ray)

$35.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Shostakovich: Piano Concertos

Shostakovich: Piano Concertos


Shostakovich:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102

Violin Sonata, Op. 134

with Isabelle Faust (violin)

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor for piano, trumpet & strings, Op. 35

with Jeroen Berwaerts (trumpet)


Shostakovich’s music is often 'two-faced', sometimes sublimated in ecstasy and joie de vivre, sometimes plunged into emptiness and suffused with a death wish. Accompanied by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Teodor Currentzis, Alexander Melnikov captures this feeling admirably in the Concertos Opp.35 and 102, and perhaps still more poignantly – “with disarming sincerity and fearless directness”, to quote his booklet note – alongside Isabelle Faust in the Sonata Op.134.

“The coupling of the Second Piano Concerto and the Violin Sonata on this CD is by no means accidental. In terms of musical language the two pieces stand so far apart that it is difficult to comprehend how the same composer could have written them both. It is true that from its inception the sonata bore the stamp of ‘inaccessibility’, supposedly impossible for a listener to digest, and has never quite achieved the popularity of its counterparts for cello and viola. This music is as far from ‘easy listening’ as it gets. On the other hand the second movement of the Second Concerto is routinely included in ‘light classics’ compilations, broadcast by radio stations and played through headphones to airline passengers or CAT patients to ‘make them feel good’.” Alexander Melnikov

“He makes his case well. The First Concerto is all rampaging dissonances and erotic regret; the Second (1957) masks nerve-racking syncopations beneath its surface brilliance...[the sonata] a compelling performance in which logic and rhetoric combine with tremendous intensity.” The Guardian, 9th February 2012 *****

“Here, Shostakovich’s 12-note melodies take on a peculiar, tonal cast, and the work’s emotional trajectory is made utterly absorbing...Melnikov’s approach to the Concerto no 1 makes the work a breezier, more optimistic affair than usual. He’s right – despite the minor-key histrionics, this is a youthful, confident display piece, composed before the repression of the Stalin years.” The Arts Desk, 25th February 2012

“his lightning switches of tempo and mood in the fast movement outdo most competitors for bizarrerie...Melnikov includes a searing, thrilling account of Shostakovich's late Violin Sonata, Op. 134, in which he partners the very impressive Isabelle Faust...Unhesitatingly recommended as one of the best versions of all three works currently available.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 *****

“The hide-and-seek games between piano and orchestra in the first movement are delectable enough. But then the slow movement...to call this breathtaking would be an understatement. Starting at a whisper, Melnikov fines his sound down to the threshold of audibility and extends phrase-endings until the world seems to stand still...For me, this is Shostakovich-playing on a level of inspiration I have only heard in my dreams.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“I’ve never found Melnikov’s tone so pearly, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s strings have a discipline and suavity that are second to none. If you want Romanticism with a big R in the slow movements and plenty of fixed manic grins and wild funhouse careening elsewhere, this is as good as it gets.” Fanfare, 2nd September 2012

“Melnikov offers brilliant accounts of both Shostakovich's Piano Concertos here - the neoclassical First, enlivened by sparkling trumpet interjections from Jeroen Berwaerts, and the cheerfully lyrical Second. Isabelle Faust's performance of the Violin Sonata is the perfect complement to them, completing an award-winning disc.” David Smith, Presto Classical, May 2014

GGramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - April 2012

Harmonia Mundi - HMC902104

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Manuel de Falla: Works for Stage and Concert Hall

Manuel de Falla: Works for Stage and Concert Hall


Falla:

Noches en los jardines de Espana

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)

El sombrero de tres picos

Raquel Lojendio (soprano)

Homenajes (4)


The works for stage and concert hall by Manuel de Falla starts off our new Spanish series with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Juanjo Mena.

Nights in the Gardens of Spain is among Falla’s most impressionistic and poetic works, full of shimmering textures that recall Debussy, but with a hard-edged precision brought to the forefront by the piano. Each of the three movements is imbued with a strong sense of location. The first evokes the Generalife gardens of the Alhambra in Granada; the second, and most animated, displays a strong North African quality; and the third is inspired by the gardens of the Sierra de Córdoba. Here Falla’s lustrous and voluptuous writing is contrasted with a dramatic refrain full of energy, colour, and savagery, and the work offers one of the most sensuous endings in all music. It was performed by the BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena, as part of the conductor’s debut performance at the Proms in 2011. On this recording, they are joined by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, the exclusive Chandos artist and multi-award winning pianist.

Based on the novel by Alarcón, The Three-cornered Hat was commissioned in 1916 by the impresario Diaghilev for his Russian ballet company, the Ballets russes. Centred round sexual jealousy, possessiveness, mistaken identity, and deception, it tells the story of the failed attempts by an elderly local magistrate (whose three-cornered hat is a symbol of authority) to seduce the miller’s lovely wife. The music is exuberant, the principal characters wittily characterised, and the original production itself boasted an incredible wealth of talent: choreography by Léonide Massine, set and costume designs by Pablo Picasso, and the star ballerina Karsavina dancing the part of the miller’s wife. It was one of the company’s greatest successes, and put Falla on the international map as a composer.

Also on this disc is the Homenajes, in which Falla pays tribute to fellow musicians and composers. ‘Fanfare sobre el nombre de Arbós’ was written for the seventieth birthday celebrations of the conductor Enrique Fernández Arbós, while ‘Pedrelliana’ pays posthumous homage to Falla’s teacher Felipe Pedrell, who had informed so much of his musical thinking.

“The acoustics sound good and accommodating, with enough space to give the music air and a luminous glow, on which Mena capitalises in The Three-Cornered Hat, drawing a range of colour and atmosphere from the orchestra and getting its members to clap and shout “Oi!” with some gusto in the introduction. Light and shade are well delineated, as are the contrasts between sultriness and vitality.” The Telegraph, 27th January 2012 ****

“one of those experiences that change one's perception of a work forever...At the most basic level they take the trouble to get the balance right. ['Nights'] is no concerto, and the pianist has to be an observer of the music's events rather than needing to boss them around...the level of engagement with the music is exceptional. Often spacious and dark, the performance reaches past its starlit, balmy surfaces to find the ache and stoicism of Spanish history” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 *****

“[Bavouzet's] iron-hand-in-a-velvet-glove approach is perfectly judged for a work that is about much more than decorative flourishes, but there is still something that is far too safe and neutral about the orchestral playing.” The Guardian, 23rd February 2012 ***

“Mena’s hands the music dances the light-fantastic. The excellent Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is piano soloist in an atmospheric Nights in the Gardens of Spain, and Homenajes brings to light a little-known suite of elegiac beauty.” Financial Times, 24th February 2012 ****

“You trust that the choice of repertoire on this release was driven by Mena himself, and this disc has loads to commend it – playing of real verve, and the more-than-decent acoustic of the BBC’s much-maligned Media City in Salford...Mena’s gift is to bring out the rhythmic zest, the hints of violence underpinning what can too easily sound like a sequence of musical postcards. Soprano Raquel Lojendio is superb” The Arts Desk, 30th March 2012

“it is greatly to the credit of Juanjo Mena and his forces (with a truly authentic touch from soprano Raquel Lojendio) that such a potent atmosphere is achieved...[Bavouzet's] performance [of Nights in the Garden of Spain] is more subdued than from celebrated champions of this score...yet it casts its own spell, sultry and scintillating as required.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“Mena and the BBC Philharmonic bring a rich palette of orchestral colours...Bavouzet’s shaping of the idiomatic gypsy phrases is superb. His playing encompasses a range of tone and touch to underscore the brilliant nature of the piano writing. I am not sure if this recording displaces de Larrocha’s great recordings of the work but it is superlative playing nevertheless.” MusicWeb International, June 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - March 2012

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos La Musica de España - CHAN10694

(CD)

Normally: $15.00

Special: $12.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Medtner: Arabesques, Dithyrambs, Elegies

Medtner: Arabesques, Dithyrambs, Elegies

and other short piano works


Medtner:

Stimmungsbilder Op.1

Improvisations (3), Op. 2

Morceaux (4), Op. 4

3 Arabesques, Op. 7

Dithyramben (3), Op. 10

Three Novelles, Op.17

Four Lyric Fragments, Op. 23

Etude in C minor

Morceaux Op.31

Three Hymns in Praise of Toil, Op. 49

Theme and Variations, Op. 55

Two Elegies, Op. 59


Hamish Milne (piano)

‘Write one such piece and one can die.’ So pronounced Rachmaninov, no less, after hearing the second of Medtner’s Arabesques. This is just one of the delights in the enticing selection box offered by Hamish Milne, a long-standing and ardent champion of Medtner’s music. These two discs explore the many miniatures—in size though not in ambition—that he wrote throughout his life. The very opening of his Mood Pictures shows a remarkable sophistication for a man barely out of his teens, while the magnificent pair of Elegies forms a fitting conclusion to a set that reminds us that it is sometimes among the ‘miscellaneous’ works that the greatest gems are to be found.

“As Milne's forthright, utterly secure performances make clear, much of this is strongly characterised music...Milne is a wonderfully persuasive advocate for this distinctive and generally underrated music” The Guardian, 14th March 2012 ****

“Here is a declaration of musical faith if ever there was one. No pianist has done more for Medtner's reputation than Hamish Milne...[His] playing will surely make Russians, in particular, listen in awe to such magisterial command and poetic empathy...Milne writes his own superb notes, and this is surely in the running for instrumental issue of the year.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“The humorous Dithyramb No. 2 is surely a masterpiece, and Milne happily strides its Olympian terrain with unforced richness of tone. Medtner's expressive range grows on the second disc...The official set of Op. 55 is perhaps the most conventional work here, though Milne's articulates that as beautifully as the rest.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67851/2

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $29.50

Special: $23.30

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Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for solo violin Op. 27

Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for solo violin Op. 27


Tai Murray (violin)

Chicago-born violinist Tai Murray was named a BBC New Generation Artist in 2009. She makes her harmonia mundi début in this dazzling reading of the six solo Sonatas which Eugène Ysaÿe penned in 1924. Since their publication these sonatas have offered a benchmark to subsequent generations of violinists.

Acclaimed as “a fabulous player, statuesque and strong, with a flawless control of line” (The Daily Telegraph), violinist Tai Murray is a rising star of her generation and is increasingly in demand for both recitals and orchestral engagements. She has performed on the stages of many of the world’s great concert halls including New York’s Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with a wide range of conductors and instrumentalists, such as Marin Alsop, Alan Gilbert, Richard Goode, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Mitsuko Uchida. She recently made her recital début at London’s Wigmore Hall as well as appearing at the BBC Proms and with the BBC Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela amongst others. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004 and a former BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010), Ms. Murray is a native of Chicago. She performs on a Giovanni Tononi instrument, c. 1690. Upcoming chamber appearances include the West Cork Festival in Bantry, Ireland, and the Mozartiade in Augsburg, Germany.

“Murray's reading is vivid and imaginative: elegant in the baroque double-stopping of the first sonata, feverish in the second, sheer and smooth in the fourth, flirtatious in the sixth.” The Independent on Sunday, 25th March 2012 ****

“the yearning Murray creates by way of her seamless lines is heart-wrenching...the perfection of [her] intonation, especially in the many virtuoso passages of fast-moving, random intervals of no predicable pattern, has tipped so far over into another league of accuracy that it adds an extra dimension of enjoyment to an already superlative disc.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“Murray is the latest in a long line of soloists who have managed to conquer most of [the Sonatas'] technical difficulties and focus on the music. I say most: the opening of his First Sonata could be thrown off with greater abandon, and in general Murray could take more risks...Murray is more effective in the intimate moments.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

Harmonia Mundi - HMU907569

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Works for chorus and orchestra

Brahms: Works for chorus and orchestra


Brahms:

Schicksalslied, Op. 54

Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53

Ann Hallenberg (mezzo)

Warum ist das Licht gegeben? Op. 74 No. 1

Begräbnisgesang, Op. 13

Gesang der Parzen (Song of the Fates), Op. 89


For his third album on Phi, his new label published by the group Outhere, Philippe Herreweghe has brought together a splendid set of artists in the Lutoslawski hall in Warsaw. Ann Hallenberg, whose voice won over the public of some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, takes on the Rhapsody for contralto solo and men's chorus by Brahms while the rest of the programme leads the listener through his essential works for chorus and orchestra. Herreweghe’s long-time affinity with the composer of A German Requiem has enabled him to provide a coherent and personal vision of those musical pages in which Brahms gave free course to his most intimate thoughts.

Collegium Vocale Gent is joined in this endeavour by the members of the Accademia Chigiana of Sienna with whom it formed a European ensemble that was officially recognised as Cultural Ambassador of the European Union just a few months ago. Together with the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées and its authentic instrumentarium, this great choir interprets the Burial Song, the Song of Destiny, the Song of the Fates and the motet Warum ist das Licht gegeben. A great moment for all admirers of Brahms and fans of choral singing at its very best!

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Philippe Herreweghe's survey of Brahms' works for choir and orchestra is flooded with light...The silky portamenti of the strings is a testament to the refinement of the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées.” The Independent, 5th February 2012

“To hear this music performed with the cool precision and shining transparency of Philippe Herreweghe's forces sends shivers down the spine.” The Observer, 12th February 2012

“the Dutch conductor reveals that same understanding of, and interpretative sympathy for, Brahms’s music that he brought to his Harmonia Mundi recording of A German Requiem...Hallenberg brings a rapt, mellow, consolatory warmth to the Alto Rhapsody, and Herreweghe taps the Song of Destiny for its potent, spiritual essence.” The Telegraph, 24th February 2012 *****

“This is one of the most impressive collections of Brahms's shorter chorus-and-orchestra works that's come my way for some time. It's partly because of the particular combination of works...But it's also the luminous transparency of the performances themselves that's remarkable...All in all, on many levels, a deeply satisfying recording.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 *****

“serene, handsomely blended performances.” Financial Times, 31st March 2012 ***

“a superbly rich and eloquent example of Brahms's art at its most sublime...Herreweghe allows the music to evolve with a wonderful feeling of spaciousness in which Brahms's often intense musical textures are beautifully revealed...a performance which stands head and shoulders above much of the competition. It is very much the icing on a mouth-wateringly sumptuous cake of a disc.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“An extremely enjoyable and very useful anthology...[The Schicksalslied] is given a performance that is an ideal combination of drama and transparency; the orchestral epilogue that closes the work is really lovely. Herreweghe's orchestra is responsive to every detail of Brahms's markings...Hallenberg, with her rich tone and fine sense of line and phrasing, has a way of chaping the text that compels attention.” International Record Review, May 2012

“Hallenberg sings with a ravishingly beautiful tone throughout, and the support from the chorus and orchestra is most impressive...all in all, this is an extremely satisfying disc, and there is much to recommend.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 5th March 2012

Presto Disc of the Week

5th March 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - April 2012

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

Choral Finalist

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

PHI - LPH003

(CD)

Normally: $15.75

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Tune thy Musicke to Thy Hart

Tune thy Musicke to Thy Hart

Tudor & Jacobean music for private devotion


Amner:

O ye little flock

A stranger here

Browne, J:

Jesu, mercy, how may this be?

Byrd:

Why do I use my paper, inke and penne?

Campion:

Never weather-beaten sail

Croce, G:

From profound centre of my heart

Dowland:

I shame at mine unworthiness

Gibbons, O:

See, see, the Word is incarnate

Parsons, R:

In nomine a 4 No. 1

In nomine a 4 No. 2

Ramsey, R:

How are the mighty fallen

Tallis:

Purge me, O Lord

Taverner:

In nomine a 4

Tomkins:

O Praise the Lord, All Ye Heathen

When David Heard


Stile Antico (joined by Fretwork) explore long-neglected repertory: the wealth of Tudor and Jacobean sacred music written for domestic devotion, rather than for church worship. Culled from collections intended for use in private homes, these pieces by Tomkins, Campion, Byrd, Tallis, Dowland, Gibbons and others, offer a unique insight into the turbulent religious climate of the time and the thriving musical culture at its heart.

Stile Antico is now established as one of the most original and exciting voices in its field. Much in demand in concert, the group performs regularly throughout Europe and North America. Their recordings are the best-sellers on the harmonia mundi label, winning awards including the Diapason d’or de l’année and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and have twice attracted GRAMMY nominations. Their release Song of Songs won the 2009 Gramophone Award for Early Music and reached the top of the US Classical Chart.

Few ensembles can match the breadth of Fretwork’s repertoire, which ranges from the first printed collection published in 1501 in Venice to music commissioned by the group this year. In the 25 years since its debut, Fretwork’s pioneering work has taken its members all over the world. Their consistently high standards have brought music old and new to audiences hitherto unfamiliar with the inspiring sound-world of the viol.

Fretwork’s acclaimed recordings of the classic English viol repertory – Purcell, Gibbons, Lawes, Byrd – have become the benchmark by which other performances are measured. Its arrangements of the music of J. S. Bach have garnered particular praise. Released in 2009, the harmonia mundi recording of Purcell’s Complete Fantazias won the Gramophone Award for Baroque Chamber Music.

“We are, perhaps, in a wood-panelled Elizabethan hall, where in the early 17th century the family of a large house gather for their private prayer. Voices and viols mix in harmony, ranging from the familiar simplicity of Thomas Campion's "Never weather-beaten sail" to the elaborate verse anthem by Orlando Gibbons's "See, see the word is incarnate"...Another triumph” The Observer, 29th January 2012

“The beautifully blended voices of Stile Antico give this music with all the intensity that its emotional content merits. But then every work here fairly burns itself on the heart.” Sunday Times, 12th February 2012

“the performances are wonderfully fresh, revelling in the harmonic false relations and affectingly attentive to the import of the words.” The Telegraph, 18th February 2012 *****

“a varied treasure trove of seldom heard but extremely affecting music, nicely sung and spliced together with some darkly-glittering string In Nomines played by Fretwork...[They] easily persuade us that there is such a thing as beautiful simplicity.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 ****

“Stile Antico's sleek tuning and supple attention to words, and the studio recording, intimate but not claustrophobic, do bring a carefully plotted span (over 120 years) of sacred styles into our listening rooms with rare success.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“another winner from the 12-voice ensemble Stile Antico... The two pieces by Thomas Tomkins, O praise the Lord and When David heard, epitomise the expressive richness of the style. But the simplicity of Campion’s Never weather-beaten sail is also gorgeous, and there’s an unexpected rocking figure, John Browne’s much earlier Jesu, mercy, how may this be?, that becomes a real earworm. The contributions of the viol consort Fretwork are equally fine” Irish Times, 20th April 2012 *****

“The group's singing is, as ever, breathtakingly beautiful” Classical Music, 2nd June 2012 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Harmonia Mundi - HMU807554

(SACD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $11.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Recorded live at La Teatro alla Scala, 20 March, 2011


Günther Groissböck (Sarastro), Saimir Pirgu (Tamino), Albina Shagimuratova (Queen of the Night), Genia Kühmeier (Pamina), Ailish Tynan (Papagena), Alex Esposito (Papageno) & Peter Bronder (Monostatos)

Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala & Choir of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Roland Böer (conductor) & William Kentridge (stage director)

From the Queen of the Night's vocal pyrotechnics to Papageno's chirpy birdsongs, The Magic Flute is one of Mozart's most charming and engaging operas. However, its fairytale surface conceals the mysteries of an initiation ritual and a multi-layered plot, packed with allegories to fire up the imagination.

This celebrated production by artist William Kentridge joyfully bursts onto the stage of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, featuring the dazzling Russian coloratura Albina Shagimuratova as the Queen of the Night, and Italian bass Alex Esposito as Papageno, one of the most sought-after artists of his generation.

Extra features:

Overview of the Magic Flute

Running time 150 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/IT

“This is a wonderful performance...I was more moved and enchanted by this than by any other Magic Flute I have seen on DVD...[Esposito's Papageno] sung with glorious abandon, while his acting strikes notes of pathos...Kuhmeier is as expressive as it's possible to be, without transgressing Mozart's idiom...The most sensational performance is by [Shagimuratova], the finest Queen of the Night I have ever heard...This is a noble, ennobling achievement.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 *****

“It is world-worthy; the conception, by South African artist William Kentridge, emphasizes the concepts of light and dark, exploration and love...It's endlessly good to look at...Musically, there is also much to admire...Esposito's Papageno is a well-sung charmer - more serious than many, deeply sincere...this is a fascinating take on the work that Flute aficionados will appreciate for plenty of reasons.” International Record Review, March 2012

“It is very much 'producer's opera' and it will annoy some people. I found it fascinating...Lively musical direction, incorporating Rene Jacobs's superfluous keyboard interjections. Don't miss this visually enchanting and thought-provoking treat.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - April 2012

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte La Scala Collection - OA1066D

(DVD Video)

$29.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Dvorak: Cello Concerto

Dvorak: Cello Concerto


Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Zuill Bailey (cello)

The Water Goblin, Op. 107 (B195)

In Nature's Realm Overture, Op. 91


Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Jun Märkl

Zuill Bailey’s recording of J.S. Bach's Suites for Solo Cello (TEL3197802) was released in 2010 and went straight to the top of the “Billboard” classical chart.

Last year he brought out a critically acclaimed CD devoted to music for cello and piano by Brahms (TEL3266402). This, his latest release, features one of the most enduring works in the romantic repertoire, Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. The orchestra on the disc, which also includes two of the composer’s Symphonic Poems “The Water Goblin” and “In Nature’s Realm”, is the Indianapolis Symphony and the conductor is Jun Märkl.

Zuill Bailey made his Telarc debut early in early 2009 with a CD called “Russian Masterpieces for Cello”, a disc which featured music by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.

Towards the end of last year he joined forces with pianist Simone Dinnerstein in a critically acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s complete works for piano and cello. Since then his recording of J S Bach’s cello suites has been a massive success particularly in the USA where it spent four weeks in a row at No. 1 on the Billboard classical chart, and even made the top 30 in the New Artists chart.

Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191 was written in 1894–1895 for his friend, the cellist Hanuš Wihan. Dvořák wrote the concerto while in New York during his third term as the Director of the National Conservatory.

“this wonderfully spontaneous new version by Zuill Bailey and Jun Markl tends to sweep the board...As soon as Bailey beings the introduction the ear is aware that this is a live performance, for there is both electricity and warmth in the air...All in all this is an unforgettable performance” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“A great deal is individual, as well as collegiate, in this performance, the musicains serving the score with depth and perception and producing much that is captivating and stirring. It's an account that marks Bailey out as a striking cellist and musician...Markl and his musicians conjure a vernal and exuberant performance that leaves one in no doubt as to the music's quality.” International Record Review, June 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

Telarc - TEL3292702

(CD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $8.25)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

Recorded live at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 2008


Brahms:

Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45

Schütz:

Psalm 84: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, SWV 29

Selig sind die Toten, SWV391


SDG is happy to present last recording issued from the 2008 Brahms: Roots and Memories tour, in which John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles explored the music of Johannes Brahms.

Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem is presented along with pieces by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) which might have inspired its composition, giving the listener a new insight into the composer’s mind and music making.

Deeply moving, profound, and powerful, the Requiem is central to our understanding of Brahms’ compositional personality and inner spiritual life. Behind its dramatic gestures and 19th century grandeur, it reveals Brahms’ obsessions with folk-songs and the music of the past. The libretto, assembled by Brahms himself based on the Lutheran Bible, makes it a definitive personal statement of his position in matters of religion.

The booklet includes a note by composer Hugh Wood, explaining how the pieces relate to each other and giving a moving account of Brahms as a composer and as a man.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“The warmth and clarity of John Eliot Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir makes it a compelling exponent of the two Schütz works presented here...the Brahms begins beautifully with an even richer choral sound...[Denn alles Fleisch] can often get bogged down with overbearing morbidity. Not so here, thanks to Gardiner's agile, slow-waltz tempo and choral dexterity.” Graham Rogers, bbc.co.uk, 7th March 2012

“Schütz’s radiant Psalm 84, gloriously sung by the Monteverdi Choir, almost steals the show here...The big C major fugue [of the Requiem] is particularly rousing and the lovely Wie lieblich exquisite. Gardiner is right that Brahms demands flexibility of tempo, but overdoes it in the final number, missing the grand sweep of the opening melody with too fast a tempo.” Sunday Times, 26th February 2012

“The choral ensemble is superb; intonation perfect. Gardiner's instrumentalists' meticulous attention to authentic performance style adds a further dimension to a glorious reading of this beautiful piece. Highly recommended.” The Observer, 26th February 2012

“Gardiner's forces are marshalled with care, the Monteverdi Choir as uplifting as on his series of Bach Cantatas, while the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique lives up to its name in its emotional subtlety.” The Independent, 2nd March 2012 ****

“The recorded sound has great immediacy, and the chorus produces a beautifully sustained and richly coloured vocal tone. Gardiner's flexibility in tempo, phrasing and dynamics (which Brahms favoured) pays dividends...Matthew Brook's dark-hued baritone is excellent for the role...Katharine Fuge's fresh, youthful voice adds a piercing pathos to 'Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit'” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ****

“Brook might not be the high-cholesterol baritone often favoured in classic recordings...but a hint of reediness in his tone seems appropriate for one yearning to know the measure of his days...The star of the German Requiem, though, it always the choir. You know you're in safe hands with the Monteverdis and the pitch-perfect top A at 2'04''...absolutely confirms it...a minutely considered, dramatic and, in places, aptly disturbing performance.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“This is a very impressive new recording....Gardiner conducts with warmth and the textures of the work...have a vibrancy and immediacy that is wholly to its advantage...he makes a compelling case for his tempo choices...this new version is uncommonly good, and will surely delight anyone wanting to hear the German Requiem on period instruments.” International Record Review, May 2012

“Gardiner's smooth, lean approach works well in a vividly alive performance” Classical Music, 7th April 2012 ***

“The choral sound is rich and full, and I liked the precision brought to the music by this relatively small-scale choir...Gardiner doesn’t ignore the orchestra, though; while his period performance sensibilities may not quite be to everyone’s taste (especially if you’re used to a fuller, more Romantic sound), I appreciated the textual clarity he achieves.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 5th March 2012

Presto Disc of the Week

5th March 2012

GGramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2012

SDG - SDG706

(CD)

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