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Stephen Milling

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Nielsen: Maskarade

Nielsen: Maskarade


Johan Reuter, Stephen Milling, Niels-Jørgen Riis, Dénise Beck, Anne Margrethe Dahl, Ditte Højgaard Andersen, Guido Paevatalu

Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Michael Schønwandt

Carl Nielsen's vivid comedy opera Maskarade has enjoyed a natural status as Denmark's national opera ever since its first performance at the Royal Danish Opera in 1906.

On this recording, Nielsen expert Michael Schønwandt leads a sparkling cast of today’s finest Nielsen singers and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra through the delightful yet stirring comedy plot.

Recorded in the ideal acoustic of DR Koncerthuset, this is the 21st century’s first studio recording of Nielsen’s much-loved opera, appropriately released to celebrate the Danish composer’s 150th anniversary.

“here’s a cast (led by Johan Reuter and Niels Jorgen Riis) whose singing brings the comedy to life under the expert baton of Michael Schonwandt. Enjoy two hours of top-notch light music and brush up your Danish in the process.” The Times, 17th July 2015 ****

“Nielsen’s anniversary invites us to reassess the composer with new recordings, in this case a fourth – and successful – outing on disc for Maskarade...The new performance, like all previous rivals, builds on the strength of home casting at the work's alma mater, the Royal Danish Opera...there's a suitably towering comic monster performance from Stephen Milling.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

“The mighty bass Stephen Milling catches the ageing paterfamilias Jeronimus's comically fallible humanity likeable…Denise Beck and Ditte Højgaard Andersen as love interests Leonora and her maid Pernille are excellent, as are the many character roles. Michael Schønwandt conducts with great detail and sweep.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

“When played and sung like this, by a cast, conductor and orchestra who clearly relish every bar, it is hard not to be swept along by the warmth and generosity of spirit of the music...All squeeze the maximum dramatic juice out of what the score gives them; they may be stock comic characters, but the feelings with which Nielsen invests them are real enough.” The Guardian, 16th September 2015 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2015

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Dacapo - 6220641-42

(SACD - 2 discs)

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Mozart: Idomeneo, K366

Mozart: Idomeneo, K366


Christian Elsner (Idomeneo), Kristina Hammarström (Idamante), Henriette Bonde-Hansen (Ilia), Raffaella Milanesi (Elettra), Christoph Strehl (Arbace), Göran Eliasson (Nettuno) & Stephen Milling (La Voce)

Danish National Choir & The Danish Radio Sinfonietta, Adam Fischer

Following the success of the now acclaimed “Mitridate” (6220580-82) and “Lucio Silla” (8226069-71), DRS (Danish Radio Sinfonietta’s own label) now release their third Mozart opera; Idomeneo.

Written when the composer was 24, Idomeneo was Mozart’s first mature opera seria. The libretto was adapted by Giambattista Varesco from a French text by Antoine Danchet.

“Fischer's vision of the opera is lean and muscular, with fleet-footed orchestral playing and strong, characterful soloists...Elsner captures the conflict raging within the Lear-like Idomeneo and demonstrates some fiendish coloratura...Fischer understands this opera deeply and presents it as a convincing drama” Classic FM Magazine, December 2010 *****

“the Danish Radio Sinfonietta's modern instruments play with impeccable sense and style, and Fischer quietly gets on with delivering outstanding results that bespeak natural judgement of Mozartian music drama: his pacing, shaping of phrases and balancing of strings with woodwind textures are magnificent, and the theatrical effects in the orchestration emerge lucidly.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

“Each of [Bonde-Hansen's] three arias is sculpted with immaculate taste and style...[Milanesi's] Elettra is delivered with native textual vitality and verve...However, it is Fischer's evident enthusiasm and the thrilling response he gets from chorus and orchestra...that makes this set so enjoyable.” International Record Review, December 2010

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Dacapo - 6220586-89

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Nielsen: Maskarade

Nielsen: Maskarade


 

Bonus material: Introductions to Maskarade, Making of Maskarade

Nielsen:

Maskarade

Sung in Danish


Stephen Milling (Jeronimus), Susanne Resmark (Magdelone), Niels Jørgen Riis (Leander), Johan Reuter (Henrik), Ole Hedegaard (Arv), Poul Elming (Leonard), Gisella Stille (Leonora), Hanne Fischer (Pernille), Sten Byriel (En vægter), Anders Jakobsson (Maskarademester), Jakob Bloch Jespersen (En magister)

The Royal Danish Opera Choir, The Royal Danish Orchestra, Michael Schønwandt

The premiere production was a decided audience success and a more or less unanimous press acknowledged the music as original. “The first act works excellently. After this one would swear that Carl Nielsen was born to write opéra comique. So smooth, so dexterous, such a quick turn of phrase, such aptness in the dialogue, with fine phrases and droll ideas; equally felicitous in the treatment of the text, the singing roles, the instruments of the orchestra. In the craft of music, it is a fully-fledged master who holds the pen; one’s thoughts can only resort to Verdi in ‘Falstaff’ to find a parallel.” Nationaltidende (1906)

Stage directors: Kasper Bech Holten, Morgan Alling & DVD producers: Thorleif Hoppe, Niels Severin

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

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Dacapo - 2110407

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Peter A Heise: Tornerose & Bergliot

Peter A Heise: Tornerose & Bergliot


Heise:

Tornerose (The Sleeping Beauty)

Dramatic poem by Christian Richardt for solo voices and orchestra

Michael Kristensen (tenor), Stephen Milling (bass), Helle Charlotte Pedersen (soprano)

Canzone Choir

Bergliot

Poem by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson for mezzo-soprano and orchestra

Marianne Rørholm (mezzo-soprano)


Heise holds a place of honour in the pantheon of Danish music for his "romances" and for the national opera Drot og Marsk (King and Marshal). It is often overlooked that Heise was an internationally oriented composer, and that he also composed a symphony and a score of outstanding chamber works and concert pieces as Bergliot and Tornerose. In Heise's several hundred romances melody, harmony, accompaniment and the choice of texts together reach the zenith of this genre in Denmark. He died far too early at the age of 49. If Heise's romances had been written to German texts, he would have been sure of international fame.

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Dacapo - 8224132

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Weyse: Christmas and Easter Cantatas

Weyse: Christmas and Easter Cantatas


Bodil Arnesen (soprano), Dorthe Elsebet Larsen (soprano), Kirsten Dolberg (contralto), Peter Gronlund (tenor), Stephen Milling (bass)

Tivoli Concert Choir, Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, Michael Schonwandt

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Dacapo - 8224049

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