Albums

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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 15 maart 2019 | CPO

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
As a casual victim of circumstances – jealousy, denigration and low blows − Johann David Heinichen’s opera Flavio Crispo was never performed during its composer’s life; during repetitions in Dresden, insults flew back and forth between him and some Italian singers, which led the piece to be removed from the programme and never completed. Although in reality, only a few pages of music are missing from the integral score... Consequently, this is the first discographic publication of the opera, with the complete music composed in 1720. It reveals a composer at ease in both the sharp and complex language of Germanic tradition, and the formal and vocal freedom of Italian opera – which Heinichen had studied closely during a long stay in Venice. There, he met the Elector of Saxony (Frederick Augustus II of Saxony) and future King of Poland (Augustus III of Poland), who hired him to his court in Dresden, at the time one of the largest hubs in European culture. Heinichen soon took up the torch from Antonio Lotti who had composed Italian operas for the court of Dresden for a few years, and his Flavio Crispo was meant to be his contribution to the genre. But unlike Lotti, Heinichen called upon a highly-flavoured orchestra: horns, oboes, flutes, in addition to strings and continuo, and winds to which he gives a fair amount of highly-virtuosic movements. Unfortunately for the composer, he was never able to hear his masterpiece, as the King of Poland dismissed the few Italian singers who had risen up against the partition under a futile pretence; no one else was able to sing these roles, and the score fell into obscurity. This was until it was rediscovered and showcased by the ensemble Il Gusto Barocco and its music director Jörg Halubek, in a 2015 live recording. At long last, Herr Heinichen! © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 23 november 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
This new Vivaldi album marks a double anniversary, the thirty-year anniversary of the close collaboration between Cecilia Bartoli and the famous English label Decca, and the twenty-year anniversary of the very successful first Vivaldian opus. This time leaving behind Giovanni Antonini and his Il Giardino Armonico ensemble, Cecilia Bartoli has selected French musicians well versed in Vivaldi’s music, as if to demonstrate the universal nature of the Red Priest’s compositions. In fact, Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his Ensemble Matheus have distinguished themselves with Vivaldi’s instrumental music since their early days. They started off their collaboration with five concerts, dedicated of course to the Venetian composer, in Munich, Prague, Baden-Baden and Versailles. For their first recording together they selected ten opera titles, nine of which weren’t featured on the 1999 album. The plethora of Vivaldi operas provides an endless supply to recitalists who can easily put together, as is the case here, an extremely lively programme featuring the most beautiful gems of an extraordinarily expansive composer whose melodic liveliness has been a constantly fascinating topic. This release is also beautiful in itslef (accessible on your Qobuz account), as it features a photo book containing beautiful portraits of Cecila Bartoli taken by Roman photographer Viviane Purdom, who has devoted her life to masterfully shooting great classical musicians. Happy anniversary indeed! © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 31 augustus 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
€ 39,99
€ 33,99

Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 29 juni 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
€ 38,99
€ 27,99

Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 22 juni 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Qobuzism - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Why yes, it is still possible to discover Bernstein scores, or in this case the chamber version of A Quiet Place, adapted by Garth Edwin Sunderland, conducted and recorded for the first time by Kent Nagano, at the Montreal Symphony House. The final stage score by the American composer, first performed at the Houston Grand Opera in 1983, it was revisited by the librettist Stephen Wadsworth, and the composer who added several fragments from the one-act piece Trouble in Tahiti, from 1951; this addition would see two new performances (the Scala in Milan, and Washington). Another draft – this one definitive – was performed at the Vienna Opera House, conducted by the composer, in 1986. Fascinating in more ways than one, rather like a modern-day Intermezzo by Strauss, the work depicts American society by way of an existential crisis faced, first by one couple, (Trouble in Tahiti) and then by one family. Bernstein borrowed from Mahler for the structure, with a final movement whose "grave nobility" recalled the final movements of the Third and NinthSymphonies by his much-admired forebear. As is often the case with this composer, Bernstein's mix of styles (jazz, chorale, Broadway, Mahler, Berg, Britten, Copland…) provides an explosive cocktail, which has about it more of a musical conversation than grand opera – and, paradoxically, that's what makes this work so unique... And so charming. This is well worth a re-discovery, this time under the baton of Bernstein's faithful former pupil, Kent Nagano, at the head of top-flight solo singers, who point the way to that "quiet place", where "love will teach us harmony and grace". © Franck Mallet/Qobuz
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Opera - Verschenen op 15 juni 2018 | Oehms Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
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€ 9,99

Opera - Verschenen op 18 mei 2018 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
€ 17,99
€ 11,99

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 4 mei 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
A record made up entirely of prologues from operas and baroque oratorios: this album isn't short on spice. Prologues are completely different from the – purely orchestral – overtures of later operas, as in the baroque era, after a short instrumental introduction, we'd get right into the action, often with a sung allegorical exposition of the setting and the story. Soprano Francesca Aspromonte and Enrico Onofri have collected these allegories with il pomo d’oro (the ensemble has decided that its name will be all lowercase), taken from the late 16th century with Monteverdi and Caccini up to the first quarter of the 18th century with Alessandro Scarlatti, via the rich beauty of the middle 17th century of Cavalli, Rossi, Stradella and Cesti. The listener will have to come to terms with the fact that the opera will never really start, that these are only the premises, the first tremblings, tantalising tasters, aimed at captivating the audience. Don't forget that in those days, it wasn't the custom to remain silent before the start of a show, and it took all the talents of the allegorist to finally get the fans' full attention. We reckon that Francesca Aspromonte will have no trouble captivating her audience. © SM/Qobuz
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€ 19,99

Opera - Verschenen op 6 april 2018 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Created in 1749 to commemorate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle signed between George II and Louis XV of France to end the War of the Austrian Succession, Rameau’s pastorale héroïque Naïs consecrates the triumph of virtuosity on the stage of the Académie Royale de Musique, while in England, Handel wrote his famous Music for the Royal Fireworks for the same occasion. Weary of sombre tragedies and their dark and oppressive passions, audiences received lighter works more enthusiastically – ballets and pastorales – for which soprano Marie Fel and tenor Pierre Jélyotte were applauded for their prodigious vocal performances. With Naïs, Rameau produces some of his most impressive pages, among which the overture and descriptive prologue, tracing the epic fight between the Titans and the heavenly court for the rule of Olympus. Chivalrous exchanges, athlete evolutions, prophecies, pastoral celebrations, naval battles and underwater nuptials punctuate the work and support the blooming of tender feelings that unite Naïs and Neptune. This co-production between the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles (CMBV − Centre of Baroque Music Versailles) and the Müpa Budapest Early Music Festival confirms the position of György Vashegyi in the field of baroque music, and French music in particular. Following the success of Rameau’s Les Fêtes de Polymnie (The Festivals of Polyhymnia) in 2015, and the revelation that was Mondonville’s Isbé, the Hungarian conductor is at it again with excellent singers and his two ensembles, the Budapest Orfeo Orchestra and the Purcell Chorus, which he founded in Budapest at the end of his studies at The Franz Liszt Academy of Music, completed by master classes from the likes of Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Helmut Rilling. This French-Hungarian production focusing on Rameau will be extended with the upcoming release of Les Indes Galantes (The Amorous Indies). © François Hudry/Qobuz
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€ 14,99

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 2 maart 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Diapason d'or / Arte - Qobuzism - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Nowadays it might seem rather strange to describe a composer as a “singing master”, but, during the eighteenth century, this was not the case at all. In Italy, almost every composer worthy of the name wrote opere serie (Porpora wrote at least forty- ve): serious opera was the dominant musical genre, glorifying the human voice above everything else. It was the maker or breaker of musical reputations, with its nest singers the rst superstars of music. Therefore composers, though generally eclipsed by the fame of their leading men and women, needed to understand the human voice and all its remarkable capabilities, both technical and histrionic, in order to be able to exploit the possibilities of the operatic form at a time when those “machines made for singing”, the castrati, had brought the vocal art to a pitch of perfection never known before, nor equalled since. Though this recording is bringing Porpora’s name to public attention again on the 250th anniversary of his death, his fame as a singing teacher has probably obscured, until recently, his remarkable qualities as a composer, quite simply because two of the most famous castrati were among his many pupils, namely Gaetano Majorano, known as Caffarelli, whom Porpora once called “the nest singer in Europe”, also famed for his amorous antics and arrogance on- and off-stage, and the even more celebrated Carlo Broschi, who, under his stage name of Farinelli, amazed audiences and set hearts a- utter for fteen years throughout Europe, before being called to Spain to heal a crazed King by the power of his voice. Max Cencic remarks: “Porpora was a severe teacher, I think, maybe almost sadistic in his demands — you need 120% control of breath, brain and voice”. Legend indeed has it that he taught Caffarelli one page of exercises, and those alone, for six years. The formal alternation of aria and recitative in opera seria conceals a great range of emotional expression, that varietas that Erasmus famously described as “so powerful in every sphere that there is absolutely nothing, however brilliant, which is not dimmed if not commended by variety”. In such forms as the orid aria di bravura or the lyrical aria di sostenuto, the composer’s fantasy only provided a framework for the singer to embroider: the performer’s skill in ornamentation and other emotional devices was of paramount importance. Porpora’s many years of both teaching and composing experience made him, in Max Cencic’s opinion, “one of the top ten composers of Italian Baroque opera. I chose the arias for this recording almost by instinct, by what ‘felt right’. There is no way one can encompass a composer of such quality in one album, and each piece is a treasure in its own right. Though technical display is everywhere — leaps, rapid scales, trills, long phrases — Porpora’s special and utterly captivating melodic gift always shines through.” The arias are all taken from works composed at the height of Porpora’s fame, from Ezio (Venice 1728; “Se tu la reggi al volo” is a semiquaver spectacular) to Filandro (Dresden 1747, with a ravishing siciliano in “Ove l’erbetta tenera, e molle”), including three of the operas he composed for London during the 1730s, in direct competition with Handel (Arianna in Nasso 1733, Enea nel Lazio 1734 — real reworks here in “Chi vuol salva” — and I genia in Aulide 1735). The Teatro San Carlo in Naples, perhaps the most famous of all opera houses at that time, saw the premiere of Il trionfo di Camilla in 1740, and the two arias recorded here show Porpora at his best: the music of “Va per le vene il sangue” evocatively matches its darkly suggestive text, while “Torcere il corso all’onde” combines rapid- re coloratura with elegance of line. In the three arias from Carlo il Calvo (Teatro delle Dame, Rome 1738) the singer is similarly called to match Porpora’s varietas with his own: from the scurrying oriture of “So che tiranno io sono” to the high-lying phrases of “Se rea ti vuole il cielo”, and the beguilingly hypnotic sostenuto of “Quando s’oscura il cielo”. Porpora’s orchestral writing is also remarkably varied, all the more so in that he generally uses only strings, nowhere better than in the elaborate lines of “Torbido intorno al core” from Meride e Selinunte (Venice 1726), where voice and violins entwine in an elaborate and emotionally suggestive web of divisions. However, sometimes he pulls out all the sonority stops, as in the martial “Destrier, che all’armi usato” where, at the rst performance in the Teatro Regio, Turin in 1731 trumpets and horns vied with the unmatchable power of the voice of Farinelli. As Max Cencic has said: “How can we emulate the great castrati? That is hard to pin down, but these voices were the very soul of Porpora’s music.” -Nicholas Clapton © 2018 – Decca Group Limited
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€ 12,49

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 23 februari 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
With his ensemble Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon has written the listing for this album in the form of a "pastiche" of a Mass for the Dead, a Requiem both sacred and profane. While it is a long way from having all the defining traits, it does possess all the outlines: Introit, Kyrie, Gradual, Sequence, Offertory, In Paradisum... The idea came about after a recent discovery, in the Bibliothèque Nationale of an anonymous requiem mass from the 18th century, in which the writer constructed a "parody" based on musical extracts from Castor and Pollux and the Fêtes de Paphos by Jean-Philippe Rameau. Note that the term "parody" doesn't necessarily imply satire or mockery: it refers to the practice of taking up older music and setting new words to it. This fusion of sacred music (the mass) and profane music (lyrical tragedy), a common practice during the Enlightenment, was a procedure that Pichon wanted to take up. In French society at the time, when Catholicism was the norm, where the political system was monarchical rule by divine right, the representation of ancient pagan Hell on theatrical stages seemed to betray a fascination in the beliefs of the ancients. And so this programme melds together pagan fable with a Christian imaginary, where Hell takes on different faces. It is the place of unjust and eternal torment, a place of privation where a couple is separated, one half kept in Hades. But, in the lyrical tragedy, Hell is also a place of perdition: obscure forces unleashed in Sabbath rites, a Satanic vision which unearths the darkest depths of the human soul... Stéphane Degout is the author of this tragedy, bringing together such varied characters as Phaedra, Pluto, and the Parcae. The composers whose music is put to use are Rameau and Gluck, with a single borrowing from Rebel: it would have been a shame not to mention his singular Chaos (taken from Éléments), which starts with a dissonant chord containing the seven notes of the scale of D minor. © SM/Qobuz
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€ 19,99

Opera - Verschenen op 1 december 2017 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The opera Dorilla in Tempe, which was first performed in Venice in 1726, exudes a delightful rural atmosphere. The libretto tells a bucolic story set in a valley of Thessaly. Between amorous twists and a huge sacrifice, the various misadventures of Dorilla offer Vivaldi the occasion to deploy a luminous sound palette where hunting horns and flutes often support choruses and soloists. He resumed the work in 1728, still in Venice, then again in 1732 in Prague and one last time in 1734 at "his" theatre - Sant’Angelo. Only this 1734 version has reached us, and so it serves as a basis for present recordings. It is a "pasticcio", for which Vivaldi used various composers - Hasse, Giacomelli, Sarri and Leo in this case - whose melodies replace some of his own; about a third of them are borrowed from colleagues in fact. It was never Vivaldi’s intention to recycle on the sly: the principle of "pasticcio" was the most widespread at the time and very popular with the public. The particularly rare vocal timbres are noticeable: they are made up of almost exclusively deep voices, including three mezzos and one baritone and even two deep castratos, nowadays replaced by contraltos who are much easier to dig up. The entire score gives off a mad energy; a delightful peculiarity adorns part of the opening, in which Vivaldi takes over one of the movements with his Four Seasons with the addition of a choir - proof that even though this music is rich at the base, it can still be further enriched, provided your name is Vivaldi! Diego Fasolis and his ensemble I Barrochisti offer us here one of the very, very rare discographical performances of this neglected masterpiece. © SM/Qobuz
€ 15,99
€ 13,49

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 20 oktober 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
At 52, soprano Angela Gheorghiu has lost none of her bite, none of her character, and certainly none of her voice, as evidenced by this album of melodies from the Italian verist's repertoire. Some are the great hits: "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca, outstanding moments from Cavalleria rustincana, from Ponchielli's La Joconde, but also overlooked pearls like La Bohème… only not Pucchini's, but Leoncavallo's, which is no less fascinating and much closer to Murger's book; or indeed Giordano's Siberia, now fallen out of fashion, and many others. After a global career punctuated by great heights, superb successes, U-turns, upsets and about-faces, has the soprano arrived at a level of peace that allows her to plunge back into this repertoire with a new eye? It's for the listener to judge: but they will surely not be disappointed. She calls upon the tenor Joseph Calleja and bassist Richard Novak for two great duets.
€ 16,99
€ 14,49

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 3 februari 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
€ 14,99
€ 9,99

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 3 februari 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
€ 17,99
€ 11,99

Opera - Verschenen op 13 januari 2017 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
€ 187,49
€ 162,49

Opera - Verschenen op 22 september 2014 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklets Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc Classica de l'année - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The EMI masters of Maria Callas were re-mastered for the purposes of CD and released as a physical product in 2014. We are happy to offer it now as a full digital product in supreme audio quality. More than 25 years’ worth of music has been collected here, and filter applications have been applied to cover up sound defects (and other distortions). The recordings were passed into the expert hands of sound engineers Allan Ramsey and Simon Gibson, both of Abbey Road, who have made the recordings, under the directions of the Warner Classics label, as close to the sound of the originals as possible.  The gain in terms of sound is undeniable, whether by removing harsh noise or treating distorted sounds, and the natural harmonics have not been altered. What’s more, this decision to remaster everything has resulted in the recovering of the entirety of Callas’s oeuvre – meaning that we need no longer fear the disastrous loss of copies… But who said greater definition and cleanliness of sound permitted a better perception of detail! If we discern the disc’s nuances more clearly, the dynamic adjustments, soundscapes, etc., then we discern a greater fidelity in terms of timbre. Certain defects are, importantly, still left in play. Above all, Callas’s voice sounds more dramatic, brighter, more present, and more beautiful in its phrasing; especially pleasing is that it has been revealed for the first time in all of its acidity, in all of its cracks. With the sound completely rejuvenated, recordings such as La Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Il Trovatore, the Barber of Seville, and others, are as irreplaceable as ever. (GG)
€ 20,99
€ 13,99

Opera - Verschenen op 19 mei 2015 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
€ 31,99
€ 22,99

Opera - Verschenen op 22 september 2014 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

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Opera in het magazine