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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 16 november 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 14 september 2018 | Bru Zane

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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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
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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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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 11 mei 2018 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 3F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
We'll admit: this Reine de Chypre by Fromental Halévy is probably not the unfairly-overlooked work of commanding genius for which the lyrical world has been waiting for fifty years… But it would still be a shame to miss it, especially when performed by such a line-up, with Véronique Gens, Cyrille Dubois and Etienne Dupuis at the top of the bill. And after all, the score is full of vocal marvels and very original ensembles; but it is rather in the orchestration – which is not much more adventurous than that of any other piece of Italian bel canto of the era – that Halévy has taken it easy. The melodic richness was pointed out in an article in the Revue et gazette musicale in April 1842: "In the Reine de Chypre, Halévy's new style is on display with more dash, and more success. I have had occasion to point out the preconditions, as I see them, of the production of a good opera, by pointing out the obstacles which stand in the way of meeting these conditions fully and in good time, whether by the poet or the composer. When these conditions are met, it is an event of great importance for the world of art. Now, in the present case, circumstances have conspired in the performance of a work which, as even the most exacting critic must admit, possesses all the qualities which constitute a good opera. (…) The composer has put all the enchantment of his art into the duet that breathes the sentiments that enrapture them. The dark cloth on which these two charming figures are drawn shows through even in those songs which are so sparkling and alive with happiness, like a sinister cloud, and lends them a particular character of melancholy intrigue. There is no equal, in nobility or in grace, of the magnificent melody of the final part of this duet." The article continues in this vein. The byline? One Richard Wagner… © SM/Qobuz
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 2 mei 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
The story of the Pêcheurs de perles [Pearl Fishers] by Bizet is nothing short of torturous: after its first outing in 1863, the score – whose manuscript is now in private hands and no longer available, alas – fell into obscurity, and was only returned to its rightful place in the sun after the composer's death, once Carmen had made his name. Alas – a thousand times, alas – many different theatre directors took themselves for great geniuses and made little amendments to the work, cutting here, adding there, changing bits up to and including the end. Until the 1960s, this calamitously cack-handed version was the one that was performed – this libretto looks a little flat, why not add a few mistakes? – until musicologists stumbled across the original documents, in particular the cut-down version by Bizet himself, as well as the "conductor's score" of the time, which contained many notes about orchestration. This version, put together in 2014 by Hugh MacDonald, is sung by the flower of great French lyrical music – Julie Fuchs, Florian Sempey, Cyrille Dubois and Luc Bertin-Hugault – and returns as closely as possible to the original version of the work, so that the listener will encounter a number of big surprises, and good surprises too: additional numbers, several melodic and dramatic developments: almost a whole new score. © SM/Qobuz
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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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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 9 februari 2018 | Cypres

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
Nineteen musicians in the pit, three on stage; resolutely tonal music in a straight line of succession running from Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Martinů, Weill; French lyrics more declaimed than sung - by, happily, Francophone singer-actors led by Stéphane Degout, Vincent Le Texier, Yann Beuron and Chloé Briot: this is the framework that Philippe Boesmans chose for his latest opera Pinocchio, recorded live at La Monnaie in Brussels. The script is the work of Joël Pommerat, and it aims for an hour and fifteen of the quasi-melodrama based on the style which was in vogue in the 19th century in which to showcase the baffling musical richness of Collodi's work: and with immense success, it must be said. Pommerat is not necessarily looking to write a purely lyrical Pinocchio, but rather to develop an opera within an opera, using Brecht's favoured method of defamiliarisation, a sort of play-within-a-play, where "real" events alternate with narrative description of what's happening or about to happen. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, a major work for the contemporary scene, a worthy 21st-century successor to the Magic Flute and its fantasy world, immersive, and full of illusions, prisms and invitations to new readings: in short, a masterpiece. And it can hardly come as a surprise that the subject hasn't drawn the attention of more composers since it first appeared in 1881, as only cinema and television have really taken it seriously (and Disneyesque animations, heaping on the sugar), with the exception of Jonathan Dove's unique 2007 work, The Adventures of Pinocchio © SM/Qobuz
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 1 december 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
Everyone thinks that they know Alceste by Lully, and yet this 1674 masterpiece has almost never been recorded in its entirety. Apart from the Malgoire version from 1975 with Bruce Brewer and Felicity Palmer, which is starting to become outdated, the real treat is a second versoin by the same Malgoire twenty years later with Jean-Philippe Lafont and Colette Alliot-Lugaz... And so we can only take our hats off to the new discographical opus from Christophe Rousset's Talens Lyriques, a lively and elegant reading which allows us to rediscover everything that was so innovative about this brilliant, effervescent Florentine, who would become a typical Versaillais, a courtesan and a wheeler-dealer. King Louis XIV - 36 years old, still with all his own teeth and a victorious war leader - could only feel flattered by the piece signed by Quinault: Alcide, who covets the beautiful Alceste (who has been promised to Admetus), is none other than Hercules himself - Louis XIV seeing himself in Hercules saving the beautiful Madame de Montespan from the clutches of her husband.  To be sure, in this opera, Admetus/Hercules magnanimously hands Alceste, whom he has saved from hell, to her husband, while the poor Mr Montespan would end his career and his life exiled in Gascony... Honour intact. The Sun King loved the work, to the point that he commanded that rehearsals be held at Versailles. According to Madame de Sévigné, "The King declared that if he found himself in Paris when it was performed, he would go to see it every night." That being said, if Alceste suited the tastes of the court, it didn't do so well in Paris, where Lully's enemies, jealous of the extravagant privileges that he had won (the exclusive right to "have sung any whole piece in France, wither in French verse or in other languages, without the written permission of said Sir Lully, on pain of a ten thousand livre fine, and confiscation of theatres, equipment, decorations, costumes..."), heaped plot upon plot, while the gallant Mercury sang his little couplet: Dieu !  Le bel opéra ! Rien de plus pitoyable ! Cerbère y vient japper d'un aboi lamentable !  Oh ! Quelle musique de chien ! Oh ! Quelle musique du diable ! [Lord!/Fine opera!/There's nothing so pitiable!/Cerberus is yapping, his howls lamentable!/What doggish music!/What devilish music!]. Posterity would decide otherwise, and Rousset proved it triumphantly. © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 27 oktober 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 20 oktober 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
« This magnificent 1956 recording, conducted with genius by Karajan and with a cast such as dreams are made of, has an unparalleled status and is unlikely to be challenged for many a year. » Gramophone « This remastering comes from the original analogue tapes and has been transferred at high resolution digital quality to capture the very best sound from the tapes. In consultation with the original engineer Chris Parker, we have slightly adjusted the balance of the Trio (in Act 3) to reflect the quality of sound that was desired but not achieved at the time of recording. This recording was originally made as a mono recording by Douglas Larter, with a stereo test version engineered by Chris Parker. It is this stereo test version which has been used for this remastering. Despite the early experimental nature of this new ‘stereo’ technology, this recording is captured in astonishingly vivid sound and is a testament to the experience, understanding and skill of both the musicians and engineers of the time.» Simon Gibson, Remastering Engineer at Abbey Road Studios  
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 20 oktober 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
This 1968 recording of The Flying Dutchman was made in the studio under the baton of the venerable Ottom Klemperer who, incidentally, was approaching his 83rd birthday - he had just five years left to live. This record is simply a dream come true, with Theo Adam, Martti Talvela, Anja Silja and Annneliese Burmeister supported by the New Philharmonia and the BBC choir. Klemperer is known for his fairly rapid tempos, even if the singers themselves lend longer durations to the music, as the work is not short on quasi-recitatives. In this vein, this "almost" short work (short by Wagner's standards at least) offers a measured reading, very much oriented towards comprehension of the text and clarity of the orchestra. It goes without saying that it has been the subject of a meticulous remastering, so that it really doesn't feel like you are listening to a recording from half a century ago. Orchestral colours, balance between stage and orchestra, precise vocal presence: these all make for an unmissable, historic recording. © SM/Qobuz « This performance is as perfect as we have any right to demand. Klemperer’s magisterial interpretation of the opera has a blazing intensity, the orchestra plays superbly and the cast give of their considerable best.» Gramophone ‘ With this remaster of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, the listener is plunged into a stormy world of wind and water. The sound effects introduced for the first time by EMI on this recording are very effective, and the dramatic impact of the performance of Anja Silja as Senta is indisputable. This recording, made in the winter of 1968 at Abbey Road’s Studio One, utilises the Ambiophonic system whereby numerous speakers were added to the walls of the studio to increase reverberation and improve the overall acoustic of the studio. The LP master tapes used for this remaster derive directly from the original four-track masters therefore preserving sound and balance as approved by Klemperer at the time the recording was made, including the spectacular sound effects.’  Ian Jones, Remastering Engineer at Abbey Road Studios
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 6 oktober 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 1 maart 1962 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
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Opera - Verschenen op 7 juli 2017 | Warner Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
The operas of Mozart are synonymous with the festival at Glyndebourne, where exemplary performances are staged amidst the verdant landscape of southern England. Glyndebourne’s first music director was the distinguished conductor Fritz Busch, an exile from his native Germany. These pioneering recordings, deriving primarily from performances at Glyndebourne’s original theatre, date from the festival’s inaugural season (1934) and the years to 1951. Both Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte were world premiere recordings – indeed, Figaro was the first-ever complete recording of a Mozart opera. In newly remastered sound, these classic interpretations of the three Da Ponte operas and Idomeneo can be enjoyed with unprecedented immediacy. Fritz Busch (1890-1951) was one the greatest German conductors of the first half of the twentieth century, noted for his illuminating performances and his ethical principles. He was famous for his performances and for enlarging the repertory and discovering new composers. He premiered operas by Paul Hindemith and Pfitzner very early in his carreer and when in 1922, he became music director of the Dresden State Opera, he premiered Strauss' Intermezzo (1924) and Die Ägyptische Helena (1928), Hindemith's Cardillac (1926), Busoni's Doktor Faust (1925), and Weill's Der Protagonist (1926). Busch’s open contempt of the Nazi government, which came to power in Germany in 1933, caused him to be fired from his post in Dresden – even though he was not Jewish. Then John Christie, a wealthy English landowner, invited Busch to become music director of a summer opera festival at his country estate in Glyndebourne. Glyndebourne soon became a prestigious summer festival, famous for meticulous musical preparation and astute casting. Mozart became they mainstay of Glyndebourne. After the outbreak of World War II (which closed Glyndebourne from 1939-1945), Busch withdrew mainly to South America, although he made appearances at the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. He resumed his association with Glyndebourne in 1950 but died in London soon after, in 1951. The curtain rose on the first Opera Festival performance at Glyndebourne on 28 May, 1934. It was intended as “not the best we can do, but the best that can be done anywhere”, in the words of the festival’s founder, John Christie, who built a 300-seat opera house with an orchestra pit and sophisticated technical and lighting equipment. The first Glyndebourne season in 1934 lasted for two weeks, and comprised six performances each of Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte, a work that regained its place in the repertoire thanks to Busch’s advocacy. The artistic standards were astonishingly high. There were no star names among the singers (even though these recordings boast excellent singers such as Heddle Nash, Sena Jurinac, Erich Kunz, Blanche Thebom, Richard Lewis and so many others), but the emphasis was on the quality of the ensemble, built in that first season from outstanding, theatrically credible singers from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Italy, the United States and all over the UK. Le nozze di Figaro was recorded June 1934 and June 1935 (hence a « best of » both series), but a complete performance of course, Così fan tutte in June 1935, Don Giovanni in July 1936, while further excerpts from Cosi are dated June 1950, and from Idomeneo July 1951 – recorded not an Glyndebourne but at Abbey Road Studios in London, by the way.
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 1 april 1962 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Opera - Verschenen op 1 januari 1966 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 17 februari 2017 | Orfeo

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 10 februari 2017 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année

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Opera in het magazine