Albums

£28.79
£19.19

Full Operas - Released November 16, 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
£26.99
£17.99

Full Operas - Released November 2, 2018 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Alessandro Stradella’s place in the annals of the history of music is not only due to the adventurous circumstances that marked his brief existence, but also to the reputation as a opera composer he has acquired since the 18th century. Inaccessible for many decades to specialists and scholars, La Doriclea is definitely the least known of all Stradella’s operas. However, it constitutes a particularly significant chapter in his overall output: composed in Rome during the early 1670s, to our knowledge La Doriclea represents the first opera entirely composed by Stradella. From the dramatic point of view, La Doriclea belongs to the comedy of intrigue genre typical of the 17th century Spanish theatre tradition. Refined and amusing, it alternates touching lamentos with irresistibly comic scenes, in which the character of Giraldo, a veritable precursor of the basso buffo, allows us to glimpse Rossinian atmospheres. Emőke Baráth (Doriclea) and Xavier Sabata (Fidalbo) alongside Giuseppina Bridelli (Lucinda) and Luca Cervoni (Celindo) and the comic couple of Delfina (Gabriella Martellacci) and Giraldo (Riccardo Novaro) bring a complex and fascinating role-playing game to life. This world premiere release of La Doriclea is a major achievement for "The Stradella Project", which here reaches its fifth volume. © Arcana
£26.99
£17.99

Full Operas - Released October 12, 2018 | B Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
£20.99
£13.99

Full Operas - Released September 14, 2018 | Bru Zane

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
£15.10£21.57
£10.06£14.37

Full Operas - Released September 14, 2018 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
£15.98

Full Operas - Released September 7, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
£17.99
£12.74

Full Operas - Released August 31, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
£22.99
£16.49

Full Operas - Released November 3, 1971 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£22.99
£16.49

Full Operas - Released July 6, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
Recorded in July 2017 in the sumptuous Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, this La clemenza di Tito follows albums which had come out previously in the Mozart series with Nézet-Séguin, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and tenor Rolando Villazón, who is the only singer to appear in all these productions. It should go without saying that the music is extremely finely-chiselled: none of the singers take the slightest liberty with either the score or the style – there are no unruly Italianisms like glissandos, individual showing off, clownish high-Cs, parasitic ornamentations, warbling, trilling, sobbing – which means that we are left with one of the purest and finest performances of this work. Note that this was Mozart's final opera, first performed just two months before he passed away; and that the recitatives were written by the faithful Sussmayr, who would go on to "complete" the Requiem. In the same period Mozart was also putting the final touches to his Magic flute and only had a few weeks to finish the work; and yet, what perfection in the arias, ensembles and choruses! And that in spite of the fact that the subject probably was not a source of tremendous interest to the composer, especially since his explosive collaboration with Da Ponte. But when given a performance like this, the work absolutely passes with flying colours. © SM/Qobuz
£35.99
£30.99

Full Operas - Released June 29, 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
£18.49

Full Operas - Released June 22, 2018 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
If you can have only one recording of Mozart's Don Giovanni, should this be the one? Yes. Taped at the Salzburg Festival on August 3, 1954, it features a tremendous cast from top to bottom, plus the best possible orchestral playing, and, beyond all argument, the greatest Mozart conductor in a performance of tremendous effectiveness and overwhelming spiritual impact. Why? Start with the cast. Cesare Siepi is a sexy and dangerous Don Giovanni. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is a strong and self-willed Donna Elvira. Elisabeth Grümmer is a heartrendingly affecting Donna Anna. Otto Edelmann is a robust and hilarious Leporello. Anton Dermota is so good he almost makes Don Ottavio appealing. Erna Berger is a saucy and seductive Zerlino. The young Walter Berry is so good he almost makes Masetto register as a character. Deszö Ernster is scary enough as the Commendatore when he's alive in Act I; when he returns from the dead at the end of Act II, he's flat-out terrifying. But, superlative as the singing is, it's the conductor who makes the performance and Wilhelm Furtwängler brings more to the work and gets more out of the work than any other recorded conductor. He brings to the work his uniquely luminous sound world, his intensely dramatic interpretations, his pronounced preoccupation with the metaphysical, and his irresistible inclination toward the transcendental. He gets out of the work its almost-but-not-quite post-Enlightenment mind, its almost-but-not-quite pre-Romantic heart, its nearly but-not-entirely Austrian-Catholic soul and its nearly but-not-completely rebellious spirit. The amazing thing is that, whether beforehand you agree that they're there, he gets these things out of the work. The more amazing thing is that afterwards you agree without reservations that they've always been there. This is the only recording of Don Giovanni to have if you're having only one. EMI's sound is distant but honest.
£18.49

Full Operas - Released June 22, 2018 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
£35.99
£25.49

Full Operas - Released June 22, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime - 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
£18.49

Full Operas - Released June 22, 2018 | Warner Classics

Distinctions Diapason d'or
£159.80

Full Operas - Released June 15, 2018 | Profil

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
£15.98

Full Operas - Released May 18, 2018 | Oehms Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
£20.99
£13.99

Full Operas - Released May 11, 2018 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 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
£35.96
£23.96

Full Operas - Released May 2, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 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
£14.99
£12.99

Full Operas - Released March 2, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or
£17.99
£11.99

Full Operas - Released February 9, 2018 | Cypres

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 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