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Choral Music (Choirs) - To be released March 5, 2021 | Orfeo

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Opera - To be released March 5, 2021 | Orfeo

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Opera - Released February 5, 2021 | Orfeo

On the dark side of fame awaits the slide into obscurity. That’s certainly true for a number of operas that, while popular and highly lucrative during their composers‘ lifetime, soon followed their creators into the shadowy realm of oblivion. Operas, for example, that only ever get mentioned in connection with some much more famous sibling. Giuseppe Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni – premiered half a year before Mozart’s masterpiece – is such an example, as is Ruggero Leoncavallo’s La Bohème and George Bizet’s Djamileh, widely considered the predecessor of Carmen. Other operas just do not stand out among other works by a composer – Jules Massenet’s operas for example are hardly a footnote of music history, his opera Therese, a thoroughly forgotten work, however, is. Two examples for works that are scarcely performed or even known outside of what is now the Czech Republic are also included in this collection of "Opera Rarities" on Orfeo: Dvorak’s last opera Armida and Zdenek Fibich’s Šárka. © Orfeo
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Opera - Released February 5, 2021 | Orfeo

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This live recording of Ariadne auf Naxos in October 2014 took place not only at the site of the opera premiere of the version of the opera that we are best familiar with these days, but it also testifies Christian Thielemann’s first conducting engagement of a scenic performance of a Strauss opera at the opera house on the Ring. The cast includes Soile Isokoski as Ariadne, Johan Botha – in one of his latest performances before his untimely death – as Bachus, Daniela Fally as Zerbinetta, Sophie Koch as the composer, Jochen Schmeckenbecher as the music teacher and Peter Matic as the dancing master. Many attendees of the premiere of Strauss‘ first version of Ariadne - which was intended to succeed Moliere’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme and for this reason was six hours long – felt that they had just been part of a first-rate funeral. It had become obvious that this third cooperational work with Hugo von Hofmannsthal needed some restructuring. As a consequence, the Moliere piece was replaced with the Prologue, and premiered four years later on 4 October 1916 at Vienna’s Court Opera (today’s State Opera). In March 2021, Ariadne returns to the Vienna State Opera’s playing schedule. © Orfeo
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Classical - Released February 5, 2021 | Orfeo

Mahler’s cantata Das klagende Lied today constitutes a veritable rarity in concert programmes – in an age that without contradiction recognizes Mahler as one oft he most eminent milestones in the music history of the late 19th and early 20th century. Based on a horror tale written by Mahler himself, this large-scale, vocal symphonic work forms the beginning of Mahler’s more familiar oeuvre. Mahler, at the age of only 20, submitted the score for the Beethoven Prize at the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna. He did not receive this prize, however, and subsequently made several revisions. It was finally premiered by the composer in Vienna on 17 February 1901 only. The "mixed version" (also employed for this recording) consisting of the original first movement and the revised version of the other two parts, became customary in the course of the great Mahler Renaissance in the 1960s. The presented live capture with the 2019 deceased Michael Gielen – like Mahler not only a conductor but also a composer – with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra was taken in June 1990 in the Konzerthaus Vienna. © Orfeo
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Opera - Released December 4, 2020 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released October 2, 2020 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released October 2, 2020 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Orfeo

This is an album that discerning music lovers will find fascinating. As the third volume published by Orfeo of an anthology of late radio recordings by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, it brings together recordings devoted to five 20th-century composers recorded between 1983 and 1997.Maurice Ravel opens this amazing publication. The immense German singer sings and recites the ever-so special music of the French composer’s melodies with just the right amount of mannerism and preciousness. On piano, Hartmut Höll is a dream partner whose fingers seem to glide along Ravel’s silky music.This is followed by a selection of Lieder by Paul Hindemith, setting to music beautiful poems by Hölderlin, Rückert, Claudius and other English authors, with excerpts from the 9 English Songs accompanied on piano by Aribert Reimann, who is also the author of the cantata Unrevealed for baritone and string quartet, written for Fischer-Dieskau, presented in the last part of this box set - the Cherubini Quartet officiates alongside the singer.Also included in this precious volume are the anthologies of Lieder by Hermann Reutter and Wolfgang Fortner, with the collaboration of several vocal artists surrounding Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, whose curiosity and encyclopaedic knowledge never ceases to amaze us. Reutter (1900-1985) was a sought-after pianist-accompanist, but also a specialist in Lieder and a composer writing in a neo-classical modernism sometimes compared to Hindemith and Honegger. Heavily involved with the Nazis, his contemporary Wolfgang Fortner became one of the important figures of new music in Darmstadt and trained a whole generation of young German composers in the post-war years. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 7, 2020 | Orfeo

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Opera - Released August 7, 2020 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released June 19, 2020 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released June 19, 2020 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released June 5, 2020 | Orfeo

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Almost ten years after his passing, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau continues to amaze us with his seemingly infinite discography. The great German baritone was renowned for his intelligence and paying particular attention to the text, rendering it intelligible through his excellent diction and using it as the dynamic and rhythmic force behind every song he sang.This exciting collection features concert recordings of a particularly ingenious programme of Lied, words written by poets and set to music by composers such as Goethe, Eichendorff and Dehmel. It features numerous musicians who have all been specially selected, including the quiet and eloquent Swiss pianist Karl Engel, the composer, pianist, and regular accompanist for many singers Aribert Reimann, as well as lifelong friend Wolfgang Sawallisch, a famous conductor and sought-after pianist who has played Lied and chamber music all of his life.The final album in this superb anthology is dedicated to European romanticism, with music from composers from Italy, Germany, England, Austria and Sweden. Recorded at the Hochschule für Musik (The University of Music and Performing Arts) in Munich in 1983 at the end of the singer’s career, it features another specially chosen collaboration with pianist Hartmut Höll. Once again, Fischer-Dieskau’s encyclopaedic knowledge of music goes hand in hand with his exceptional talent for singing. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released May 1, 2020 | Orfeo

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The buzz surrounding this album has to do with the startling voice of Samuel Mariño, but it has other attractions as well in the form of pieces that might have been heard at a London concert mounted jointly by Handel and Gluck in 1746. The album bills Mariño as a "male soprano," a term he has used in his own publicity. How does he do it? Nobody is saying. Mariño is a product of Venezuela's still strong musical education system, and he was 27 years old when this album appeared in 2020. Buyers can amuse themselves by setting up blind hearing tests for their friends: it is an open question of how many of them will identify the singer as male. Mariño especially excels in the brutal passagework of the arias by the hotshot young Gluck. These are virtuoso arias, from the years before Gluck simplified the operatic language with his reforms and pointed the way directly to Mozart. They are in the nature of an extreme extension of the old style, and to hear them taken on by a young singer who can handle them offers excitement galore. The Gluck operas excerpted -- Antigono, La Sofonisba, La corona, and Il tigrane -- are all but unknown, and the Handel operas aren't much more familiar. This is all to the good, but the main attraction is Mariño's voice, and the Händelfestspieleorchester Halle under Michael Hofstetter has the good sense to stay out of his way. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 3, 2020 | Orfeo

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Opera - Released April 3, 2020 | Orfeo

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Richard Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten, Op. 65 (1911), has been called the last Romantic opera, and it pushes singers to their limits. It requires powerhouse Wagner-Strauss specialists, especially in the lead female roles of the Empress and the Nurse, and it receives them here in Camilla Nylund and Evelyn Herlitzius, respectively. They make an impressive pair, with Herlitizius' slashing soprano a vivid counterpoint to Nylund's soaring one, but ultimately, Die Frau ohne Schatten is a conductor's opera. It failed at first, with its complex snarl of orchestral parts, and it requires a leader who can control all of the layers of sound. Those at this live 2019 production from the Vienna State Opera spoke in awe of conductor Christian Thielemann's cool, minimal gestures, seemingly at odds with the oversized fairy-tale story, but essential to communicating it musically. Strands of orchestral texture spring into focus and then link up with what is coming next, nor does he let the vocally virtuosic cast take star turns; they work as an ensemble. Orfeo's live sound has a minimum of interference with the listener's enjoyment. Whatever one thinks of Thielemann, this is a major notch in his baton. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | Orfeo

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released March 6, 2020 | Orfeo

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