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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released March 19, 2021 | Delos

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This richly rewarding album is Oksana Volkova’s first solo album on Delos, though she appeared alongside the late, great Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Delos’s release of Verdi’s complete Rigoletto. Here she delivers powerful, passionate and ravishing performances of (mostly) well-known French, Italian, Russian and Belarusian arias for mezzo-soprano. The composers include Bizet, Thomas, Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Cilea, Massenet and Mascagni; Russian masters heard here are Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky, alongside a rare treat: an arresting aria by Belarusian composer Dmitri Smolsky, whose music is almost completely unknown in the West. Glowing instrumental collaboration, as usual, comes courtesy of Maestro Constantine Orbelian, leading his trusty Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. © Delos
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Classical - Released October 9, 2020 | Delos

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released September 18, 2020 | Delos

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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Delos

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Chamber Music - Released August 14, 2020 | Delos

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Ambient/New Age - Released July 17, 2020 | Delos

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released July 10, 2020 | Delos

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For the first time in history, a non-Armenian mixed choir has performed and recorded the entirety of Liturgy by the great composer and priest Komitas Vardapet. The performance by the extraordinary Latvian Radio Choir under the baton of conductor Sigvards Kļava, who are both now very familiar with Orthodox-inspired works (as demonstrated by their versions of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovski and Sviridov for Ondine), marked the 150th anniversary of Vardapet’s birth. The concert took place in a very solemn setting in Riga on September 20th, 2019, and the present recording required three years of preparation to mark the historic event – and it certainly does not disappoint! It features the full voices of the Latvian choir with their sensuality and extraordinary sense of harmonic progression, although it’s not as advanced here as it is in Rachmaninov’s works. This performance is incredibly beautiful and yet so simple and profound. Komitas completed his Divine Liturgy a few weeks before April 24th, 1915 – the date that marks the beginning of the rounding-up of Armenian intellectuals, including Komitas. It was a prelude to the large-scale genocide of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire that ensued. While Komitas managed to survive the mass killings having been found and rescued, his soul had nonetheless been shattered and he spent the last twenty years of his life in a psychiatric hospital in Paris. This is an album to dive into head-first and return to multiple times to fully appreciate all its aesthetic energy, and some passages such as And the Mercy, Amen (track 21) and Lord, Have Mercy (track 25) are particularly poignant. The Divine Liturgy was originally composed for a male choir, however, Sigvards Kļava presents it here as an arrangement for mixed chorus (a practice that has been criticized in general so far and yet is incredibly impressive here) by Armenian Vache Sharafyan. Not to be missed! © Delos&Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Opera - Released June 19, 2020 | Delos

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Classical - Released May 1, 2020 | Delos

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Classical - Released April 10, 2020 | Delos

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Opera - Released March 20, 2020 | Delos

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Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian has sung conventional operatic repertory, and also music connected to her Armenian heritage. Here, she seeks to combine the two, performing operatic arias connected with the Armenian King Tigrane/Tigranes II and embodying the role of his queen, Cleopatra. This was not the Egyptian queen but Cleopatra of Pontus (110-58 B.C.E.), the "other Cleopatra" of the album title. Bayrakdarian sings arias from three Tigrane/Cleopatra operas, one by Vivaldi (1724), one by Johann Adolf Hasse (1729), and one the young Gluck (1743). Hasse is placed first, probably because he gets the lion's share of the music on the album, but it might have been useful to place the arias in chronological order. Although the three operas were premiered in different cities (Rome, Naples, and Milan, respectively), they all use the same libretto, and it's entirely possible that the earlier ones were known to the later composers. Although only 19 years separate Vivaldi from Gluck, those two decades were a period of intense stylistic change, and Bayrakdarian has to negotiate the shift from the athletic Vivaldi to the more naturalistic style of Gluck, with Hasse right in the middle. This she generally does well, although her somewhat edgy voice works better in the Vivaldi. The strength of the album is the program, which is original, and which exposes some worthwhile music. The Hasse is especially strong, and the roots of the mature Gluck's style are audible in the three Gluck selections. Lovers of mid-18th century opera will want this in their collections. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 17, 2020 | Delos

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Classical - Released January 10, 2020 | Delos

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Chamber Music - Released November 1, 2019 | Delos

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Chamber Music - Released October 4, 2019 | Delos

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Chamber Music - Released September 6, 2019 | Delos

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Chamber Music - Released August 16, 2019 | Delos

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 9, 2019 | Delos

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Born in 1986, Jake Runestad, an Illinois native, has studied with such figures as Bernard Rands, David Lang, Tania León, Christopher Rouse and Jake Heggie: all composers with very diverse aesthetics. Runestad is clearly influenced by simplicity in harmony, and classicism in textures, which he will have found in Heggie, Lang or Rands to a lesser extent. His aim as a composer of vocal works? “A desire for beauty”. The music supports lyrics inspired by the poet Todd Boss (a great friend of the composer, upon whom he left a lasting imprint), which tell authentic stories of profoundly human experiences, all within the framework of an immediate, seductive writing style, which encourages communion with others. Jake Runestad is ecumenical, for sure. The works presented here, including the very beautiful Waves which opens the album, are given a magisterial interpretation in all their harmonic splendour, and not without the naïveté which we sometimes find in the performances of Craig Hella Johnson's Conspirare ensemble, which is well-versed in contemporary music and has created many magnificent albums for harmonia mundi. How could one resist the engrossing Let My Love Be Heard, with its distant echoes of Adagio (or Agnus Dei) by Barber? © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 19, 2019 | Delos

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Opera - Released July 12, 2019 | Delos

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