Monday, September 26, 2016
On Monday, the Met kicks off its 132nd season with a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde by Mariusz Trelinski, with Sir Simon Rattle leading a premiere cast of Nina Stemme, Ekaterina Gubanova, Stuart Skelton, Evgeny Nikitin and René Pape (not pictured). Tristan has been the season-launching opera three times before now, but good luck finding someone to provide a firsthand account of the last time. Stemme and Skelton will follow in the footsteps of Flagstad and Melchior (1937), who followed Ternina and Van Dyck (1901), who followed Lehmann and Niemann (1887). Of these three illustrious pairings, that of Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior is most familiar to us listeners of the 21st century. While Stemme and Skelton will be singing their roles at the Met for the first time, the Scandinavian Connection headlined 67 Met Tristans between 1935 and 1941, both at 39th and Broadway and on tour. The 1937 opening night was the 26th of these. Artur Bodanzky‘s cast also included Kerstin Thorborg, Julius Huehn and Emanuel List. How “ordinary” was a Flagstad/Melchior Tristan in those days? Reviewing one Saturday matinee of the late 1930s with all five of the above singers and the same conductor, the Herald Tribune took a cautioning note: The frequenters of out foremost opera house are perhaps beginning to regard the accomplishments of Mme. Flagstad a bit too complacently, for while there was no want of enthusiasm in the reception accorded her, there were numerous vacant seats and the number of standees was considerably smaller that it has been in past seasons at Tristan performances in which she has participated. […] Such artistry is rare in any time, and in our day, when good singing–not to speak of great singing—is all too rarely encountered, it should not be too lightly appraised. Here are Flagstad, Melchior and Bodanzky in the last performance of the 1937-38 season. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J6iCfEokqw A review of the historical archive illuminates how the different regimes of different times had differing ideas about what an opening night should be. The incumbent general manager has favored new productions of familiar, popular works, and in one case the Met premiere of an opera many considered overdue (Anna Bolena, 2011). Only once has there been a gala, the 2008 Renée Fleming showcase. Those productions have covered the spectrum from triumphant (Madama Butterfly) to dismal (Tosca) to just “there” (…actually, all of the others), but they have brought to opening night some excitement that had ebbed away in the Crawford/Southern/Volpe years. In that era, it usually seemed as though the previous season were picking up where it had left off, with a business-as-usual Aïda, Bohème or Carmen slapped onto the stage in an existing production that had worked or had not worked, plus one big star. “But opera is about the singing!” you say. Yes, yes. In more distant times, opening night was often a time of important musical debuts. This is something of which we have not seen much in recent decades. In the Gelb era, there have been the slim pickings of Stephen Costello (2007) and Amanda Majeski (2014)… the former in a comprimario role, the latter as an emergency replacement. New faces to begin the season were few and far between in the 20 years prior to Gelb’s time too. José Cura had been highly touted in advance in 1999, but he was an anomaly. As you will see below, in the Met’s first century, many significant artists were initially heard on opening night. There were so many such examples that I had to leave many out of my survey in the interests of brevity and balance: Geraldine Farrar, Emmy Destinn, Tullio Serafin, Fritz Busch, Erna Berger, George London, Giulietta Simionato, Bonaldo Giaiotti, Florence Quivar, Kurt Moll. In first-night casting, at least, the most recent regimes have been in agreement, sticking with the tried and true. Here is just some of what you could have seen, and perhaps did see, on opening night through the years at the Met. 1890: The seven-year-old company dared to open the season with a work little known at the time and even less well known today. Franchetti’s Asrarel, a mystical mash-up of Meyerbeerian, Wagnerian and Italian influences, was said to have had some overseas success. An anonymous New York Times reviewer handled it cautiously: The opera was received with no small favor, but it will have to grow into deep public affection. It is not the kind of work to carry an audience by storm. There is too much thought in it. This brain food may have proved indigestible to New Yorkers of the Gilded Age; the work did not grow into deep public affection. After five performances, it was not heard again at the Met. Of the cast members, several of them debuting artists, only tenor Andreas Dippel lasted past the 1890-91 season. He proved valuable in a wide range of repertoire over the following 18 years. 1893: For its tenth anniversary, the Met returned to the opera with which it had all begun, Gounod’s Faust. The entire previous season had been wiped out by an August 1892 fire, allegedly caused by a workman’s casually discarded cigarette. Recorded the Times: There is scarcely a reminder of the old Metropolitan Opera House in the magnificent new building[,] a marvel of brightness in color and grace in all its outlines. The severe decorations of the auditorium, which was destroyed by the big fire, have given place to brighter ornamentation, and, while the seating capacity of the house has been materially increased, the comfort of its patrons has been steadily kept in view in the arrangement of the changes. Surely, all thought of ornamentation and outlines was put to the side when Emma Eames and brothers Jean and Edouard de Reszke got their Goethe on. 1903: “Not that he is the greatest tenor ever heard in New York,” the Sun hastened to assure its readers about a new singer who was no Jean de Reszke or Francesco Tamagno. “He pretends to be such a singer in his part as [Marcella] Sembrich is in hers.” Such remarks were typical within the press’s generally complimentary notices for Enrico Caruso. The 30-year-old Neapolitan, acclaimed elsewhere in the world, debuted as Rigoletto‘s Duke alongside Sembrich and Antonio Scotti. 1907: Cilea’s seemingly unkillable Adriana Lecouvreur got its first Met hearing, showcasing a star tenor and a soprano considered one of the world’s most beautiful women. “How poor a vehicle the opera is for the exhibition of Mr. Caruso’s extraordinary gifts and powers,” clucked the formidable Henry Krehbiel in the Herald Tribune. “Adriana is not for such as this; rather it is for such as Mme. [Lina] Cavalieri, who has neither beauty of voice nor excellence of song to recommend, but who can make pictures, and act as opera people act.” 1916: “Pearls of song by all-star anglers were never cast before a more brilliant assemblage […] The old Metropolitan put its best foot forward as it hasn’t done in years,” raved the Evening Sun‘s W. H. Chase at the company’s first complete performance of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, starring Frieda Hempel, Caruso and Giuseppe De Luca. Despite this enthusiasm, the opera received only two more Met performances, sank to the depths for nearly a century, and resurfaced looking very different. 1921: Curiously, the American‘s Max Smith suggested that Verdi’s La traviata may have been too slight an offering for this occasion. [T]he work has none of the spectacular glories usually associated with the opening night. […] Traviata, as all of us know, affords no opportunity for big ensembles, for massed effects, for the combined assault of cumulative sonority and gorgeous pageantry upon eye and ear.” One suspects this gifted writer would never have foreseen Meyerbeer’s fall from fashion. Still, Smith found excitement in the debut of soprano Amelita Galli-Curci. [H]ow fascinating is Amelita’s impersonation of Violetta, already made familiar during her association with the visiting Chicago Opera Company! How imaginatively vivacious in the first act; how pathetic in the second; how tragic in the last. It was fitting, indeed, that [general manager] Giulio Gatti-Casazza should bring forward his latest “star” in Traviata. For surely no other role reveals her own peculiar powers, histrionic as well as vocal, to greater advantage; none permits her to disclose more affectingly the characteristic delicacy of her art, the essentially feminine charm of her persuasions. Beniamino Gigli and De Luca supplied the masculine charm. 1926: Another work not long for the Met’s repertory inaugurated the 43rd season, as a 34-year-old bass made his company debut in Spontini’s admired La vestale. “Ezio Pinza, a newcomer, orated the bass pronouncement of the Pontifex Maximus and gave promise of being a useful addition to the company. There is little else to be said. The audience was large, but the familiar excitement of an opening night was absent,” wrote W. J. Henderson in the Sun. Maestro Serafin’s cast included Rosa Ponselle, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi and De Luca. Vestale would receive only two more Met performances, but Pinza would settle in until 1948. 1938: As Smith had in 1920, the Herald Tribune’s Lawrence Gilman mused on what constituted appropriate opening-night fare: From a strictly realistic standpoint, it does not matter very much […] [T]he inaugural work could be almost any choice at all from the Metropolitan’s extensive repertoire, active or inactive. It might be Tristan or Mignon, Madama Butterfly or Dinorah–perhaps only Parsifal or In the Pasha’s Garden would not serve. On this occasion, it was Otello. Giovanni Martinelli and Lawrence Tibbett returned to roles in which they were building legends, and Verdi’s score was in the hands of one of its great conductors, Ettore Panizza. Debuting soprano Maria Caniglia would not remain with the company for long, but her Desdemona made a strong impression: [T]he Neapolitan soprano […] is a singing-actress of exceptional feeling and sincerity, a gracious and gentle personality, equipped with a sense of the theater and a voice which often serves her responsively as a vehicle of dramatic utterance and lyric speech. She was vocally ill at ease in the first two acts, but later she sang with greater freedom and security, and often with affecting beauty and communicative eloquence. 1950: The season and the eventful tenure of GM Rudolf Bing began with Verdi’s Don Carlo, featuring six notable debuts: sopranos Delia Rigal and Lucine Amara, mezzo Fedora Barbieri, bass Cesare Siepi, director Margaret Webster and designer Rolf Gérard. Jussi Björling, Robert Merrill and Jerome Hines completed the principal cast; Fritz Stiedry conducted. At this time, the opera itself could still be described as “Verdi’s gloomy and seldom-heard Don Carlo” (Max de Schauensee, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin). But Virgil Thomson was happy to see it back after a 27-year absence: [T]his ever-so-grand grand opera is perfectly suited to the space and paraphernalia possibilities of New York’s historic music theater. It is also a fine vehicle for musical display, and last night’s performance was not wanting in grandeurs from the auditory wing. He praised the sophisticated work of the director and designer. 1956: The heavily hyped Met debut of Maria Callas (Bellini’s Norma) was, like so much else about this singer, controversial. Bing, Callas herself and many attendees claimed she had not been at her best. The Saturday Review‘s oft-dyspeptic Irving Kolodin left a judicious assessment that stands the test of time, not only as regards this performance but Callas’s art: The kind of voice, basically, requires some consideration. It is what every great artist’s means of communication becomes: an extension of her own personality. That personality is dynamic, highly charged, tigerish, and utterly under discipline. So, too, the voice is dynamically dramatic, produced as though it might be torn from the singer’s insides, and presided over with an almost visible concern for every word and note she sings. Nothing is thoughtless, left to chance, or without total purpose. Factually, Miss Callas cannot afford to perform otherwise, for were she dependent on the pure physical beauty of the sound she produces she would be sung out of sight by many people presently inconspicuous.” Barbieri, Siepi and Mario del Monaco were this fabled Norma’s colleagues and competitors. 1966: The Met’s state-of-the-art Lincoln Center home flung open its doors for the world premiere of Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra with Leontyne Price and Justino Diaz. The story of that inauspicious beginning is a familiar one. Franco Zeffirelli‘s elaborate production was critically savaged, and the Christian Science Monitor adjudged the opera inferior to the composer’s Vanessa (“At times tedium was definitely on hand”). Reviews for the venue were considerably better. Inez Robb (under her nom de plume, Nancy Randolph), covering for the Daily News, beseeched: “New Yorkers at all levels have been talking, day and night, about quitting this city. It’s ‘so tired,’ ‘so sooty,’ ‘so traffic-choked,’ this ‘irritating island’ with its ‘horrid sights and sounds.’ Now, won’t these dear people please stay? There are new wonders here in New York and they’ve been wrought while the complainers were busy with pale martinis and dark moods.” 1970: What the New Yorker‘s Winthrop Sargeant found “an unusually sedate and refined” opening night may impress us as more special 46 years later: Verdi’s Ernani conducted by Thomas Schippers, starring Martina Arroyo, Carlo Bergonzi, Sherrill Milnes and debuting bass Ruggero Raimondi. Sargeant felt that baritone Milnes, already a local favorite, had won the evening, but he praised the new kid too: “[A] young Bolognese named Ruggero Raimondi […] sang with fine quality and style, making an impression that will entitle him to many a future role at the Metropolitan Opera. He is not a deep bass, but he is one with plenty of velvet and a commanding stage presence.” Indeed, Raimondi frequently returned, most recently in 2008. 1981: Andrew Porter found little to cheer in a Norma remembered as a lowlight of Renata Scotto‘s distinguished Met career. No one seemed very much interested in anyone else, and the drama dragged. If Miss Scotto’s technical execution was faulty, the others [Tatiana Troyanos, Plácido Domingo and Bonaldo Giaiotti] lacked delicacy, refinement—the individual touches, vocal and dramatic, by which imaginative singers bring Bellini’s opera to life. The approach of the conductor, James Levine, did not encourage them to finesse. He laid out foursquare metronomic rhythms. He was energetic and assured, […] but he showed almost no feeling for sensitive, flexible shaping of Bellini’s melodies. 1983: The Met marked 100 years of flush times and lean times, the forgettable and the unforgettable, with a work close to the heart of music director Levine: Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens. The large cast included Troyanos, Domingo and Jessye Norman, making her house debut as Cassandre (“She delivered her pronouncements with magnificent tone and searing authority, and while her figure is of the same Wagnerian proportions as her voice, she moved with as much grace as grandeur,” per the Daily News). The tenor had had second thoughts about his role’s tessitura and even had asked to be relieved of the assignment. Although his reviews in the main were good, four performances of Enée in this run would be the only ones of his career. 1986: In a decade that saw several innovative Rings around the world, the Met put its technical and monetary resources in the service of pictorial conservatism. The Times‘s Donal Henahan assessed the first completed entry, Die Walküre: Feasible, but on the whole so far from being satisfactory in both large and small matters that the success of the cycle may already be in jeopardy. Otto Schenk‘s staging is a schizoid affair, with naturalistic, 19th-century scenery bumping up against naturalistic acting in a 20th-century style. […] Günther Schneider-Siemssen‘s sets, which look as if they were copied from one of the historical dioramas in the Wagner museum at Bayreuth, are not individual in any way, but they please the eye and would serve well in a performance better directed and better sung. Levine’s premiere cast included Jeannine Altmeyer, Hildegard Behrens, Brigitte Fassbaender, Peter Hofmann and Simon Estes. 1994: General manager Joseph Volpe scored a coup when two of the famous Three Tenors agreed to share opening night in a pairing of Puccini’s Il tabarro (Domingo) and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Luciano Pavarotti). Perhaps the bigger news was the 35th Met anniversary of Teresa Stratas. The elusive and mercurial Canadian performed adulterous double duty as Giorgetta and Nedda. Veteran mezzo Florence Quivar made much of relatively little, stealing a scene as Tabarro‘s Frugola. Levine conducted. 2006: New GM Peter Gelb‘s tenure began with a hit, a fresh take on Puccini’s Madama Butterfly by esteemed film director Anthony Minghella in collaboration with his wife, choreographer Carolyn Choa. “We are first-time opera makers; it’s not for us to revolutionize opera,” the director said at the time. “It’s for us to understand it and to bring to bear whatever it is that we can bring to the work.” Opera News‘s F. Paul Driscoll described the result as a clean-lined, luxuriously spare Butterfly that borrows liberally from the traditions of Asian theater. Minghella is not the first director to try this, but no other director has accomplished his unaffected fusion of East and West with such sumptuous flair—abetted here by the sleek settings of Michael Levine and the elegant costumes by Han Feng—or his highly individual musicality. Levine led Cristina Gallardo-Domas, Marcello Giordani, Maria Zifchak and Dwayne Croft. Sadly, this instant classic was both Minghella’s first opera production and his last. He died in 2008.
Royal Opera House; Barbican; Wigmore Hall, London There is an excess of everything, and a lot more besides, in Jan Philipp Gloger’s new staging of Così fan tutteWhat do women want? Less than you might think. When it comes to the Royal Opera’s new Così fan tutte, a work that addresses the question repeatedly, an awful lot less. Sometimes nothing at all would do perfectly. Here are some of the things women – men too, I dare say – may not want, or not all in the same production of Mozart’s two-act opera: a mock bewigged cast taking a mock bow before the curtain rises, the joke worn thin before the overture is over; a 1940s railway departure scene a la Brief Encounter which then ascends to the flies, wheels still showing like a dropped hem; the four lovers canoodling in a picnic spot in the garden of Eden with fat serpent curling up the tree of knowledge and melon-sized apples ripe for prelapsarian temptation.By the end, a long time after the beginning, it was hard to remember what this most sublime opera was all about Continue reading...
9/22/16 Prokofiev #1 +1DVD Romeo & Juliet: Royal Ballet Covent Garden, Alessandra Ferri & Wayne Eagling (1984) 9/21/16 Prokofiev #2 +1CD 1st Symphony, Love for 3 Oranges & Lieutenant Kijé by Lorin Maazel in Paris (1985) 9/21/16 Prokofiev #2 +5CDs 5th Symphony by: Y. Levi, V. Handley, Y. Temirkanov, J. Martinon & G. Noseda 9/20/16 Prokofiev #1 +3CDs Romeo & Juliet (Excerpts) by Claudio Abbado, Claus Peter Flor & Yoel Levi 9/20/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD set Cinderella complete ballet by Vladimir Ashkenazy in Cleveland (1983) 9/20/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD set Romeo & Juliet complete ballet by Valery Gergiev in St. Petersburg (1990) 9/20/16 Prokofiev #1 +2 CDs Alexander Nevsky & Scythian Suite by Valery Gergiev (2002) & Neeme Jarvi (1988) 9/14/16 Spanish Modern #2 +1CD Spanish & Argentine Flamencos played by Paco Peña & Eduardo Falú (1989) 9/14/16 Spanish Modern #2 +1CD Montoya & Ricardo: Flamencos, played by Paco Peña (1987) 9/13/16 Spanish Modern #3 +1CD Spanish 20th Century Guitar Works by Agustin Maruri (1995) 9/13/16 Spanish Modern #1 +1CD Guitar Music of Ponce, Piazzolla, Barrios played by Manuel Barrueco (1997) 9/12/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Borodin's String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 by the Borodin Quartet (1980) 9/12/16 Rachmaninov #2 +3CDs Piano Concertos & Paganini Rhapsody by T. Vasary & Y. Ahronovitch /a rip by Dante B.) 9/12/16 Bruckner +1CD set Symphony No. 8 by Giulini in Vienna 1985 (a rip by Dante B.) 9/10/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD Vivaldi's Le Quattro Stagioni by Gil Shaham & the Orpheus C.O. (1993) 9/10/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Smetana's Ma Vlast by Vaclav Talich in Prague (1954) (a rip by Corrado D.) 9/10/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD 1st Violin Sonata (+ Debussy & Janacek) by V. Mullova & P. Anderszewski (1994) 9/10/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD The War Sonatas by Vladimir Ashkenazy (1995) 9/10/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD 3rd Concerto & Tchaikovsky's 1st by Noriko Ogawa & Gennady Rozhdestvensky (1989) 9/10/16 Prokofiev #1 +1 CD set The 5 Piano Concertos by Vladimir Krainev & Dmitri Kitaenko in Frankfurt (1992) 9/10/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD set 3rd & 5th Concertos (+ Schumann's and Liszt's) by Samson François (1958-1961) 9/10/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD 3rd Concerto & Ravel's left Hand Concerto by John Browning & Erich Leinsdorf (1960) 9/8/16 Schumann +1CD Papillons, Piano Quintet, Fantasiestücke Op. 73 with Jonathan Biss, Jerusalem Q., Martin Fröst 9/8/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD Domenico Scarlatti's Keyboard Sonatas by Marcela Roggeri (Piano) (2004) 9/8/16 Rachmaninov #1 +1CD Symphony No. 1 by Mariss Jansons in St. Petersburg (1999) (a rip by Corrado D.) 8/29/16 Schumann +1CD Margaret Price's Frauenlieben und Leben (1981) 8/14/16 The Long Goodbye +1CD Beethoven & Mozart's Wind Quintets by Alfred Brendel & Soloists (1986)8/14/16 The Long Goodbye +1LP Beethoven's 7th Symphony by Karl Böhm (1958) (a transfer by Enrico B.) 8/14/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD Pergolesi Stabat Mater by Claudio Abbado (1985)8/14/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD Mozart's 3rd & 5th Violin Concertos by Isabelle van Keulen (1989)8/14/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD Mozart Piano Sonatas by Daria van den Bercken (2014) 8/5/16 Summer Nights #7 +1CD Mendelssohn's String Quintets at the Marlboro Festival 1990 (a rip by Corrado D.) 8/5/16 In the Name of Music +1CD set Mendelssohn's Elias by Wolfgang Sawallisch (a rip by Corrado D.) 8/5/16 In the Name of Music +1CD set Mendelssohn's Elias & Paulus Oratorios by Helmut Rilling (a rip by Dante B.) 7/19/16 Mahler 7 +1CD Gianandrea Noseda in Manchester (2010) (a rip by Corrado D.) 7/19/16 American Classics +1CD Barber's Sonata (+ Berg's Op. 1 & Beethoven's Op. 126) by Ashley Wass 7/19/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Gubaidulina: The Piano Music by Marcela Roggeri (2007) 7/18/16 Summer Nights #6 +1CD Frederica von Stade's Haydn, Mozart, Rossini solo album (1975) w/ de Waart & Dorati 7/18/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD set J-P. Rameau's Zais by Christophe Rousset (2014) 7/16/16 Summer Nights #4 +1CD set Beethoven's 4th Concerto (+ Chopin's 2nd & Schumann's) by Guiomar Novaes 7/16/16 Summer Nights #4 +1LP Beethoven's Violin Concerto by H. Szeryng & B. Haitink (a transfer by Enrico B.) 7/16/16 Summer Nights #4 +1CD Beethoven's Violin Concerto by Anne-Sophie Mutter & Kurt Masur in NYC (2002) 7/16/16 Summer Nights #4 +1CD Beethoven's Quartets Nos. 9 & 14 by the Quartetto Italiano (1969) 7/16/16 Summer Nights #4 +1CD Beethoven's 4th Concerto by Lang Lang & Christoph Eschenbach in Paris (2007) 7/13/16 Summer Nights #12 +1CD Guastavino's Songs by Florent Héau (Clarinet) with Marcela Roggeri, Piano (2008) 7/11/16 Opera Favourites #2 +1DVD Puccini's Il Tabarro & Leoncavallo's Pagliacci by James Levine (1994) 7/11/16 Messiaen +1CD La fauvette passerinette & other piano pieces by Peter Hill (2014) 7/11/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD Lalo's complete Piano Trios by the Trio Parnassus (1992) (a rip by Corrado D.) 7/11/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD set Bizet's complete Orchestral Music by Enrique Batiz (1988) (a rip by Corrado D.) 7/9/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD Saint-Saens's Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 by G. Pretre (1991) (a rip by Corrado D.) 7/9/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD Satie, Piano Music (including most Gnossiennes) by Marcela Roggeri (2005) 7/5/16 Opera Favourites #1 +1CD set, Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri by Claudio Abbado in Vienna (1987) 7/5/16 Opera Favourites #1 +2CD sets, Bellini's Norma (J. Levine 1979) & I Capuleti e i Montecchi (R. Muti 1984) 7/5/16 Bach +1CD Cantatas for Counter-Tenor (BWV 170, 54, 35) by A. Scholl & P. Herreweghe (a rip by Corrado D.) 7/5/16 Summer Nights #10 +1CD 'Nocturne' (Selected Lieder) by Rupert Charlesworth & Edwige Herchenroder (2014) 7/4/16 In the Name of Music +1CD set Liszt's Christus oratorio by Helmuth Rilling (1997) (a rip by Dante B.) 7/2/16 Summer Nights #7 +1CD Brahms' Trio Op. 8 & Beethoven's 'Archduke': V. Mullova, H. Schiff & A. Previn (1993) 7/2/16 Summer Nights #7 +1LP Brahms' Violin Concerto by Henryk Szeryng & Bernard Haitink (a transfer by Enrico B.) 7/2/16 Bach 1CD set The well Tempered Clavier by Sergey Schepkin (1998-9) ( a rip by Corrado D.) 7/2/16 Bach +1CD The Art of Fugue by the Keller Quartett (1998) (a rip by Corrado D.) 7/2/16 Bach +1CD Cantatas BWV 4, 56, 82 with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1951-2-3) (a rip by Corrado D.) 7/2/16 Bach +1CD Goldberg Variations (Arr. for String Trio by Bruno Giuranna), Trio Broz (2008) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/28/16 Bach +1CD set The well Tempered Clavier by Samuel Feinberg (1959) (a rip by Corrado D.)6/28/16 Bach +1CD set Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin by Salvatore Accardo (1976) (a rip by Corrado D.)6/28/16 Bach +1CD set The Art of Fugue by Grigory Sokolov (2008) (a rip by Corrado D.)6/28/16 Bach +1CD set Brandenburg Concertos by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (2007) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/27/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD Fauré, Chausson, Saint-Saens, Massenet by K. Deshayes & Ensemble Contraste 6/27/16 Musique Française #2 +2CDs Chausson Concert (Accardo) & Symphony (Ansermet) (rips by Corrado D.) 6/26/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD set Songs by Ravel, Fauré, Poulenc etc. by G. Souzay (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/26/16 Musique Française #3 +1CD Ravel's Piano Music by Vlado Perlemuter (1955 recordings) 6/26/16 Musique Française #3 +1LP Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé Suites by Willem van Otterloo in The Hague (1956) 6/26/16 Mahler 3 +1CD set Michael Tilson Thomas and the LSO, 1990 (with Janet Baker + Rückert-Lieder) 6/23/16 Schubert #2 +1CD set the Late String Quartets by the Quartetto Italiano (1965-1976-1977) 6/23/16 Schubert #1 +1CD Impromptus Op. 90 + Bach's Partitas Nos. 1 & 2 by Simone Dinnerstein (2011) 6/23/16 Schubert #3 +1CD Winterreise by Cristoph Prégardien & Andreas Staier (1998) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/23/16 Schubert #3 +1CD Winterreise by Anton & Hilda Dermota (1963) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/23/16 Schubert #3 +1CD Schwanengesang by Wolfgang Holzmair & Imogen Cooper (1994) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/21/16 Bach +1CD The Musical Offering by the Accademia Bizantina and Carlo Chiarappa (1991) 6/21/16 Bach +1CD set The Cello Suites in Mischa Maisky's first recording (1985) 6/21/16 Bach +1CD The Art of Fugue by Ramin Bahrami (2006) 6/21/16 Bach 2CD sets The well Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2 by Daniel Barenboim (2003-2005) 6/21/16 Schumann +1CD set Kreisleriana by Imogen Cooper + V.A. at the Festival de Valloires 2006 6/19/16 Strauss Operas #2 +1DVD Der Rosenkavalier by John Neschling in Palermo (2004) 6/19/16 Strauss #3 +1CD set Wind Sonatinas, Suite & Serenade by the Royal Academy Wind Ensemble (2006) 6/19/16 Strauss #2 +1CD Music from the Operas by Jeffrey Tate in Rotterdam (1992) 6/19/16 Strauss #1 +1CD Metamorphosen, Don Juan & Lieder by Joan Rodgers & Jan Latham-Koenig (2001) 6/19/16 Strauss #1 +1CD set Lieder by Edita Gruberova & Friedrich Haider (1990) 6/16/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD Fauré's 1st Piano Quartet & Trio by the Beaux Arts Trio (1988) (a rip by Dante B.) 6/16/16 Summer Nights #5 +1CD Berlioz's Symphonies fantastique by James Levine (1991) (a rip by Enrico B.) 6/16/16 Bach +1CD set Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin by Stefan Milenkovich (1997) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/16/16 Bach +1CD set Brandenburg Concertos by Giardino Armonico & Giovanni Antonini (1997) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/13/16 In the Name of Music +1CD Orff's Carmina Burana by Franz Welser-Möst in London (1989) 6/13/16 In the Name of Music +1 CD set Mendelssohn's Paulus by Kurt Masur with Theo Adam (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/13/16 Mahler Lieder +1CD Fischer-Dieskau's classic EMI recordings of the major Lieder sets (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/13/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD Frank Martin's Piano Concertos & Ballade by J-F. Antonioli & M. Viotti (1985) 6/10/16 Burgmüller Songs & Sonata Replaced rip which was missing two tracks. The new link is complete. 6/10/16 Bach +1CD set Goldberg Variations & the Partitas by Karl Richter (1958-60) (a rip by Corrado D,) 6/8/16 Summer Nights #10 +1CD Elgar's 2nd Symphony + In the South Ov. with Andrew Davis (1992) 6/8/16 Bach +1CD set The Partitas for Keyboard by Richard Goode (Piano) (2002-2003) (a rip by Corrado D,) 6/8/16 Bach +1CD set The Cello Suites by Mario Brunello (1994) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/5/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD A. Caldara's & A. Lingua's Cantate by Recitarcantando Urbino (2009) 6/5/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD F.M. Stiava's Vespri di Santa Cecilia by Federico Bardazzi in Florence (2008) 6/5/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD G. Carissimi's Historia di Job, Vanitas Vanitatum by Federico Bardazzi in Florence (2005) 6/5/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD H. von Bingen's O Orzchis Ecclesia by Federico Bardazzi in Florence (2007) 6/3/16 Gershwin +1CD Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, Cuban Ov. by Lorin Maazel in Cleveland (1975) 6/3/16 American Classics +1CD MacDowell's Piano Concertos by Donna Amato & Paul Freeman in London (1985) 6/3/16 Odd Couple #2 +1CD Chopin's 3rd Sonata by Felipe Browne in London (1999) 6/3/16 Bach +1CD Goldberg Variations by Bruno Canino (1993) (a rip by Corrado D.) 6/2/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD set Janáček's Piano Music by Håkon Austbø (2004)6/2/16 Bach +1CD Goldberg Variations by Jörg Demus (1989) 6/1/16 Schumann +1CD set Dichterliebe by M. Padmore & I. Cooper + V.A. at the Festival de Valloires 2007 6/1/16 Summer Nights #2 +1CD Yehuda - Jewish Music from the Seraglio, L'Orient Imaginaire, V. Ivanoff (1996) 5/31/16 Summer Nights #9 +1CD Dvorak's New World Symphony by Riccardo Chailly in Amsterdam (1987) 5/31/16 Summer Nights #9 +1CD Franck's Symphony by Tadaaki Otaka (1999) (a rip by Corrado D.) 5/31/16 Summer Nights #9 +1CDs Franck's & Saint-Saens' Symphonies by Antonio de Almeida in Moscow (1993) 5/29/16 Debussy #2 +1CD Mélodies by Barbara Hendricks & Michel Béroff (1985) 5/29/16 Rachmaninov #1 +1CD Cello Sonata (+ Strauss') bt Werner Thomas & Carmen Piazzini (1987) 5/27/16 Rare grooves #2 +1LP Mendelssohn's 4th Sym. 'Italian' by Colin Davis in Boston (1976) (a transfer by Enrico B.) 5/24/16 Medieval Music: New links 5/24/16 Debussy #6 +1CD String Quartet (+ Brahms's Op. 51/1) by the Ceruti Quartet (2008) 5/24/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Images & other piano pieces by Zoltan Kocsis (1988) 5/24/16 Debussy #5 1CD set Préludes & Etudes by Georges Pludermacher (2003) 5/21/16 Debussy #2 +1CD set The complete Mélodies with Ameling, von Stade, Command, Mesplé & Souzay 5/21/16 Debussy #2 +3CDs Mélodies by Christopher Maltman, Véronique Gens and Gérard Souzay 5/19/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Estampes, Pour le piano, Suite bergamasque etc. by Bruno Canino (a rip by Corrado D.) 5/19/16 Debussy #3 +1CD La mer, Préludes & Nocturnes by Jean Martinon in Paris (1974) 5/19/16 Odd Couple #2 +1Bonus, Chopin for Cello & Piano: Piatigorsky, Bonucci & Amfitheatrof (enc. by Corrado D.) 5/18/16 Debussy #6 +1CD Sonatas for Cello + Flute, Viola & Harp by Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society (2007) 5/18/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD set Ravel's Piano Music by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (2003) (a rip by Corrado D.) 5/17/16 Musique Française #3 +1CD Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye & Prokofiev's Cinderella by piano duo Argerich & Pletnev 5/17/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Préludes by Steven Osborne (2006) 5/17/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Préludes Book 1 & Children's Corner by Nelson Freire (2009) 5/17/16 Debussy #5 +1CD set, Préludes etc by Samson François (1970) (includes 5 Etudes) 5/17/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Images, Pour le piano & Suite bergamasque by Cécile Ousset (1986) 5/16/16 Summer Nights #8 +1CD set Brahms' Symphonies by Antal Dorati (a rip by Corrado D.) 5/16/16 Brahms +2CDs Piano Quartets by J. Demus & the Barylli + Richter & the Borodin (2nd) (rips by Corrado D,) 5/15/16 A Weimar Rhapsody +1CD Krenek Piano Sonatas Nos. 2 & 4 + G. Washington's Variations. (M. Korzhev, 2007) 5/15/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD Koechlin and Jolivet's Chamber Music with Flute (Philippe Racine, 1989) 5/13/16 Debussy #3 +1CD Jeux, Images, Prélude, Danses with Serge Baudo in Prague (1977) 5/13/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Alice Ader's rare album with Images, Estampes, Martyre de S-S, Masques etc. (1989) 5/5/16 Stravinsky #2 +1CD Sacre du printemps (+ Bartok & Boulez) by P. Boulez in Salzburg with the GMJO (1997) 5/5/16 Stravinsky #2 +1DVD Le rossignol by J. Conlon in Paris (Dessay/McLaughlin/Simcic/Urmana/Naouri) (1999) 5/5/16 Bartok #5 +1CD Miraculous Mandarin & Dance Suite by B. Maderna in Monte-Carlo (1968) (a rip by Corrado D.)5/4/16 Massenet Operas: +CD Don Quichotte at Mariinsky theater, Furlanetto/Gergiev 5/4/16 Early Music Collections: New links 5/3/16 Brahms +1CD The Quartets for Voices & Piano by the Kammerchor Stuttgart, A. Rothkopf & F. Bernius (1983)5/3/16 Brahms +1CD The String Quintets by the Hagen SQ & G. Caussé5/3/16 Brahms +1CD set The String Quartets (Italiano SQ) & Clarinet Sonatas (G. Pieterson & H. Menuhin)5/3/16 Brahms +2CDs Piano Sonata No. 3 by Lupu & String Sextets by Carmignola, Brunello etc. (rips by Corrado D.)5/3/16 Brahms +1CD Die schöne Magelone with Andreas Schmidt and Jörg Demus (1988) 5/3/16 Opera Favourites #1 +1DVD Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann by F. Chaslin in Macerata 2004 5/2/16 Summer Nights #8 +1CD set Brahms's Symphonies by B. Haitink in London (2004) 5/2/16 Summer Nights #8 +1CD Brahms's 2nd Symphony by C. Davis in Munich (1988) 5/2/16 Brahms +1CD Cello Sonatas by du Pré & Barenboim (1968) 5/2/16 Brahms +1CD Late Piano Pieces by Radu Lupu (1970) 5/2/16 Brahms +2CDs Ballades Op. 10 by Gould (1983) & Brendel (+ Weber's Grand Sonata) (1990) 5/2/16 Brahms +3CDs Piano Sonata No. 3 by Barenboim (1996), Perahia (1991), Kissin (2001) 4/27/16 Brahms +1CD/1Bonus Violin C.to: D. Oistrakh & Pedrotti (1961, rip by Corrado D.) + Fischer & Sinopoli (2000) 4/27/16 Brahms +1CD set Piano Concertos by Freire & Chailly (2006) 4/27/16 Brahms +4CDs Piano Concertos by Pollini & Abbado, Ax & Haitink, Donohoe & Svetlanov 4/27/16 Brahms +3CDs Violin Sonatas: Zukerman & Neikrug (1992), Tetzlaff & Vogt (2002), Mutter & Orkis (2010) 4/25/16 Rachmaninov #1 +3CDs the 3 Operas (Aleko, The Miserly Knight, Francesca da Rimini) by N. Järvi (1996) 4/23/16 Wintery Romantics +1Bonus Dvorak Symphony No. 7 by I. Fischer in Rome (2006) 4/23/16 Strauss #1 +1Bonus Le bourgeois gentilhomme by Christopher Hogwood in Milan (2005) 4/23/16 Rachmaninov #1 +1CD Symphony No. 1 & Isle of the Dead by M. Pletnev and the RNO (2000) 4/23/16 Rachmaninov #2 +1Bonus, 3rd Concerto by B. L. Gelber & E. Krivine in Geneva (1988) 4/23/16 Rachmaninov #2 +1CD set The Concertos in E. Wild & J. Horenstein's great recording in London (a rip by Odeon) 4/23/16 Rachmaninov #2 +3CDs Ashkenazy/Haitink; Glemser/Wit; Zilberstein/Abbado classic recordings of concertos 4/23/16 Rachmaninov #1 +2CDs Preludes by Weissenberg (1969) & 2nd Symphony by I. Fischer (2003) (rips by Sasha) 4/22/16 Schumann Piano Trio Op. 63 & Ravel's by the Trio di Bolzano (1954) (a rip by Corrado D.) 4/22/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD set 5th Symphony by L. Maazel in Cleveland (1977) (+ Rimsky's orch. works) (a rip by Sasha) 4/22/16 Wagner's Ring +4DVDs The entire Ring des Nibelungen in J. Levine's fundamental Met production for DGG 4/21/16 Wagner's Die Walküre +1DVD the great Boulez 1980 production (Hofmann, Altmeyer, McIntyre, Jones, Schwarz) 4/20/16 Wagner's Tristan und Isolde 2DVDs Z. Mehta in Munich (1998) and J. Levine in NYC (1999) 4/20/16 Wagner's Die Meistersingers +1DVD J. Levine's 2001 release (Morris, Heppner, Mattila, Allen, Pape, Polenzani) 4/20/16 Liszt's Sonata: +1CD Peter Donohoe's 1989 recording (including Berg and Bartok's Sonatas) 4/20/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Tchaikovsky and Dvorak: Serenade for Strings by C. Davis in Munich (1987) 4/20/16 Hindemith +1CD Reger's Clarinet Quintet & String Quartet by Karl Leister and the Vogler Quartett (1999) 4/20/16 Stravinsky #2 Apollon Musagète & Cantata by Esa-Pekka Salonen, new rip and scans available. 4/20/16 Summer Nights #8 +1CD set Brahms The Symphonies by Gustav Kuhn in Bolzano (a rip by Corrado D.) 4/19/16 Rachmaninov #1 +2CDs 2nd Symphony by S. Bychkov (1990) & Symphonic Dances by E. Batiz (1991) 4/19/16 Rachmaninov #1 +1CD 6 Choruses Op. 15 (+ Scriabin's 1st Symphony) by Valeri Polyansky (2004) 4/19/16 Rachmaninov #1 +1CD set & 1CD Preludes and Etudes-Tableaux by N. Lugansky, M. Petkova & L. McCawley 4/18/16 Wintery Romantics +6 CDs Scriabin Sonatas, Etudes, Piano Concerto, Poème de l'extase, Prometheus 4/18/16 Schubert #2 +1CD Symphony No. 9 'Great' by Daniel Barenboim in Berlin (1985) 4/18/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD Symphonies Nos. 5 & 1 by André Previn in Los Angeles (1986) 4/17/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Piano Trio by Perlman, Harrell, Ashkenazy (1980) 4/17/16 Wintery Romantics + 3CDs Tchaikovsky's 5th (Ormandy 1981) & 6th (Gergiev 1995), Ballet Suites by Karajan 4/17/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto by V. Mullova and S. Ozawa (+ Sibelius) (1985) 4/17/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD set Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6 by Gergiev and the Vienna Philh. (2004) 4/16/15 De Fesch Concerti - Musica ad Rhenum: New links 4/15/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD Respighi's Sinfonia Drammatica by Daniel Nazareth in Bratislava (1986) 4/15/16 Stravinsky #1 +1Bonus, Oedipus Rex by Jeffrey Tate in Turin 1999 (Moser, Lipovsek, von Kannen, Kapellmann) 4/15/16 Opera Favourites #3 +1DVD Levine's Trovatore at the Met 1988 (Pavarotti, Marton, Milnes, Zajick, Wells) 4/15/16 Summer Nights #1 +1CD Erwin Schulhoff's piano works by Ulrich Urban (1993) 4/15/16 Messiaen +1CD Turangalila-Symphonie with R. Chailly (J-Y. Thibaudet, p.; T. Harada, o.M.) (a rip by Cunctator) 4/14/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Sibelius & Nielsen, Violin Concertos, by Maxim Vengerov & Daniel Barenboim (1996) 4/14/16 Summer Nights #12 +1CD B. Walter Violin Sonata & K. Goldmark 1st Suite by P. Graffin & P. Devoyon (2000) 4/14/16 Stravinsky #2 +2CDs Petrushka by D. Zinman in Baltimore & Symphony in 3 Movs. by J. Conlon in Rotterdam 4/14/16 Stravinsky #2 +1DVD Gergiev and the Vienna Philh. in Salzburg for The Firebird (+ Prokofiev & Schnittke) 4/14/16 Strauss Great Operas #2 +1DVD Ariadne auf Naxos by Colin Davis in Dresden (2000) 4/14/16 In the Name of Music +1CD Orff's Catulli Carmina & Trionfo di Afrodite by Franz Welser-Möst (1995)4/14/16 In the Name of Music +3CDs Orff's Carmina Burana by Z. Mehta (1992), A. Previn (1993) & R. Shaw (1980) 4/14/16 Hindemith +2CDs F. Schmidt's 4th Symphony (F. Welser-Moest) and Selected Organ Works (A. Juffinger) 4/14/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Moritz Moszkowski's piano works by Seta Tanyel (1993) 4/14/16 Shostakovich #2 +1CD Piano Sonatas Nos. 2, 3, 4 by Nikolai Miaskovsky in Lydia Jardon's recording (2007) 4/13/16 Summer Nights #2 +1CD Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie by Riccardo Chailly in Amsterdam (1993) 4/13/16 Darmstadt #2 +1Bonus File: Nono's Il canto sospeso with Mario Venzago in Milan 2000 (+ Berg's Op. 6) 4/13/16 Bartok #1 +1Bonus File: Piano Concerto No. 3 with Roberto Cominati e Juraj Valcuha in Turin (2007) 4/13/16 Stravinsky #2 +1CD Esa-Pekka Salonen 1988 recording of The Firebird and Jeu de Cartes in London 4/13/16 Stravinsky #2 +2CDs Haitink's Berlin Philh. recordings of The Firebird, Scènes de Ballet & Petrushka (1988/9) 4/13/16 Summer Nights #11 +1CD Joseph Suder's Piano Concerto and piano pieces by Margarita Höhenrieder (1988) 4/13/16 Selig im Glauben (Wagner's Parsifal) +2DVD sets: Levine in NYC (1992) and Nagano in Baden-Baden (2004) 4/13/16 Debussy #6 +1CD String Quartet (+ Zemlinsky's 2nd String Quartet) by the Casals String Quartet (2004) 4/13/16 Summer Nights #2 +1CD Zemlinsky, Marx, Schreker: Lieder by Dorothy Dorow & Massimiliano Damerini (1980)4/13/16 Summer Nights #2 +1CD Zemlinsky's Psalm 23 & Symphony in B-Flat by Riccardo Chailly in Berlin (1987)4/13/16 Summer Nights #2 +1CD Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie by Giuseppe Sinopoli in Vienna (1995)4/13/16 Summer Nights #2 +2CDs Zemlinsky by James Conlon (Eine florentinische Tragödie & Lyrische Symphonie) 4/13/16 Opera Favourites #2 +1DVD Puccini's La fanciulla del West by Nello Santi in London (1983) 4/13/16 Opera Favourites #2 +1DVD Puccini's La Bohème by Lamberto Gardelli in London (1982) 4/13/16 Summer Nights #5 +1CD Clemens Non Papa's Missa Pastores by the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips (1987) 4/13/16 Stravinsky #2 +2CDs Le sacre du printemps by B. Haitink in Berlin (1995) and M. Alsop in Baltimore (2006) 4/13/16 Stravinsky #1 +2CDs Oedipus Rex: Colin Davis' 1983 and Esa-Pekka Salonen's 1991 recordings. 4/13/16 Stravinsky #2 +2CDs Esa-Pekka Salonen for Apollo, Cantata, Concerto and Works for Piano & Orchestra (1988-90) 4/12/16 Contrappunti Italiani +1CD Scarlatti Sonatas in Ivo Pogorelich's classic 1991 recording 4/12/16 Wintery Romantics +2CDs Szymanowski's Piano Music by Marc-André Hamelin (2002) & Roland Pöntinen (2008) 4/12/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Scharwenka's 2nd Sonata, Romanzero with Seta Tanyel (1992) 4/12/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade with L. Maazel and the Berlin Philh. (1985) 4/12/16 Prokofiev #2 +2CDs Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-5 and 9 & 10; Piano Sonatinas (P. Donohoe) + Cello Sonata (Wallfisch) 4/12/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD Symphony No. 2 with Valery Gergiev and the USSR TV & Radio Symphony (1988) 4/12/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD Alexander Nevsky with Riccardo Chailly in Cleveland (1983) 4/12/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CDs set Alexander Nevsky & Ivan the Terrible with Mstislav Rostropovich and the LSO (1991) 4/12/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD Violin Sonatas with Erik Schumann & Henri Sigfridsson (2007) 4/12/16 Prokofiev #1 +1CD Complete works for Cello and Piano with Raphael Wallfisch & John York (1999) 4/8/16 Cello Sonatas New links 4/4/16 Schumann +1CD set The Symphonies by Gustav Kuhn and the Haydn Orchestra (2010) (a rip by Corrado D.) 4/4/16 Hindemith +1CD Reger: 4 Solo Violin Sonatas by Ulrike-Anima Mathé (1995) 4/3/16 Hindemith +1CD Reger's Clarinet Quintet by Wenzel Fuchs & the Berlin Philharmonic String Quartet (1999) 4/3/16 Hindemith +1CD set Reger's Cello Sonatas by Alban Gerhardt and Markus Becker (2008) 4/3/16 Hindemith +1CD set Reger's Complete Works for Clarinet & Piano (Ib Hausmann & Nina Tichman, 1998) 4/3/16 Hindemith +1CD Reger: 2 Violin Sonatas by H. Schneeberger & J-J. Dünki (1991) 4/3/16 Hindemith +1CD Reger's Mozart Variations (+Schumann, Weber & Naumann) by Blomstedt in Dresden (1990) 4/3/16 Hindemith +1CD Reger: 3 Solo Violin Sonatas by Ulrike-Anima Mathé (1993) 4/3/16 American Classics +1CD Korngold's Symphonic Serenade + Griffes' Roman Sketches by S. Pittau and the LSO 4/3/16 Contrappunti Italiani +1CD Busoni pieces by G. Andaloro & M. Vacatello (+Franck, Handel, Liszt, Chopin) (2005) 4/3/16 Contrappunti Italiani +1CDset Malipiero's complete String Quartets by the Orpheus String Quartet (1991) 4/3/16 Contrappunti Italiani +1CD Busoni's Turandot Suite + Casella & Martucci's orchestrals works: Riccardo Muti (1992)4/3/16 Contrappunti Italiani +1CD Busoni's Piano Concerto by Garrick Ohlsson & Christoph von Dohnányi (1989) 4/3/16 Contrappunti Italiani +2CDs Busoni's 6 Sonatinas both by Roland Pöntinen (1999) and Michele Campanella (1981) 4/3/16 Contrappunti Italiani +1CD Busoni: Elegies and Sonata by Bruce Wolosoff (rare CD 1986) 3/30/16 Schumann +1CD Alicia de Larrocha for Piano Concerto (C. Davis) + Piano Quintet (Tokyo SQ) 3/30/16 Summer Nights #8 +1CD Brahms' 1st Symphony by Sawallisch in London (1991) (a rip by Corrado) 3/29/16 Summer Nights #1 +1CD Lieder by Korngold, Schreker, Weigl & Schoenberg by S. Kimbrough & D. Baldwin 3/29/16 Mahler Das Lied von der Erde +1CD K. Sanderling 1985 recording (with P. Schreier & B. Finnilä) (a rip by Juan F.) 3/28/16 Summer Nights #8 +1CD Brahms' Symphony No. 3 with Carlo Maria Giulini in Vienna 1991 3/28/16 Strauss #2 +1DVD Giuseppe Sinopoli and the Staatskapelle Dresden: Eine Alpensinfonie (+Wagner's Rienzi Ov.) 3/26/16 Mahler Das Lied von der Erde +1DVD Semyon Bychkov in Cologne (with Torsten Kerl & Waltraud Meier) 3/26/16 Wintery Romantics +2CDs Gorecki's 3rd Symphony (Zinman) and Khachaturian's Ballet Suites (Simonov) 3/26/16 Wintery Romantics +3CDs Lyapunov, Paderewski, Moszkowski's Piano C.tos; Moszkowski, Karlowicz's Violin C.tos 3/26/16 Wintery Romantics +2CDs Borodin's Symphonies by V. Gergiev (Rotterdam, 1990) and M. Ermler (Moscow, 2000) 3/26/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Borodin's String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 by the Borodin Quartet (1966) 3/25/16 Hindemith +2CDs Bernstein's and Eschenbach's recordings of Orchestral Works (with Midori for the Violin C.to) 3/25/16 Debussy #1 +1CD Montserrat Caballé for La damoiselle élue (and Chausson's Poème), Wyn Morris conducting. 3/25/16 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #3 +2CD Berg's Violin C.to (van Keulen) + Orchestral Works (M. Venzago, cond.) 3/25/16 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #3 +1CD Berg's Kammerkonzert conducted by Hindemith (1959) 3/24/16 A Weimar Rhapsody +1CD Krenek's Quartets Nos. 1 & 7 by the Petersen String Quartet (2003) 3/24/16 Strauss Operas #2 +2DVDs Abbado's (1989) and Böhm's (1981) Elektra in Vienna 3/24/16 In the Name of Music +4CDs Wolf's Lieder Bär & Fischer-Dieskau + Italienisches Liederbuch (Cotrubas/Allen & Oelze/Blochwitz) 3/24/16 In the Name of Music +1CD Pfitzner's Lieder selection with J. Kaufmann, C. Prégardien & A. Schmidt (1997) 3/24/16 In the Name of Music +2CDs Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 'Lobgesang' by Abbado (1985) and Chailly (2005) 3/24/16 Wagner Romantic Masterpieces +1DVD James Levine's celebrated Lohengrin at the Met 1986. 3/24/16 Strauss #4 +1CD Don Quixote in Pierre Fournier's classic Szell/1960 recording in Cleveland (a rip by Sasha) 3/18/16 Schubert #2 +1CD Symphony No. 3 by Ilan Volkov (+ Haydn's Symphony No. 46 & Mendelssohn's Melusine) 3/18/16 Schumann +1CD Brigitte Engerer's late studio recording (2003), including Mendelssohn, Chopin and Liszt. 3/18/16 Schumann +2CDs Concerto (+Grieg's) by Kovacevich & C. Davis (1971); Symphonic Etudes by Brendel (1990) 3/18/16 Schubert #3 +1CD New Rip and original scans of Winterreise by Hampson and Sawallisch (1997) 3/17/16 Poulenc +2CDs Sonatas by Pascal Rogé & Friends & Gloria by Andrew Davis (+ Stravinsky's Psalms Symphony) 3/17/16 Strauss #4 +1CD Pfitzner and Strauss Orchestral music from Operas, with Thielemann at the Berlin Deutschen Oper 3/16/16 Wintery Romantics +2CDs Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Andsnes, 2001) and 3 Violin Sonatas (Amoyal & Chiu, 1999) 3/16/16 The long Goodbye +1CD Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Karajan's classic London recording (1955) (a rip by Sasha) 3/15/16 Liszt +1CD Piano Sonata (+Scriabin's 2nd Sonata) by Ivo Pogorelich (1992) 3/15/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3 with Peter Maag and Daniel Chorzempa (1986) 3/15/16 Mahler Lieder +1CD Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Charles Mackerras (with A. Murray and T. Allen) (1990) 3/15/16 Summer Nights #1 +1CD Korngold's Lieder by Steven Kimbrough and Dalton Baldwin (1984) 3/15/16 Mahler 9 +1CD Myung-Whun Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra 3/14/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD Dutilleux's Correspondance and 'Tout un monde lontain...' with Salonen (2011) 3/14/16 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #3 +1CD Boulez's rec.of Schoenberg's Suite Op. 29 & Op. 4 in the Sextet version 3/13/16 Strauss #4 +1CD Lieder with Soile Isokoski and Marita Viitasalo (the studio recording on Ondine) 3/12/16 American Classics +1CD Vernon Duke's Violin Concerto and Sonata by Elmira Darvarova and Scott Dunn 3/12/16 Shostakovich #1 +1BONUS Symphony No. 4: Jukka-Pekka Saraste & the Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI (2004) 3/12/16 Strauss Operas #2 +1DVD Der Rosenkavalier: Franz Welser-Möst's production in Zürich (2004) 3/11/16 Summer Nights #10 +1CD Keith Emerson's Piano Concerto in Emerson's recording from 1977 (J. Mayer, LPO) 3/11/16 Bartok's Voices #5 +1CD Georg Solti's Hungarian Connections, works by Bartok, Weiner, Kodaly, Liszt (1993) 3/11/16 Strauss Great Operas #1 +1CD set Kurt Masur's Ariadne auf Naxos in Dresden (1988) 3/11/16 Strauss Great Operas #1 +1DVD James Levine's Ariadne auf Naxos in New York (1988) 3/11/16 Strauss Great Operas #1 +1CD set with James Levine's Ariadne auf Naxos in Vienna (1987) 3/11/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD Milhaud's orchestral music and Harp Concerto (F. Cambreling) with Kent Nagano 3/11/16 Musique Française #1 +1CD Dukas' complete piano music by Laurent Wagschal (2013) 3/10/16 Remembering Harnoncourt's early recordings: +1CD Music at the Court of Mannheim 3/10/16 Menotti's The Medium +1DVD the 1977 classic video recording with Maureen Forrester as Madame Flora 3/10/16 Gershwin +1DVD Simon Rattle's Porgy & Bess (Glyndebourne 1993) 3/10/16 Debussy #6 +1CD Transcriptions for 2 Pianos of Jeux + Stravinsky's Sacre & Bartok's Portraits by Bavouzet & Guy 3/10/16 Debussy #6 +1CD Violin Sonata (+ Pierné's and Fauré's 1st) by C. Giovaninetti & I. Aoyagi (2013) 3/10/16 Debussy #6 Violin Sonata (+ Brahms' 2nd & Schubert's 1st Sonatina) Simone Bernardini & Vanessa Benelli-Mosell 3/10/16 Debussy #3 +1CD Printemps, La boite à joujoux, Children's Corner with Dutoit in Montréal (1994) 3/10/16 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #8 +1DVD Berg's Wozzeck in 1987 Claudio Abbado's production in Vienna 3/10/16 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #8 +1DVD Berg's Lulu in 2002 Franz Welser-Möst's production in Zürich 3/10/16 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #8 +1DVD Berg's Lulu in 1996 Andrew Davis' production in Glyndebourne 3/9/16 Bartok #5 +1CD Concerto for Orchestra with the Purcell School Orchestra conducted by Lionel Friend (1997) 3/9/15 Malcolm Arnold Symphonies - new links added 3/9/16 Summer Nights #3 +1CD Wagner scenes with tenor William Lewis and conductor Gabor Ötvös 3/4/16 Weill +1CD set 'Street Scene' in John Mauceri's 1990 classic recording for Decca 3/4/16 Strauss Operas #1 +1DVD Levine's Elektra (1980, B. Nilsson, L. Rysanek, M. Dunn, D. McIntyre, R. Nagy) 3/4/16 Stravinsky #1 +1DVD Ozawa's Oedipus Rex (1993), directed by Julie Taymor (P. Langridge, J. Norman, B. Terfel) 3/2/16 Ein Bach... +1CD Catalan keyboardist Miquel Villalba's splendid recording of the Goldberg Variations 3/2/16 Ein Bach... +1CD Glenn Gould's must-have 1981 recording of the Goldberg Variations for CBS 3/2/16 Ein Bach... +1CD Angela Hewitt's rare early Canadian recording of Concertos BWV 1052-3-6 with M. Bernardi 3/2/16 Ein Bach... +7CDs Murray Perahia's Concertos, English Suites, Partitas and Goldberg Variations for Sony 3/2/16 Ein Bach... +1CD set: Anner Bylsma's classic recording of the Cello Suites (1991) 2/21/16 Spanish School #2 +1CD Ginastera's Estancia Suite & Harp Concerto (Barrera) under Josep Pons (2003) 2/21/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Magdalena Kozena's recording of Martinu, Dvorak & Janacek's Love Songs (2000) 2/21/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Clifford Curzon and Vienna Philh. Quartet for Dvorak and Franck's Piano Quintets 2/11/16 Contrappunti Italiani +1 Bonus File: Vanessa Benelli Mosell for Busoni's Chopin Variatons (2006) 2/6/16 Musique Française #3 +1CD Fischer-Dieskau's historic 1975 recording of Ravel, Poulenc and Fauré's songs 2/6/16 Wintery Romantics +1DDL Sibelius and Goldmark, Violin Concertos by Bell and Salonen (2000) 2/6/16 Wintery Romantics +1DDL Sibelius, Symphony No. 2 by Salonen and the LA Philh. (2007) 2/5/16 Shostakovich #1 +1CD Jansons's recrding of Symphonies Nos. 2 & 12 in Munich (2005) 2/5/16 Shostakovich #1 +2CDs New rips for Jansons's Symphonies Nos. 3 + 14 & 13 on EMI 2/4/16 Ein Bach... +1CD set Goldberg-Variationen in Tessa Uys's rare recording for Claremont (2000) 2/4/16 Intense Bruckner +1DVD Audio Rip: Sinopoli's 4th Symphony in Tokyo with the Philharmonia Orchestra (1988) 2/4/16 Musique Française #2 +1CD Franck & Debussy by Kenneth Weir (+ Rachmaninov's Chopin Variations) (2001) 2/4/16 Debussy #3 +1CD Images and Nocturnes with Dutoit in Montréal (1988) 2/4/16 Debussy #4 +1CD Etudes & Estampes by Véronique Pélisséro (1991) 2/4/16 American Classics +1CD Leroy Anderson's Favourite Orchestral Pieces conducted by Leonard Slatkin (1993) 1/28/16 Recorder music #1 New rips and links 1/27/16 Musique Française #1 +1LP Franck's Piano Quintet and Prélude, Choral et Fugue by J-P. Collard and Muir SQ 1/27/16 Debussy #6 +1LP String Quartet (+ Ravel's), by the Alban Berg Quartett on EMI (1984) 1/27/16 Summer Nights #4 +1LP Roger Woodward's recording of Beethoven's Op. 111 & Op. 57 for RCA (1973) 1/24/16 Opera Favourites #2 +1CD set Levine's Manon Lescaut (Decca, 1993) 1/21/16 Opera Favourites #1 +1CD set Karajan's 1982 recording of Carmen for DGG 1/18/16 Ein Bach... +1CD set Johannes-Passion in Harnoncourt's classic recording for Teldec (1993) 1/17/16 Ein Bach... +1CD set The Cello Suites in Rostropovich's classic 1991 EMI recording 1/16/16 Debussy #2 +1DDL Songs (including Chansons de Bilitis) + Ravel and Chausson by DeGaetani & Kalish (1979) 1/15/16 Musique Française #3 +1CD Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit (+ Elliott Carter's piano works) by Pierre-Laurent Aimard 1/14/16 Shostakovich #2 +1CD set Preludes and Fugues Op. 87 (+Bach from WTC Book 1) selections: Mustonen 1/14/16 Bartok's Voices #5 Additional links for 5CD-box Dorati conducts Bartok (Mercury Living Presence) 1/13/16 Summer Nights #10 +1CD Elgar & Walton's Violin Sonatas by Daniel Hope & Simon Mulligan (2000) 1/12/16 Summer Nights #2 +1CD Reger's Mozart Variations (Salonen) & Romantic Suite (Zagrosek) in Baden-Baden 1/11/16 Summer Nights #5 +5CDs Vivaldi by Onofri & Antonini, Harnoncourt, Hogwood, Petri, Kermes & Marcon 1/8/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Alice Ader's recording of Préludes 1 & Jeux (2002) (previously posted in Feb. 2012) 1/7/16 Opera Favourites #2 +1CD set Puccini's Turandot in Molinari-Pradelli's 1965 recording in Rome 1/7/16 Opera Favourites #2 +1CD set Puccini's Fanciulla del West in Lorin Maazel's 1991 recording in Milan 1/6/16 Debussy #5 +1CD Préludes by Pascal Rogé (2004 recording) 1/5/16 Debussy #4 +1CD set The Piano Music in Daniel Ericourt's rare recording (1962) (a rip by DanseDePuck) 1/5/16 Debussy #5 +1CD set Préludes, Images and Estampes by Claudio Arrau (1981) (a rip by OdeonMusico) 1/5/16 Opera Favourites #2 +2CD sets Puccini: Maazel's Manon Lescaut (1992) & Chailly's La Bohème (1992) 1/5/16 Wintery Romantics +1CD Maazel's Mussorgsky: Pictures and Night in Cleveland for Telarc (1978) 1/3/16 Summer Nights #4 +1CD Beethoven's 9th Symphony by Donald Runnicles in Atlanta (2003) 1/2/16 Strauss Oktoberfest #3 +1CD Vier letzte and Lieder Selection with Soile Isokoski & Marek Janowski (2002) 1/2/16 Strauss Great Operas #2 +1CD set Der Rosenkavalier by Andrew Davis (1995) 12/31/15 Orlando di Lasso: +1CD Moduli Quinis Vocibus, Herreweghe, with extra links (bzzz) 12/29/15 Opera Favourites #2 +1CD Puccini's Suor Angelica by Bartoletti in Rome (1973) (a rip by Juan) 12/23/15 Hindemith +1CD performs his Piano Duet Sonata, 3rd Violin Sonata, Der Schwanendreher (a rip by bzzz) 12/22/15 Debussy #5 +1CD the Préludes by Philippe Bianconi (2012) 12/22/15 Summer Nights #10 +1CD Elgar's Cello Concerto & Enigma Vars. by J. Lloyd Webber & Menuhin (1985) 12/22/15 Ein Bach... +1CD Cantatas BWV 140 & 147 with John E. Gardiner (1990) 12/16/15 Summer Nights #10 +1CD Walton's 2nd Sym., Hindemith Variations and Partita (G. Szell 1959) (a rip by Sasha) 12/16/15 Summer Nights #10 +1CD Carols from Trinity College, Cambridge, conducted by Richard Marlow (1988) 12/16/15 English Baroque Music: New links 12/14/15 Mahler 2 +1CD V. Neumann's recording for Supraphon Fidelio in 1980 12/14/15 Liszt +1CD Gyula Kiss' recording of the 2 Piano Concertos and Totentanz (1976) 12/13/15 O Tuneful Voice (Bronze Series) Added new link with tracks Nos.20-22 repaired using CueTools. 12/13/15 American Classics +1CD Rozsa, Gould and Menotti Orchestral Music by David Amos and the LSO (1990) 12/13/15 Rachmaninov #2 +1CD 2nd Concerto by Cécile Ousset & Simon Rattle (+Grieg's Concerto with Marriner) 12/9/15 Debussy #5 +4CDs Préludes Book 1 (or both) by S.D. Lasry, M. Pollini, O. Maisenberg, Y. Egorov. 12/9/15 Debussy #5 +2CDs Selected Works by M. Lympany and R. O'Hora 12/9/15 Musique Française #1 +1HQ DDL Frank Martin's Mass for Double Choir with Robert Shaw (1994) 12/8/15 Spanish School #2 +1HQ DDL Villa-Lobos' Etudes and Preludes for Guitar with Alvaro Pierri 12/8/15 Spanish School #2 +1HQ DDL S. Isbin with the NYP and J. Serebrier for Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos and Ponce 12/8/15 Spanish School #2 +1CD Falla's Popular Songs by Ann Murray + Ginastera's Estancia (Harth-Bedoya cond.) 12/7/15 Summer Nights #10 +4CDs Holst's The Planets by Yoel Levi, Zubin Mehta, Eugene Ormandy, André Previn. 12/7/15 Debussy #6 +1LP String Quartet (+ Ravel's) by the Quatuor Parrenin on EMI (1970) 12/7/15 Summer Nights #5 +2CDs Handel's Organ Concertos (A. Frigé) and Selected Secular Cantatas (J. Baird) 12/7/15 Composer Alexandre Guilmant: new links 12/5/15 Debussy #4 +1CD box The Piano Music (including a MUST-HAVE recording of the Etudes) by Albert Ferber 12/5/15 Debussy #4 +4CDs The Etudes recordings by Jean-Pierre Armengaud, Monique Haas, Roland Krüger, Ju-Ying Song 12/5/15 Strauss Great Operas #2 +1CD box Edo de Waart's 1976 Der Rosenkavalier in Rotterdam 12/4/15 Summer Nights #10 +3CDs Grainger by Gardiner, Howell's Hymnus paradisi, Elgar by du Pré & Barenboim 12/4/15 Summer Nights #4 +6CDs Beethoven by Rostropovich/Richter, Serkin/Ozawa, Buchbinder, Gieseking, Maazel 12/3/15 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #4 +1LP Schoenberg's Erwartung by Susan Davenny-Wyner (+ Wolpe's Symphony) 12/2/15 Wintery Romantics +1CD Alexander Ardakov's recording of selected Piano works by Glinka, Scriabin, Chopin 12/1/15 Opera Favourites #1 +2CDs Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel recorded by Donald Runnicles in Munich (1994) 12/1/15 Musique Française #3 +1CD Ravel's Gaspard and Tombeau in Charles Rosen 1959 recording for Epic 12/1/15 Darmstadt #3 +1CD Charles Rosen recording of Boulez 1st Sonata and excerpts from 3rd Sonata (1972) 11/27/15 Summer Nights #9 +1CD Brahms' Deutsches Requiem/Levine (a rip by Juan) + Selected Lieder from original LP 11/24/15 Musique Française #2 +1LP Ravel' for 2 Pianos and Piano Duet with Maria Tipo & Alessandro Specchi (1979) 11/24/15 Prokofiev #2 +1LP Tedd Joselson's rare recording of Sonatas Nos. 2 & 8 (RCA, 1976) 11/23/15 The Odd Couple +3CDs Mozart's Violin Concertos (Kavakos & Camerata S.) + "Gran Partita" by I Fiati di Parma 11/23/15 The Odd Couple +2CDs Mozart's K. 467& 595 (R. Serkin/Abbado) + 488 & 537 (F. Gulda/Harnoncourt) 11/20/15 Summer Nights #6 +1CD Rameau's Grands motets in Hervé Niquet's 1992 recording 11/18/15 Schoenberg Piano Music +1LP the rare 1970 J. von Vintschger recording for Turnabout Vox 11/18/15 Debussy #5 +1CD Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky for Piano Duet with Moneta & Rota Piano Duo (1990) 11/18/15 Debussy #5 +1CD Debussy & Ravel's Music for 2 Pianos and Piano Duet by Collard & Béroff (1982) 11/18/15 Debussy #6 +2CDs Debussy & Ravel's chamber works and Songs with chamber ensemble by the Nash Ens. 11/18/15 Debussy #3 +8CDs Orchestral works with Boulez, Lombard, Salonen, Volkov, Krivine, Rattle, F. de Burgos 11/17/15 Summer Nights #5 +1CD Couperin's Livre de Clavecin (6th, 8th, 18th Ordres) by Angela Hewitt (2002) 11/17/15 Ein Bach... +3CDs Tureck in St. Petersburg + Anderszewski Partitas 1,3,6 + Baroque music for Oboe and Organ 11/15/15 Summer Nights #7 +2CDs Brahms' Piano Concertos by M. Tirimo and the LPO (K. Sanderling & Y. Levi) 11/15/15 Strauss Oktoberfest #2 +1CD Zarathustra (Skrowaczewski) + Symphonia Domestica (Seaman) (NYO of GB) 11/12/15 Summer Nights #8 +1CD Brahms's Serenades in Haitink's classic Philips recording (1981) 11/12/15 Stravinsky #2 +1CD Gatti's 2011 recording with the ONF: Sacre and Petrushka 11/12/15 Stravinsky #2 +1CD Chamber Orchestra Works by the Endymion Ensemble under J. Whitfield (1987). Rare. 11/12/15 Stravinsky #2 +1CD Boulez's 1975 classic Firebird recording with the New York Philharmonic 11/12/15 Stravinsky #2 +2CD Sacre, Firebird, Petrushka & Pulcinella by Yakov Kreizberg and the Monte-Carlo Philh. 11/12/15 Stravinsky #2 +1CD Rattle and the National Youth Orchestra of GB (Sacre) + Dorati and the RPO (Firebird) 11/11/15 Prokofiev #2 +1CD Peter & the Wolf by M. Harth-Bedoya in Fort Worth + Saint-Saens' Carnaval des animaux 11/10/15 Locatelli - Complete Flute Sonatas: New links 11/10/15 Wintery Romantics +1CD Dvorak's Cello Concerto & Tchaikovsky's Rococo with Rostropovich & Karajan 11/10/15 Mahler Lieder +1CD Y. Minton and P. Boulez for Rückert Lieder + Wagner's Wesendonck (1979) 11/10/15 Hindemith +1CD Quartet with Clarinet and Piano with E.Brunner etc. (1999) (a rip by bzzz) 11/10/15 Summer Nights #7 +2LPs Brahms' Ballades Op. 10 by E. Gilels and by W. Kempff 11/9/15 Schumann +1LP Mehta's recording of the 3rd Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic (Decca 1983) 11/9/15 Summer Nights #8 +1LP Mehta's Brahms's 1st Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic (a transfer by Enrico B) 11/9/15 Rachmaninov #2 +1CD Leon McCawley's recording of the 3rd Concerto with Charles Groves conducting (1990) 11/9/15 Intense Bruckner +1CD Muti's 4th with the Berlin Philharmonic (1985) 11/9/15 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #1 +1 Bonus: Schoenberg's Phantasy Op. 47 by Irvine Arditti & Noriko Kawai 11/8/15 Poulenc +1LP & 1CD L'Histoire de Babar, with R. Gérôme & J. Février and with J. Moreau & J-M. Luisada 11/8/15 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #3 + 1LP Schoenberg's Chamber Works by de Leeuw (1986) 11/7/15 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #3 +1Double LP: Schoenberg's Complete Chamber Choir Works by de Leeuw 11/6/15 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #6 +1CD Dorow & de Leeuw: Webern's complete Soprano and Chamber Orchestra 11/6/15 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #6 +1LP Dorow & de Leeuw for Webern, Dallapiccola, Schoenberg & Stravinsky 11/4/15 Sgorby Rips #1 +1CD Sammartini's Quintetti e Quartetti by Ensemble Aglàia (2007) (a rip by Davide) 10/29/15 Dutch Organists #Part2: New links 10/27/15 Essential American Classics +1LP Wolpe, Lieberson, Stravinsky: piano works Peter Serkin (1985) 10/27/15 Second Viennese School Ess.ls #3 +1LP Serenade Op. 24, Boulez's classic recording of 1963 for Wergo. 10/27/15 Schoenberg Piano Music +1CD Paul Jacobs' legendary Nonesuch recording (1975) (a rip by BZ) 10/27/15 Mendelssohn Chamber Music: New links 10/25/15 Mendelssohn New links 10/24/15 Hindemith +1CD 4 Violin Sonatas with Oleg Kagan & Sviatoslav Richter (1978) (a rip by bzzz) 10/23/15 Glories of the Italian Piano School +1CD Domenico Nordio & Giorgia Tomassi (Beethoven & Pärt) 10/23/15 Glories of the Italian Piano School +1CD Geza Hosszu-Legocki & Giorgia Tomassi (Franck & Beethoven) 10/23/15 Glories of the Italian Piano School +1CD Giorgia Tomassi's unreleased recording of Chopin's Préludes (1997) 10/23/15 Rachmaninov #2 +1CD Glemser's recording of 2nd and 3rd Concertos under Wit (1996) (a rip by Lupo2004) 10/22/15 Summer Nights #7 +1CD Brahms's Violin Sonatas by Cristopher White and Melanie Reinhard (1999) 10/21/15 Rare Grooves #1 +3LPs Böhm's Eroica; Argerich's Bach and Muti's Verdi (4 Pezzi Sacri) 10/21/15 Dutch Organists #1 New links 10/20/15 Rare Grooves #2 +1LP Debussy Images, Faune and La mer by Paul Paray and the Detroit SO (1957) 10/19/15 Glories of the Italian Piano School +1CD Ciani & Gavazzeni for Mozart's K. 466 & K. 491 (1970/1973) 10/19/15 Rachmaninov #2 +1CD Noriko Ogawa's recording of 2nd and 3rd Concertos in Malmö under Hughes (1997) 10/16/15 Darmstadt #5 +3LPs Xenakis's Choral and Orchestral works with Constant and Tabachnik (a rip by Sotise) 10/16/15 Darmstadt #5 +1LP Rare album with Levinas's Orchestral Works ripped by friend Sotise (Adès MFA 1985) 10/15/15 American Classics +1CD Bernstein's Dybbuk (Complete Ballet), first recording (1974) 10/15/15 Wintery Romantics +1CD: Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade by John Mauceri and the LSO (1987) 10/1/15 Glories of the Italian Piano School +1DDL: Tomassi with Accardo for Beethoven's 'Kreutzer' & 'Spring' (2004) 10/1/15 Glories of the Italian Piano School + 1 Bonus: Dino Ciani plays Brahms's 1st Piano Concerto (Turin, 1969) 10/1/15 Messiaen +1LP: Paul Jacobs' rare recording of the Quatre études de rythme + Busoni, Stravinsky, Bartók (1976) 9/29/15 Strauss Great Operas #2 +2CD sets: Der Rosenkavalier. Karajan's (1956) and Bernstein's (1971) recordings 9/29/15 Strauss Great Operas #2 +1CD set: Die ägyptische Helena conducted by Gérard Korsten in Cagliari (2001) 9/27/15 Rare Grooves #2 +1LP Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter etc. with Ernest Ansermet (1958) (a rip by Enrico B) 9/26/15 Mahler 3 +1CD set: V. Neumann's great Prague early digital recording for Supraphon (1981) 9/26/15 Mahler Lieder +1CD Christianne Stotijn's Rückert and Selected Lieder + Brahms Alto Rhapsody (2006) 9/25/15 Second Viennese School Ess'ls #2 +1CD Berg's Kammerkonzert by the Baton Rouge Chamber Players 9/25/15 Messiaen +1CD Cinq rechant by the BBC Singers/S. Cleobury (+ Choral works by Villette, Poulenc, Caplet) 9/25/15 In the Name of Music +1CD Mendelssohn's 2nd Symphony ('Lobgesang') by Richard Hickox (2002) 9/24/15 Mahler Das Lied von der Erde +1CD, Donald Runnicles (2008) 9/24/15 Strauss Oktoberfest #2 +2CDs The Piano Music by Stefan Vladar & The Piano Trios by Odeon Trio 9/24/15 Strauss Oktoberfest #3 +2CDs Alpensinfonie: Masur & ONF (2007) and M. Jansons & BBC Welsh (1991) 9/22/15 Schoenberg Piano Music +2CDs Roland Pöntinen's & Madalena Soveral's fabulous complete recordings 9/22/15 Schoenberg Piano Music +1CD, Claude Helffer's classic recording for HM (1969) (a rip by John F) 9/22/15 Schoenberg Operas +1CD set, Georg Solti's reference recording of Moses und Aron in Chicago 1985 for Decca 9/21/15 Messiaen +1CD, Cinq Rechants + Stockhausen's Choruses for Doris and Xenakis choral works (Chandos, 1998)9/21/15 Messiaen +1DDL, Fête Des Belles Eaux by the Sextet of Ondes Martenot of Montréal (ATMA 2008) 9/18/15 Summer Nights #1 +1 Bonus: Martinu, Krasa and Schulhoff conducted by Christopher Hogwood (Milan, 2003) 9/18/15 Hindemith +1Bonus: Hindemith in Italy, conducting his music plus Brahms's, Webern's and Blacher's at RAI 9/18/15 Hindemith +1CD Violist A. Tamestit & P. Järvi beautiful CD (also including pianist M. Hadulla) (2012) 9/18/15 Summer Nights #10 +1CD set, Lloyd Webber's rock opera masterpiece Jesus Christ Superstar (London cast 1996) 9/18/15 Weill +1CD Dessau's Symphony No. 2, In memoriam Brecht, Les voix etc. by Roger Epple on Capriccio (2009) 9/18/15 Rare Grooves +1LP Liszt & Wagner Preludes with Mehta & the WP (1967) (a stunning LP transfer by Enrico B) 9/17/15 Prokofiev #2 +1CD Boris Giltburg's recording of the War Sonatas (6th, 7th and 8th) (2012) 9/16/15 Poulenc +1CD Chamber Music with Woodwinds and Piano Duet Sonata by the Ensemble Petra (1999) 9/16/15 Darmstadt #2 +1CD Carter's Sonata (+ Bartók's and Dutilleux's) by Claire-Marie Le Guay on Accord (2000) 9/15/15 Darmstadt #2 +2CDs Including a new rip of Maderna's Oboe Concertos by Holliger & Bertini (1993) 9/14/15 Darmstadt #2 +2 Bonus: Donatoni's Le ruisseau (Brunello); Maderna Grande Aulodia + Nono's A Carlo Scarpa 9/14/15 American Classics +2CDs Herrmann & Diamond Chamber M. + Donald Fagen's milestone album The Nightfly 9/14/15 Schumann +1CD: Fischer-Dieskau's reference recording of Dichterliebe, Myrten and Liederk. Op. 39 (1979) 9/14/15 American Classics +1CD: Ives's "Concord" Sonata by Aimard and Songs by Graham on Warner (2004) 9/14/15 Darmstadt #2 +1CD Maderna's 3 Oboe Concertos by Fabian Menzel and Michael Stern on Col Legno (1996) 9/13/15 Darmstadt #4 +1CD Carter's one act opera "What Next?" in Péter Eötvös's première recording for ECM 9/11/15 Debussy #1 +1CD Thierry Fischer's recording of Le martyre de Saint Sébastien (BBC MM, 2011) 9/11/15 Debussy #5 +2CDs Benedetti Michelangeli's historic recordings of the Préludes for DG (1978 & 1988) 9/11/15 Debussy #4 +1CD Charles Rosen's reference (and first ever) recording of the Etudes (1955) 9/11/15 Summer Nights #12 +1LP Grumiaux and Haitink for Bruch 1st Violin Concerto (a transfer by Enrico B) 8/4/15 Schubert on Modern Instruments: new links for Oktett in D, by Cherubini Quartett 8/4/15 Schubert on Modern Instruments: new links for Richard Goode 8/3/15 Rare Grooves#1 +6 LPs mostly Enrico B's outstanding transfers of great out-of-print material 8/2/15 Intense Bruckner +9CDs with classic recordings by Solti, Chailly, Abbado, Wand, Karajan, Harnoncourt 7/25/15 Buxtehude & Pachelbel Organ Works - New links 7/18/15 Darmstadt #3 +1CD Pollini's classic DGG recording of Boulez's 2nd Piano Sonata (1978) 7/17/15 American Classics +1CD (NEW RIP) Lieberson's Neruda Songs with Hunt Lieberson & Levine (BSO) 7/16/15 Tristan und Isolde +1CD box, Georg Solti's classic recording (1960) (a rip by Cecco) 7/16/15 Selig im Glauben (Parsifal) +1CD box, Georg Solti's classic recording (1972) (a rip by Cecco) 7/15/15 Strauss Operas #1 +1CD box, Leinsdorf recording with Caballé, Milnes and the LSO (1968) (a rip by Cecco) 7/14/15 Die Meistersinger +2CD box, Solti 1975 Vienna (a rip by Cecco) and Kempe 1957 Berlin (a rip by A. 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(1994) 4/9/15 American Classics: 1CD Gershwin Porgy & Bess highlights, American in Paris, Cuban Ov. by Mehta & the NYP 4/9/15 Summer Nights #2: +1CD: Rezniček and Korngold's 1st String Quartets by the F. Schubert Quartett of Vienna 4/9/15 Schubert Essentials #1: +2CDs Works for Piano Duet by Anne Queffélec & Imogen Cooper (Erato, 1978) 4/9/15 Debussy #4: +4CDs The Complete Piano Music by Paul Crossley with one of the finest accounts of the Etudes 4/8/15 Musique Française #1: +1LP Frank Martin's Der Cornet (Rilke), Lipovšek & Zagrosek (1984) 4/8/15 Rare Grooves +1LP Grofé's Grand Canyon and Alfvén's Swedish Rhapsody by Ormandy in Philly (CBS, 1958) 4/8/15 Rare Grooves #2 +1LP Vivaldi, Capuzzi & Paisiello: Concertos with I Musici (Philips 1964. A rip by Enrico B.) 4/7/15 Rare Grooves #2 +1LP: Goldmark's Rustic Wedding Symphony by Jesús López-Cobos (1981) 4/7/15 Rare Grooves #2 +2 LPs: Mendelssohn 3rd (A. 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Alvanis (1994) 4/7/15 Ein Bach...: +1LP: Daniel Varsano's recording of the Goldberg Variations (CBS, 1980) 4/7/15 Debussy #2 +1LP: Mélodies (including Baudelaire & Mallarmé sets) by Hugues Cuenod (1979) 4/7/15 Musique Française #2 +2CDs Wagschal for Fauré's Nocturnes (2009) + Satie by Ciccolini (and Tacchino) (1986) 4/7/15 Easter Passion Music: New links 3/22/15 German Baroque chamber Music New links in the comments 3/21/15 London Baroque - Trio Sonatas: new links in the comments 3/21/15 Vivaldi - Musica ad Rhenum : new link in the comments 3/19/15 Shostakovich #1 +1CD Bernstein's 5th (NYP, Tokyo 1979) & Cello Concerto with Ma & Ormandy in Philly 1982 3/19/15 Mahler 1 +1CD Solti's recording with the LSO (Decca, 1964), a new rip by Sgorby 3/19/15 Darmstadt #3: +1CD rip by Sgorby of already posted Ligeti by Cerha (Wergo) 1971 (previously on LP rip) 3/16/15 Debussy #4 The Complete Solo Piano Music by Aldo Ciccolini on EMI (1991) (a rip by Sgorby) 3/16/15 Strauss #3 +2CDs 4 last Songs Schwarzkopf & Szell (1966) and Harper & Del Mar (1981) 3/15/15 Strauss #3 +1CD Ein Heldenleben by Haitink and the CSO (2009) 3/15/15 Stravinsky #2 +1CD The Firebird (complete) & Chant du rossignol by Kitajenko and the Danish Radio SO 1991 3/14/15 Summer Nights #1 +1CD Respighi's Belfagor, Belkis and Church Windows (Ashkenazy, Netherlands Radio Philh.) 3/14/15 Shostakovich #1 +1CD Hypothetically Murdered Suite + Pushkin Romances (Kharitonov & Elder) 1992 3/14/15 Shostakovich #2 +1CD 1st Violin Concerto (+ Glazunov Violin C.to) with Perlman & Mehta on EMI 1988 3/12/15 Prokofiev #1 +1CD Li & Ozawa's for the 2nd Piano Concerto (+ Ravel's G Major Concerto) (DGG, 2007) 3/12/15 Mahler 8 +2CDs Leif Segerstam's recording in Copenhagen for Chandos (1994) + 10th Adagio 3/12/15 Summer Nights #8 +1CD Andrew Davis recording of Brahms's 4th + the Zigeunerlieder (BBC 1996) 3/12/15 Musique Française #1 +3CDs: Boulanger's Faust et Hélène; Franck by Firkušný & Flor; Debussy & Takemitsu 3/12/15 Debussy #4 +1CD Livia Rev's recording of the Etudes (+ Suite Bergamasque, D'un cahier, Berceuse) (Saga 1980) 3/5/15 Mahler 5 +2CDs Frank Shipway and the RPO (1996) (Symphony + No. 1 by Yuri Simonov) 3/5/15 Spanish School #3 +2CDs Ginastera by Santiago Rodriguez (1984) & Mompou by Ester Pineda (1992) 3/4/15 Bartok #4 +1LP 2nd Piano Concerto and 4 Pieces for Orchestra, Weissenberg and Ormandy (1970) 3/3/15 Musique Française #2 +1CD Debussy for Piano Duet & 2 Pianos by Pascal & Ami Rogé (2011) 3/3/15 Gershwin +1CD Rhapsody in Blue (Daniel Adni in Bournemouth), Addinsell's Warsaw C.to & Rózsa's Spellbound 3/3/15 Wintery Romantics +1CD Nielsen's 2nd Symphony (A. Davis) and Sibelius's 5th (Bamert) with the BBC SO 3/3/15 Prokofiev #1 +1CD Salonen and the Berlin Philharmonic: Romeo & Juliet (Excerpts) (CBS 1986) 3/1/15 Spanish School #3 +2CDs Albeniz & Granados selection by J.M. Pinzolas + "My Piazzolla" by Cecilia Pillado 3/1/15 Debussy #1 +1CD Jeux (Eötvös), Prélude (Robertson), Satie's Parade (Porcelijn), Roussel's BeA's 2nd Suite (Weller) 2/28/15 Debussy #4 +3CDs: Anne Queffélec's 12 Etudes, Ravel's Concertos & Miroirs, Fauré's Violin Sonatas (with P. 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Henriot-Schweitzer) & Honegger 2/26/15 Wintery Romantics +1LP: Maazel early recording of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony in Vienna for Decca (1965) 2/26/15 Des Horizons #1 +1CD Canteloube's complete Chants d'Auvergne by von Stade and De Almeida (CBS 1985) 2/26/15 Strauss Operas #2 +1CD set: Die Frau ohne Schatten, the complete Sawallisch recording for EMI (1987) 2/22/15 Des horizons de la musique française #2 +1CD Chabrier's Piano Music by Hewitt (2004) (a rip by Alan) 2/22/15 Rachmaninov #1 +1CD 2nd Symphony by Farberman & the RPO (1978) (a rip by Sgorby) 2/22/15 Summer Nights #9 +1CD Respighi Antiche Danze e Arie per Liuto by Ozawa (DGG 1979) (a rip by Sgorby) 2/22/15 Wintery Romantics +1CD Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker by Gergiev (Philips 1998) (a rip by Alan) 2/21/15 Wintery Romantics +6CDs Tchaikovsky Complete Symphonies: Temirkanov and the RPO (BMG) (a rip by Sgorby) 2/21/15 Wintery Romantics +2CDs Tchaikovsky Swan Lake (Complete) with Sawallisch (EMI 1994) 2/13/15 The World of Debussy #5 +1LP Rip, Teddy Teirup plays "La boîte a joujoux" (+ Ravel's Sonatine) 2/10/15 Bohemian Composers of the 17th Century New links added 2/7/15 Music from the Renaissance #2 New links added 2/3/15 Shostakovich #2 +1CD Cello Concerto No. 1 by Amit Peled 2/3/15 Summer Nights #5 +1CD Cello works by H. 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The first cast change of the San Francisco Opera's fall season was Nian Wang leaving the cast of Dream of the Red Chamber, with Irene Roberts joining. Now we've got two more, and one is, well, an eyebrow-raiser. The first is that Scott Quinn has withdrawn for personal reasons from Vec Makropulos, where he was to make his role debut as Albert Gregor. The opera opens in around three and a half weeks, so likely rehearsals are under way. Who knows what "personal reasons" means, in this case? Charles Workman will sing Gregor instead. Workman is American, but he is active primarily in Europe and has a most interesting repertory, according to Operabase. He has sung roles ranging from Tito in Clemenza to Nobile in Thomas Adès's The Exterminating Angel, which was staged for the first time just a few weeks ago. Here's what the press release says about him: American artist Charles Workman is a versatile artist whose early career saw him in the forefront of Rossini and Mozart tenors while also being highly-regarded in early music, French repertory and 20th-century and contemporary music. Following initial debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Workman moved to Europe in 1995 where he has performed to great success with the leading opera companies and orchestras including the Paris Opéra, London’s Royal Opera, Milan’s La Scala, Moscow’s Bolshoi, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the companies of Geneva, Zurich, Lyon, Munich and Prague. Upcoming engagements include The Drum Major in Wozzeck for Geneva; Nobile in Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Edmund in Lear for Salzburg Festival and various roles in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher in Madrid.Welcome to San Francisco, Mr. Workman! Meanwhile, later in the season, Maxim Aksenov has withdrawn from the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and this is the eyebrow-raiser, because Mr. Aksenov withdrew from June's run of Carmen performances "for personal reasons" as well. Any number of things could be going on here, including family issues, or an ongoing illness that the singer prefers not to disclose (and if so, he is completely entitled to privacy). In any event, one wishes him well. He'll be replaced by Vincenzo Costanzo, about whom the press release says: In November and December, tenor Vincenzo Costanzo will sing the role of Lt. B. F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. A native of Naples, Italy, Costanzo has had a fast rising international career and has worked with such distinguished conductors and directors as Daniel Oren, Myung-whun Chung, Franco Zeffirelli and Liliana Cavani. He recently performed to great success the role of Pinkerton in Milan with La Verdi Orchestra, Florence, Piacenza and Venice; Verdi’s Macbeth at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam; the role of Rodolfo in Luisa Miller at Madrid’s Teatro Real; Nabucco at the Reggia di Caserta; and also sang Alfredo in La Traviata at the AIDS Gala at Deutsche Oper Berlin. Costanzo’s future engagements include Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera in Piacenza and Modena; Madama Butterfly in Madrid and Venice; La Rondine in Berlin; Macbeth in Palermo; Simon Boccanegra in Liège and La Bohème in Salzburg.He's making his SFO and United States opera debut. Welcome!
Sonya Yoncheva as Norma in Norma, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper ‘Casta diva’ is an aria from Vincenzo Bellini ’s 1831 opera Norma . It takes place in Act I, shortly after the title character’s first entrance. Bellini originally wrote the role for his friend Giuditta Pasta and the part is considered one of the most challenging roles in the repertory – for a variety of reasons, although particularly the music. It requires a flexible voice that also has tremendous power over a wide range. ‘Casta diva’ is a prime example not only of bel canto (the generic term for a style of music popular in early 19th-century Italy, where high importance is placed on vocal beauty), but also of Bellini’s own distinctive style. Where does it take place in the opera? ‘Casta diva’ takes place in Act I scene 3. Before the aria, we have encountered Norma’s father Oroveso and his followers. They’re eager for war, but they have to wait for approval from Norma, who as priestess has the final say. We then meet Norma’s secret lover Pollione, an enemy of her people. We learn that he’s fallen out of love with Norma and wishes to abandon her and their two children. Then comes ‘Casta diva’. In the preceding recitative Norma argues with Oroveso about the need for war; in the aria itself she leads her people in a serene prayer for peace. This calm doesn’t last long, though – soon Pollione’s outrageous behaviour will lead Norma to give the signal for war. What do the words mean? Read our line-by-line translation of librettist Felice Romani ’s original Italian text, created in 2016 by Royal Opera House surtitler Kenneth Chalmers: Recitative: ‘Sediziose voci, voci di guerra’ Norma Sediziose voci, voci di guerra Avvi chi alzarsi attenta Presso all’ara del Dio? V’ha chi presume Dettar responsi alla veggente Norma, E di Roma affrettar il fato arcano? Ei non dipende, no, non dipende Da potere umano.Oroveso E fino a quando oppressi Ne vorrai tu? Contaminate assai Non fur le patrie selve E i templi aviti Dall’aquile latine? Omai di Brenno oziosa Non può starsi la spada.Chorus Si brandisca una volta! Norma E infranta cada. Infranta, sì, se alcun di voi snudarla Anzi tempo pretende. Ancor non sono della nostra vendetta i dì maturi. Delle sicambre scuri Sono i pili romani ancor più forti. Oroveso and Chorus E che t’annunzia il Dio? Parla! Quai sorti? Norma Io ne’ volumi arcani leggo del cielo, In pagine di morte Della superba Roma è scritto il nome. Ella un giorno morrà, Ma non per voi. Morrà pei vizi suoi, Qual consunta morrà. L’ora aspettate, l’ora fatal Che compia il gran decreto. Pace v’intimo E il sacro vischio io mieto. Norma Are there those who would call for rebellion and war at the altar of god? Would some put words into the mouth of the prophetess Norma and hasten Rome’s unknown fate? It does not depend on human might.Oroveso How long would you have us oppressed? Have our woods and the temples of our ancestors not been tainted enough by Roman symbols? The sword of Brennus cannot now lie idle.Chorus Raise it up! Norma And it will shatter and fall. Yes, shatter if any one of you tries to unsheathe it before time. The time of our revenge has yet to come. Roman spears are still more mighty than the axes of the Sicambri Oroveso and Chorus What has god told you? What is our fate? Norma I read the secrets in the stars. Proud Rome’s name is written on the page of death. One day she will die, but not through your doing. She will die eaten away by her own vices. Wait for the fateful hour when this will come to pass I counsel peace, and gather sacred mistletoe. Aria: ‘Casta diva’ Casta diva, che inargenti Queste sacre antiche piante, Al noi volgi il bel sembiante, Senza nube e senza vel!Tempra, o Diva, Tempra tu de’ cori ardenti, Tempra ancora lo zelo audace. Spargi in terra quella pace Che regnar tu fai nel ciel. Chaste goddess, you cast a silver light upon these age-old, sacred trees. Turn your lovely face to us unclouded and unveiled.O goddess, calm the fire that burns in these hearts Calm their fearless zeal. Spread across the earth that same peace that rules the heavens by your power. What makes the music so memorable? Verdi once praised Bellini’s ‘long, long, long melodies; melodies such as no one had written before him’. ‘Casta diva’, along with several other passages from Norma, exemplify this trait. In the aria Norma sings in incredibly long, smooth lines, embellished with the intricate ornamentation that is a distinctive feature of bel canto. The accompanying orchestration is initially quite light, with lilting strings and a flute obbligato in counterpoint to Norma’s voice. Bellini gradually thickens the orchestral sound and adds in a sotto voce chorus, to build the aria in a long crescendo that is a superb intensification of this ardent prayer for peace. Take a look at the full score of ‘Casta diva’ (from p.115 for the recitative, from p.123 for the aria), from IMSLP . Norma’s other musical highlights Norma is one of Bellini’s greatest works and the piece as a whole makes for thrilling drama. The love triangle of Norma, Pollione and Norma’s rival Adalgisa requires three exceptional singers, and Bellini draws on their skills to the full in the intense trio ‘Oh! di qual sei tu vittima’ that ends Act I (an innovation of Bellini’s, replacing the more usual chorus number). Norma and Adalgisa share two wonderful duets ‘Sola, furtiva, al tempio’ and ‘Si, fino all’ore estreme’, their voices entwining in rapturous beauty, while the fiery Norma/Pollione duet ‘In mia man alfin tu sei’ is irresistible in quite a different way. The war-hungry chorus sing a violent hymn in ‘Guerra, guerra! Le galliche selve’, while the long Act II finale ‘Qual cor tradisti’ brings the opera to its overwhelming climax. Classic recordings Maria Callas is Norma’s most famous exponent and made it a signature role. She made numerous recordings but musicologist Roger Parker for Radio 3 selected her recording with Tullio Serafin for La Scala, Milan , as his favourite. Montserrat Caballé is probably the only other 20th-century singer really to challenge Callas’s dominance, but recordings by Joan Sutherland , Shirley Verrett , Beverly Sills , Renata Scotto and Anita Cerquetti also have their merits (and I've probably missed out somebody’s favourite). More recently, Cecilia Bartoli has made the role her own, particularly in an acclaimed recording with Giovanni Antonini and the period-instrument band Orchestra La Scintilla. More to discover If you’ve gobbled up ‘Casta diva’ then other Bellini works will be worth a look, particularly I puritani and I Capuleti e i Montecchi . Other bel canto works that probably influenced Bellini include Spontini ’s La vestale and Donizetti ’s Anna Bolena . The influence of Norma itself stretched far and can be seen in many of Verdi’s operas – difficult to pick just one but you could choose Ernani , Luisa Miller , Stiffelio and the trio of Rigoletto , La traviata and Il trovatore . Even the notoriously picky Wagner was a Norma fan, and that influence can be seen particularly in the early Das Liebesverbot . Into the 20th century ‘Casta diva’ is strikingly quoted in Hans Krása ’s Verlobung im Traum – a superb but sadly overlooked work now available in recording . Norma runs 12 September–8 October 2016. Tickets are still available, and every Friday until Friday 7 October further tickets will be made available through Friday Rush . The production is a co-production with Opéra national de Paris and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE and The Tsukanov Family Foundation.
Albina Shagimuratova as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, The Royal Opera © ROH/Mike Hoban, 2013 Is there any limit to what a great soprano can do? There’s a host of roles that astonish and delight us: true showcases of extraordinary musical and dramatic talent from across the history of opera. We’ve gathered together some of our favourites, starting with… The Queen of the Night – Mozart ’s Die Zauberflöte Mozart wrote the role of the Queen in The Magic Flute for his sister-in-law Josepha Hofer, who was famous for her outstanding vocal technique and high notes. The Queen of the Night’s two dramatic arias are accordingly packed with fiendish coloratura, taking the soprano voice to amazing heights, particularly in the Act II aria ‘Die Hölle Rache’. Elena – Rossini ’s La donna del lago Elena is one of several roles that Rossini wrote for his first wife Isabella Colbran. Colbran had an exceptionally wide vocal range and the writing for Elena spans the gamut. The opera culminates in one of Rossini’s greatest showpieces for the female voice: Elena’s virtuoso Act II aria ‘Tanti affetti’. Norma – Bellini ’s Norma Norma requires immense stamina, vocal agility and (particularly for the aria ‘Casta diva’) lyricism and beauty of tone. But the challenges don’t stop there: the singer also has to convey the varied and intense emotions of a heroine torn between religious devotion and jealousy, romantic passion and maternal love. Lucia – Donizetti ’s Lucia di Lammermoor Lucia is another role that makes huge demands on a soprano’s stamina: she has to retain enough energy through the demands of Acts I and II in order to carry off Act III’s famous mad scene – a breathtaking display containing a stratospheric virtuoso cadenza accompanied by glass harmonica . Abigaille – Verdi ’s Nabucco Abigaille is a notoriously difficult part: it calls for a singer with a powerful, very agile voice who can move from the bottom to the very top of her range at great speed. Even the most lyrical of Abigaille’s arias, ‘Anch’io dischiuso un giorno’, includes a thrilling two-octave leap. Brünnhilde – Wagner ’s Der Ring des Nibelungen Brünnhilde is often seen as a dramatic soprano’s ultimate challenge. She must sound equally comfortable in the high notes of her opening war cry in Die Walküre and in the low-lying passages that punctuate Götterdämmerung . She must be heroic and tender, vengeful and noble. And above all, she must have the stamina to sing in three operas, each more than five hours long! Olympia – Offenbach ’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann Olympia the doll is only on stage for about half an hour, and for much of that time simply says ‘oui’. But her one aria ‘Les oiseaux dans la charmille’ is a virtuoso tour de force, each verse adorned with ever more elaborate coloratura. The part also calls for comic acting: Olympia’s mechanics periodically run down and stop her mid-flow. Elektra – Richard Strauss ’s Elektra At 90 minutes, Elektra is relatively short role – but it’s fiercely difficult. The singer has to project over a vast, intricately-scored orchestra and sing some of the most dramatic, declamatory music ever written for soprano, while also conveying lyrical tenderness in her reunion scene with Orest. She also needs to retain enough physical energy for the dance which brings the opera to its devastating close. Turandot – Puccini ’s Turandot Like Elektra, Turandot requires a powerful high voice and a singer able to execute very declamatory vocal writing with ease. The role also poses dramatic challenges: how can a soprano make this murderous princess sympathetic enough to convince us she deserves a happy ending? Lulu – Berg’s Lulu This near-impossible part requires a singer with a three-octave range who can shift from intense lyricism to flamboyant high coloratura to speech – sometimes within the space of one aria. The character is also dramatically deeply enigmatic, and is onstage for every scene of this four-hour opera. Ariel – Adès ’s The Tempest Possibly the highest role ever written for soprano, Adès’s ‘airy spirit’ enters The Tempest singing 17 full-voiced Es two and a bit octaves above middle C – and continues in a similar range for most of the opera. The high notes aren’t limited to coloratura either: many of them are in slow and sustained passages, which is fiendishly challenging. Which fiendishly difficult roles would you include? Let us know in the comments below. Norma runs 12 September–8 October 2016. Tickets are still available . Les Contes d’Hoffmann runs 7 November–3 December 2016. Tickets are still available . Turandot runs 5–16 July 2017. Tickets go on General Sale on 28 March 2017.
Giuseppe Verdi (10 October 1813 - 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdis masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.
Great composers of classical music