Wagner Lohengrin opera to libretto by the composer. Directed 2018 by Yuval Sharon at at the Bayreuth Festival. Stars Georg Zeppenfeld (Heinrich), Piotr Beczala (Lohengrin), Anja Harteros (Elsa von Brabant), Tomasz Konieczny (Friedrich), Waltraud Meier (Ortrud), Egils Silins (Der Heerrufer des Königs or King’s Herald), Michael Gniffke (an Elder), Eric Laporte (an Elder), Raimund Nolte (an Elder), and Timo Riihonen (an Elder). Christian Thielemann conducts the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra & Chorus. Stage and costume designs by Neo Rauch and Rosa Loy; lighting by Reinhard Traub. Sung in German. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio surround sound. Preliminary info needs confirmation and completion. Grade: NARead More
Carl Orff Carmina Burana cantata and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 concert. Recorded October 10, 2018 at the Imperial Ancestral Temple in the Forbidden City, Beijing. Features soloists Aida Garifullina (soprano), Toby Spence (tenor), Ludovic Tézier (baritone), Daniil Trifonov (piano), and Mari Samuelsen (violin). Long Yu conducts the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir, and the Wiener Singakademie (Chorus Master Heinz Ferlesch). Disc contains the following works:
Carl Orff Carmina Burana (soloists Aida Garifullina, Toby Spence, and Ludovic Tézier)
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 (Daniil Trifonov)
Max Richter November (Mari Samuelsen)
Tianhua Liu Enchanted Night
Jasmine Flower, a traditional Chinese folk song.
Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: C+Read More
Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed 2017 by Barrie Kosky at the Bayreuth Festival. Stars Michael Volle (Hans Sachs), Günther Groissböck (Veit Pogner), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Klaus Florian Vogt (Walther von Stolzing), Daniel Behle (David), Anne Schwanewilms (Eva), and Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Magdalene). Philippe Jordan conducts the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Eberhard Friedrich). Stage design by Rebecca Ringst; costume design by Klaus Bruns; lighting design by Franck Evin; video by Regine Freise; dramaturgy by Ulrich Lenz. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Donizetti La Favorite opera to a libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz. Directed 2016 by Amélie Niermeyer at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Stars Elīna Garanča (Léonor de Guzmán), Matthew Polenzani (Fernand), Mariusz Kwiecień (Alphonse XI, King of Castile), Mika Kares (Balthazar), Joshua Owen Mills (Don Gaspar), and Elsa Benoit (Inès). Karel Mark Chichon conducts the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and the Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper (Chorus Master Sören Eckhoff). Set design by Alexander Müller-Elmau; costume design by Kirsten Dephoff; lighting design by Michael Baueri. Directed for video by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Wagner Lohengrin opera to libretto by the composer. Directed 2016 by Angela Brandt (after the 1983 production by Christine Mielitz) at at the Dresden State Opera or Semperoper. Stars Piotr Beczała (Lohengrin), Anna Netrebko (Elsa von Brabant), Tomasz Konieczny (Friedrich von Telramund), Evelyn Herlitzius (Ortrud), Georg Zeppenfeld (König Heinrich der Vogler), Derek Welton (Der Heerrufer des Königs or the King's Herald), Tom Martinsen (1st Nobleman of Brabant), Simeon Esper ( 2nd Nobleman of Brabant), Matthias Henneberg (3rd Nobleman of Brabant), Tilmann Rönnebeck (4th Nobleman of Brabant) as well as Jana Hohlfeld, Monika Harnisch, Annett Eckert, and Masako Furuta (four Pages). Christian Thielemann conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, men of the Sinforniechor Dresden, and the Sempreoper Extra Choir (Choirmaster Jörn Andresen). Set and costume designs by Peter Heilein; lighting by Friedewalt Degen; dramaturgy by Matthias Rank. Directed for video by Tiziano Mancini with photography directed by Luca Longarini. All regions. Sound on the 4K version was recorded with 96kHz/24-bit sound sampling with Audio Engineer Peter Hecker and Audio Producer Arend Prohmann. Recording by Metisfilm Classica produced by Magdalena Herbst. Released 2017, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio surround sound. Grade: NARead More
Wagner Parsifal opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed 2016 by Uwe Eric Laufenberg at the Bayreuth Festival. Stars Ryan McKinny (Amfortas), Karl-Heinz Lehner (Titurel), Georg Zeppenfeld (Gurnemanz), Klaus Florian Vogt (Parsifal), Gerd Grochowski (Klingsor), Elena Pankratova (Kundry), Tansel Akzeybek (First Knight of the Grail), Timo Riihonen (Second Knight of the Grail), Alexandra Steiner (1st Squire), Mareike Morr (2nd Squire), Charles Kim (3rd Squire), Stefan Heibach (4th Squire), Anna Siminska, Katharina Persicke, Mareike Morr, Alexandra Steiner, Bele Kumberger, Ingeborg Gillebo (Flower Maidens), and Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Voice from Heaven). Hartmut Haenchen conducts the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Eberhard Friedrich). Stage design by Gisbert Jäkel; costumes by Jessica Karge; lighting by Reinhard Traub, dramaturgy by Richard Lorber, video designs by Gérard Naziri. Directed for video by Michael Beyer. Released 2017, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Verdi Rigoletto opera to libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed 2013 by Michael Mayer at the Met. Stars Piotr Beczala (Duke), Željka Lučić (Rigoletto), Diana Damrau (Gilda), Štefan Kocán (Sparafucile), Oksana Volkova (Maddalena), Maria Zifchak (Giovanna), Robert Pomakov (Monterone), Jeff Mattsey (Marullo), Alexander Lewis (Borsa), David Crawford (Count Ceprano), Emalie Savoy (Countess Ceprano), Earle Patriarco (A Guard), and Catherine Choi (Page). Michele Mariotti conducts the Met Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Donald Palumbo). Met Ballet choreographed by Steven Hoggett. Sets by Christine Jones; costumes by Susan Hilferty; lighting by Kevin Adams. The English subtitles in this production contribute enormously to its success; I think the credit for this should go to David Rebhun. Released 2013, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A+Read More
Wagner Tristan und Isolde opera to libretto by the composer. Directed 2015 by Katharina Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival. Stars Stephen Gould (Tristan), Evelyn Herlitzius (Isolde), Georg Zeppenfelds (König Marke), Iain Paterson (Kurwenal), Raimund Nolte (Melot), Christa Mayer (Brangäne), Tansel Akzeybek (Ein Hirt), Kay Stiefermann (Ein Steuermann), and Tansel Akzeybek (Junger Seemann). Christian Thielemann conducts the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. Released 2016. Grade: NARead More
Jules Massenet Manon opera to libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille. Directed 2007 by Vincent Paterson at the Staatsoper unter den Linden. Stars Anna Netrebko (Manon), Rolando Villazón (Le Chevalier des Grieux), Christof Fischesser (Le Comte des Grieux), Alfredo Daza (Lescaut), Rémy Corazza (Guillot de Morfontaine), Arttu Kataja (Brétigny, a nobelman), Hanan Alattar (Poussette, an actress), Gal James (Javotte, an actress), Silvia de la Muela (Rosette, an actress), and Matthias Vieweg (Inkeeper). Daniel Barenboim conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Eberhard Friedrich). Stage design by Johannes Leiacker; costumes by Susan Hilferty; lighting by Duane Schuler; choreography by Vincent Paterson; directed for TV by Andreas Morell; produced by Bernhard Fleischer. Released 2008, music was recorded with 48kHz/24-bit specs, and disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio and 5.1 PCM sound. Grade: ARead More
Mozart Don Giovanni opera to libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. Directed 2011 by Robert Carsen at the Teatro alla Scala. Stars Peter Mattei (Don Giovanni), Bryn Terfel (Leporello), Anna Netrebko (Donna Anna), Giuseppy Filianoti (Don Ottavio), Barbara Frittoli (Donna Elvira), Štegan Kocán (Maseto), Anna Prohaska (Zerlina), and Kwangchul Youn (Commhendatore). Daniel Barenboim conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala. Set designs by Michael Levine; costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel; lighting by Robert Carsen and Peter van Praet; choreography by Philippe Giraudeau. Directed for video by Andreas Morell. Released 2015. Grade: NARead More
Verdi Macbeth opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. The 2007 Adrian Nobel production is revived in 2014 at the Met and directed by Assistant Stage Directors Gregory Anthony Fortner and Gina Lapinski. Stars Željko Lučić (Macbeth), Anna Netrebko (Lady Macbeth), René Pape (Banquo), Joseph Calleja (Macduff), Raymond Renault (Duncan), Noah Baetge (Malcolm), Claudia Waite (Lady-in-waiting), Christopher Job (Servant), Moritz Linn (Fleanzio), Richard Bernstein (Murderer), Seth Malkin (Herald), James Courtney (Doctor), David Crawford (Warrior Apparition), Ashley Emerson (Bloody Child Apparition), and Jihee Kim (Crowned Child Apparition). Fabio Luisi conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chorus (Donald Palumbo Chorus Master) and Ballet (Sue Lefton Choreographer). Stage band conducted by Jeffrey Goldberg. Sets and costumes by Mark Thompson; lighting by Jean Kalman; directed for live TV by Gary Halvorson; music producer Jay David Saks. Supervising Producers are Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park; Producers are Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik. Released 2015, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Anne-Sophie Mutter Live - The Club Album concert. Anne-Sophie Mutter performs May 7 and 8, 2015 at the Neue Heimat nightclub in Berlin as part of the Yellow Lounge concert series. Features Mutter's long-time accompanist, pianist Lambert Orkis, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, and the Mutter Virtuosi ensemble. Also features a live video installation by VJ (that's video jockey) Philipp Geist. The setlist is as follows:
1. Vivaldi 3. Presto from The Four Seasons - Concerto In G Minor, RV 315, "The Summer"
2. Gershwin Allegro ben ritmato e deciso from Three Preludes
3. Gershwin Andante con moto e poco rubato from Three Preludes
4. Gershwin Allegro ben ritmato e deciso from Three Preludes
5. J.S. Bach. Allegro (3rd movement) from Double Concerto For 2 Violins, Strings, and Basso continuo In D Minor, BWV 1043 (Noa Wildschut, solo violin II)
6. Tchaikovsky "Mélodie" from Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42
7. Vivaldi Allegro non molto from The Four Seasons - Concerto In F Minor, RV 297, "The Winter"
8. J.S. Bach Vivace (1st movement) from Double Concerto For 2 Violins, Strings, And Continuo In D Minor, BWV 1043 (Nancy Zhou solo violin II)
9. Brahms Hungarian Dance No.1 In G Minor
10. Debussy "Golliwogg's Cakewalk" from Children's Corner
11. Saint-Saëns Introduction et Rondo capriccioso
12. Debussy "Clair de lune" from Suite bergamasque
13. Copland "Hoe-Down" from Rodeo
14. J.S. Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria"
15. Arthur Benjamin "Jamaican Rumba"
16. John Williams "Theme from Schindler's List"
Finally, although not a word is said about it in the Blu-ray package or in the PR, this was recorded with 96kHz/24-bit sound sampling (according to my Oppo BDP-93). Released 2015, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: B+
Charles Gounod Roméo et Juliette opera to libretto by Jules Barbier & Michel Carré. Directed 2008 by Bartlett Sher at the Salzburg Festival. Stars Nino Machaidze (Juliette), Rolando Villazón (Roméo), Mikhail Petrenko (Frère Laurent), Russell Braun (Mercutio), Cora Burggraaf (Stéphano), Falk Struckmann (Comte Capulet), Juan Francisco Gatell (Tybalt), Susanne Resmark (Gertrude, the Nurse), Christian Van Horn (Duc de Vérone), Mathias Hausmann (Comte Pâris), Jean-Luc Ballestra (Grégorio), and Robert Murray (Benvolio). Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Jörn H. Andresen). Musical Assistant was Leo Hussain; set design by Michael Yeargan; costumes by Catherine Zuber; lighting by Jennifer Tipton; choreography by Chase Brock; fight scene by B. H. Barry; directed for TV by Brian Large. Released 2009, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: B+Read More
Wagner Der Fliegende Holländer opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed 2013 by Andreas Homoki at the Zurich Opera House. Stars Bryn Terfel (Der Holländer), Matti Salminen (Daland), Anja Kampe (Senta), Marco Jentzsch (Erik), Liliana Nikiteanu (Mary), Fabio Trümpy (Dalands Steuermann), and Nelson Egede (Dalands Diener). Alain Altinoglu conducts the Philharmonia Zürich and the Chor def Oper Zürich (Chorus Master Jürg Hämmerli. Set design by Wolfgang Gussmann; costume design by Wolfgang Gussmann and Susana Mendoza; lighting design by Franck Evin; dramaturgy by Werner Hintze; directed for video by Nele Münchmeyer. Released 2015, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Borodin Prince Igor opera to libretto by the composer. Directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov at the Metropolitan Opera. Stars Ildar Abdrazakov (Prince Igor), Mikhail Petrenko (Prince Galitsky), Sergey Semishkur (Vladimir Igorevich), Vladimir Ognovenko (Skula), Andrey Popov (Yeroshka), Oksana Dyka (Yaroslavna), Kiri Deonarine (Polovtsian Maiden), Anita Rachvelishvili (Konchakovna), Mikhail Vekua (Ovlur), Štefan Kocán (Khan Konchak), Barbara Dever (Yaroslavna's Nurse), and Mikhail Vekua (Ovlur). Gianandrea Noseda conducts the Metropolitan Opera. Released 2014, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More