…If your taste leans towards Austro-German late-Romantic music and you are, perhaps, also enjoying CPO’s superb on-going Weingartner series then this SACD is a must. It certainly deserves a top recommendation.
Not being a lifelong Wagner devotee, I'm not sure if this particular performance has been released before or not, but I do know that it was included in a 2013 9-title release of Wagner operas recorded live from The Met from 1937 through 1954.
Why this performance? 3 words: Flagstad, Melchior, Huehn. I would add to that Leinsdorf, especially since the recording quality is so bad; his faster-than-the-norm tempi help cut through the densely muddy sound quality.
In Richard Wagner’s 'Ring of the Nibelung', the first act of 'Die Walküre' takes up a special place. The love-triangle of the twins Siegmund and Sieglinde and the ominous Hunding stands out in the context of this tetralogy because it possesses its own dramatic tension and self-enclosed trajectory within what is otherwise such a complex, richly interconnected series of works. In musical terms it goes from one climax to the next, from the turbulent orchestral prelude through to Siegmund’s love song “Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond” and the passionate union of the sibling couple. At the most recent production at the Vienna State Opera, the twins were sung by Nina Stemme and – for the first time in the role – Johan Botha.
This recording provides us with the opportunity to hear an opera that has been infrequently performed in this century. The performance also marks an early collaboration of José Carreras and Katia Ricciarelli, two of the biggest "young stars" of their generation. Kendall Clark.
This 11-disc set is essential for anyone interested in the music of Arnold Schoenberg. It is the complete Sony "Boulez Conducts Schoenberg" series in a Brilliant-style box without jewel cases. Whether you are just investigating Schoenberg, or looking to complete the series, this is a most welcome release.
This is an excellent and varied selection of composers from the very well known like Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach and Vivaldi, through the less famous but familiar like Frescobaldi, Sainte-Colombe and Zelenka, to the downright obscure. It is all delightful: the musicians are uniformly excellent, and include such great names as Gustav Leonhardt, Cantus Colln, Christopher Hogwood and so on. They give fine performances both of the familiar works and of the less familiar ones.
This is the fourth in the series of John Zorn's 10 Masada quartet albums (plus, as far as I know, one live recording released by Jazz DCOR and few more released on Zorn's own label, Tzadik). The four musicians of Masada quartet (John Zorn - alto sax, Dave Douglas - trumpet, Joey Baron - drums, Greg Cohen - bass) are all masters of their instruments. They have recorded the ten albums in only a few studio sessions, all of which feature very, very passionate and inspired playing. All of the albums are beautifully played, with exquisite sense for measure and taste, the musicians bringing their instruments to the edge of possible (and beyond, as it often seems, it's awesome!) but their virtuosity never being self-serving. Many compositions sound like folk themes, there are a lot of emotions, a lot of melancholy or sense of longing, but also some 'smoking', joyous faster tracks.