Don Giovanni, a libertine, a rake with a devil-may-care attitude, is portrayed magnificently by Teddy Tahu Rhodes in this Opera Australia production, where he first appears on stage in a costume where less is definitely more! Charismatic and sexy, Rhodes acting and singing are magnificent. His misused servant, Leporello, is played by Conal Coad, who skilfully promotes the opera's comic elements whilst delivering a thumping bass full of drama.
The classic stage designs of Carl Friedrich Oberle form the backdrop to the drama of Don Giovanni's last day on earth, before he is hurled in to Hell's flames by the Commendatore, Daniel Sumegi, whose basso profundo is befittingly momentous.
Mark Wigglesworth continues his Shostakovich cycle on BIS, performing with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir Symphonies Nos. 1 to 3. The First Symphony was in fact the graduation piece that completed his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory, but to quote Mark Wigglesworth, ‘Shostakovich’s trade-mark musical gestures are all immediately obvious’ and was an immediate success.
Don Giovanni, a libertine, a rake with a devil-may-care attitude, is portrayed magnificently by Teddy Tahu Rhodes in this Opera Australia production, where he first appears on stage in a costume where less is definitely more! Charismatic and sexy, Rhodes’ acting and singing are magnificent. His misused servant, Leporello, is played by Conal Coad, who skilfully promotes the opera’s comic elements whilst delivering a thumping bass full of drama.
Julian Anderson is one of the UK’s most exciting living composers. He has been described by The Times as ‘a composer to cherish’ and by the Evening Standard as ‘one of the finest composers of his generation’. His work Harmony opened the 2013 BBC Proms and his opera Thebans will be premiered at English National Opera in May 2014. This season he also starts a three-year post as Composer in Residence at Wigmore Hall.
This is unlike Rattle, or Harding; it is a remarkably Austro-German-Czech-styled performance, with more of a Central European than a Western European character to it, and with the big structural line dominant over everything. Imagine the Vaclav Neumann recording of the lone First Movement, and you know generally how that movement is played here (which is terrific); and Wigglesworth carries that approach consistently to the end of this, Mahler's most otherwordly, and perhaps greatest, symphony. The difference from Neumann (who was a very great Mahler conductor on the late symphonies 6-10, and great on the ones before) is that Wigglesworth's approach is a bit more on the dramatic side, and is a bit less on the sensuous side. However, if you like Neumann in the late Mahler symphonies (and I think he does a better job with them than anyone else, actually), you'll love this performance. It is chilling. (Not cold – chilling, like scary.)
Mark Wigglesworth began his cycle of Shostakovich’s symphonies with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, continuing since 2005 on the other side of the English Channel with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Essential: a masterpiece of ancient music
Here is a dream gem for those who like the lute music, Hopkinson Smith (UK) and Paul O’Dette (US), together!
This five-disc set, contained in a cardboard sleeve that bundles standard jewel cases, consists of Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes' four albums for Flying Dutchman – Astral Traveling (1973), Cosmic Funk (1974), Expansions (1974), and Visions of a New World (1975) – along with their first for RCA, Reflections of a Golden Dream (1976). Some of the albums were intermittently elusive, at least when it came to the CD format, throughout the years, so this was a convenient – and affordable – way to get them in one shot. However, it went out of print quickly after its 2009 release.