As the title says, the 10-CD set 'Masquerade' celebrates the "Carnival in Classical Music". It is a subject that has inspired musicians throughout the ages ranging from Mozart to Khatchaturian. Alongside these two composers, this tremendous anthology includes works by Mozart, Fauré, Dvorák, Schumann, Satie, Svendsen, Prokofiev, Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Berlioz, Verdi, Leoncavallo, Raymond, Liszt, Nielsen and Leonard Bernstein.
Marking the 40th anniversary of Maria Callas’ death (16th September 1977), Maria Callas Live captures the legendary soprano in action on the stages of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. Thanks to new audio remastering from the best available sources, this set reveals Callas’ compelling genius as a singing actress with a new truthfulness and immediacy. Containing 20 complete operas – including 12 works she never recorded in the studio – and five complete filmed recitals (with two different stagings of Act 2 of Tosca) on Blu-ray, Maria Callas Live is the indispensable complement to Callas Remastered, Warner Classics’ landmark collection of her studio recordings.
Verdi, child of the people, king of popular opera, began life as the son of an innkeeper. He was brought up in modest circumstances. He first received lessons from the village priest, who was amazed by the young musician’s talents. Verdi’s musical education was rounded and complete: at the age of sixteen, the composer wrote fugues, masses and symphonies, which he would later destroy. As he met with reticence in Milan, he settled in Busseto where he fell victim to the pettiness of the town. However, his strong willpower enabled him to pursue his musical path without paying heed to what people said.
This recording of Der Rosenkavalier captures the intimacy of the Glyndebourne opera house preserving what is, without doubt, an engrossing performance with notable contributions from key soloists at poignant stages of their careers. This 1965 production, first staged by Glyndebourne in 1959, was not without its casting complications. Baron Ochs was to be Manfred Jungwirth but only sang two performances due to ill health and was replaced by Otto Edelmann.
This beloved operetta, which takes place during Carnival celebrations in 18th-century in Venice, shows Strauss’s descriptive writing at its best, helped by his love of Italy. Eine Nacht in Venedig inspired Strauss to compose some of his most successful operetta-music. The Italian atmosphere, the sun, the sea and the Venetian way of life appealed to his creative imagination.