Today we take high fidelity sound quality for granted, but how did it start? When was the moment when compressed and scratchy sound gave way to natural, realistic sound that captured the whole picture of a performance?
Decca Sound ‘Mono Years’ seeks to answer that question and shows how, 70 years ago, amidst war-time privations, a small team at Decca made technological breakthroughs that brought hi-fi to the world. This latest cube explores Decca’s earliest high-fidelity history, and restores some restores critically acclaimed albums from ensembles such as the Trio di Trieste, Quintetto Chigiano and Griller Quartet which have not been available since their original LP release more than sixty years ago. An equally impressive array of soloists includes pianists Clifford Curzon, Julius Katchen, Friedrich Gulda and Moura Lypmany and violinists Ruggiero Ricci and Alfredo Campoli. Several generations of cellists are represented with recordings by Pierre Fournier, Maurice Gendron and Zara Nelsova.
This 2CD album brings together ten of the most famous tenors, performing nearly 50 of the greatest arias of all time. It also features a 16-page booklet with everything you need to know about each tenor – nationality, short biography, best recording, trivia and more – in an appealing and witty design.
Renée Fleming and Andreas Scholl lead a superb cast in Stephen Wadsworth’s celebrated production of Handel’s Rodelinda from the Metropolitan Opera – based on the "Live in HD" transmission to cinemas worldwide. The title role is unique in featuring no less than eight magnificent arias. Renée Fleming’s triumph in the first run of the production was hailed by The New York Times, "Ms Fleming draws on every resource of her artistry in this portrayal: luminous sound, exquisite ornamentation, floating high notes, emotional volatility."
As other reviewers have noted previously, the sleeve notes for Apex discs don’t necessarily overload readers with information. This issue contains a detailed track-listing in English together with the libretto and a very short uncredited introduction to Messiah written in English, French and German. Sadly however, no details at all are given about any of the performers, despite the fact that the late Lord Menuhin apparently enjoyed a sustained association with both the orchestra and choir from 1990 until his death in 1998.
Paul McCreesh is one of the better-known figures in London's active early music scene, particularly as a conductor of small ensemble music of the Baroque. He grew up playing the cello. While at Manchester University, he formed a student chamber choir and ensemble of period instruments. In 1982 he organized it formally as the Gabrieli Consort and Players. .
The first complete recording of the Breitkopf Urtext Edition of the organ concertos of George Frideric Handel. Handel's organ concertos enjoy a wide popularity, they are brilliant concert pieces, in which the organ plays a joyous, "worldly" part. Christian Schmitt is one of the most promising young organists in Germany, having won several international competitions. A welcome debut on Brilliant Classics of the famous Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, who play with great clarity and lively articulation, under the baton of Nicol Matt.
Deluxe two CD edition featuring a bonus CD that includes eight live tracks recorded on his 2009 tour. 2009 release from the former Smiths frontman, a fantastic collection of B-sides, all hand-picked by Morrissey, available together on one CD for the first time. Swords draws B-sides from many of the singles taken from You Are The Quarry, Ringleader Of The Tormentors, Greatest Hits and Years Of Refusal. Although these tracks were originally released as B-sides, heard together and alongside each other on this CD they sound superb as a collection in their own right. The album is a wonderful journey through some of Morrissey's lesser-heard tracks recorded over the last five years.
The first collaboration ever between conductor William Christie and director Luc Bondy with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, this production of Hercules has been a major event. Hercules returns from the war with Iole, a princess he fell in love with. Mad with jealousy, Déjanire, his wife, ends up totally insane after poisoning her husband. Half theatrical performance, half secular oratorio, Hercules wasn’t originally meant to be performed in front of an audience. Luc Bondy chose to show the dramatis personae as ordinary people, victims of their passions. The superb Chorus of the Arts Florissants, both mediator and prosecutor, is the main witness of this tragedy of women’s jealousy.
Annika Treutler grew up in Detmold and is now based in Berlin. She studied with Prof. Matthias Kirschnereit at the Rostock College of Music and Drama and Prof. Bernd Goetzke at the Hanover College of Music, Drama and Media. The young artist won third prize at the Montreal International Piano Competition in 2014 and reached the semifinals of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich that year. Annika Treutler has appeared as a guest soloist with such orchestras as the Konzerthaus Orchestra of Berlin, the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. On this release, she presents beautiful solo piano works by Johannes Brahms.
According to Christopher Hogwood, in his marvelous biography of Handel, "In the winter of that year , Handel received what was for him an unusual commission. Although closely associated with the London theatre, he wrote very little incidental music for plays. A request from John Rich to provide airs and dances for Smollett's 'Alceste' was undertaken, according to Hawkins, in repayment of a debt to Rich."