Sir Simon Rattle leads an all-star cast in this highly anticipated new recording of Debussy’s evocative opera Pelléas et Mélisande. It was captured in January 2016 during performances of an innovative collaboration between Rattle and Peter Sellars, two of the boldest creative minds in music and theatre today. Supported by the London Symphony Chorus, prepared by renowned choral director Simon Halsey, it is a moving statement of intent for Rattle’s tenure as LSO Music Director.
Emerging at the dawn of the twentieth century, the idiosyncratic structures of Scriabin's early symphonies display the Russian's unique approach. His Second Symphony blends echoes of Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Wagner, with sweeping climaxes, swirling colours, and passages of majestic intensity over the course of its five movements.
The Seventh remains the least well-known of all Mahler's symphonies. Precisely because its material is so enormously wide-ranging, its colors so thrillingly kaleidoscopic, this work is also perhaps the one from all the composer's canon most reliant on a knowing, strong-willed interpretive presence. This Michael Tilson Thomas provides in spades in one of his finest performances on disc.
Conductor and pianist James Levine is one of the powerhouse figures of the classical music scene today. As a child he undertook both piano and violin; he was so accomplished on the violin that at the age of ten he played Mendelssohn's second violin concerto at a Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra youth concert. He studied piano at various summer music festivals before enrolling at New York's Juilliard School, where he took conducting courses with Jean Morel and continued piano studies with Rosina Lhevinne.