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      Archive for September, 2013

      September 29, 2013

      Strauss: Don Juan, Op 20 (18:39)

      Berlin Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel

      One of today’s most exciting conductors, Gustavo Dudamel, makes his debut recording with the Berlin Philharmonic in three tone poems by Richard Strauss. The performances were captured live during concerts in the 2012/13 season, and they continue the longest-running partnership in recorded music history. In 2013, Deutsche Grammophon and the Berlin Philharmonic celebrate an incredible 100 years of working together.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Verdi: La forza del destino: O tu, che in seno agli angeli (10:41)

      Jonas Kaufmann, tenor; Parma Opera Orchestra / Pier Giorgio Morandi

      It was with Verdi that the leading tenor of our time, Jonas Kaufmann, made his international breakthrough in 2006 when he sang Alfredo Germont in La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. For Kaufmann, the Verdi bicentenary in 2013 will be dominated by performances of works by the great Italian opera composer, including this debut album for Sony Classical. His choice of arias demonstrates the remarkable breadth of Kaufmann’s musical versatility and expression.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

      Brahms: Violin Sonata No 3 in D minor, Op 108 (21:30)

      Stephen Boe, violin; Christopher Harding, piano

      The three sonatas for violin and piano left to us by Johannes Brahms are masterpieces, products in some measure of Brahms’ relentless self-criticism. He destroyed as many as four earlier works for this combination, leaving only a Scherzo in c minor as a slender hint as to what his earlier attempts might have sounded like. Stephen Boe is a familiar figure in the Chicago music scene. He has served as concertmaster for the Joffrey Ballet, Chicagoland Pops and Chicago Chamber Orchestra. He is currently on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago.

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      Rating: 4.1/5 (7 votes cast)

      Brahms: Symphony No 2 in D major, Op 73: I, Allegro non troppo (19:58)
      Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra / John Axelrod

      C Schumann: Liebst Du um Schönheit (2:37); Liebeszauber (2:24)
      Nicole Cabell, soprano; John Axelrod, piano

      In a fascinating new concept, John Axelrod leads an exploration of the relationship between Brahms and the woman he loved, Clara Schumann, as depicted in their music. “If you listen to the Brahms symphonies,” says Axelrod, “each of them seems to inhabit a completely different, though connected, character. Then, if you listen to the songs of Clara Schumann, they also fall clearly into a very similar four moods. I believe that Clara’s own personality is in those songs, and so if that is true, it is also possible to think of the four Brahms symphonies as portraits of Clara – four different aspects of her.”

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (7 votes cast)

      Haydn: Symphony No 82 in C major, L’ours (The Bear) (27:50)

      Handel and Haydn Society / Harry Christophers

      Haydn comes to life in a new live recording that showcases one of his ‘Paris’ Symphonies, L’ours, a festive and jubilant work commissioned by a Parisian orchestra in the 1780s. Symphony No 6, Le matin, characterized by its unusual virtuoso writing across the orchestra, is also featured. Handel and Haydn Society concertmaster, Aisslinn Nosky, makes her solo debut in Haydn’s Violin Concerto in G major.

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (9 votes cast)

      September 22, 2013

      Verdi: Giovanna d’Arco: Overture (7:10)

      La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly

      Riccardo Chailly celebrates Verdi’s bicentenary year with a disc of overtures, preludes and ballet movements from some of the composers best-loved operas. Adding an extra touch of authenticity, the works are performed by the Filarmonica della Scala, the opera house with which Verdi himself was most closely associated and where Chailly launched his own conducting career.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      Verdi: Otello: Act I (32:32)

      Aleksandrs Antonenko, tenor (Otello); Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano (Desdemona); Carlo Guelfi, baritone (Jago); Juan Francisco Gatell, tenor (Cassio); Paolo Battaglia, bass (Montano); Michael Spyres, tenor (Roderigo)

      Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / Riccardo Muti

      Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, CSO Resound releases its second recording with Riccardo Muti featuring Verdi’s second-to-last opera, Otello. Recorded live in concert at Symphony Center in 2011, this album will stand for years to come as a unique benchmark in Verdi performance and interpretation by one of today’s finest conductors. Maestro Muti and the CSO’s first recording together was a lauded album of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, which won two Grammy Awards.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      Bach: (Violin) Sonata No 1 in G minor, BWV 1001 (14:38)

      Chris Thile, mandolin

      Nonesuch Records releases an album of three Bach works recorded by mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile. Thile explains his connection to the composer: “Bach was my first meaningful experience with, for lack of a better word, classical music. It was the second recording of Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations. Gould plays with the kind of rhythmic integrity that I had previously only associated with non-classical music. It humanized the whole thing for me and the heavens opened up and Bach came down.”

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (4 votes cast)

      Zwilich: Quintet for Alto Saxophone & String Quartet (16:52)

      Chicago Chamber Musicians

      Leaders in new music since 1986, the Chicago Chamber Musicians have commissioned 17 new works. “The Coming of Light” is the result of a collaboration with the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, the Unity Temple in Oak Park. The program includes works by Peter Lieberson, John Harbison, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Samuel Barber.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (14 votes cast)

      Schumann: Violin Concerto in D minor: 1st Movement (14:17)

      Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Göttingen Symphony Orchestra / Christoph-Mathias Mueller

      Rachel Barton Pine joins forces with Germany’s distinguished Göttingen Symphony Orchestra and its acclaimed principal conductor, Christoph-Mathias Mueller, to present Mendelssohn’s celebrated violin concerto alongside the great, though lesser-known, concerto by Robert Schumann, plus Beethoven’s elegant Romances for violin and orchestra.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)