Five years after first conducting the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra in their Venezuelan home, Claudio Abbado continues his commitment to this stunning ensemble in this first joint audiovisual concert recording. Prokofiev's extrovert Scythian Suite is a gift for the boundless energy of these young players, while the intricacy and anguish of Berg's Lulu-Suite are an Abbado speciality, with soprano Anna Prohaska, in her Lucerne Festival debut, singing the heroine's dazzling statement of self-justification. The concert ends with an impassioned account of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique, his final symphony, one of the most moving works in music history.
In a scene where the recordings of young sopranos tend toward an extreme sameness, Austria's Anna Prohaska would deserve kudos simply for the ambition of this release of soldiers' songs. The idea, especially for a female singer, is original, and the music draws on a great variety of sources, from Scottish song to Wolfgang Rihm. Better still is the execution, which shows Prohaska's extreme versatility. She's one of the few non-Anglophone singers to get the difficult combination of vernacular American English and popular-classical crossover referentiality in the three Charles Ives songs included, and she moves effortlessly from the edgy anger of Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler to the more delicate tragic sense of Roger Quilter.
An all-star cast featuring Deutsche Grammophon artist Anna Netrebko, Bryn Terfel and Anna Prohaska, delivers a sensational new recording of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the start of his inaugural season as Music Director of La Scala. Recorded live at the opening of the 2011-12 La Scala season, Don Giovanni is now set to be released in time for Bryn Terfel’s 50th birthday on 9 November 2015. It also ties in with the traditional opening of the new season at La Scala – 7 December, the feast-day of St Ambrose, patron saint of Milan.
With the new WERGO production "Initiale – Lieder und frühe Kammermusik" (Initials – Songs and Early Chamber Music), the complete Lied compositions by Bernd Alois Zimmermann are now available as a recording for the first time. The eleven songs were all interpreted by the adorable singer Anna Prohaska. The up-and-coming 27-year-old star currently captivates the opera world with her light and lyric soprano voice. The CD title borrowed from the eponymous song "Initiale" is also programmatic for this recording because it contains not only Zimmermann's vocal works but also his early chamber music. Members of ……..
This 55-CD set chronicles the remarkable Archiv label, begun in 1947. Devoted mainly to early and Baroque music, the recordings presented here, in facsimiles of their original sleeves (a nice touch), cover the period from Gregorian chant to Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies, played on period instruments. There are stops in between for a great deal of Bach, music of the Gothic era, the French Baroque (Mouret, Delalande, Rameau, etc), Gibbons, Handel (Alcina, La Resurrezione, Messiah, Italian cantatas), Telemann, Zelenka, Gabrieli, Desprez, Haydn, LeJeune, and plenty of the usual, as well as unusual, suspects. There’s also a final CD with selections of new releases (more Handel, Cavalli, Gesualdo, Vivaldi).
It’s hard to imagine how someone whose last album was an opera could out-do themselves, but Rufus Wainwright has achieved just that with Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets, to be released via Deutsche Gramophon on April 22, 400 years after William Shakespeare’s death.