Joseph Martin Kraus was one of the most talented and progressive composers of the 18th century, and regarded by Haydn as one of the only two geniuses he knew, alongside Mozart. Following the successful audition of his opera Proserpin, Kraus became closely associated with the court of Gustav III in Stockholm. The highly dramatic Begrafnings-kantat overture was the composer’s emotional response to the assassination of his sovereign. The vocal pieces include works performed for the first time in over two centuries, ranging from Italian concert arias to rare survivals from the Royal Dramatic Theatre.
Anyone who enjoys Mozart opera should hear this disc. Yet quite a few people who'd probably love it to death if they listened are going to pass it by. Why? Well, look at the selections - it's not exactly a 'greatest hits' selection in the truly popular sense. Lucio Silla, Il re pastore, Mitridate, Zaïde - hardly front rank Mozart operas in the public consciousness; with Die Entführung we're getting closer - and suddenly you spot track 2, Pamina's gorgeous lament to lost love from The Magic Flute: 'Ach, ich fühl's' - anyone who hears Sandrine Piau singing this famous number will want to experience the rest of the recording no matter what.
This disc of Mozart's opera arias manages to capture the perfection of Kathleen Battle's first disc of Mozart concert arias conducted under Previn. We are accorded the opportunity and privilege to hear Ms. Battle essay characters that she never did in the opera house, Constanze, Cherubino, and the Countess among them. In "Porgi amor," the CD's opening track, she negotiates the long passages of the Countess' aria with seeming ease. Hers is a smaller voice than we are used to hearing in the role but this is unimportant as her vocal acting is superb, bringing the heartache housed in the libretto fully to life…By M. Bish
Following acclaimed discs exploring some of the more fascinating byways of the Italian eighteenth century, Auser Musici and its founder-director Carlo Ipata turn to the man Beethoven regarded as the finest of his contemporaries, Luigi Cherubini. It’s not difficult to understand why Beethoven was so impressed: this is music full of character and seriousness of intent, from the strong-jawed Sinfonia for the opera Armida abandonnata, written when Cherubini was just twenty-two, to the dark drama of the Overture to Démophon (which unaccountably failed to wow the sniffy Parisian audiences). And there are vocal delights too, showcasing a virtuosity that looks forward to Rossini and sung here with effortless agility by Maria Grazia Schiavo.
Limited fourteen CD set. The Complete Collection of Operatic Recital Albums brings together for the first time all the recital and duet albums which Leontyne Price recorded between 1960 and 1982. Starting with her operatic d‚but with arias, it features not only her legendary Scenes from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, but also the famous complete Prima Donna Collection consisting of five volumes released between 1966 and 1980.
New album of opera arias and symphonies by Francesco Cavalli, the prolific 17th century Venetian composer with 41 operas to his name, who was Handel’s predecessor in Hannover. Featuring Erato label mates Emőke Baráth and Marie-Nicole Lemieux , this is the first time Philippe has recorded Cavalli since his guest appearances on Christina Pluhar’s album dedicated to Cavalli, L’Amore innamorato.
For the sake of both vocal and family well-being, Anne Sofie von Otter has always followed the wise course of self-rationing in opera. This disc, an entirely personal selection of arias from the Viennese Classical period, means all the more to her including, as it does, arias sung by dramatic and passionate women 'most of whom', she admits in the accompanying notes, 'I have never performed on stage and, alas, probably never will'.
“A strong and pleasing voice, in both high and low notes – a combination which one rarely encounters,” ran one contemporary report of Catarina Cavalieri, the soprano who created Konstanze in Die Entführung. Though I’d put it rather less laconically, that verdict holds equally good for Diana Damrau, whose new Mozart recital includes two arias composed for Cavalieri, “Martern aller Arten” and Elvira’s “Mi tradì” (added for the 1788 Viennese revival of Don Giovanni). The glamorous German soprano, now in her mid-thirties, made her international reputation as a sensational Queen of the Night and Zerbinetta.
Decca, the opera company, presents a premium collection of the 100 most beautiful opera tracks on 6 CDs. Enjoy classic arias and overtures, performed by the greatest opera stars of all time. This is a fine compendium of opera's "greatest hits" by great singers including Pavarotti, Bartoli, Caballe, Horne and Sutherland from opera's latest "golden age" in the last decades of the 1900s. They're all there on six CDs, from Pavarotti's great "Nessun Dorma" to Sutherland's "Casta Diva."