Opera lies at the heart of Rimsky-Korsakov’s colourful idiom, but performances are few and far between; this realisation of his penultimate and grandest stage work is a very rare and special experience. Kitezh is known as ‘the Russian Parsifal’, which encapsulates its mystical flavour and steady unfolding of a legend of redemption. A largely Russian cast (headed by the stunning Svetlana Ignatovich) and production team works within a set that moves from opulent naturalistic scenery to some startling theatrical coups worthy of Rimsky’s underrated dramatic instincts.
277 tracks 1928-50, 64bit mastering. Django Reinhardt recorded prolifically in many different group settings over 4 decades. It's difficult to know where to start or where to go once you've gotten started collecting a few of his recordings. The 20 cd Djangologie box set is the place to go once you've decided to take the plunge into Django's music. It covers all 4 decades chronologically, but rather than trying to comprehensively collect all of Django's recordings (including all of the ones where he is a sideman in dance bands etc) it largely concentrates on the Quintette and other small group recordings, which is what most people want to hear. The sound quality is very good and relatively consistent throughout the collection. There is a minimum of tape hiss, clicks and pops. The sound mastering hasn't overemphasized any portion of the audio spectrum and has instead gone for a balanced group sound. Highly recommended if you want to get serious about listening to Django without all of the confusion that comes from piecing together smaller complilations.
De son premier article, publié dans la revue politico-littéraire d'Henri Barbusse, à ses ultimes déclarations sur la signification de 1984, les textes de George Orwell ici réunis sont tous inédits en français. Ils avaient été écartés de l'édition de ses Essais, articles et lettres choisis par sa veuve, Sonia, qui « n'appréciait pas son positionnement politique » (Bernard Crick)…
Antonio Vivaldi wrote hundreds of largely famous instrumental works, and his glorious church music is well known; but it wasn’t until recent decades that his operas – of which he is said to have created more than fifty – were resurrected. Orlando furioso occupies a central and very significant place among Vivaldi’s works. Not only does the whole score of this opera demonstrate its composer’s full, creative maturity, but its outstanding features are also an extraordinary musical beauty, an attractive recitative line and a balance thus created between the various parts of the dramatic and musical whole. This exceptional musical achievement was no doubt partly due to the famous theme of the original story, as well as the literary and dramatic qualities of a fi rst-rate libretto. Pier Luigi Pizzi’s 1979 production of Orlando furioso in Verona marked the beginning of contemporary international interest in Antonio Vivaldi’s operas. Ten years later the same director once more produced this work at the San Francisco Opera, where it was a great success.
“If we weep from emotion on hearing it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of” Richard Wagner on Bellini’s most famous opera Norma, the most successful work by the last and greatest composer of bel canto. This new production of Norma, directed by Grammy Award-nominated opera, theatre and film director Kevin Newbury and starring Sondra Radvanovsky as a “powerful, elegant” Norma (New York Times) and Gregory Kunde as Pollione, is “something very special. The word ‘historic’ is used perhaps a little too often but tonight there really is no other adjective to describe the sensational performances offered to us by Sondra Radvanovsky and Gregory unde.” (operatraveller.com)
Glyndebourne has brought to light a long-overlooked winner in Donizetti’s Poliuto, delivering ‘a superb musical performance’ (The Telegraph) offering ‘lucent accounts of the principal roles and an incandescent London Philharmonic Orchestra, under Enrique Mazzola’ (New York Times). This first ever professional UK staging of the story of third-century Armenian martyr St Polyeuctus features a ‘trio of world-class young singers’ with Fabiano, winner of the Beverly Sills and Richard Tucker awards, displaying a ‘thrilling, vibrant tone’ in the title role, Martínez providing Paolina with ‘pinging coloratura’ and Golovatenko giving a ‘radiant-toned’ voice to Severo. (The Guardian)