"Shirley Verrett makes a deeply impressive Orfeo, firm and pure in sound, classically restrained in expression; and her "Che farO", at a moderate, beautifully judged speed, is very finely sung, poised and quietly moving. The set is conducted by Renato Fasano, whose pacing of the score shows a very sure touch. The dance music has a grace and lightness, and a stylistic command, that one might not have expected from an orchestra which in those days seemed to be fed chiefly on a diet of Vivaldi."(Gramophone)
A much-admired contemporary, living composer whose popularity among a wide cross-section of music devotees and casual listeners transcends genre barriers. This new double-disc set of the complete piano music encompasses works composed over a 50 year span. Jeroen Van Veen is a preeminent and critically-favored Minimalist advocate and multi-dimensional artist with a noteworthy backlist of Brilliant Classic releases to his credit with more to come. Booklet notes written by Jeroen Van Veen.
Opera people seem fiercely divided about the Decca Anna Bolena with Elena Suliotis, first published in 1970. Half think it is brilliant, and Suliotis' faults are worth putting up with because when she is good, she is very good, and the rest of the cast is unmatched . The cast is superb. Elena is singing at her very best; her voice dancing gracefully between a delicate and sensitive Non v’ha sguardo cui sia dato, to the tragic delilirium in piangete voi, from the thin, exquisite voice of cielo, a’miei lunghi spasimi, to the thicker, dramatic coppia inqui. Gosh what a graceful and superb performance.
In 1973, soprano Beverly Sills, tenor Stuart Burrows, Paul Plishka (baritone) and Shirley Verrett (mezzo-dramatic soprano), joined talents to make a powerfully dramatic opera about the tragedy of Anne Boylen at the hands of Henry the 8th. It was a great success in the New York City Opera and to this day, no other operatic forces have since rivaled them…
A lot has been said about Anna Moffo's early vocal decline and mismanaged carreer but let's not forget what a lovely singer she was in her prime. This recital from the early 1970's let us hear "late Moffo" though she was not yet 40. There is a slight hoarseness and unsteadiness in the voice that was not present in earlier recordings but it is still by any means a beautiful instrument used with skill. This recital also reminds us what a verstatile artist she was - she sings arias from the italian bel canto and verismo repertoire, french lyric and also german operettas and she passes from one to the other with considerable naturalness, ease and charm..
In the deadlock of a continuing national-romanticism, Hilding Rosenberg (1892 – 1985) emerged as the “father of Swedish modernity”, though rather more infamously than famously due to the low regard for atonal music in Sweden at the time. A 20th century Swedish composer studying music in Stockholm, Rosenberg travelled to Vienna, Berlin and Dresden in 1920 where he encountered the music of Arnold Schoenberg and the techniques of the Second Viennese School. The revelation turned his concept of how to compose music upside down ………..