With a world-beating roster of exclusive opera singers including Luciano Pavarotti, Cecilia Bartoli, Renee Fleming and Joan Sutherland, Decca Classics has always invested infinite energy and enormous care on its productions, blending the greatest casts with experienced opera orchestras and great conductors. The result of this mix of world-beating artists, unrivalled technical skill and know-how is an opera catalogue of matchless artistry and superb sound, garlanded with award around the world.
This magnificent Royal Ballet production of Swan Lake is an unforgettable experience. Anthony Dowell’s interpretation of Petipa and Ivanov’s 1895 St Petersburg version set a standard and style that made it a ‘yardstick for others’ (New York Times). Wonderful choreography for the entire company includes the coveted double role of the gentle and vulnerable swan queen Odette and her predatory alter ego, the black swan Odile. It is a challenge relished by principal ballerinas, and is danced here in a spellbinding performance by Natalia Osipova, partnered by Matthew Golding as a powerful and empathetic Prince Siegfried. Tchaikovsky’s glorious score shines, given the full force of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Boris Gruzin, and Yolanda Sonnabend’s detailed, Fabergé-inspired designs evoke the atmosphere of Imperial Russia in the era of the ballet's creation.
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Recorded live at a concert in the large hall of the Musikverein in Vienna in November 1991, this performance of Verdi’s dramatic Requiem is really commanding. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the chorus of the Vienna State Opera respond appropriately to Abbado’s exciting but not over-operatic handling of the work, and the recording is admirably clear. The soloists are a fine and well-matched quartet.
ASHFORD & SIMPSON are quite simply one of the best song writing duos the world has ever known. Being former Motown hit writers and having written a string of hits for greats like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross, its little wonder that they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2002. 1982’s STREET OPERA was the first album to be recorded by ASHFORD & SIMPSON on Capitol after nine years with Warner Records and is considered by many fans to be their best offering from the 80s. Written and produced by ASHFORD & SIMPSON, the album gained a top 50 Pop chart position reaching #45 and a top ten R&B spot getting all the way to #5 and served as a warm up to the massive success they later enjoyed with SOLID? in 1984.