Featured Releases -
Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879–1936)
Roman Festivals • Fountains of Rome • Pines of Rome
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • Falletta
Respighi is renowned as the composer of the lavishly orchestrated Roman Trilogy, sumptuous tone-poems full of provocative harmonies and suggestive rhythms, which celebrate the city’s architectural marvels, its festivals, pines and fountains. The composer’s kaleidoscopic writing encapsulates romantic serenade and rustic dance, solemn melody and pastoral landscape, children at play and visions of past martial glories. JoAnn Falletta’s previous Respighi recording of Church Windows, Brazilian Impressions and Rossiniana (8.557711) was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice.
Alberto NEPOMUCENO (1864–1920)
Symphony in G Minor
O Garatuja – Prelude • Série Brasileira
Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra • Mechetti
Alberto Nepomuceno was a herald of Brazilian musical nationalism. He was one of the first composers in his country to employ elements of folklore in his compositions, he encouraged younger composers such as Villa-Lobos, and his music was conducted by Richard Strauss. The Prelude to O Garatuja, an incomplete opera, is one of his best-known works and an example of a truly Brazilian lyric comedy. Série Brasileira is a vivacious suite that employs maxixe rhythms and ends with the feverish batuque dance, while the Symphony in G Minor is one of the earliest such examples by a Brazilian, a heroic and lyric structure revealing the influence of Brahms.
Johann Simon MAYR (1763–1845)
Libretto by Gaetano Rossi
M. Schäfer • Prentki • A.L. Brown • Mattersberger • Konradi • Gottswinter • Bavarian State Opera Chorus • Simon Mayr Chorus • Concerto de Bassus • Hauk
WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
Composed when Napoleon’s armies were striding across Europe, Simon Mayr’s highly charged opera I Cherusci is set in ancient Germania in the time of Christ’s birth, its narrative focusing on the perils of the captured slave girl Tusnelda who has been chosen for a sacrificial ritual. The universal themes of freedom and patriotism in this pioneering tale of familial bonds, romance, jealousy and desperate misadventure would later attract the likes of Beethoven and Verdi. This world premiere recording of I Cherusci uses period instruments, presenting it as it would have been heard in 1808.
Adolphe ADAM (1803–1856)
Gabdullin • Yakovleva • Wiener Staatsballett • Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper • Ovsianikov • Legris
With its narrative of buccaneering bravado, exotic opulence, romance and traitorous intrigue, Le Corsaire is one of the most impressive narrative ballets of the 19th century, and it remains one of Adolphe Adam’s best-known works. Director of the Wiener Staatsballett, Manuel Legris, has choreographed a new version that draws on the rich performance traditions of Russia and France, and carefully combines spirited action, Adam’s delightful music, choreography, scenery and costumes into an elegant and impressive production which brings to life the colourful events that surround the leading couple of Conrad and Médora.
Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0090V)
Gustav Albert LORTZING (1801–1851)
Der Waffenschmied • Undine
Der Wildscütz • Hans Sachs
Malmö Opera Orchestra • Märkl
For 150 years Albert Lortzing was, after Mozart and Verdi, the most performed composer on German stages. He was a multifaceted man of the theatre who wrote his own libretti, and his works follow in the tradition of Mozart and Weber but explore a variety of subjects, from romantic fairy tales to heroic calls for political freedom, which inevitably led to bans on performance. His opera overtures reflect the liveliness of his imagination and orchestration, and the exceptionally tuneful nature of his writing, as the music traverses imposing grandeur and lighter motifs alike.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856)
Minnespiel • Spanische Liebeslieder *
Palimina • Eckstein • Bode • M. Hoffmann • Eisenlohr • Irmer *
In 1849, a year during which political upheavals still resonated across Europe, Schumann wrote three song cycles which combined solo songs, duets and quartets. He turned again to the works of a favourite poet, Friedrich Rückert, for Minnespiel, with its underlying religious theme, of which three of the eight settings are heard on this recording—a charming Spring setting, a duet, and the final quartet. Both Spanish cycles imply dramatic narratives between a girl and boy. In Spanisches Liederspiel the music in places evokes Spanish rhythms such as the bolero, while its sequel, Spanische Liebeslieder, advances the cycle concept by employing piano duet accompaniment.