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Featured Releases - July 2019

ROSSINI, G.: Eduardo e Cristina [Opera] (Rossini in Wildbad, 2017) [Opera]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1869)
Eduardo e Cristina
Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola and Gherardo Bevilacqua-Aldobrandini
after Odoardo e Cristina by Giovanni Schmidt

Dalla Benetta • Polverelli • Tarver • Xiang Xu • Anderzhanov • Camerata Bach Choir, Poznań • Virtuosi Brunensis • Gelmetti

Rossini’s Eduardo e Cristina was a huge success in its day, but as perhaps the last centone opera (one assembled from previously existing material) by a major composer, it became forgotten under the subsequent tide of Romantic idealism. Today we can put these prejudices aside and enjoy this masterful creation for what it is: a hugely entertaining parade of beautiful and spectacular musical ‘hits’ set to a familiar story of secret love, dramatic crisis and triumphant resolution. This 2017 Bad Wildbad revival was summed up as ‘an evening of pure bel canto pleasure!’ by Operagazet.

CASELLA, A.: La donna serpente [Opera] (Teatro Regio Torino, 2016)
Alfredo CASELLA (1883–1947)
La donna serpente
(‘The Snake Woman’)
Libretto by Cesare Vico Lodovici after Carlo Gozzi

Remigio • Grimaldi • Sassu • Chiuri • Pretti • Marsiglia • M.F. Romano • de Candia • Orchestra and Chorus Teatro Regio Torino • Noseda • Cirillo

Alfredo Casella was one of the ‘Generation of the eighties’ who sought to shake Italian music from its long-standing operatic heritage and the dominance of Puccini. La donna serpente was Casella’s only full-scale opera, its fantastic plot based on Carlo Gozzi’s renowned fairy tale that perpetually alternates between tragedy and comedy, expressed in neo-Classical music that skillfully portrays the sinister and ethereal world of the fairies as well as the intense emotions of the human realm. This production was acclaimed for Arturo Cirillo’s dreamlike setting and Gianandrea Noseda’s pin-point conducting: ‘What energy, what precision! … he delivers the complexity of this score with a disconcerting ease.’ (

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0096V)

Verbier Festival – The 25th Anniversary Concert
Verbier Festival
The 25th Anniversary Concert

Various Soloists • RIAS Kammerchor • Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra • Gergiev • Takács-Nagy

The Verbier Festival is one of classical music’s greatest events. In celebration of the festival’s 25th anniversary, this unique concert brings together 36 classical stars in an unprecedented evening of ingenious programming and captivating performances. The line-up includes the world’s greatest violinists, violists, cellists and pianists as well as other leading performers conducted by Valery Gergiev and Gábor Takács-Nagy.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0098V)

GOUNOD, C.: Faust (1864 London version) [Opera]
Charles GOUNOD (1818–1893)
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré

Farasin • Colombara • Tepponen • Haller • Srbljan • L. Gallo • Torikka • Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka Opera Orchestra and Choir • Metvejeff

The international success of after its premiere in 1859 completely overshadowed all of Gounod’s subsequent operas. He had known Goethe’s masterpiece for two decades and brought to the text his gifts for memorable melody and rich orchestration. Added to this, the plot of Faust’s ageing and the heroine Marguerite’s redemption, offered the opportunity for the most spectacular stage effects. Heard here in its 1864 London version with an additional air and without spoken dialogue or ballet, Faust represents 19th-century French opera at its peak.

RAHBARI, A.: My Mother Persia, Symphonic Poems Vol. 1 – Nos. 1, 2 and 3
Alexander RAHBARI (b. 1948)
My Mother Persia
Symphonic Poems, Vol. 1 – Nos. 1, 2 and 3

P. Rahbari • Antalya State Symphony Orchestra • Prague Metropolitan Orchestra • A. Rahbari


The Iranian conductor and composer Alexander Rahbari grew up with and trained in traditional Persian music with its most influential maestros. His eight symphonic poems, My Mother Persia, of which this is Volume 1 of 2, are full of melodies, rhythms and improvisations in these traditional styles, brought to life with the colours of modern orchestration. The first of these is an emotional violin concerto in which the soloist plays the role of the Nohe Khan, usually a tenor who sings in traditional Persian style at various religious ceremonies. Mother’s Tears refers to a gathering of orphans and to Rahbari’s own experiences of tragedy, contrasting with a subtext of mischief in Children’s Prayer.

SOUSA, J.P.: Music for Wind Band, Vol. 19
John Philip SOUSA (1854–1932)
Music for Wind Band, Vol. 19
El Capitan – Second Fantasia
Selection from The Bride Elect • The Band Came Back – Humoresque

Royal College of Music Wind Orchestra • Brion


In addition to his world-famous marches, John Philip Sousa was a master of the piquant Humoresque, of which there are two examples here. The first, On the 5.15, is a popular song detailing the travails of a commuter, while the second, The Band Came Back, introduces popular tunes in witty fashion. The sonorous Second Fantasia from El Capitan showcases the band’s bravura qualities and The Fighting Race draws on a trombone solo. There are charming detours to explore rural Americana in the form of Sheep and Goat (‘Walkin’ to the Pasture’) and the evergreen classic, Turkey in the Straw.


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