This week, the public discovers the new albums of great baritones and rising stars. Here is an overview of the releases.
Cosi fan tutte
The Maggio Musicale releases Mozart’s masterpiece in Naxos. Conductor Zubin Mehta conducts Sven-Eric Bechtolf’s production. The March 2021 recording features Thomas Hampson, Valentina Nafornita, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Matthew Swenson, Mattia Olivieri and Benedetta Torre.
Opus Arte is releasing Monteverdi’s work conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, which marked his first performance of this master’s first opera. Captured at Venice’s Teatro la Fenice during Gardiner’s acclaimed world tour of Monteverdi’s three operas, this half-stage performance features Monteverdi’s chorus and English Baroque soloists. Soloists include Krystian Adam in the title role, sopranos Hana Blažiková and Francesca Boncompagni, mezzo Lucile Richardot, countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim, baritone Furio Zanasi and bass Gianluca Buratto.
Don Giovanni a rock opera
Adam Levowitz, a classically trained composer with nearly 40 years of experience creating music for theatre, opera, musicals and ballet, releases a rock version of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’, the most great opera in the world.
In a statement, Levowitz said, “I don’t touch Mozart’s melodies, harmonies or rhythms. The exquisite score is the same. The tunes are the same. But instead of using Mozart’s orchestra, I use a rock orchestra, two electric guitars, a bass guitar, drums, keyboard and four trumpets.
The Adam Levowitz Rock Orchestra, made up of some of New York’s top professional musicians, will play on the recording.
CPE Bach Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu
Passacaille Records will release a new recording of CPE Bach’s oratorio “Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu”, a work which, according to CPE Bach, “would bring me great honor even after my death and great benefit to lovers of the art”.
The work will be conducted by Bart Van Reyn and will include the baroque orchestra Il Gardellino and the Vlaams Radiokoor as well as soloists soprano Lore Binon, tenor Kieran Carrel and baritone Andreas Wolf.
Christian Gerhaher’s new album, Elegie, will be released by Sony Classical and features the work of late Romantic Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck.
Schoeck’s Elegie song cycle was compared to “out of this world” music when it was first performed in 1923 and remains one of the unsung marvels of the lieder repertoire. Its 24 songs, accompanied by an ensemble of 15 instrumentalists, tell a story of painful goodbyes, lost love and fading beauty.
Gerhaher is joined by the ensemble of the Basel Chamber Orchestra and conductor Heinz Holliger.
“The Dream Opera” by Heinz Holliger Lunea (2017), subtitled Lenau-Szenen in 23 Lebensblättern [Lenau scenes in 23 leaves from a life], to a libretto by Händl Klaus, is the Swiss composer’s most complex piece of musical theater to date. It is also a work that continues the sequence of biographical “portraits” delineated in Holliger’s remarkable recordings for ECM New Series.
The new recording features Christian Gerhaher, Juliane Banse, Ivan Ludlow, Sarah Maria Sun and Annette Schönmüller.
Fanny Hensel & Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – Arias-Lieder-Overtures
Fanny, the sister of Felix Mendelssohn, is just beginning to become an important composer in her own right. This new album contains a selection of his lieder in new arrangements for orchestra, his dramatic scene for soprano and orchestra ‘Hero und Leander’ to a text by his father, as well as the introduction and an aria from his cantata ‘Lobgesang.’ Felix’s concert aria Infelice and the 1st Roman version of ‘Fingals Cave. With Israeli soprano Chen Reiss, the JCOM presents examples of her vocal music, combined with works by Felix Mendelssohn, on CD and in concert.
Figaro? Yes! Rossini
Alpha releases French baritone Florian Sempey’s album dedicated to Rossini’s well-known and lesser-known comedies. In addition to the famous aria from Le Figaro, Sempey offers a duet from “Barbiere” with the mezzo Karine Deshayes, and arias and duets from “La scala di seta”, “L’italiana in Algeri”, “La Cenerentola », « L’occasione fa il ladro » and « Le comte Ory ». The album also features Argentine bass Nahuel di Pierro and the Orchester de l’Opéra National Bordeaux Aquitaine under the direction of Marc Minkowski.
Tiffany’s Spell Book
LEXICON CLASSICS releases the first recording of “Tiffany’s Spellbook” with soprano Tamara Wilson and pianist Justina Lee performing the world premiere recording of composer Evan L. Snyder’s “Tiffany’s Spellbook” song cycle.