Alan Curtis directs Il Complesso Barocco, with Karina Gauvin and Sonia Prina in a solid lineup. But given a choice of stellar vehicles that include Renee Fleming, Susan Graham and Natalie Dessay on Erato, and the academically incorrect Joan Sutherland and Fritz Wunderlich on DG, would you really settle for a low-carbon new model?
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Check out Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard at Carnegie Hall in New York on April 26, 2017 and get detailed info for the event - tickets, photos, video and .
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: Dessay v. Salieri
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Working at the Met, the learned Ms. Zimmerman has found her most prestigious canvas yet, one that has increased her visibility exponentially. Since 2007 the company has been unveiling a new production of hers every season, beginning with Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" and Bellini's "Sonnambula." Those two were conceived around the scintillating soprano Natalie Dessay, and were shown internationally in the Met HD broadcast series, as "Armida" will be on May 1.
La sonnambula, Metropolitan Opera, New York ..
Yet Ms. Zimmerman has no regrets. " 'Lucia' and 'La Sonnambula' sold every ticket," she said. "I couldn't be prouder or more in love with those productions." And her admiration for Ms. Dessay remains unshaken. As she told The New Yorker in that profile, "My bottom line about Natalie is she's either proof that God exists or compensation that he doesn't."
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Because it can be downwrong right. Leonard Bernstein’s 1958 Rite recording with the New York Philharmonic is a case in point. It explodes out of nowhere like a thunderstorm at sea and keeps us gripping the sides for dear life. Digitally remastered from Howard Scott’s excellent studio sessions, the woodwinds come through with wide-eyed clarity, driven almost to the limits of human breath. Bernstein liked to remind musicians that Stravinsky’s original title for the work was ‘The Kiss of the Earth’, a fusion of sex, youth and nature. This account ticks all three boxes. No matter how many Rites you own, this one is not to be resisted.
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To accommodate Ms. Dessay, Ms. Zimmerman concocted a parallel scenario involving a contemporary downtown opera company in rehearsal for a new production of "La Sonnambula." Anthony Tommasini, in The New York Times, called the life-imitates-art solution cliché ridden, a "cop-out."
Eagles Tailgate Party will begin on September 10
No ifs, no buts: this is the best Bartok playing money can buy. Kocsis and Schiff, the foremost current Hungarian pianists, are keyboard antipodes, one dazzling and aggressive, the other cuddly and introspective. When he reads the notation Allegro Barbaro, Kocsis stops shaving; in the 1926 piano sonata his brutal note clusters will break windows in your nearest gated village. Schiff, all cufflinks and charm, is slyly seductive in the Dance Suite, wistfully lyrical in the Rumanian folk dances and Hungarian peasant songs. These recitals, taped in Japan, are new to Europe; they leave all others standing. The second CD is of Bartok himself playing selections from the six books of Mikrokosmos, from recordings he made on arrival in New York in 1940, after fleeing fascist repression in Hungary. The masters, gathering dust in a Columbia vault, have never been readily available and the freshness of this transfer defies belief. Bartok could be sitting in your own living room, smoking his way through divided arpeggios. The best that money can buy? This 2-CD pack costs a risible £6.