Shirley Verrett makes a deeply impressive Orfeo, firm and pure in sound, classically restrained in expression; and her "Che farO", at a moderate, beautifully judged speed, is very finely sung, poised and quietly moving. The set is conducted by Renato Fasano, whose pacing of the score shows a very sure touch. The dance music has a grace and lightness, and a stylistic command, that one might not have expected from an orchestra which in those days seemed to be fed chiefly on a diet of Vivaldi.–Gramophone
A release of great importance: the first time CD-issue of the Complete Works of Girolamo Frescobaldi. This edition provides a superb opportunity to discover this neglected master of the Baroque. The project is masterminded by the harpsichordist and organist Roberto Loreggian, and previous individual volumes of the series have been well received. This is there first ever complete edition of Frescobaldi’s music to be issued: a landmark on record, sure to be widely noticed by the musical press.
This 10CD box covers the entire range of the repertoire with which Boris Christoff took the world by storm; from his first opera role in La Boheme over the important Verdi roles and his devilish portrayal of Mephisto to the major roles in Russian operas; Christoff took part in no less than 600 performances of Boris Godunov.
In the Baroque and Classical periods, it seems like anyone who was famous in the world of opera did something with the story of Orpheus. Retrospectively, it is sometimes really hard to see why this appealed to so many. To be sure, the symbolism of the power of music, not to mention the tragic story of love lost, won again through hardship and devotion, and finally and irrevocably lost, seems ready-made for opera. Moreover, any composer would love to set the scenes of Orpheus in Hades. But the plot really seems to need something, like a happy ending, extra characters, or lots and lots of dances to pass the time. Georg Philipp Telemann’s excursion into this story certainly has its share of things.
As concept albums go, LeAnn Rimes’ 2011 album Lady & Gentlemen is a good one: a collection of masculine country classics reinterpreted by a female singer. Sometimes, this reinterpretation amounts to little more than swapping a gender…