BEETHOVEN: Excerpt from Symphony No. 3. SCHUBERT: Allegro moderato from Symphony No. 7 "Unfinished." HÖLDERIN: Brat ind Wein BERG: Violin Concerto. Farewell Ceremony of La Scala and the City of Milan (January 27, 2014). BEETHOVEN: Excerpt from Symphony No. 3 "Eroica." MAHLER: Adagio frrom Symphony No. 3.
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PUCCINI: Turandot
Lisa Lindstrom (Turandot). Marco Berti (Calaf). Eri Nakamura (Liu). Raymond Aceto (Timur). Donysios Sourbis (Ping). David Biutt Philip (Pang). Doug Jones (Pong). Alasdair Elliott (Emperor). Michel De Sousa (Mandarin). Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera/Henrik Nánási, cond.
OPUS ARTE DVD TT: 2:05 + 12 min. bonus
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MAHLER: Symphony No. 7 in E minor
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Riccardo Chailly, cond.

Claudio Abbado surely will be remembered as one of the greatest conductors of the century. His death January 20, 2014 at the age of 80 after a prolonged illness was a major loss. He founded the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and led many concerts with them —many of these have been issued on DVD or audio recordings. Many of his admirers were at a Farewell Ceremony presented January 27, 2014 by La Scala and the City of Milan. This Accentus DVD is supposed to be a memorial tribute to him, and includes part of that ceremony. Inexplicably, producers have included tributes to Abbado from some of his colleagues, but heard over the music! A poor choice indeed, hardly appropriate. Skip this ill-advised venture, and remember the great conductor through his many superb recordings.

Puccini's Turandot recently has received several fine performances on DVD, particularly the recent Genoa and Bregenz elaborate productions (REVIEW). Now we have this recent production from the Royal Opera. It has much to offer, but a major weakness, Marco Berti as Calaf. This season he also was in the Met HD telecast, in which he was equally inadequate, hardly a match for Nina Stimme's Turandot. On this new DVD the Princess is sung by a major new star in the soprano galaxy, American Lise Lindstrom, who seems to have it all. Still young, she is a beautiful woman with a powerful voice of which she has total command. Audiences are still talking about her remarkable Vienna State Opera Salome, a role perfect for her. She also sings other Strauss roles and is known for her Brünnhilde. She is the only reason to get this new Turandot. The production is dark and dismal with boring costumes. This performance is quite far down the list of preferred Turandots.

Riccardo Chailly is one of today's dedicated interpreters of Mahler. When he was music director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (1988 - 2004) he recorded all of the symphonies for Decca, and now is recording them for video with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, of which he became music director in 2005 (he will remain there ubntil 2018 when Andris Nelsons becomes Music Director). His Amsterdam recordings remain in the catalog, and now we have his second views on the music. This site already has mentioned many of these: Symphony No. 2 (REVIEW), Symphony No. 4 (REVIEW), Symphony No. 5 (REVIEW), Symphony No. 6 (REVIEW), Symphony No. 8 (REVIEW) and Symphony No. 9 (REVIEW). All of these are outstanding, and Symphony No. 7 is of equal interest. The Leipzig orchestra is in top form, the multi-channel sound is superb and the video always is focused appropriately. Still to come in the series are Symphonies 1 and 3 - we look forward to them to complete an outstanding video Mahler cycle.

R.E.B. (March 2016)