WEBERN: Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6. BERG: Three fragments from Wozzeck. LIGETI: Mysteries of the Macabre. STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring.
Barbara Hannigan, soprano. London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle, cond.
LSO DVD (2 disks, DVD / Blu Ray audio) TT: 85 min.
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RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: The Tsar's Bride
Anatoli Kotscherga (Vasily Sobakin). OIlga Peretyatko (Maria). Johanes Martin Kránzle (Grigory Gryaznoy). Tobias Schabel (Grigory Natyuta). Pavel Cernoch *Ivan Lykov). Anita Rachvelishvili ( Lyubasha). Berlin Stgate Opera Chorus and Orchestra / Daniel Barenboim, cond.
BEL AIR CLASSICS DVD TT: 152 min.
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MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 in C minor :Resurrection."
Annette Dasch, soprano. Karen Cargill, mezzo-soprano. Netherlands Radio Choir, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra /Daniel Gatti, cond.
RCOA LIVE DVD RCO 17198 TT: 88:25

The LSO set titled "Stravinsky" features much more. This is a concert January 15, 2015 at Barbican Hall. The program opens with Webern's Six Pieces for Orchestra followed by three excerpts from Berg's Wozzeck featuring soprano Barbara Hannigan. Then we experience the amazing Ligeti Mysteries of the Macabre, excerpts from his 1978 groesque opera Le Grand Macabre. This is a brilliant - and highly entertaining - showpiece for soprano and members of the orchestra. Hannigan wears a school-girl costume for this, and acts the part as well. It is highly entertaining, and you can see ti on YouTube. On this splendid video you can see it wih stunning clarity. Rattle is an old hand at Stravinsky;s masterpiece, and leads a strong peformance You can also watch him conduct it with the Berlin Philharmonic from a Waldbuhne Concert (REVIEW).Visually this new issue is outstanding. Audio is OK, better in the first half of the program. An intriguing release worth owning just for the Ligeti. In addition to the DVD there is a secobnd disk containing just the concert, a Blu Ray audio disk.

The world of grand Russian opera should be filled with mystery, fantasy and exotic scenery—but you surely won't find that in this ill-advised updating of Rimsky-Korsakov's Tsar's Bride. The production was given at Baden-Baden State Opera in Berlin's Schuller Theater in October 2013. Director Dmitri Tcherniakov has moved the opera to the contemporary audiovisual world and TV studios: a reality TV show takes place in which a virtual monarch is selecting a new bride from various contestants. Singing throughout is excellent, but this is a performances those who love opera should avoid. To see Tsar's Bride as it should be presented, check the Bolshoi production reviewed on this site (REVIEW).

The SACD issue of this performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 recently was mentioned on this site (REVIEW). Check that for comments about the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra's Mahler tradition and recordings. And if you wish to view this lates recording of the Resurrection, here it is in splendid multi-channel sound, beautifully filmed September 18, 2016.

R.E.B. (January 2018)