VERDI: Arias from Un ballo en maschera, Luisa Miller,
Macbeth, Rigoletto, La traviata, Les vespris sicilienes. Nabucco,
and Il trovatore.
IMRE SZECHENYI: Lieder.
MORAVEC: The Blizzard Voices
Estonian tenor Luc Roberts is a new star on the operatic scene. He has appeared with a number of smaller opera companies, and made his Met debut in 2015 in the title role of Ernani although this attracted little attention. That was his only Met performance. CD notes advise he has already sung a wide variety of roles including Donizetti, Puccini, and Britten. On this new recording he sings many famous tenor arias. His voice is quite rich, but lacks subtlety, and the higher register is somewhat forced. No dates are given for the recording, but the engineers have provided a rich orchestral background. Program notes are in Estonian, English and French. No texts or translations are provided. For whatever reason, the disk also includes two choral scenes from Nabucco and Aïda. Limited interest here. If you are curious, you can find Roberts on YouTube in several arias.
MDG continues to explore the unusual with this SACD of lieder by Hungarian composer Imre Szecheny (1825 - 1898). He cane from a wealthy old family that was very involved in politics, both local and international. Imre followed in his family's footsteps and was involved in politics; he was Hungary's minister to the United States 1922-1933. He composed profusely, but little of his music is heard today, and there are few recordings. This collection contains 22 of his lieder, all pleasant but unmemorable.Most are sung by soprano Katharina Ruckgaber; baritone Jochen Kupfer sings four of them.CD notes are in English, French and German. Texts are provided in the original language, but, oddly, translations are not. A minor issue.
This site has mentioned several recordings of music by American composer Paul Moravec (b. 1957). About a decade ago, S.G.S. covered Tempest Fantasy, Mood Swings. B.A.S.S. Variations and Scherzo (REVIEW), and The Time Gallery, Protean Fantasy and Ariel Fantasy (REVIEW). Moravec always had great interest in choral music, and this new disk offers The Blizzard Voices which is the third in a series of American historical cantatas/oratorios based on Ted Kooser's collection of poems many of which are based on histor. These are mostly about the hardships people had to endure, accounts of tthese individuals caught up in a catastrophe of biblical proportions and ferocity. The fifteen sections are: Prologue: The Plains. There Was a Day. The Blizzard Bore Down. Billy. I Never See a Sunflower. All Night the Wind Moaned. Lois Mae Royce. Fare Thee Well, Mother. Telegraph. Minnie Freeman. My Sister Was Born. In the Morning-Light the Fire. The Searching Parties. In Remembrance. Epilogue. There are six soloists: Emily Pulley and Deborah Selig (sopranos), Erica Brookhyser (mezzo-soprano), Matthew Dibattista (tenor), David Kravitz (baritone), and David Cushing, bass-baritone. Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory. It is given a committed, often dynamic performance by the fine soloists, the New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, and the superb Boston Modern Orchestra under its conductor, Gil Rose. The recording was made March 9, 2015 at Mechanics Hall (Worcester), Maine, and the engineers have provided a large but clear and well-balanced sound,. Complete texts are provided. An outstanding issue!
R.E.B. (OCTOBER 2017)