STRAUSS: Salome
Emily Magee (Salome). Peter Bronder (Herodes). Michaela Schuster (Herodias). Wolfgang Koch (Jochanaan). Benjaniin Bruns (Narraboth). Claude Eichenberger (Page). Frankfort Radio Symphony / Andres Orozco-Estrada, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186604 (2 disks) TT: 62:40 / 50:22
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DEL TRIDICI: Child Alice
Courtnay Budd, soprano. Boston Modern Orchestra Project / Gil Rose, cond.
BMOP SACD 1056 (2 disks) TT: 60:58 / 72:51)
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FRANCK: Violin Sonata in A. FAURÉ: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A, Op. 13. PROKOFIEV: Sonata in D Op. 94.
Sharon Bezaly, flute. Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano
BIS SACD 2259 TT: 75:06
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This is an exciting new live recording of Strauss's masterpiece featuring American soprano Eily Magee, one of today;'s leading interpreters of the denabdubg role. Magee is a sensation in opera; about six yeard ago she was choesen by Sir Simon Rattle to star in a concert performance of Salome. You can see excerpts from it on YouTube. Now we have this live performance September 10, 2016 at Akta Opera Frankfort. Young conductor Andrés Oroco-Estrada is at his best in repertory like this, and the fine engineering captures all of the shimmering richness of Strauss's score. It is unfortunate that Peter Bronder was cast as Herod. Hero is indeed a despicable creature, but the singer interpreting the role should convey his nobility, hard to do when your voice is as qyaverty as Bronder's. Still, this is a major performance of ?Salome, well worth inclusion in any collecion. A complete libretto is providedif you ae interested in this opera, pleaser check our feature discussing all recordings of it (FEATURE) also the special feature about Ljuba Welitsch, he definitive Salome (FEATURE).

David Del Tredici (b. 1937) has enjoyed an extraordinarily successful career. He has won a Pulitzer Prize and many prestigious awards. One of his major works (which won the Puliitzer) is the large-scale three-part Child Alice. This is scored for soprano and orchestra, based on on the two prefatory poems from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There . Child Alice was first performed in 1986 in Carnegie Hall, not again until presented in Boston in March 2016 at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. That remarkable performance can be heard on this superb BMOP SACD. The soprano part is incredibly difficult requiring a lyric soprano with a wide range, brilliantly supplied by American soprano Courtney Budd. Another plus is that profuse program notes, with music examples, are provided by the composer. As always, Gil Rose and his splendid orchestra play with virtuosity, and the engineering staff have captured all this with great realism. Complete texts are also provided. A major addition to the catalog!

Vladimir Ashkenazy continues to amaze. His career as pianist and conductor legendary and now, at the beginning of his eighth decade, he continues to perform at the highest level. On this new disk he collaborates with young flute virtuoso Sharon Bezaly in a program of three major sonatas, the Prokofiev written for flute and piano, the others arranged for flute and piano by Jean-Pierre Rampal (Franck) and Bezaly (Faure). This site recently praised Bezaly's SACD of concertos of Khachaturian and Rautavaara (REVIEW). She and Ashkenazy are perfect partners in these performances recorded last year at Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk. Excellent audio, as always with BIS.

R.E.B. (December 2017).

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