Alberto Veronesi, Orchestra Guido Cantelli of Milan - Antonio Salieri: Falstaff (1998)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alberto Veronesi, Orchestra Guido Cantelli of Milan - Antonio Salieri: Falstaff (1998)

Alberto Veronesi, Orchestra Guido Cantelli of Milan - Antonio Salieri: Falstaff (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 667 Mb | Total time: 74:42+69:25 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 9613(2) | Recorded: 1997

By far the best opera based on Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, is Verdi's Falstaff. But the lazy, cowardly, greedy, overweight, alcohol-soaked, sexually predatory, and somehow (despite everything) endearing antihero is big enough for more than one opera. Salieri's Falstaff is much simpler and smaller in scale than Verdi's, less inventive and energetic. But this is a sophisticated, funny, brightly performed treatment of Falstaff's attempt to woo two married women with identical love notes.
(Joe McLellan)

John Fisher, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Marilyn Horne, Cecilia Gasdia - Handel: Rinaldo [2008]

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Fisher, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia,  Marilyn Horne, Cecilia Gasdia - Handel: Rinaldo [2008]

John Fisher, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Marilyn Horne, Cecilia Gasdia - Handel: Rinaldo [2008]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 614 Mb | Total time: 56:06+73:43 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Nuova Era | # 232468 | Recorded: 1989

This is a reissue of a recording that was previously issued by Nuova Era and Mondo Musica. It allows us to hear Marilyn Horne in one of her signature roles, and it was presumably for her that this production was mounted at Venice’s La Fenice. Horne’s performance is what one would expect; she tosses off the coloratura with ease, and her performance is very assured. Her colleagues provide generally good support. Gasdia does not make as strong an impression as some of her recorded competition as Almirena, but her singing is technically assured.

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet music [2007]

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet music [2007]

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet music from Alcina, Il pastor fido and Terpsichore [2007]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.51 Gb | Total time: 343:20 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564 69838-3 | Recorded: 1981, 85, 86

As well as recording for, and eventually publicly falling out with, Deutsche Grammophon, John Eliot Gardiner made a series of recordings for Erato, which Warner Classics are now bundling together at bargain price. Pairing the opera Tamerlano with the joyously exuberant choral setting of Milton (with a disc of ballet music from the operas too) makes no obvious sense, except that both rank among Gardiner's finest Handel performances; and his versions of each (L'Allegro from 1981, Tamerlano from five years later) arguably remain the most recommendable in the current catalogue. The cast in Tamerlano is led by a pair of outstanding counter tenors, Derek Ragin and Michael Chance, then both at the start of their careers, with tenor Nigel Robson as Bajazet, while the soloists in L'Allegro include Marie McLaughlin, Jennifer Smith and Martyn Hill; dramatic energy and vitality course through both performances.
(Andrew Clements)

John Eliot Gardiner - Handel: Water Music; Concerti grossi Op.3; Israel in Egypt; The Ways of Zion Do Mourn; Semele [2007]

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner - Handel: Water Music; Concerti grossi Op.3; Israel in Egypt; The Ways of Zion Do Mourn; Semele [2007]

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloisits, Monteverdi Choir - Handel: Water Music; Concerti grossi Op.3; Israel in Egypt; The Ways of Zion Do Mourn; Semele [2007]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.8 Gb | Total time: 412:20 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564 69838-5 | Recorded: 1980-83

John Eliot Gardiner and his period instrument ensemble produce a lovely, smooth sound in these very well played performances, which use Handel's versions for strings and winds. Balances are fine; playing and recording collaborate to produce a treasurable clarity in which every line registers. –Leslie Gerber … Handel's epic oratorio, Israel in Egypt, here in a gripping performance by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, was a failure during Handel's lifetime. This was perhaps because of its immense variety of compositional techniques and forms. It is a virtual catalog of choral compositional methods, and thus stands outside the genre of 18th-century oratorio as such. Now, of course, it is recognized as what it is, a unique, dazzling work. –Joshua Cody … Although he billed this piece as an oratorio, it's really an opera–the first ever in English, and one of the finest too. Handel's audience wasn't fooled for a minute, and a successful performance needs a dazzling cast of singers, just as in the composer's Italian operas. Good as John Eliot Gardiner's singers are, they don't surpass John Nelson's cast on DG, nor does Gardiner's direction offer much competition. Had the DG not existed this would be perfectly recommendable, but life is cruel, and you deserve the best.
(David Hurwitz)

John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre de l’Opera de Lyon - Gluck: Iphigenie en Aulide; La Rencontre imprevue; Don Juan [2008]

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre de l’Opera de Lyon - Gluck: Iphigenie en Aulide; La Rencontre imprevue; Don Juan [2008]

John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon, The English Baroque Soloisits - Gluck: Iphigénie en Aulide; La Rencontre imprévue; Don Juan [2008]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.17 Gb | Total time: 264.35 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564 69562-0 | Recorded: 1981/87/90

This four disc set from Erato opens with Gluck’s three act lyric tragedy Iphigénie en Aulide, his first original ‘French’ opera for the fashionable Paris Opéra. In 1773 Gluck had been persuaded that he could establish himself at the Paris Opéra (also known as L’Opéra) by François du Roullet, an attaché at the French Embassy in Vienna. Baille du Roullet provided Gluck with the libretto for Iphigénie en Aulide, based on the tragedy of Racine and founded on the play of Euripides. Initially the Director of L’Opéra hesitated in accepting Gluck’s score. Fortunately he had a influential ally in Marie-Antoinette, the Queen of France, to whom he had taught singing and harpsichord. The first staging of Iphigénie en Aulide was at the Paris Opéra in 1774.

John Eliot Gardiner, The English Baroque Soloisits, The Monteverdi Choir - Mozart: La clemenza di Tito [1991]

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, The English Baroque Soloisits, The Monteverdi Choir - Mozart: La clemenza di Tito [1991]

John Eliot Gardiner, The English Baroque Soloisits, The Monteverdi Choir - Mozart: La clemenza di Tito [1991]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 473 Mb | Total time: 58:20+59:44 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | # 431 806-2 | Recorded: 1990

Listening to this work so soon after hearing Zauberflote one is amazed anew that Mozart could write two such totally contrasted pieces within months of each other. Here, in the composer's last opera seria, we are in another world, one of formality tempered by the deep emotions engendered by love and jealousy. Instead of birdcatchers and Masonic rights we are dealing with historic figures in a supposedly historic context with down-to-earth feelings. For each Mozart finds precisely the appropriate music.

John Eliot Gardiner, The English Baroque Soloisits, The Monteverdi Choir - Mozart: Idomeneo [1991]

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, The English Baroque Soloisits, The Monteverdi Choir - Mozart: Idomeneo [1991]

John Eliot Gardiner, The English Baroque Soloisits, The Monteverdi Choir - Mozart: Idomeneo[1991]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 832 Mb | Total time: 78:02+70:45+61:46 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | # 431 674-2 | Recorded: 1990

“This is unquestionably the most vital and authentic account of Idomeneo to date on disc. We have here what was given at the work's first performance in Munich plus, in appendices, what Mozart wanted, or was forced, to cut before that premiere and the alternative versions of certain passages, so that various combinations of the piece can be programmed by the listener. Gardiner's direct, dramatic conducting catches ideally the agony of Idomeneo's terrible predicament – forced to sacrifice his son because of an unwise row. This torment of the soul is also entirely conveyed by Anthony Rolfe Johnson in the title role to which Anne Sofie von Otter's moving Idamante is an apt foil. Sylvia McNair is a diaphanous, pure-voiced Ilia, Hillevi Martinpelto a properly fiery, sharp-edged Elettra.

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Natalie Dessay, Cecilia Bartoli - Mozart: Mitridate [1999]

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Natalie Dessay, Cecilia Bartoli -  Mozart: Mitridate [1999]

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Natalie Dessay, Cecilia Bartoli - Mozart: Mitridate [1999]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 790 Mb | Total time: 174:33 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 460 772-2 | Recorded: 1998

This full-length opera seria–written by Mozart at age 14–has had some strong recorded exposure in the past, but this set may bring it to a broader public than ever before. Now that Handel's operas in the same genre are much more in evidence, what once might've seemed like the work of an underdeveloped dramatist is only Mozart maintaining the status quo, which is a long, expository, musically conservative first act followed by two shorter acts with much more individualistic arias, some of them exquisite and among the composer's very best. Conductor Christophe Rousset is perfect for finding the dramatic center of every moment. But the set is worth buying just for its passionate cast, which features Cecilia Bartoli, Brian Asawa, Natalie Dessay, and Sandrine Piau firing on all vocal cylinders. The biggest surprise is tenor Giuseppe Sabbatini's account of the title role. It may not be graceful but it sure is electrifying. There's only one disappointment: Mozart wrote several versions of some arias to please his star singers, and this recording leaves one hungry to hear his outtakes.
(David Patrick Stearns)

Jean-Claude Hartemann, John Barbirolli - Gounod: Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cecile; Petite Symphonie [2001]

Posted By: ArlegZ
Jean-Claude Hartemann, John Barbirolli - Gounod: Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cecile; Petite Symphonie [2001]

Jean-Claude Hartemann, John Barbirolli - Gounod: Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cécile; Petite Symphonie [2001]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 291 Mb | Total time: 60:05 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # 7243 5 74565 2 4 | Recorded: 1959/63

It is good to have this uninhibitedly tuneful setting of the mass back in the catalogue, particularly in this warm and energetic Parisian performance. Gounod here in almost every section presents melodies that to us today have a hint of hit tunes, particularly the brash theme that underpins the "Credo" (which later returns Cut La forza) and the deliciously inappropriate tune for "Agnus Dei". The fact that vulgarity is only just avoided somehow adds to the attractions, and certainly no Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiast should miss hearing the work. The performance is even more enjoyable than I had remembered with excellent work from the soloists as well as the choir.
(Edward Greenfield, Gramophone)

Alexander Anissimov, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland - Rachmaninov: The Rock; The Bells [2001]

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alexander Anissimov, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland - Rachmaninov: The Rock; The Bells [2001]

Alexander Anissimov, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland - Rachmaninov: The Rock; The Bells [2001]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 185 Mb | Total time: 51:48 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Naxos | # 8.550805 | Recorded: 1996/97

Alexander Anissimov’s 1997 Naxos one with National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir…Helen Field, singing for Anissimov, is a real delight in the slow movement, poignant, lyrical and clear in enunciation in a performance that has two fine Russians (tenor Ivan Choupenitch and baritone Oleg Melnikov) as the other soloists and an approach to the score that transmits a broad, well honed spectrum of emotion.
(Gramophone)

Andrei Gavrilov, Riccardo Muti, The Philadelphia Orchestra - Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2, Paganini Rhapsody [1997] [Re-Up]

Posted By: ArlegZ
Andrei Gavrilov, Riccardo Muti, The Philadelphia Orchestra - Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2, Paganini Rhapsody [1997] [Re-Up]

Andrei Gavrilov, Riccardo Muti, The Philadelphia Orchestra - Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2, Paganini Rhapsody [1997]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 207 Mb | Total time: 58:33 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # 7243 5 69829 2 5 | Recorded: 1991

This is a very good performance of the Piano Concerto No. 2 and the Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini performed by Andrei Gavrilov, the Russian Pianist, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Muti. It is a very good interpretation of these works, capturing all the intensity and nuance, energy and romance, of these selections. There are passages of incredible speed where precision is essential and this is evident in this recording. Gavrilov has the ability to fully express the magnificence of some passages and the more brooding nuance and subtlety of other passages. The Philadelphia Orchestra sounds terrific in this recording. The Piano Concerto is certainly one of the greatest concerto compositions of the modern era. It is an intense composition that cannot help but engage the listener at a range of levels. The Paganini Rhapsody is brilliant. (C. Collins)

Philippe Entremont, Leonard Bernstein, Andre Watts, Seiji Ozawa - Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos.2 & 3 [1994] [Re-Up]

Posted By: ArlegZ
Philippe Entremont, Leonard Bernstein, Andre Watts, Seiji Ozawa - Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos.2 & 3 [1994] [Re-Up]

Philippe Entremont, Leonard Bernstein, André Watts, Seiji Ozawa, New York Philharmonic -
- Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 [1994]

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 326 Mb | Total time: 71:23 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Sony Classical | # SBK 53512 | Recorded: 1960/70

The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The second and third movements were first performed with the composer as soloist on 2 December 1900. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 9 November 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting. This piece is one of Rachmaninoff's most enduringly popular pieces, and established his fame as a concerto composer.

Andrew Litton, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Rachmaninov: Symphonies 1-3 [2002] [Re-Up]

Posted By: ArlegZ
Andrew Litton, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Rachmaninov: Symphonies 1-3 [2002] [Re-Up]

Andrew Litton, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Rachmaninov: Symphonies 1-3 (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) | Total time: 79:21+72:43 | Scans included | ~ 556 Mb
Classical | Label: Virgin Classics | # 7243 5 62037 2 3 | Recorded: 1990

Rachmaninov’s three symphonies reflect three very different phases in his creative development: the First (1895) is a stormy synthesis of contemporary trends in Russian symphonic music, the Second (1906-07) an epic study in Tchaikovskian opulence, and the Third (1935-36) a seemingly unstoppable stream of original ideas and impressions. The Second was the first to gain wide acceptance, and with good reason. It shares both the key and general mood of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth. Cast in E minor, its initial gloom ultimately turns to triumph, and the symphony includes enough glorious melodies to keep Hollywood happy for decades.

High Mass Coronation Celebrated by Pope John Paul (Mozart), (1985, 2002), DVD5 (Re-Up)

Posted By: ArlegZ
High Mass Coronation Celebrated by Pope John Paul (Mozart), (1985, 2002), DVD5 (Re-Up)

Mozart - Coronation Mass (Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan)
720x480 (4:3) 29.97fps 6800Kbps | LPCM, 2 ch; Dolby AC3, 4 ch | 58 min | 3.71 GB
Classical | Italiano | Label: Sony

Wonderful to see the Coronation Mass sung in a liturgical context, though the focus in the video is on the music (naturally), rather than the pope celebrating Mass. Very moving nontheless. Not only is Karajan a great performer; John Paul is pretty impressive, too!

Sammartini Giovanni Battista - Memet (Ciavatta) (2002) (Re-Up)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Sammartini Giovanni Battista - Memet (Ciavatta) (2002) (Re-Up)

Sammartini Giovanni Battista – Memet (Ciavatta, Mirko Guadagnini, Daniela Uccello) (2002)
APE, IMG+CUE, LOG, Complete Artwork (jpg) => 755 MB | CD1:73’06, CD2:69’53, CD3:74’17
EAC Rip | Classical/ Opera | Label: Dynamic IT | FSonic/FServe

I've loved classical music for the better part of two decades now. It was fantastic to recently discover a composer of the first order, one who was completely unknown to me, and seemingly neglected by the larger canon. This is Sammartini. It's been fantastic to see more and more Sammartini compositions become available in mp3 format. I've devoured all the symphonies available, mainly through the Naxos label, though there are others. This opera must have just appeared. Otherwise I would have purchased it still earlier. The recording itself (technique, ambiance, etc.) is excellent and spacious. And I was surprised to hear just how many of Sammartini's various "symphonies" make their appearance in this one opera alone, either as introductory "sinfonia" or as support for vocal arrangements! That's no complaint. My one complaint (and it is one common to the mp3 format) is the absence of liner notes.