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Classical Music

A Recital with Renée Fleming: Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century Blu-ray Review

Posted October 26th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

A Recital with Renée Fleming: Vienna at the Turn of the 20th Century Blu-ray Review

A triumphant return to the musical capital of central Europe, Renée Fleming gives us a superb lieder recital that is a standard bearer for the 21st century in this Arthaus Musik concert release.

Nyman: Make It Louder, Please! [Concert and Portrait] Blu-ray Review

Posted October 26th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Nyman: Make It Louder, Please! [Concert and Portrait] Blu-ray Review

Make it Louder, Please! is a dual-program disc that features a full-length concert by The Michael Nyman Band and a documentary on this leading contemporary composer’s life and career in the arts that is a fascinating watch.

Verdi: La Traviata [Arena di Verona] Blu-ray Review

Posted October 26th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Verdi: La Traviata [Arena di Verona] Blu-ray Review

In spite of a gripping performance of the title role from Ermanela Jaho, the rest of this production of La Traviata is somewhat of a disappointment in staging and supporting cast.

Rossini: L’Italiana in Algeri [Teatro Communale di Bologna] Blu-ray Review

Posted October 18th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Rossini: L’Italiana in Algeri [Teatro Communale di Bologna] Blu-ray Review

An upbeat and updated production of a classic comic opera, this Rossini Festival production of L’Italiana in Algeri on Blu-ray offers many smiles, outright guffaws, and nonstop shtick.

Strauss: Elektra [Festival Aix-en-Provence/Salonen] Blu-ray Review

Posted October 14th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Strauss: Elektra [Festival Aix-en-Provence/Salonen] Blu-ray Review

A manic but effective portrayal of Elektra’s heroine, and excepting the less than top-flight visuals, a compelling performance that demands our attention.

Tchaikowsky: The Merchant of Venice [Wiener Syhmphoniker/Nielsen/Bregenzer Festpiele] Blu-ray Review

Posted October 13th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Tchaikowsky: The Merchant of Venice [Wiener Syhmphoniker/Nielsen/Bregenzer Festpiele] Blu-ray Review

Merchant of Venice would have benefited from the revisions that Tchaikowsky would have made had he lived long enough to make them.

Spuck: Poppea // Poppea [Gauthier Dance] Blu-ray Review

Posted October 8th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Spuck: Poppea // Poppea [Gauthier Dance] Blu-ray Review

A modernist interpretation of Monteverdi’s opera Poppea that is danced rather than sung with terrific dancers.

Gluck 300 Years: Alceste, Iphigenie en Tauride, and Orfeo ed Eurydice [Staatsoper Stuttgart, Zurich Opera, and Royal Opera Covent Garden] Blu-ray Review

Posted September 22nd, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Gluck 300 Years: Alceste, Iphigenie en Tauride, and Orfeo ed Eurydice [Staatsoper Stuttgart, Zurich Opera, and Royal Opera Covent Garden] Blu-ray Review

A bargain box of three of Gluck’s operas gives us decent performances in standard definition video with lossy audio.

Richard Strauss: Capriccio [Wiener Staatsoper/Eschenbach] Blu-ray Review

Posted September 22nd, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Richard Strauss: Capriccio [Wiener Staatsoper/Eschenbach] Blu-ray Review

Somewhat perverse staging and bizarre costumes coupled with some vocal disappointments lets down what could have been a stellar Wiener StaatsOper production.

Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail [Camerata Salzburg/Graf] Blu-ray Review

Posted August 16th, 2014 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail [Camerata Salzburg/Graf] Blu-ray Review

Mozart’s comic opera receives a makeover in an airplane hangar with modern dress, plot adjustments, and uneven vocal performances.