Dashon Burton, Elena Tsallagova & Luca Dall’Amico Lead New DVD/CD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences can stream and see rarely performed works and world premieres.

Blueprints I

Composer, vocalist, and producer Lisa Bielawa releases a new digital-only album featuring ten world premiere recordings of Bielawa’s compositions. The album was recorded entirely in the performers’ homes, with guidance from engineer Mick Rossi.

The recording features Lisa Bielawa, pianist Molly Morkoski, flutist Sarah Carrier, violinist/vocalist Rebecca Fischer, clarinetist Ashleé Miller, hornist Michael Atkinson, violist Oriana Hawley, vocalist Gregory Purnhagen, and flutist Alex Sopp.

The Prison

Chandos Records releases the world premiere recording of composer Dame Ethel Smyth’s 1930 masterwork.  The recording is conducted by James Blachly with his Experiential Orchestra and Chorus, featuring soprano Sarah Brailey and bass-baritone Dashon Burton as soloists.

“The Prison” is a 64-minute symphony in two parts, “Close on Freedom” and “The Deliverance.” It has sometimes been referred to as an oratorio or a cantata as it is similar in scale and scope to the vocal symphonies of Mahler.

Ralph Couzens, Managing Director Chandos Records, said, “Championing the works of lesser-known or neglected British composers and bringing their music to a wider public is an intrinsic part of the ethos of Chandos Records. We are delighted to be releasing this extraordinary recording and very grateful to James Blachly and his team for resurrecting such a significant score with such a convincing and idiomatic performance.”

Der Messias 

The Salzburg’s production of Handel’s Messiah during its Mozart Week 2020 will be released by C Major. The production, by Robert Wilson, was led by Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and the Philharmonia Chor Wien. Soloists included Elena Tsallagova, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Richard Croft, and José Coca Loza.

The Messiah featured on this recording is Mozart’s adaptation of Handel’s magnum opus. The version brings it more in line with Viennese tastes and it is shortened, contains a more expanded wind section, and is in German.

Wir Gratulieren!

Oehms releases Mieczysław Weinberg’s operatic treasure. The opera is based on the humorous drama by Sholem Aleichem called “Mazel Tov” and features Vladimir Stoupel leading the Kammerakademie Potsdam and soloists Katia Guedes, Anna Gütter, Olivia Saragosa, Jeff Martin, and Robert Elibay-Hartog.


Naxos releases a recording of “Moïse” from the Rossini in Wildbad Festival. The work is an elaborate refashioning of Rossini’s “Mosè in Egitto” and is sung in French. This new recording stars Luca Dall’Amico, Silvia Dalla Benetta, Alexey Birkus, Elisa Balbo, and Randall Bills. Fabrizio Maria Carminati conducts the Górecki Chamber Choir, Kraków, and the festival’s house band, the Virtuosi Brunensis.


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