David Hertzberg, Anna Prohaska & Elsebeth Dreisig Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get a chance to stream two world premiere recordings, new solo albums, and a reissued set. There will also be a rarely performed work. Here are this week’s recommendations to stream.

The Rose Elf

In time for Halloween, David Hertzberg’s chamber opera “The Rose Elf” is released worldwide. Inspired by the fairytale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the new recording by Swan Studios features mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey and conductor Robert Kahn. The album was produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Andreas Meyer.

Be all Merry

The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin releases its latest album “Be all Merry” which features three new pieces written for the Choral Scholars. The title track is Irish composer Eoghan Desmond and other pieces include Timothy Stephens’ “The Adoration of the Magi” and Ivo Antognini’s “Christe, Redemptor omnium.”

The Missing Piece 

Strange Trace, a new opera company in the Boston and New England area with world-wide digital reach is set to release its debut recording. The company will release the opera “The Missing Piece,” which was created entirely in quarantine. The libretto was written by Strange Trace members Joshua Scheid and Erin Matthews and the music was written and recorded by Greg Nahabedian. All six core members of Strange Trace sing lead roles in the campy horror opera. The company will release a video production Oct. 28 on Youtube and a CD recording will be available from the independent record label Dollhouse Lightning and will be released on Spotify, Bandcamp, and Apple Music on Oct. 29.


Dacapo releases August Enna’s rarely performed “Kleopatra” with a libretto based on a popular contemporary novel by H. Rider Haggard. The Danish opera features Elsebeth Dreisig, Ruslana Koval,  and Magnus Vigilius. The Danish National Opera Chorus and the Odense Symphony Orchestra are directed by Joachim Gustafsson.

Die Opferung des Gefangenen

Egon Wellesz’s hour-long Die Opferung des Gefangenen gets a release on Capriccio. The “a cult drama for dancers, solo singers, and chorus” gets a world-premiere recording, which was recorded back in March 1995 from a live performance. Friedrich Cerha leads the Wiener Konzertchor and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra with soloists Wolfgang Koch, Robert Brooks, and Ivan Urbas.


Naxos releases Mezzo-soprano Margarita Gritskova’s third recital of Russian songs. The mezzo performs an all-Shostakovich program that explores the full range of his output in this genre. The recital includes poems by Marina Tsvetayeva, Mikhail Lermontov, Pushkin, Shakespeare as well as Japanese and British poets and Jewish folk poetry. Maria Prinz accompanies the mezzo on the piano.

Bach Redemption 

Anna Prohaska and Berlin’s Lautten Compagney under Wolfgang Katschner join forces for Bach Cantatas. Alpha releases the new album which was recorded in June and features an 80-minute collection of arias, choruses, and chorales.

Virgil Thompson 

The Virgil Thomson Foundation has reissued two critically-acclaimed albums, “Portraits and Self-Portraits” and “Mostly About Love.” The two albums feature rarely performed gems by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/author Virgil Thomson and pianist and music critic Anthony Tommasini. The albums also feature Nancy Armstrong (soprano), D’Anna Fortunato (mezzo-soprano), Sanford Sylvan (baritone), Frank Kelley (tenor), Paul Kirby (tenor), David Ripley (bass), James Russell Smith (percussion), Sharan Leventhal (violin), Fenwick Smith (flute), Frederic T. Cohen (oboe), Ronald Haroutunian (bassoon), and Jonathan Miller (cello).


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