Diana Damrau, Michael Spyres & Véronique Gens Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

With the year coming to an end, we bring you the last releases of 2022. Audiences will get a chance to hear a monodrama, a Christmas album, a solo album and rarities.

Eternal Heaven

Long-time musical partners Lea Desandre and Iestyn Davies present Thomas Dunford’s complete Handel program recorded with Ensemble Jupiter. Featuring Dunford on the lute, the new album features arias from “Semele,” “Theodora,” “Saul,” “Susanna, and “Esther.”

My Christmas

Diana Damrau teams up with the Hannover Orchestra under conductor Riccardo Minasi and Richard Whilds for a holiday album. The CD includes sacred music and Christmas songs.

In a statement, Damrau noted, “All my childhood memories and favorite songs, the cheerful ones like Fröhliche Weihnacht or Morgen Kinder Wird’s Was Geben to the quiet ones like Leise Rieselt der Schnee, I have included in this album. The peace and contemplation I felt back then have left their mark on me to this day. And I wish us all, especially in today’s time of restlessness, to let this inner peace return in order to be able to absorb the Christmas message.”

Berlioz: Les Nuits d’été -  Harold en  Italie

Following the award-winning Berlioz cycles “Les Troyens” and “La Damnation de Faust,” conductor John Nelson and Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg present Les Nuits D’Été and Harold en Italie, with bari-tenor Michael Spyres and young violist Timothy Ridout.

Good-night/There is a Balm in Gilead

Baritone Will Liverman self-releases two singles from his own compositions, Good-night, co-written with violinist Lady Jess and his original arrangement of the traditional spiritual “There is a Balm in Gilead.”

Liverman performs on each song, with “Good-night” featuring him at the piano and singing, and co-composer Lady Jess playing the violin. Soprano Jasmine Muhammad and mezzo-soprano Tesia Kwarteng are featured on “There is a Balm in Gilead,” with Liverman on piano.

What is Ours Now

Navona Records releases the new album with Choir director Dominick DiOrio turning his reflections and sentiments about the pandemic into a profoundly engaging, almost philosophical choral album.

A Byzantine Emperor at King Henry’s Court: Christmas 1400, London

Cappella Records is proud to present its 30th release, “A Byzantine Emperor at King Henry’s Court: Christmas 1400, London,” performed by Cappella Romana and led by founder and music director Alexander Lingas.

The ensemble will perform the program as part of its Northwest concert series in Seattle and Portland in January and will feature Alexander Lingas’ discovery of never-before recorded works for Christmas.

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: Das Himmelskleid

Marco Polo Label releases Wolf-Ferrari’s most mature opera with a cast that includes Angelina Ruzzafante, Anna-Maria Dur, Sibrand Basa, Reinhard Leisenheimer, Peer-Martin Sturm, Michael Kurz, Stefan Adam, and Sergio Gómez. The Hagen Opera Chorus and Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra are conducted by Gerhard Markson.

Johannes Brahms: Complete Songs, Vol. 2

Alina Wunderlin, Esther Valentin-Fieguth, Kieran Carrel, Konstantin Ingenpaß, and Ulrich Eisenlohr perform Brahms songs on this Naxos release.

La Voix Humaine

ALPHA releases Poulenc’s beloved one-act monodrama with French soprano Véronique Gens. The soprano is accompanied by the Orchestre National de Lille under music director Alexandre Bloch.


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