Joyce DiDonato & Diana Damrau Headline New CD/DVD Releases (Week Of 1/27)

By Francisco Salazar

This week there are new releases from a recent Grammy winner, a Cardiff winner, and two well-known artists performing songs.


Coming off her Grammy win, Joyce DiDonato brings her acclaimed interpretation of Handel’s opera “Agrippina” in a complete CD recording. Performing alongside Maxim Emelyanychev, Chief Conductor of Il Pomo d’Oro, DiDonato is joined by a cast that also includes Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Franco Fagioli, Luca Pisaroni, Elsa Benoit and Jakub Józef Orliński. Erato releases the new album.

Four Last Songs 

Diana Damrau’s latest album  showcases R. Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder recorded in January 2019 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and its long-standing Chief Conductor Mariss Jansons. Sadly, but also somehow poetically, these “songs of farewell,” performed by Damrau and the BRSO, became part of the last concert that Jansons ever conducted, in New York, just weeks before his death on Nov. 30 2019.

The new recording also features lieder performed by Damrau and Helmut Deutsch. Erato releases the album.

Lines Written During a Sleepless Night

Louise Alder brings a program that showcases a multilingual array of songs from the U.K., Russia, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. The album, which marks her debut for Chandos, features works from Rachmaninoff, Sibelius, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Britten, and Medtner. For the album she is joined by pianist Joseph Middleton.


Welsh soprano Ruby Hughes brings a new recital program with Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Berg’s Altenburg Lieder and, the premiere of “Clytemnestra,” from the musical pen of a fellow Welshwoman, Rhian Samuel. Hughes is joined by Dutch conductor Jac van Steen and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Bis releases the album.