Kiri Te Kanawa, Jonas Kaufmann & Jakub Józef Orliński Lead CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

As part of this week’s CD / DVD releases, audiences will get an early Christmas, solo albums, a world premiere recording, and a classic recording. Here is a look at what audiences can watch or listen to this week.

Anima Aeterna

Countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński brings his latest album to Erato, showcasing an adventurous album of sacred arias and motets from the 18th century. The album follows in the vein of Anima Sacra with this new album featuring music by Zelenka, Handel, Fux, and the little-known Gennaro Manna, Francisco António de Almeida, Bartolomeo Nucci and Davide Perez. Joining Orliński in Zelenka’s sparkling ‘Laetatus sum’ is soprano Fatma Said.

Francesco Corti conducts the orchestra and chorus of Il pomo d’oro. Digital copies will be available a week before its physical release.

Jonas Kaufmann: It’s Christmas! Extended Edition with Seven New Songs

Sony Classical has announced its intention to release an extended edition of Jonas Kaufmann’s holiday album “It’s Christmas.”

The album, which was released in 2020, will now feature seven new songs. Audiences will be able to pick up their copy on Oct. 29, 2021.

The new tracks include “Trois anges sont venus ce soir,” which was brought to Kaufmann’s attention by friend and colleague Ludovic Tézier.” Other new songs include “Der englische Gruß,“ “Auf, ihr Hirtensleut,“ “Als Maria übers Gebirge ging,“ “Zu Bethlehem geboren,“ “Jetzt fangen wir zum,“ “Singen an,“ and “Mariä Wiegenlied.“ These latter six tracks will feature Stefanie Irányi in original “Stubnmusi“ scoring for dulcimer, harp, violin, clarinet, and double bass.

“The wonderful success of my first Christmas album, and the pleasure that it gave not just me personally but others, too, has lured me into returning to the studio this year to pay tribute to another holiday musical genre – intimate ‘Alpine Stubnmusi – that for someone like myself, who grew up in Bavaria and Tyrol, invariably evokes the holiday spirit,” said Kaufmann in a press statement.

Little Christmas 

“Little Christmas” is a new recording by The St Florian Boys’ Choir (St. Florianer Sängerknaben), one of the most traditional choirs worldwide. The new recording was made under the direction of Franz Farnberger and Markus Stumpner between 1998 and 2021.

The Knights Before Christmas

Bright Shiny Things releases “The Knights Before Christmas,” a world-premiere recording of holiday music from numerous genres performed by cutting-edge Brooklyn orchestral collective The Knights. Guest performers include Wu Man, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Magos Herrera, Krystle Warren, I’m With Her, and Gaby Moreno. All but one of the arrangements are by members of the orchestra.

“As families and friends gather around the fireplace this holiday season, (made audible in the warm nostalgic glow on the final track of the album, Vince Guaraldi’s iconic Christmas Time is Here), we hope that this truly homegrown Knights album makes space for both the introspection and celebration that this time of year invites. Acknowledging the difficulties that everyone has gone through over the last couple of years, we collectively felt that now was the moment to invest The Knights’ time and energy in something that could truly bring people hope, comfort, and light.”

Maria & Maddalena

The second PENTATONE album for soprano Francesca Aspromonte explores the Two Marys in oratorios by Lulier, Bononcini, Leopoldo I d’Asburgo, Caldara, Perti, Handel, and Scarlatti. The soprano performs alongside violinist Boris Begelman as well as the seasoned players of I Barocchisti under the baton of the eminent Diego Fasolis.

In a statement, Aspromonte said, “Day and night, brunette and blonde, sacred and profane love, old and young… mother and prostitute: the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. We grow up certain of their differences, comforted by that ancient story so familiar to us, of which we know every detail and every character. But if we listened to their story through music, we could discover what makes them similar. Two women.”

New Jewish Music 

The Azrieli Foundation and Analekta release New Jewish Music, Vol. 3 – Azrieli Music Prizes, featuring the world premiere recordings of works by the 2020 Azrieli Music Prize (AMP) laureates.

The album features Keiko Devaux (The Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music), Yotam Haber (The Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music) and Yitzhak Yedid (The Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music). The three are performed by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne under the direction of Lorraine Vaillancourt. Soloists include Mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó and Sharon Azrieli.


Naxos releases César Franck’s “Hulda” recorded in Freiburg in July and October 2019. The cast is headed by soprano Meagan Miller and tenor Joshua Kohl. Fabrice Bolton leads the Opern- und Extrachor des Theater Freiburg and the Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg.

Das verratene Meer

Capriccio releases Hans Werner Henze’s opera from the Wiener Staatsoper. Conductor Simone Young leads the Vienna Philharmonic with Bo Skovhus, Vera-Lotte Boecker, and Josh Lovell.

Petite Messe Solennelle

Arcana releases Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in its original version for four vocal soloists, small chorus, two pianos, and harmonium. Conductor Giulio Prandi leads the new critical edition of the score published by the Fondazione Rossini in Pesaro, with pianists Francesco Corti playing an 1838 Érard and Cristiano Gaudio an 1855 Pleyel, and Deniel Perer on a vintage Alexandre harmonium. Soprano Sandrine Piau, mezzo-soprano José Maria Lo Monaco, tenor Edgardo Rocha, and bass-baritone Christian Senn perform as soloists.

Unsung Heroes 

Pentatone releases Handel’s “Unsung Heroes” with David Bates leading the La Nuova Musica. Soloists include soprano Lucy Crowe, mezzo-soprano Christine Rice, and countertenor Iestyn Davies.

Der Rosenkavalier

Opus Arte also releases Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier” from the archives in a production by Oscar-winning film director John Schlesinger. Filmed in 1985, it marked the 25th anniversary of Sir Georg Solti’s debut at Covent Garden and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as The Marschallin. The performance also includes Anne Howells, Aage Haugland, and Barbara Bonney.

Bold Beauty 

Soprano Molly Fillmore brings the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandburg and others to life on Bold Beauty, a new recording of vocal works by Juliana Hall. Blue Griffin Recording releases the album which also features pianist Elvia Puccinelli.


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