Leo Nucci, Cate Blanchett, Thomas Quasthoff, Adam Plachetka & Anthony Davis Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get to hear a concept album for one of the acclaimed films of the year as well a solo album by one of the rising star basses of his generation. There is also a world premiere recording of an opera that is having a renaissance and a new recording of one of Verdi’s masterpieces.


Bass-baritone Adam Plachetka presents Molieri, a program of opera arias by Mozart and Salieri, together with the Czech Ensemble Baroque under the baton of Roman Válek.

“Molieri” brings Mozart and Salieri together focusing on bass-8 baritone arias from their opera buffas.

In a statement, Plachetka said, “Dear friends of Viennese Classicism! The music you find on this album is close to my heart, and very dear to me. I have spent most of my career so far singing Mozart`s operas. I`ve been asked many times, why I never made an album of his greatest arias. The answer is quite simple: There already are so many Mozart recordings and I didn`t want to make just another one of them. A way showed itself when we were considering a new recital program with Roman Válek, that we could perform with his orchestra. Being Czech, we remembered the plot of Miloš Forman`s Amadeus and fathomed the idea of bringing Mozart together with Salieri.”


World-renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers is set to release her latest album with Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Grant Gershon. The album features four world-premiere arrangements. The album was recorded in Walt Disney Concert Hall and utilizes the 6,100 pipes of that hall’s iconic organ.

X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X 

BMOP/sound has announced the world premiere recording of the revised version of Anthony Davis’s seminal opera “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.”  This past summer in Boston’s historic Strand Theatre, just blocks away from Malcolm X’s childhood home, conductor/producer Gil Rose led the Boston Modern Orchestra Project with a cast that included bass-baritone Davóne Tines and the Odyssey Opera chorus in a groundbreaking recording session.

According to Gil Rose, Founder and Artistic Director of both BMOP and Odyssey Opera, “It was exciting to work with Anthony to record this updated version of X. There is no better way to celebrate contemporary Black creativity than with the resurrection of such a monumental work composed, written, performed, and recorded by Black artists. We are thrilled to be able to share this major opera with the world.”

The new recording will also star Whitney Morrison, Ronnita Miller, Victor Robertson, Joshua Conyers, and Jonathan Harris.

Thomas Quasthoff in Verbier (Volume 1)

From the instant that Thomas Quasthoff began his first Verbier Festival performance in 2003, the incomparable bass-baritone knew that he had arrived at his musical home. Nearly twenty years later, this sublime debut — an assortment of orchestrated Schubert lieder — opens a release that highlights Quasthoff’s incredible musicality against backdrops of instrumental accompaniment. Gustav Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), followed by J.S. Bach’s Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen round out this highly-anticipated offering from Verbier Festival Gold.

Lakota Music Project 

Lakota Music Project, a collaboration between South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) and musicians from the Oglala Sioux and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribes will release its first recording, the self-titled Lakota Music Project on innova Recordings. The album is a collaboration that melds two musical worlds: Native American music including intergenerational traditional songs and ceremonial works, and the tradition of American compositions born out of the European classical canon.

The album was recorded on Oct. 20–25, 2021 in the Mary W. Sommervold Concert Hall of the Washington Pavilion and includes four commissions.

TÁR (Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture)

Deutsche Grammophon releases a concept album for “TÁR.” The album includes music by Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir’s as well as extracts from major works by Elgar and Mahler. The concept album complements the film by presenting completed, real-life versions of the music on which we see the fictional protagonist working. The aim of the album is to reveal something of the rehearsal and recording process of orchestral music-making.

Tu Me Voyais

Christina Raphaëlle Haldane releases her first record on Leaf Music. The album is a collaboration between Haldane and Carl Philippe Gionet, along with several other artists, writers, and composers who have contributed their own offerings.

The album is anchored around Gionet’s new arrangements of Twelve Acadian Folk Songs, tailored for Haldane’s voice.

La Traviata

Dynamic releases Verdi’s most famous work from the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The production by Davide Livermore stars Francesco Meli, the legendary Leo Nucci, and Nadine Sierra. OperaWire noted it is “a sparkling display of lyricism which in true bel canto fashion makes Sierra decide not to forgo tonal beauty for the sake of dramatic expression at any time.”

Zubin Mehta leads the Chorus and Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.


DVD and CD ReleasesNews