Ludovic Tézier, Melody Moore, Sasha Cooke & Jakub Józef Orliński Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will be able to hear a new recording of one of Puccini’s beloved operas, world premiere recordings, and one of the most acclaimed baritone in the industry. Here is a look at the new releases of the week.

La Fanciulla del West 

PENTATONE releases Puccini’s “La Faniculla del West” conducted by Lawrence Foster. The new recording features the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir with a cast that includes Melody Moore as Minnie, Marius Vlad as Dick Johnson, and Lester Lynch as Jack Rance.

Songs of Faith, Love and Nonsense

SOMM RECORDINGS releases a new recording of songs by Charles Villiers Stanford including the first complete recording of Songs of Faith and first recordings of other distinctively vital songs. Songs of Love, Faith and Nonsense continues SOMM’s widely acclaimed commitment to Stanford’s music with baritone Roderick Williams, tenor James Way, and pianist Andrew West.

Just Songs (Unplugged)

The world-renowned Young People’s Chorus of New York City releases an album compiled of acoustic solo works, with lyrical themes centered around social issues. Composers and performers for the new album include Blaize Adam, Nia Drummond, Caroline Kuhn, Jordan Reynoso, Nate Sabat, Monica Soyemi, and Nia Soyemi.  The music can be accessed on the organization’s new virtual multi-media platform In The Key of Love, on, and on all digital audio streaming platforms.

Violins of Hope 

Pentatone presents Violins of Hope, a project in which instruments that were owned by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust, representing strength and optimism for the future during mankind’s darkest hour, are used to perform great masterworks.  The instruments have been refurbished by luthiers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, founders of the Violins of Hope project.

The new album, recorded live at Kohl Mansion, features these instruments used to perform two string quartet masterpieces by Schubert and Mendelssohn, alongside a new composition by Jake Heggie, inspired by the violins’ histories.

The two works are performed by Kay Stern, Dawn Harms, Patricia Heller, and Emil Miland. They join forces with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, violinist Daniel Hope and the young violin talent Sean Mori on Heggie’s INTONATIONS: Songs of the Violins of Hope.


Pianist Aleksander Dębicz is joined by classical guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski to present an intriguing music world that is rarely performed. The album’s title, ADELA, comes from a song by Rodrigo. The album also includes renowned countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński who joins for three of the works on the album, including Dębicz’s composition “Quarantine Song.”


Sony Classical releases Ludovic Tézier’s highly anticipated “Verdi” album. The French baritone sings arias from “Ernani,” “Nabucco,” “Otello,” “La Traviata,” “Il Trovatore,” “Don Carlo,” “La Forza del Destino,” Un Ballo in Maschera” and “Rigoletto.” The Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna is conducted by Frédéric Chaslin.