Michael Kelly, Jodie Devos, Erin Morley & Anna Lucia Richter Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences get to listen to rarely performed operas, world premiere pieces, and two solo albums by important sopranos in the world.


The new album by Valentin Silvestrov continues his longstanding association with ECM and presents a program of choir music that is as timely as it is dear to the Ukrainian composer’s heart. The new album embraces Silvestrov’s composing for vocal ensemble and captures the Kyiv Chamber Choir under Mykola Hobdych in a performance at the St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv from 2016.

Blue and Green Music

Albany Records releases composer Victoria Bond’s new album. The centerpiece of the album is the world premiere recording of “Blue and Green Music,” commissioned by the Cassatt Quartet through a Chamber Music America commissioning grant.

The title track was inspired by a Georgia O’Keeffe painting of the same name, which uses the two colors to create an abstract study in motion, color, and form.

The album also features songs performed by baritone Michael Kelly and pianist Bradley Moore.

John Luther Adams’ “Sila: The Breath of the World”

The Crossing is featured alongside JACK Quartet and musicians from the University of Michigan on John Luther Adams’ “Sila: The Breath of the World,” out today on Cantaloupe Music. Considered his most ambitious large-scale work to date, Adams describes the piece as “being rooted in our own unique position within the music and within the world, and from this loose collection of solitudes, community emerges.”

Inspired by the Inuit term “sila” meaning the spirit that animates all things, Sila was first premiered in 2014 with The Crossing, standing in the reflecting pool on Heinz Plaza at Lincoln Center, representing 16 of the 80 musicians surrounding the audience at this historic event. “Sila is the wind and the weather, the forces of nature,” Adams said, “But it’s also something more. Sila is intelligence. It’s consciousness. It’s our awareness of the world around us, and the world’s awareness of us. In this time when we humans are so dramatically changing the earth, Sila: The Breath of the World is an invitation to stop and listen more deeply.”

Each of the five “choirs” of Sila (voices, strings, winds, brass, and percussion) were recorded separately – a circumstance occasioned by the nature of each musician’s independence, as well as the protocols of the pandemic. As in the performance, the individual parts were then synthesized within their own “choir” and from “choir to choir,” layered to create the surprisingly transparent, mystical whole – a living, breathing organism that takes on the collective intent of its performers, and its composer, to transcend the forces of nature and become, in a sense, a “breath of the world.”

Amadigi di Gaula

Handel’s “Amadigi di Gaula” is set to be released by Chandos. The work from 1714 stars Tim Mead in the title role, sopranos Mary Bevan and Anna Dennis as Melissa and Oriana, and contralto Hilary Summers as Dardano. Christian Curnyn conducts his Early Opera Company.

Robert le Diable

Meyerbeer’s “Robert le Diable”  was recorded at the Opéra National de Bordeaux in September 2021 and will be released by Bru Zane. The cast included tenor John Osborn as Robert, sopranos Erin Morley as Isabelle and Amina Edris as Alice, and bass Nicolas Courjal as the demonic Bertram. The Chorus of the Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine were led by Marc Minkowski.

OperaWire praised the performance stating “Erin Morley, John Osborn Lead a Fantastic Cast in this Incredible Reading of Meyerbeer’s Early Masterwork.”

Alpenkönig und Menschenfeind

Leo Blech’s opera “Alpenkönig und Menschenfeind” will be released by Capriccio. The opera mixes elements of folk tale and fairy tale, romance, and comedy, and is led by British conductor Christopher Ward, music director of Theater Aachen.

Brahms Lieder

Pentatone is set to release Anna Lucia Richter’s latest album dedicated to Brahms. With Ammiel Bushakevitz at the piano, she offers twenty songs, ranging from the comic (“Vergebliches Ständchen”) to (“Von ewiger Liebe”) to the world’s most cherished two minutes of Brahms, the “Wiegenlied.”

Bijoux perdus

Jodie Devos performs rare arias from Thomas, Meyerbeer, Auber, and Massé. Devos is joined by the Flemish Radio Choir and the Brussels Philharmonic, under the sure hand of French conductor Pierre Bleuse. Alpha Classics releases.

The Lost Birds

Critically-acclaimed composer Christopher Tin releases his newest concept album, “The Lost Birds,” on Decca Classics. The album features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and vocal ensemble VOCES8.

“The Lost Birds” is an elegy for the loss of bird species due to human activity and the album is a memorial for their loss and a celebration of their beauty. The album was recorded in both the historic Abbey Road Studios and the VOCES8 Center in London and co-produced by Sean Patrick Flahaven.


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