Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Fatma Said, & Lidia Fridman Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week, audiences can experience world premiere recordings, a debut album, and a number of rising stars. Here are this week’s must-streamed releases.

L’Ange de Nisida

Dynamic releases the world premiere DVD of the first-ever staging of the reconstructed “L’Ange de Nisida.” The work, which was long-presumed-lost semiserious opera, was directed by Francesco Micheli and starred Lidia Fridman, Konu Kim, Florian Sempey, and Roberto Lorenzi. OperaWire called the production, “A Powerful Evening Led By Lidia Fridman & Konu Kim’s Revelatory Performances.”

The Phoenix 

Pentatone releases the world premiere recording of Tarik O’Regan’s “The Phoenix,” an opera on the life of Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart’s favorite librettist. Together with librettist John Caird, O’Regan designed “The Phoenix” as an opera within an opera, exploring Da Ponte’s life in the US. The young and elder Da Ponte are created by Luca Pisaroni and Thomas Hampson, respectively. Music director Patrick Summers conducts the Houston Grand Opera.

One Hundred Years of British Song: Part One

SOMM Recordings launches a revealing three-volume survey of One Hundred Years of British Song with tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Nathan Williamson. Volume 1 will spotlight composers who made a considerable contribution to the song repertoire but whose success in other genres often led their songwriting to be overlooked. Among the composers featured in this first volume include Gustav Holst, Rebecca Clarke, Ivor Gurney, and Frank Bridge.

Chanticleer – Chanticleer Sings Christmas 

Chanticleer celebrates the holiday season with performances of traditional carols, gospel numbers, and plainsong, spanning through the European and Mexican music of the 16th and 17th centuries, to the composers and arrangers of the present day. Chanticleer Sings Christmas includes compositions by Praetorius, Victoria, Hassler, Byrd, Manchicourt, the contemporary Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Steven Sametz, and Rosephanye Powell, and also includes well known Christmas classics.

Fatma Said – El Nour

Egyptian soprano Fatma Said makes her Warner Classics debut, combining the art songs by French, Spanish and Egyptian composers with folk songs and popular songs of the Middle East. The program includes two popular Arabic songs.

La Tragédie de Salomé 

JoAnn Falletta releases a new album on Naxos with works byFrench composer Florent Schmitt with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The album entitled, “Schmitt: La Tragédie de Salomé” – Musique sur l’eau, features the symphonic poem “La Tragédie de Salomé, Oriane et le Prince d’Amour Suite” and the world premiere recordings of the exquisite “Musique sur l’eau” featuring mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, and “Légende” in its version for violin and orchestra.

Once and Again 

New Focus Recordings is set to release “Once and Again,” a collection of chamber music, including song cycles and instrumental works that encapsulate Edward Smaldone’s diverse sources of inspiration – from Duke Ellington to Monteverdi. The album includes five works and soloists soprano Tony Arnold, Tara O’Connor on flute, and June Han on harp. Other soloists include soprano Susan Narucki, with Judith Mendenhall on flute, Charles Neidich on clarinet, and Donald Pirone on piano.


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