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EMI Classics & Virgin Classics November 2010 releases

Two new Beethoven recordings headline Virgin Classics’ releases for November 2010: the continuation of the Artemis Quartet’s Beethoven Quartets cycle, and a three-CD set of the composer’s Ten Sonatas for Violin and Piano performed by violinist Renaud Capuçon and pianist Frank Braley.  Specially priced compilations and boxed sets – perfect for holiday shopping – are EMI Classics’ focus this month, including 20 classic opera recordings in the label’s Home of Opera series, and In The Park: Christmas, a holiday confection that mixes classical and jazz repertoire – performed by a starry roster of artists – to delicious effect.
Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 18, No. 1 & Op. 127 (Beethoven Vol. 6)
Artemis Quartet
CD and downloads available November 9 from Virgin Classics
The Artemis Quartet releases the sixth installment in its complete Beethoven cycle, while continuing to devote its international performing schedule to this cornerstone of the repertoire.
Pairing one of Beethoven’s earliest quartets (Op. 18, No. 1) with one of his late quartets (Op. 127), the new release highlights the remarkable evolution of Beethoven’s work.  Reviewing the Berlin-based ensemble’s performance of Op. 127 in March 2010, the New York Times observed: “This group finds a balance between projecting musical structure and conveying immediacy.”  The review continued:
“The players cultivate unity of thought and intention but not conformity of sound and style… . The Beethoven performances the Artemis offered were remarkably cogent and organic.  The Quartet in E-flat (Op. 127), the first of the five late works, is my favorite of the Beethoven quartets, partly because it is so blithely strange.  Artemis captured that quality in an engrossing performance.  For example, in the middle of the pensive slow movement the music breaks out into something reminiscent of a sentimental German beer-hall tune complete with an oompah dance riff, qualities impishly conveyed here.  The seemingly breezy theme of the finale has astonishing twists embedded in its phrases and harmonies, vividly realized by Artemis.”
The Artemis Quartet’s two-season run of Beethoven concerts in European and North American cities continues in 2010-11.  Between 2009 and 2011, they will have played his quartets in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, London, Paris, Brussels, Rome, Milan, Florence, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, and at the Schubertiade Festival in Austria.  Spring 2011 brings the completion of this Beethoven marathon, when Op. 18, No. 6 and Opp. 130 and 133 (“Grosse Fuge”) join the recorded quartets and Virgin Classics releases the complete cycle in a boxed set.
Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for violin and piano
Renaud Capuçon, violin; Frank Braley, piano
Three-CD set and downloads available November 23 from Virgin Classics
Named 2005’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” by the French Victoires de la Musique, Renaud Capuçon takes his place in the top echelon of young violinists.  Now he is joined by pianist Frank Braley for a traversal of Beethoven’s ten sonatas for violin and piano.  The recording stems from a marathon performance project that Capuçon and Braley launched in their native France in Summer 2009: some 50 concerts around Europe, all devoted to the Beethoven sonatas.
The complete Beethoven sonatas are full of memories for Capuçon.  He played his first – the “Spring” Sonata – at ten years old.  The violinist comments that Beethoven’s music “is a rite of passage for every violinist,” and explains: “The composer gives you no place to hide in these sonatas.  You have to find their spinal column, create a structure – and sing.  Without wishing to appear pretentious, I’ve always felt at ease with Beethoven, more so than with Schubert or Mozart.  But it is for the public to judge.”
Gramophone has already cast its judgment, giving the new set an enthusiastic review and naming it an “Editor’s Choice” in its November issue.  The magazine’s editor, James Inverne, calls it “another fabulous set…reflective, incredibly beautiful accounts.”
Established internationally as a soloist and chamber musician of distinction, Capuçon records exclusively for Virgin Classics.  His previous release, of concertos by Beethoven and Korngold with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, led the Guardian to declare Capuçon “one of today’s outstanding violinists.”
Karl Jenkins: The Armed Man (Anniversary Edition)
Special CD+DVD-set and downloads available November 23 from EMI Classics
One of the best-selling and most performed works by a living composer, Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man is celebrated in a CD/DVD Special Edition.  This new release features the original recording from EMI Classics, a performance DVD, an extended commemorative booklet with notes and quotes from Jenkins, and the world premiere recording of Jenkins’s new work: For the Fallen.  This timely release highlights the tenth anniversaries of both The Armed Man’s world premiere (2000) and its debut recording (2001).
Karl Jenkins, the most performed living composer in the world, debuted at number eight in Classic FM’s Composers’ Hall of Fame – the highest-placed living composer.  He was also named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honors for services to music.  The Armed Man is firmly established as one of the most successful choral works of our time, with over 800 performances in more than 20 countries.
Special compilations, boxed sets, and reissues
In the Park: Christmas
Various artists
CD and downloads available November 9 from EMI Classics
The sights and sounds of the holiday season are the inspiration for In the Park: Christmas, the second installment in a new compilation series from EMI ClassicsLike the first – In the Park: Autumn this new release adds a special and evocative twist by juxtaposing jazz and classical tracks, bringing together performances by world-renowned artists in both genres – such as the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge; the American Boychoir; the King’s Singers; Kathleen Battle; Chet Baker; and Stan Kenton – into a single holiday mix.
Track list:
Bernard / Smith: Winter Wonderland
Chet Baker
Traditional (arr. Willcocks): Sussex Carol
Bach Choir / Jacques Orchestra / David Willcocks
Traditional English: Gloucestershire Wassail
Waverly Consort / Michael Jaffee
Early 19th-century (arr. John Rutter): Joy to the World
The American Boychoir / James Litton
Traditional Ukrainian (arr. Peter J. Wilhousky): Carol of the Bells
The American Boychoir / James Litton
Mohr / Gruber: Stille Nacht
The King’s Singers
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, No. 2 (March)
St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra / Yuri Temirkanov
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, No. 12d (Russian Dance “Trepak”)
St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra / Yuri Temirkanov
16th-century French (harm. Wood): Ding Dong Merrily on High
Bach Choir / Jacques Orchestra / David Willcocks
16th-century English: The Boar’s Head Carol
The King’s Singers
14th-century German (trans. Pearsall): In dulci jubilo
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Philip Ledger
Philip Springer / Joan Javits / Fred Ebb: Santa Baby
Javon Jackson
Mendelssohn (descant Willcocks): Ding Dong Merrily on High
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Sir David Willcocks
Traditional (arr. Walford Davies): The Holly and the Ivy
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Sir David Willcocks
Christina Rossetti / Harold Darke: In the Bleak Midwinter
Bach Choir / Jacques Orchestra / David Willcocks
John Carol Case, baritone
John Henry Hopkins, Jr.: We Three Kings of Orient Are
Stan Kenton
16th-century Welsh: Deck the Hall
The American Boychoir / James Litton
Adolphe-Charles Adam (arr. William D. Brohn): O Holy Night
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / New York Choral Artists / Boys’ Choir of Harlem / Leonard Slatkin
Kathleen Battle
15th-century English (arr. Willcocks): God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
Bach Choir / Jacques Orchestra / David Willcocks
John Carol Case, baritone
Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride
Ferrante & Teicher, piano duo
Traditional German: O Tannenbaum
Stan Kenton
16th-century English (coda by Joshua Haberman): We Wish You A Merry Christmas
The American Boychoir / James Litton
The World of Castrati – Angel Voices
Various Artists
Two-CD set and downloads available November 9 from Virgin Classics
The extraordinary idolization of castrati during the 17th and 18th centuries remains one of the most fascinating phenomena in the history of music.  During this golden age of the castrati, these male singers – endowed with high voices that combined incredible refinement, amazing power, and superhuman virtuosity – took the musical world by storm.  In Europe, infatuation with these vocal prodigies was the norm.
Now that castrati exist in memory only, reviving their remarkable repertoire presents considerable challenges.  On this new double album from Virgin Classics, today’s greatest vocal artists offer their own compelling versions of the music their legendary predecessors once sang.  Male and female singers share the task of bringing back to life the wondrous voices of their androgynous forbears, through music that is by turns unsettling, moving, and dizzyingly virtuosic.
The World of Castrati features some of the greatest singers of the present day, including Natalie Dessay, Philippe Jaroussky, Kate Royal, Max Emanuel Cencic, Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, Vivica Genaux, and many more.
Track list:
CD 1: Feminine (featuring female singers)
1.   Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (Natalie Dessay)
2.   Handel: La Resurrezione (Kate Royal; Sonia Prina)
3.   Handel: Giulio Cesare (Stephanie Blythe)
4.   Caldara: La Passione di Gesù Cristo Signor Nostro (Laura Polverelli)
5.   Vivaldi: La fida ninfa (Vivica Genaux)
6.   Vivaldi: Bajazet (Vivica Genaux; Elina Garanca; Patrizia Ciofi)
7.   Handel: Ariodante (Joyce DiDonato)
8.   Handel: Alcina (Della Jones)
9.   Handel: Serse (Joyce DiDonato; Anne Sofie von Otter)
10. Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito (Véronique Gens)
CD 2: Masculine (featuring male singers)
1.   Vivaldi: Giustino (Philippe Jaroussky)
2.   Handel: Admeto (James Bowman; René Jacobs)
3.   Handel: Fernando (Lawrence Zazzo)
4.   Hasse: La clemenza di Tito (Philippe Jaroussky)
5.   Handel: Faramondo (Max Emanuel Cencic)
6.   Handel: Serse (Gérard Lesne)
7.   Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (David Daniels)
8.   Mozart: Mitridate, rè di Punto (David Daniels)
9.   J. C. Bach: Ebben si vada… Io ti lascio (Philippe Jaroussky)
10. Rossini: Aureliano in Palmira (Max Emanuel Cencic)
Choirboys from Heaven
Various Artists
Two-CD set and downloads available November 9 from EMI Classics
The ethereal beauty that is the signature sound of the boys’ choir is showcased across a broad spectrum of repertoire in a new release from EMI Classics.  This two-CD set features music for boys’ choirs ranging from the early polyphony of Allegri’s Miserere and sacred works of the Romantic era to present-day pop songs by the likes of Prince and Enya.  Also included are 20th-century classics from such composers as Copland, Britten, and Ned Rorem.
The new set presents some of the world’s most notable boys’ choirs, from the Vienna Boys’ Choir and the American Boychoir to the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge – perhaps the best-known of them all.  The most recently-formed of the choirs featured is Libera, which is made up of schoolboys recruited from the south London area by conductor Robert Prizeman.
EMI Classics – The Home of Opera
20 new titles available November 9 from EMI Classics
With an unrivalled catalogue of over 450 complete opera recordings produced over the last 60 years – and an illustrious succession of artists that includes such names as Angela Gheorghiu, Natalie Dessay, Joyce DiDonato, Roberto Alagna, Antonio Pappano, and Riccardo Muti – EMI Classics, with its sister label Virgin Classics, can rightly lay claim to being the “Home of Opera.”
This month, 20 timeless operas join the Home of Opera series, including classic performances of Verdi’s Aida, Puccini’s La rondine, and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.  Among the 40 opera titles already available are essential sets produced by EMI Classics and Virgin Classics since 1953, including all-time great recordings such as Maria Callas in her first Tosca; Plácido Domingo in Tristan und Isolde under Antonio Pappano; Natalie Dessay and Roberto Alagna starring in Lucie de Lammermoor; and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in Der Rosenkavalier, conducted by Herbert von Karajan.
Each CD multipack contains a 16-page booklet with introductions in English, German, French, and Spanish, plus a bonus disc featuring the synopsis and libretto, with translations.
A list of titles follows, and additional information about the series is available at
Bellini: I Capuleti e I Montecchi
Riccardo Muti; Agnes Baltsa; Edita Gruberova; Gwynne Howell; Dano Raffanti; John Tomlinson
Berg: Wozzeck
Ingo Metzmacher; Bo Skovhus; Angela Denoke; Frode Olsen; Chris Merritt; Jan Blinkhof; Jürgen Sacher
Bizet: Les pêcheurs de perles
Pierre Dervaux; Janine Micheau; Nicolai Gedda; Ernest Blanc; Jacques Mars
Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Richard Hickox; James Bowman; Della Jones; Lillian Watson; Henry Herford; John Graham-Hall
Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Riccardo Muti; Mirella Freni; Sesto Bruscantini; Leo Nucci; Gösta Winbergh
Gluck: Armide
Richard Hickox; Felicity Palmer; Anthony Rolfe Johnson; Raimund Herincx; Linda Finnie; Sally Burgess; Marie Slorach
Gounod: Roméo et Juliette
Michel Plasson; Angela Gheorghiu; Roberto Alagna; José van Dam; Simon Keenlyside; Marie-Ange Todorovitch; Alain Fondary
Handel: Serse
William Christie; Anne Sofie von Otter; Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz; Sandrine Piau; Lawrence Zazzo; Silvia Tro Santafé; Giovanni Furlanetto; Antonio Abete
Hindemith: Mathis der Maler
Rafael Kubelik; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; James King; Urszula Koszut; Rose Wagemann; William Cochran; Peter Meven
Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel
Herbert von Karajan; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf; Elisabeth Grümmer; Else Schürhoff; Maria von Ilosvay; Josef Metternich; Anny Felbermayer
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana / Leoncavallo: Pagliacci
Tullio Serafin; Maria Callas; Giuseppe di Stefano; Tito Gobbi; Rolando Panerai
Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Josef Krips; Anneliese Rothenberger; Lucia Popp; Nicolai Gedda; Gerhard Unger; Gottlob Frick; Leopold Rudolf
Puccini: La rondine
Antonio Pappano; Angela Gheorghiu; Roberto Alagna; Inva Mula; William Matteuzzi; Alberto Rinaldi
Puccini: Manon Lescaut
Tullio Serafin; Maria Callas; Giuseppe di Stefano; Giulio Fioravanti
Rosssini: Guillaume Tell
Lamberto Gardelli; Gabriel Bacquier; Montserrat Caballé; Nicolai Gedda; Jocelyne Taillon; Kolos Kovacs; Mady Mesplé; Nicolas Christou
Richard Strauss: Elektra
Wolfgang Sawallisch; Eva Marton; Cheryl Studer; Marjana Lipovsek; Bernd Weikl; Hermann Winkler
Verdi: Aida
Riccardo Muti; Montserrat Caballé; Plácido Domingo; Fiorenza Cossotto; Piero Cappuccilli; Nicolai Ghiaurov
Verdi: Il trovatore
Herbert von Karajan; Maria Callas; Rolando Panerai; Giuseppe di Stefano; Fedora Barbieri; Nicola Zaccaria
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Herbert von Karajan; René Kollo; Helen Donath; Theo Adam; Geraint Evans; Peter Schreier; Ruth Hesse; Karl Ridderbusch
Wagner: Tannhäuser
Bernard Haitink; Klaus König; Lucia Popp; Waltraud Meier; Bernd Weikl; Kurt Moll; Siegfried Jerusalem
American Classics series
Four new titles
Available as CD and downloads November 23 from EMI Classics
EMI Classics is proud to present the fifth installment in its new American Classics series, featuring single- and double-CD sets of music exclusively from American composers.  The series explores a wide variety of musical styles and genres, from symphonies, concertos, and solo instrumental works, to chamber music, songs, and opera.
This month’s four new titles celebrate the extraordinary diversity of American music.  A collection of music by Sousa features some of the nation’s best-known marches, while a Duke Ellington collection includes some favorite jazz compositions.  Also new this month are two collections surveying music by Copland and Bernstein respectively.  Additional information about the repertoire and artists follows.
John Philip Sousa
The Great American Main Street Band; Timothy Foley
Duke Ellington
“Mainly Black” from Black, Brown, and Beige; Harlem; Sophisticated Lady; Isfahan; Take the “A” Train
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Sir Simon Rattle; Nigel Kennedy; Alex Dankworth; Lena Horne
Aaron Copland
Billy the Kid; Rodeo; In the Beginning
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; Stephen Cleobury; Leonard Slatkin
Leonard Bernstein
Chichester Pslams; Divertimento Songs; “Kaddish 2” from Symphony No. 3
Thomas Hampson; Stephen Cleobury; Paavo Järvi; John McGlinn
EMI Classics and Virgin Classics artists on tour
November 5-18
Gautier Capuçon and Gabriela Montero: duo recital tour
Kansas City, MO (Nov 5); Montreal (Nov 8); Washington, DC: Library of Congress (Nov 9); New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art (Nov 13); Baltimore, MD (Nov 14); Seattle, WA (Nov 16); Calgary (Nov 18)
November 9
Alison Balsom: recital at the Schubert Club (Minneapolis, MN)
November 11-14
Ingrid Fliter: Ravel Piano Concerto with Dallas Symphony Orchestra / Jun Märkl (Dallas, TX)
November 16
David Fray: New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall features music by Bach and Schubert, repertoire heard on his first two Virgin Classics releases (New York, NY)
November 18, 19, and 21
Ingrid Fliter: De Falla’s Nights in the Garden of Spain with Atlanta Symphony / Jun Märkl (Atlanta, GA)
November 20
Alison Balsom in concert at Peoples’ Symphony Concerts (New York, NY)
November 22 – December 18
Yannick Nézet-Séguin: Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera (New York, NY)
December 1-4
Leif Ove Andsnes: Risor Chamber Music Festival on tour at Carnegie Hall (New York, NY)
December 17 – January 1
Sir Simon Rattle makes Metropolitan Opera debut conducting Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (New York, NY)
For further information:
Visit EMI Classics’ YouTube channel for video previews of many of its new and recent releases:







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