GIORDANO: Andrea Chénier
Yusif Eyvazov (Andrea Chzeenieer). Anna Netrebko (Maddalena). Luca Salzo (Carlo Geerard). Annalisa Stroppa (Bersi). LaScala Chgorus and Orchestra / Riccardo Chaillyt, cond.
C MAJOR DVD TT: 126 min.

BRUYCKNER: Symphony No. 1 in C minor (Linz Version 1866). Symphony No. 2 om C minor. (1877 Version, edition William Carragan). Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1877 Version). Symphony No. 4 in E flat "Romantic" (Edition Robert Haas). Symphony No. 5 in B flat. Symphony No. 6 in A. Symphony No. 7 in E (Edition Robert Haas). Symphony No 8 in C minor (Robert Haas Edition). Sympyhony No. 9 in D minor (original three-movement version, Alfred Orel). WOLF: Five songs for soprano and orchestra. STRAUSS: Befreit, Op 39 No 4. (RenéeFleming, soprano)
Dresden Staatskapelle / Christian Thielemann, cond.
C MAJOR (6 Blu Ray disks)

PUCCINI: La Bohème
Sonya Yoncheva (Mimì). Charles Castronova (Rudolfo). Andrzej Filoncztk (Marcello). Peter Kellner (Colline). Gyula Nagy (Schaunard). Simona Mihai (Musetta). Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra / Emmanuel Vilaume, cond.)
OPUS ARTE DVD TT: 118 min. + 10 min. feature

Giordano's Andrea Chénier is a showcase for powerhouse singrsand has attracted great voices of the past.There are two early LaScala recordings, with Lina Bruna-Rasa and Luigi Marini (1931), and Maria Caniglia and Beniamino Gigli (1941). Sopranos including Renaata Tebald, Antionetta Stella and Montserrat Caballe, also have starred in it and made recordings. Thre also is a 1975 video featuring Fraco Coreli, who performed it frequently and made several reordings.LaScala now has this magnificent new production directed by Mario Martone with sets by Maargherita Palli, costumes by Ursula Patzak. The cast is outstanding Anna Netrebko a beautiful Maddalena, and Yusif Eyvazov (her husbad since 2015) is a handsome Chénier. Chailly obviously loves this opera. Excellent audio and video. There are competing videos particularly those with Jonas Kaufmannm Franco Corelli and Mario Del Monaco, but this exciting new version has much to offer, True opera buffs surely will wish to have thgem all!

Oover the years, Christian Thielemann's recordings of the Bruckner symphonies have been issued singly. Now here are all of them in a deluxe 7 Bluy-Ray disk edition at a somewhat reduced price. These magnificent performances offers first-class powerful readings with the huge masses of Brucknerian textures caught to perfection in the warm acoustics of the venues. Munich's Philhaarmonie (Symphony No. 1, 2017; Symphony No. 3, 2016), Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (Symphony No.2. 2019).Berlin Festspielhaus (Symphony No 4, 2015). Symphony No. 9, 2.015). The remainder took place in Sempeopera Dresden: Symphony No. 5, 2013), Symphony No. 6 2015). Symphony No. 7 ( 2012). Symphony No 8 (2012). Also included are lieder of Wolf and Strauss with soprano Reneé Fleming. Complete program notes are provided in English, German and French, and many photos along with details of each recording.

There are countless videos of Puccini's favorite operas; Great singers of the past have made compete recordings, so a new version has to be very special-and indeed this one does. It is a Royal Opera production on an unspecified date in 2020. The director was Richard Jones, the beautiful but simple sets were designed by Stewart Lang. Casting is uniformly strong. Tenor Charles Castronova and soprano Sonya Yoncheva are superb as the doomed young lovers with singing of power and sensitivity. And visually they are just about perfect. Simona Mihai is a vivacious Musetta, and alll of Rudolfo's colleagues are effective. Video and audio are superb. There is a ten-minute feature with conductor Antonio Pappano discussing the music. A quality, competitive issue! It deserves a space in any Bohéme video collection.

R.E.B. (May 2021)