> Plateé . Mathias der Maler / Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder / Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 / Elina Garanca

WAGNER; Wesendonck Lieder. BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4 in E flat "Romaantic".
Elina Garancia, soprano. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/ ChristianThielemann, cond.
UNITEL DVD TT: 105 min.
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HINDEMITH: Mathis Der Maler
Wolfgang Koch (Mathis). Kurt Streit ( Albrecht von Brandenburg). Franz Grundheber (Riediinger). Manuea Uhl (Irsula). Raytmond Very (Hans sSchwalb(, Katerina Tretyakova (Regina). Martinnell (Lorenz von Pommerstelaen). Charles Reid (Wolfgang Capito). SlovakPhiharmonic Choir. Vienna Symphny Orchestra / Bertrand De Billy, cond.
naxis dvd tt: 190 MIN.
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RAMEAU: Platée
Marcel Beekman (Platée). Jeanine De Bique (La Folie). Cyril Auvvity (Mercure / Thespia). Marc Mauillon (Cithéron / Momus). Edwin Crossleyt-Mercer (Jupiter). Emmanuelle De Negri (Clarie / Amour). Emile Renard (Junon). Ilona Revolskaya (Thalie). Padriac Rowan (Mommuss / Satyre). Arnold Schoenberg Chorus. Les Arts Florissants / William Christie, cond,
NAXOS DVD TT: 138 min,+ 32 min. bonus
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Christien Thielemann continues his Bruckner series (he already has videos of Symphonies 2, 5 and 7) with this splendid erformance of Symphony No. 4 recorded at the 2-2- Salzburg Festival. It is a dynamic reading magnificently polayed by the Vienna Philharmonicc. A special feature is incusion of Wagner;s Wesendonck Lieder superbly sung by mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca. She is one of the most versatile singers, equaly at home in Donizetti, Bizet and Strauss. She has made numerous recordings fortunately. This is a major addition to the video catalog, Recommended!

Mathias Grünwald was an artist whose work inspired many 20th Century creative figures. He was the subject of Paul Hindemith opera Mathis der Maler (Mathias the Painter) written in 1935. Hindemith wrote the libretto for his opera which takes place during the German Peasants' War (1524-1525) and is about the artists' struggle for freedom of expression limited by political forces of the time. The painter Mathias is in love with Ursola who is the daughter of Ring Riedinger, a rich Protestant citizen. It is a realistic representation of troubled political times, and Hindemith's music is dark and powerful. This is a new production from Vienna featuring solid soloists, the Slovak Philharmonic Choir and the Vienna Symphony directed by Bertrand De Billy. It is from performances in December 2012 at Vienna's Theater an der Wien. Sets were designed by Johan Engels, costumes by Emma Ryott .Hindemith's music is oiwerful, and best known to audience from the symphonic suite, often heard in concert halls. This opera has never been presented at the Met This is a major issue f an imortant, rarely performed opera. Visually and sonicall this release is totally satisfying.

Jean-Philippe Rameau ( 1683 - 1764) was a prolific umportant musician of his time. He composed profusely, operas, ballets, theater pueces, chamber and vocal music. This new DVD offers the large-scale (aaand lengthy (170 minute) Plareé, descrubed as a hunorous and satirical masterpiece.The story is based on the ballet Plateé ou Junon jalouse by Jacques AAutreaau, called a"ballet buffono".The premiere took place March 31, 1745. DVD notes give detaied information about the origin of the work including its references to Greek mythology. Gideon Davey designed the beautiful sets and costumes and director Robert Carsen keeps things moving. Singers and dancers are kept very busy throughout. William Christie directs his superb baroque ensemble Les Arts Florissants and the Arnold Schoenberg Chorus. Some of the male singers seem a bit overtaxed by the florid writing, but overall Rameau's "bawdy" masterpiece is impressive. Video is vivid, and audio equally fine. For those who enjoy baroque opera, this is a feast.

R.E.B. (November 202