SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 2 in B flat. Symphony No. 3 in D.
B'Rock Orchestra / René Jacobs, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186759 TT: 55:18

DELLO JOIO: The Trial at Rouen. The Triumph of Saint Joan Symhony.
Boston Modern Opera Orhestra / Odyssey Opera / Gil Rose, cond.
BMOP SACD 1073 (2 disks) TT: 62:14 / 56:53

HEGGIE: "Unexpected Shadows". "Music" from The Breaking Waves. The Work at Hand. Ice Cube Aria. Iconic Legacies: First Ldies at the Smithsonian. Of Gods and Cats. Statuesque
Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano. Jake Heggie, piano
PENTATONE SACD 5186836 TT: 66:40

Belgian-born René Jacobs (1946) has enjoyed a remarkable career both as a countertenor and a conductr. Already for Pentatone hhe has reorded Schubert's Syphnnies 1 and 6, and continues now wth this superb disk of the commposer's Symphonies 2 and 4. Jacobs' approach to music is dynamic to say the least as evidenced by these stunning performances of these early Schubert symphonies. The dazzling finale of Symphony No. 3 shows the virtuosity of the chamber ensemle B'Rock. Reordings were mde in two different locations: Symphony No. 2 in July 019 in Belgium's De Spil, Rosselore, and Symphony No. 3 February 2020 in Haus der Musii Innsbroo, Austria. The Pentatone engineers have provided a totally natural, balanced sound perpperspetive. Recommended!

American composer Jake Heggie (b. 1961) is best known for his many operas, vocal and chamber music. This site raised a 2010 production of Moby Dick presented at the opening of the Dallas Opera's new opera house (REVIEW). Heggie has collaborated with many famous singers, and his vocal music is featured on this latest release It is "a celebration of powerful, exceptional women." We have four song cycles, an art song and an opera aria. Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton sings this music with sensitivity with the composer at the keyboard. Young master cellist Matt Hamovitz is featured in The Work at Hand, set to poetry of the late Laura Morefield. Comprehensive program notes and complete texts are provided. This is an important vocal issue recorded in realistic multi-channel audio.

American co,poser Norman Dello Joio (1913 - 2008) was a prolifi composer who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1957. Infortunately many of his major works have never been reorded. Eugene Ormandy took interest in Delllo Joio's music and in 1957 recorded an extended suite of music written for the TV series Air Power. This was released many years ago a recordings no longer available (REVIEW). However, it is availa le in a fine transfer from HAYDN HOUSE. Ormandy also recorded Variations, Chaconne and Finale (REVIEW).This important BMOP release begins with The Triumph of Saint Joan Symphony written in 1952. There are three movements: The Maid, The Warrior, and The Saint.

Dello Joio was fascinated about the life and martyrdom of Saint Joan. In 1950 he composed an opera that was premiered Sarah Lawrence College in 1952. He wasn't satisfied with the work, but adapted some of the music from it in the orchestral work The Triumph of Saint Joan Symphony. In 1955 with a commission from the NBC Television Opera Theatre he wrote his revised opera. The premiere was telecast in 1955. Dello Joio wrote new music and the libretto; and the title was changed to The Trial at Rouen. There are two scenes each preceded by an orchestral prelude. There are four characters: Joan sung by soprano Heather Buck; Pierre Cauchon sung by Stephen Rouen; Father Julien sung by baritone Luke Scott; and The Jailer sung by bass-baritone Ryan Stoll; and the Soldier sung by tenor Jeremy Ayres Fisher. all members of Odyssey Opera. All are excellent, and Gil Rose and his fine orchestra are of equal caliber. This is an intriguing issue. The Triumph of Saint Joan Symphony was recorded January 2018 in Boston's Jordan Hal, and The The Trial at Rouen was recorded December 2017 in Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. A 52-page booklet includes the complete libretto. A quality issue!

R.E.B. (October 2020)