With much laying-on of fanfares and gift boxes our friends at Decca Classics have unleashed Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1: The First Decade on a weary and satiated public. This is the inaugural offering of a planned troika of box sets commemorating the business dealings of the Modenese tenor to that British label. There was no holier alliance in all of classical recording (save Karajan and whatever label he deemed worthy) since, unlike the vast majority of classical artists, Luciano Pavarotti sold enough records to not only underwrite the projects he participated in but to keep Decca flush from the ensuing tsunami of coin his fans generated. Which is why, dear friends, they’re celebrating, not his birth or memorial but… the date of his contract signing. Read more »
A great man has passed and our consolation is that so much of his art has been preserved for us on recordings. This year marked Carlo Bergonzi’s 90 birthday and next week, in honor of that occasion, Decca is releasing a box set of 17 discs titled The Verdi Tenor, comprised of all of the Verdi opera and recital recordings Bergonzi made for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Phillps combined. It also includes his milestone traversal of nearly every tenor aria in the Verdi canon under the baton of Nello Santi. In memoriam now it also serves as archive to this supremely gifted musician who was an aristocrat among tenors. Read more »
In his memoirs Richard Strauss had the foresight to put down what he called his “10 Golden Rules for Young Conductors.” It’s a fairly comprehensive list in spite of being so short with pithy comments like, “Never look encouragingly at the brass.” Number three has always been the one that’s fascinated me most: “Conduct Salome and Elektra as if they were by Mendelssohn: Fairy music.” Seriously, how often has that happened? The average performance of Strauss’ Elektra reaches a decibel level akin to the landing deck of a fully functional aircraft carrier. I’ve even heard rumors that the John Culshaw produced ‘sonic-stage’ spectacular Decca recording with Georg Solti conducting and Birgit Nilsson’s all-out assault on the title role can be heard from space. Read more »
With the help of our friends at ArtHaus Musik, the Deutsche Oper Berlin have really been emptying out their archives and that’s certainly all for the good.
I am certain that we Parterrians are a very literate, even literary, group.
Once again, beloveds, we approach the Milanese shrine that simultaneously attempted to cultivate and destroy the career of Maria Meneghini Callas.
Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is his masterwork and its themes of social convention and unrequited longing surely struck a deep chord in a composer who, in late 19th century Russia, was gay and had to conduct himself carefully.
Mr. Ian Rosenblatt is a London solicitor and patron of charitable causes in Britain primarily focused on classical music.
I’ve always had a fondness for Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and apparently so did he since he often referred to it as, “among the finest of my children.”