ORFEO International – Reviews

Important Releases Briefly Introduced

Ordered by Publishing Date • Ordered by Order No.

February 2017

ORFEO 1 CD C 906 171 B

Johan Botha

Johan Botha’s unfailingly radiant and yet powerfully carrying voice – notably in the middle register – established him over many years as a Strauss and Wagner singer par excellence, but most of all as a youthful hero, and not as a weighty heroic tenor. In fact Tannhäuser was something of a marginal role for him, but what a role! [more...]

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January 2017

ORFEO 1 CD C 899 171 A

Verismo • Krassimira Stoyanova

After her debut CD I palpiti d’amour (2008), followed by Slavic Opera Arias (2011) and a Verdi album (2014), the Bulgarian soprano Krassimira Stoyanova now turns her attention to verismo. [more...]

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December 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 925 161 B

Mahler-Szenen 1

The fact that this rare gem was considered lost and was only brought back into the repertory in 1993 thanks to a great deal of effort is astounding (even more so considering the relative success it has enjoyed since that time): a chamber-music version of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony by the Schoenberg pupil Erwin Stein for his “society for private performances of music”. The work was reconstructed from Erwin Stein’s notes in his score of the original symphony and his correspondence with Schoenberg. [more...]

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November 2016

ORFEO 2 CD C 905 162 A

Konstantin Lifschitz – Daphnis et Chloé

As with his previous CD releases, in choosing his programme Konstantin Lifschitz is concerned not just to find an interesting idea linking the works, but also to bring out the impact of new aural versions. The title “Saisons russes” refers to the pioneering aesthetic and musical developments initiated by the famous impresario Sergei Diaghilev and the legendary performances given by his Ballets Russes company in Paris from 1910 onwards. [more...]

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October 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 903 161 A

Anett Fritsch - Mozart-Arias

It is not often that a young vocal artist releases a debut CD that is so “complete” or so convincingly conceived and finished to such a high polish as is the case with Anett Fritsch. What makes it all the more astounding is that she achieves this by singing arias from the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy of Figaro / Don Giovanni / Così, masterworks by a composer regarded and feared in equal measure for the complexity of his writing. [more...]

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September 2016

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2016
“Happiness is otherwise” – valuable new festival rarities

In a world obsessed with short-term gain and moving at an ever faster pace, the classical music scene cannot fail to be even more keenly aware of its special status – and recognize it as a great advantage that must be cherished and nurtured. The epitome and essence of such awareness may be found in festivals in which works well worth hearing are celebrated in performances of the finest quality, compiled into thematic programmes. [more...]

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August 2016

ORFEO 13 CD C 928 613 Y

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen • Rudolf Kempe
A Festival of Voices in a New Light

Richard Wagner’s Ring had been performed in the highly reduced version by Wieland Wagner at the eight Bayreuth festivals since the re-opening of the theatre in 1951, it seemed in 1960 that the time had come for a new production, a task placed in the hands of Wieland’s brother Wolfgang. Although his version – still sparing in comparison with today’s staging concepts – depended on its use of lighting and special effects, he took the opportunity to bring in a complete musical overhaul: direction of the production was given to the 48-year-old conductor Rudolf Kempe. [more...]

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August 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 902 161 A

Duo Sessions

Duets for violin and cello are what might be called the lowest common denominator of sophisticated solo literature and chamber music. Much as each member of the present duo intensively cultivates the chamber music repertoire, they are both first and foremost soloists – and are bound to remain so in the extraordinary technical and musical challenges of this intermediate category. [more...]

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June 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 889 161 A

Pavol Breslik • Mozart

When such an internationally celebrated singer as Pavol Breslik, an artist progressively adding to his repertoire, nevertheless keeps returning to Mozart, he is warmly praised by the critics and more than that, he has no qualms about his decision: “When I go back to Mozart after excursions into other repertoire – like Lensky or bel canto –and feel at home with Tamino, I know I have done the right thing.” [more...]

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May 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 913 161 A

Violin Sonatas & Pieces

On their new CD the Latvian Skride sisters present yet more composers from their extended Baltic homeland region. The uniting thread of the works on this CD is “finding one’s own sound”, something which each of the featured composers first had to find, and an element that the sisters effortlessly achieve as performers. All four composers on this recording share a close link with the violin, and all four had an ambivalent relationship with the German tradition. [more...]

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April 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 914 161 A

Mendelssohn Symphonies 1 & 4

Today there is an unbroken fascination with complete recordings, especially of symphonic cycles. So the quality of Mendelssohn’s symphonies, combined with their astonishing obscurity, makes them an extremely appealing project. [more...]

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March 2016

ORFEO 2 CD C 901 162 B

Knappertsbusch: Beethoven

Hans Knappertsbusch (born 1888 in Elberfeld) first encountered the orchestra in 1929 in Salzburg, but by the time of his death in 1964 they had together given no less than 210 concerts – not to mention innumerable performances at the Vienna State Opera. [more...]

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February 2016

ORFEO 2 CD C 907 162 I

Giuseppe Verdi: Un ballo in maschera

Luciano Pavarotti’s repertoire comprised only a few roles, but his performances and recordings of them wrote and rewrote history. [more...]

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January 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 898 151 A

Franz Schubert • 8 Impromptus • Amir Katz

When the pianist «HTML:C 898 151 A
C 898 151 A
»Amir Katz engages with what is probably the most popular group of piano works by Franz Schubert, he can draw on a considerable wealth of experience with the composer’s music. [more...]

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January 2016

ORFEO 1 CD C 897 151 A

Clarinet Concertos • Jörg Widman

When the clarinettist Jörg Widmann releases his first-ever recording of Mozart’s concerto, it is a special occasion in a different sense from what one might expect, given that this exceptional work is played and recorded so often. ORFEO is proud to be able to present Widmann’s first CD recording of this work, which is also the prelude to a series of further projects with him. [more...]

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October 2015

ORFEO 3 CD C 900 153 D

Richard Wagner - Lohengrin

This is the kind of lucky find of which collectors and producers dream. It’s not just a new find of a hitherto unknown or unpublished performance of the nth recording of a work by a sought-after interpreter, but the first release of the first-ever recording of a work by such an artist. [more...]

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September 2015

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2015

In a time when we have grown accustomed to the continual emergence of ever more, newly acclaimed wonder violinists, both male and female, it is all the more striking to hear recordings of the great violinists from just a few decades ago. Unlike today, they possessed much individuality of character, and were recognizably different in their style, technique, tone and musical approach. One of the most distinctive representatives of a violin “school” – of a kind that no longer exists today – was the great Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux. [more...]

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August 2015

ORFEO 4 CD C 917 154 L

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Hans Knappertsbusch is regarded today as one of the great Wagner conductors of the past. But we should note that this great Wagnerian, born in Elberfeld in 1888, the embodiment of the old German orchestral tradition, did not enjoy success at Bayreuth until after the Second World War – in fact, it was only after the War that he made his debut there. The paths of history can be tortuous indeed. [more...]

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July 2015

ORFEO 2 CD C 896 152 A

Nielsen • Sibelus - Violin Concertos • 2 Serenades

When Richard Strauss gave the world première of the heavily revised version of the Violin Concerto by his composer colleague Jean Sibelius in 1905, with Kárel Haliř as soloist, this marked the birth of a masterpiece at the second attempt, as it were. [more...]

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June 2015

ORFEO 1 CD C 831 151 A

Georg Friedrich Händel - Concerti grossi op.6

Michael Hofstetter has long been one of the most sought-after conductors in the world. He has a broad repertoire stretching over several different epochs, and in 2015 his invitations range from the Styriarte Graz to the Houston Grand Opera. The Baroque is undoubtedly one of Hofstetter’s main areas of expertise. [more...]

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May 2015

ORFEO 1 CD C 895 151 A

Tchaikovsky

When considering the symphonic output of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the Manfred Symphony in b minor, Op. 58 (1885), composed between the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, has all too often been overlooked. The latter two symphonies exist already in award-winning recordings from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Andris Nelsons. [more...]

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March 2015

ORFEO 1 CD C 872 151 A

Britten • Prokofiev • Shostakovich - The Cello Sonatas

This new CD by Daniel Müller-Schott and Francesco Piemontesi offers three sonatas for cello and piano. Their compelling, emotional performances sum up several chapters of 20th-century history that go far beyond the merely musical. [more...]

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March 2015

ORFEO 1 CD C 737 151 A

Franz Schubert - Die schöne Müllerin

Pavol Breslik has for a long time now been one of the most in-demand lyrical tenors on the world’s operatic stages – but nor has he neglected the concert scene or the Liederabend. His youthful yet masculine timbre, possessing clarity of tone and a timbre neither dark and baritonal nor overly bright, seems almost predestined for the world of Franz Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, his song cycle to texts by Wilhelm Müller. Breslik is captivating in this new studio recording. [more...]

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February 2015

ORFEO 1 CD C 864 141 A

Johann Sebastian Bach - Goldberg-Variationen

This live recording is being released 20 years after Konstantin Lifschitz’s final concert at the Gnessin School. He played the Goldberg Variations there as part of his school-leaving exams at the age of 17, and performed it otherwise several times in concert at the time. [more...]

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January 2015

ORFEO 3 CD C 846 153 D

Mozart: Don Giovanni - Wolfgang Sawallisch

Even at the big opera houses it’s a real stroke of luck if a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni doesn’t just have a charismatic Don, but a whole ensemble that’s able to exert its magnetism over the assembled audience.This rare constellation in fact came about in 1973 at the Munich Opera Festival [more...]

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November 2014

ORFEO 1 CD C 887 141 B

Ferruccio Furlanetto

In the world of opera there are certain roles for every type of voice that can crown a singer’s stage career. For the basso profondo, these are clearly – and suitably – the majestic roles of King Philip II in Verdi’s Don Carlos and Tsar Boris Godunov in Mussorgsky’s opera of the same name. Those who have sung these two roles on the great stages of the world are a handpicked group, and among their number is the Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. [more...]

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October 2014

ORFEO 1 CD C 873 141 A

Karol Szymanowski - Violin Concertos, Myths

Baiba Skride is almost unparalleled in her virtuosic, idiomatic mastery of the standard solo violin repertoire. But that is not all, for her concert calendar and her discography also repeatedly feature works by lesser-known composers. In September 2013 she played Karol Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto at the Proms in London, accompanied by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vasily Petrenko. [more...]

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September 2014

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2014

As every year, Orfeo’s Salzburg “Festival Documents” this year recall seminal artists from the history of the Festival. First and foremost here we must mention Claudio Abbado, who died in January 2014. He conducted many concerts and operas in Salzburg, and not just with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. He also led international youth orchestras to major successes at the Festival. [more...]

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August 2014

ORFEO 3 CD C 888 143 D

Richard Wagner - Tannhäuser

As so often in a cast that was assembled in large part by Wieland Wagner, we can here discern a balance between lyrical voices and a subtle, psychologically precise art of characterisation – which is particularly the case with Victoria de los Angeles, who sings the role of Elisabeth in a songlike manner, without any undue intensification towards a youthful-dramatic vocal interpretation of the role. [more...]

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June 2014

ORFEO 3 CD C 726 143 D

Raphael Kubelík

Rafael Kubelík’s reputation as one of the most significant conductors of the 20th century rests not just on his work with the great orchestras of Berlin, Chicago or Munich. Besides the recordings he made within the context of his duties as chief conductor, a series of interesting recordings also exists from the early 1960s with Kubelík conducting the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. [more...]

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June 2014

ORFEO 1 CD C 762 141 A

Johann Nepomuk Hummel - Septets

For several decades now, the Consortium Classicum has been recognized as one of the outstanding chamber ensembles with a variable formation. This is proven once again by the present recording of piano septets by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778–1837), in which the founder of the Consortium Classicum, Dieter Klöcker, participated before his death in 2011. [more...]

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May 2014

ORFEO 2 CD C 886 142 I

Richard Strauss - Elektra

Following on from the success of the scandalous Salome, it was with Elektra in 1909 – his first collaboration with Hugo von Hofmannsthal – that Richard Strauss finally cemented his position as the leading German opera composer of his generation. Even today, the radical expressive violence of Elektra is regarded as paradigmatic of musical Modernism. The immense vocal and orchestral demands it makes remain undiminished, too. The number of singers who have really been able to meet the murderous challenge of singing the title role have been few and far between. [more...]

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April 2014

ORFEO 1 CD C 855 141 A

Dvořák - The Cello Works

Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor is one of the absolute masterpieces of the genre, and every world-class cellist has naturally been keen to take it into his repertoire. This is also true of Daniel Müller-Schott, who in 2014 will be performing it in the great concert halls of Europe and in the Lincoln Center in New York. [more...]

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March 2014

ORFEO 1 CD C 878 141 A

Andris Nelsons - Richard Strauss

In this year of Richard Strauss’s 150th birthday, it seems natural that the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons should add another candle to the birthday cake, as it were, given that their recordings of Ein Heldenleben (Orfeo C 803 091) and An Alpine Symphony (C 833 111) were among the most successful, prize-winning recordings of recent years. This time, the CBSO and its music director Nelsons offer us a selection of the early tone poems: Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche and Also sprach Zarathustra. [more...]

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February 2014

ORFEO 1 CD C 885 141 A

Krassimira Stoyanova - Giuseppe Verdi

The year of Giuseppe Verdi’s 200th birthday might have come to a close, but his presence on opera house programmes has as little to do with such commemorations as does his general popularity. One of the most renowned Verdi sopranos today is Krassimira Stoyanova, who now presents her newest solo CD with arias by the composer. [more...]

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January 2014

ORFEO 3 CD C 876 133 D

Verdi: Don Carlo

Verdi’s Don Carlo was one of the few operas that Herbert von Karajan conducted time and again over several decades – in the 1950s, ’70s and ’80s at the Salzburg Festival, and in 1979/80 in Vienna in his own production, “imported” from Salzburg. In this live recording of May 1979 from the Vienna State Opera we can now hear Karajan’s Don Carlo with an absolute dream team. [more...]

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November 2013

ORFEO 2 CD C 861 132 I

Verdi - Ernani

Of all Giuseppe Verdi’s early operas, Ernani stands out. As later in Rigoletto, the composer here takes a play by Victor Hugo as his starting point, a play that despite its overwound plot (or perhaps because of it) inspired him to the most exciting, spirited music. To be sure, given the immense vocal demands it makes, a successful performance of Ernani needs an exceptional quartet of singers and a brilliant conductor. [more...]

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October 2013

ORFEO 4 CD C 877 134 I

Irmgard Seefried - Recordings 1944-67

Although we shall already be commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of Irmgard Seefried on 23 November 2013, this soprano’s magnificent artistry as demonstrated on the operatic stage, in the concert hall and in the genre of the lied is still remembered well by music-lovers today. [more...]

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September 2013

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2013

The requirements of running a festival must at times seem paradoxical: exceptional artists are gladly engaged time and again, but at the same time the uniqueness of their achievements is devalued by this repetition. [more...]

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August 2013

ORFEO 2 CD C 879 132 I

Richard Wagner

How time flies: it’s already thirteen years since Christian Thielemann made his celebrated debut on the Green Hill of Bayreuth with The Mastersingers in the year 2000. The notion that this work – which Wagner had not conceived for the acoustic of Bayreuth – could in all its counterpoint be made to sound so transparent in the Festspielhaus was an experience that was astonishing and enthralling to audiences and press alike. [more...]

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August 2013

ORFEO 1 DVD-Video D 874 131 V

Andris Nelsons - Genius On Fire

Andris Nelsons has never known indifference: as a child he practised the trumpet until his lips were bloody; as a youth he studied singing and learnt taekwondo; then he became an orchestral trumpet player and at 24 was appointed the General Music Director of the Latvian National Opera in Riga. Seven years later he was elected Chief Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. [more...]

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July 2013

ORFEO 1 CD C 854 131 A

Robert Schumann - Violin Concertos • Phantasy

When listening to this new CD with Baiba Skride, it is difficult to comprehend why the music world for so long had a negative opinion of Robert Schumann’s works for violin and orchestra. [more...]

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May 2013

ORFEO 1 CD C 875 131 B

Wagner - Die Walküre 1. Aufzug

In Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, the first act of the Valkyrie takes up a special place. [more...]

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April 2013

ORFEO 3 CD C 862 133 D

Richard Wager - Lohengrin

For a performance of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin to be completely successful, it depends largely on the “evil” couple who stand opposed to the Swan Knight and the girl he protects, Elsa. The 1965 production at the Vienna State Opera was acclaimed for its musical aspects, and on its opening night Christa Ludwig as Ortrud made evident why Wagner himself described this character as “terribly magnificent”. [more...]

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March 2013

ORFEO 1 CD C 865 131 A

Verdi - Piotr Beczala

The internationally renowned tenor Piotr Beczala celebrates the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth with a collection of highlights that include the roles in which he has for years been acclaimed on the world's great operatic stages. [more...]

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February 2013

ORFEO 18 CD C 834 118 Y

Wilhelm Furtwängler - Wiener Philharmoniker - Wiener Konzerte 1944 - 1954

After Berlin, Vienna was the music centre to which the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler had the closest artistic connections. Under his direction the Vienna Philharmonic made a whole series of radio recordings that have now, for the first time, been carefully edited under the auspices of the Furtwängler specialist Gottfried Kraus and released by Orfeo on 18 CDs. [more...]

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January 2013

ORFEO 1 CD C 851 121 B

Bayreuther Festspiele 1954

Beethoven's 9th Symphony remains to this day the only work that does not belong to the Bayreuth canon - “Wagner's Ten”, so to speak - and yet has nevertheless been performed on the Green Hill along with them. [more...]

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January 2013

ORFEO 2 CD C 788 122 B

Sergiu Celibidache zählt zu den herausragenden und eigenwilligsten Dirigenten des 20. Jahrhunderts. [more...]

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November 2012

ORFEO 1 CD C 852 121 A

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November 2012

ORFEO 1 CD C 847 121 A

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October 2012

ORFEO 1 CD C 859 121 A

Piano Duets - Christina & Michelle Naughton

Since their début as a piano duo in 2008, the twins Christina and Michelle Naughton have proved little short of sensational in concert halls all round the world. [more...]

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September 2012

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2012

However spectacular the Salzburg Festival may be, and however indebted to international stars, it is also remarkable for the sense of continuity it has shown over the years. [more...]

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August 2012

ORFEO 1 CD C 848 121 A

Puccini’s Suor Angelica is one of the composer’s „problem children“. As the central work of Il Trittico, it is sandwiched between two dramatically more effective pieces. [more...]

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July 2012

ORFEO 2 CD C 845 122 I

Even as recently as the 1970s it was by no means certain that the biggest German opera houses would perform the works in their repertory in their original language. [more...]

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July 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 858 121 A

Soon after their first performance in 1950, within months of the composer's death, Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs became one of his most enduringly popular works. A setting of poems by Hermann Hesse and Joseph von Eichendorff, they afford the ultimate proof of Strauss's unique ability to write soaring melodic lines for the soprano voice. [more...]

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May 2012

ORFEO 1 CD C 849 121 A

For her previous CD on the Orfeo label, Baiba Skride recorded two highly Romantic violin works by Brahms and has now turned her attention to two 20th-century violin concertos whose composers struck out in extremely individual directions while drawing on traditional formal models. [more...]

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April 2012

ORFEO 3 CD C 856 123 D

Herbert von Karajan famously resigned as director of the Vienna State Opera in 1964, but in May 1977 he was persuaded to return for a handful of performances with the company. His restudied production of Verdi’s Il trovatore opened on 8 May and was followed only two days later by Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in a staging previously seen at the Salzburg Festival, where it had been a resounding success. [more...]

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March 2012

ORFEO 1 CD C 853 121 A

Dans la Nuit

Nicola Jürgensen goes “into the night” in her present programme, Dans la nuit, which takes its title from a song by Reynaldo Hahn. The clarinettist, who has appeared as a soloist with many leading European orchestras, while also making a name for herself as a chamber recitalist at international music festivals, has adapted these 19th- and early 20th-century French works for her instrument and recorded them with the pianist Matthias Kirschnereit. [more...]

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March 2012

ORFEO 2 CD C 836 112 B

Bedrich Smetana - Má Vlast

Although he was never one of the 20th century's most prominent conductors in terms of his festival appearances and recording contracts, Lovro von Matacic (1899–1985) was in many ways comparable to today's top conductors. [more...]

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February 2012

ORFEO 1 CD C 815 121 A

Miroslav Kultyshev - Edvard Grieg

It makes good sense for the young Russian piano virtuoso Miroslav Kultyshev to follow up his Orfeo recording of Liszt’s Études d’exécution transcendante with Grieg’s A minor Piano Concerto op. 16. [more...]

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January 2012

ORFEO 2 CD C 857 122 I

Edita Gruberova

If opera enthusiasts had to choose a singer as the quintessential coloratura soprano, the name of Edita Gruberova would be bound to come up. [more...]

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November 2011

ORFEO 2 CD C 828 112 A

Johann Sebastian Bach - Klavierkonzerte BWV 1052-1058

Konstantin Lifschitz has long since established himself as an outstanding exponent of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. He has already recorded the Musical Offering BWV 1079 and the Art of Fugue BWV 1080 for Orfeo and has now turned his attention to the composer’s seven keyboard concertos BWV 1052–8. [more...]

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November 2011

ORFEO 2 CD C 817 112 I

Richard Straus: Ariadne auf Naxos

Many productions at the Vienna State Opera can claim to be model interpretations of the works in question, and this is certainly true of the new production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos that opened well over a quarter of a century ago in November 1976. [more...]

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October 2011

ORFEO 2 CD C 816 112 I

Giuseppe Verdi - La Traviata

Artistic risks facing a leading company like the Vienna State Opera are new productions of the core repertory. By 1971, when a new production of Verdi’s La traviata was staged under the musical direction of Josef Krips, the house could already look back on more than two hundred performances of the work since the end of the Second World War. [more...]

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October 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 860 111 A

Andris Nelsons - Tschaikowsky

A recent recipient of ECHO Klassik's award as “Conductor of the Year”, Andris Nelsons is now continuing his series of highly acclaimed recordings with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. More especially, he is continuing his exploration of Tchaikovsky's symphonies. [more...]

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August 2011

ORFEO 3 CD C 792 113 D

Antonín Dvorák: Rusalka - Franz Welser-Möst

The 2008 Salzburg Festival production of Dvorák’s opera Rusalka was outstanding even by the Festival’s high artistic standards. [more...]

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August 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 797 111 B

Press Conference CD Presentation David Afkham 27th of July 2011

Among the new generation of young conductors who have proved an international sensation, the German maestro David Afkham stands out for several different reasons. [more...]

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July 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 830 111 A

Slavic Opera Arias - Krassimira Stoyanova

Although she came to international prominence in leading soprano roles in Italian and French operas, Krassimira Stoyanova is equally at home in the Slav repertory [more...]

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May 2011

ORFEO 2 CD C 829 112 A

Baiba Skride

Baiba Skride is not just one of the most sought-after artists when it comes to finding a soloist for one of the great violin concertos. She is also much in demand for chamber music. This makes her ideal for her new recording, her first on the ORFEO label, devoted to the work of Johannes Brahms. [more...]

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May 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 835 111 A

Britten - The Cello Suites

To be the dedicatee of a work by Benjamin Britten was a much coveted honour among 20th-century classical musicians. And for an artist to be the dedicatee of a whole series of works, then the musician in question must have felt exceptionally blessed. [more...]

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April 2011

ORFEO 2 CD C 812 112 I

Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District

It took a long time for the Vienna State Opera to get round to mounting a production of the first version of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. One of the key works of the 20th century, the opera finally entered the Vienna State Opera repertory in 2009 in its original language [more...]

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April 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 738 111 A

Antonio Salieri - Harmoniemusiken

After having suffered from numerous legends that were negative to the point of defamation, Antonio Salieri has long been rehabilitated. He in fact shares many traits with his supposed competitor Mozart, if one takes a closer look at their dramatic oeuvre. [more...]

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March 2011

ORFEO 2 CD C 811 112 I

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

In contrast to Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky’s other operas have led something of a shadowy existence in the repertoire. Only his penultimate music drama The Queen of Spades (also after Alexander Pushkin) can claim to look back on a continuous performing tradition in recent decades. [more...]

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February 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 833 111 A

Andris Nelsons: Richard Strauss

With his Alpine Symphony, Richard Strauss all but invited us to see it as a veritable “summit” in the genre of programme music. [more...]

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February 2011

ORFEO 1 CD C 752 111 A

Arabella Steinbacher

The Violin Concerto in D Major op. 77 by Johannes Brahms is for performers and audience alike one of the loveliest, most challenging examples of the genre. It was with this work that Arabella Steinbacher gave her debut in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein in December 2007, the same hall where the composer himself had conducted on occasion. [more...]

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January 2011

ORFEO 2 CD C 683 102 I

Anton Dermota

Is there anyone like him left today? And if so, where? The Slovenian tenor Anton Dermota was not just a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera for over half a century. He was also a master of the stage and concert hall, celebrated all over the world. [more...]

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November 2010

ORFEO 1 CD C 832 101 A

Tchaikovsky - Andriss Nelsons

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and its music director Andris Nelsons here present their second Tchaikovsky CD for Orfeo. [more...]

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October 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 802 102 A

Johann Sebastian Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080

With such a “uniquely open” work such as the Art of Fugue, Konstantin Lifschitz cannot imagine there could ever be a single interpretation that would set the standard for all others. But whoever hears his new recording of this cycle cannot but reserve him a front-row seat. [more...]

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October 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 813 102 I

Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio

Among the opera performances that deserve to be labelled “historic” is the opening night of the new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio unveiled at the Vienna State Opera on 5 November 1955. [more...]

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September 2010

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2010

The Salzburg Festival has always been diverse in its repertoire, and this is also reflected in the CD edition Salzburger Festspiel Dokumente in the year 2010. The series is this year dominated by birthday boys, among both the composers and the interpreters. [more...]

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August 2010

ORFEO 13 CD C 809 113 R

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Clemens Krauss’s appearances at the Bayreuth Festival were limited to a single season. The conductor of the world premières of four operas by Richard Strauss, he was – at the height of his career – in charge of the Bavarian and Vienna State Operas as well as the Salzburg Festival. [more...]

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July 2010

ORFEO 3 CD C 805 103 D

Charles Gounod: Faust

After its opening night in 2009 Gounod’s Faust became a real feast of singing. The conductor Bertrand de Billy was in the pit of the Vienna State Opera, and with his unerring mastery of style and idiom he enjoyed a triumphant success with the audience. [more...]

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July 2010

ORFEO 1 CD C 814 101 A

Piotr Beczala: Slavic Opera Arias

In both the Italian and the French repertoires, Piotr Beczala has already enjoyed success among public and press alike at all the great opera houses of the world. [more...]

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June 2010

ORFEO 1 CD C 789 101 B

Lucia Popp

Mirella Freni, who celebrated her 75th birthday a few weeks ago, is one of the utterly exceptional singers who have emerged from Italy, the home of opera. [more...]

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June 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 806 102 I

Mirella Freni

Mirella Freni, who celebrated her 75th birthday a few weeks ago, is one of the utterly exceptional singers who have emerged from Italy, the home of opera. [more...]

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June 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 810 102 A

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: Johannes Brahms

With an artist such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who has engaged successfully with the work of so many composers, it makes little sense to assign Johannes Brahms a special place in his repertoire. [more...]

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June 2010

ORFEO 1 CD C 750 101 A

Felix Mendelssohn: Works for Cello and Piano

Chamber music is an intimate genre, that we know. But in the case of Felix Mendelssohn‘s cello works, it was also family-inspired. For his younger brother Paul was obviously a good cellist. [more...]

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May 2010

ORFEO 9 CD C 808 109 L

Friedrich Gulda - Beethoven

The appearance of a new, complete recording by Friedrich Gulda of the Beethoven sonatas – made before his two previously known cycles – can be regarded as a sensation. [more...]

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April 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 717 102 H

=Robert Schumann - The Symphonies

Robert Schumann the symphonist still stands in the shadow of Schumann the composer for piano and voice... [more...]

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April 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 787 102 I

Nicolai - Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor

Hans Knappertsbusch conducted a far broader spectrum of repertoire – at least in Munich – than his unique reputation for Bruckner, Wagner and Strauss might let us suppose. Knappertsbusch even left his mark on the Romantic comic opera The Merry Wives of Windsor by Otto Nicolai (after Shakespeare). He conducted it at the Prinzregententheater. [more...]

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March 2010

ORFEO 1 CD C 804 101 A

Andris Nelsons - Igor Stravinsky

After their CD of Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky is the next great composer of the 20th century to feature in a recording of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under its music director Andris Nelsons. [more...]

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March 2010

ORFEO 1 CD C 751 101 A

Peter von Winter

Posterity has not been kind to the composer Peter von Winter. He was a wunderkind in the Mannheim Court Orchestra who after its removal to Munich worked as its kapellmeister. But his music today is as good as forgotten. [more...]

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February 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 784 102 I

Verdi: Luisa Miller

It took a long time – more than 120 years – before Vienna’s opera fans were able to experience Verdi’s Luisa Miller in its original Italian. This first performance did not take place until January 1974... [more...]

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January 2010

ORFEO 1 CD C 764 091 A

Gottfried von Einem (1918-1996)

The criticism levelled at many composers of the 20th century, namely that they sacrificed personality to the requirements of their respective schools, cannot be made against Gottfried von Einem. Throughout his life he held fast to tonality [more...]

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January 2010

ORFEO 2 CD C 786 102 I

Albert Lortzing: Der Wildschütz

In comparison to French opéras comiques, German comic operas with spoken dialogue have always struggled to maintain a foothold in the repertory, a state of affairs that begs a number of questions. [more...]

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December 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 803 091 A

Andris Nelsons - Richard Strauss

For all its undoubted brilliance, Ein Heldenleben – especially at a first hearing – remains one of Strauss’s most problematical tone poems. [more...]

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November 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 598 091 B

Irmgard Seefried

Today she would probably be marketed as an all-rounder. After all, Irmgard Seefried was not only an acclaimed opera singer... [more...]

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November 2009

ORFEO 2 CD C 785 092 I

=Bedrich Smetana: The Bartered Bride

Vienna has played an important role in the performance history of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride ever since the work achieved its international breakthrough in the city at the time of the 1892 World Fair. [more...]

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October 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 760 091 A

Petra Maria Schnitzer • Peter Seiffert: Richard Wagner

To describe Petra Maria Schnitzer and Peter Seiffert as the dream couple of the Romantic world of Wagner’s operas and music dramas would be an otiose exercise indeed. [more...]

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October 2009

ORFEO 3 CD C 763 093 D

Felix Mendelssohn – The Complete String Symphonies

According to a well-known German proverb, no one is born a master, but this adage is hard to credit when the master in question reveals his genius at the tender age of ten. [more...]

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October 2009

ORFEO 2 CD C 783 092 I

Giuseppe Verdi: Falstaff

Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff, the last opera of the Master from Busseto, is one of the most multi-facetted scores in opera history (and for that reason is perhaps one that needs several hearings in order to grasp it). [more...]

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October 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 781 091 A

Daniel Müller-Schott: Schumann - Strauss - Volkmann - Bruch

On his latest CD, Daniel Müller-Schott devotes himself to the cello’s Romantic and late-Romantic solo concerto repertoire. It is a voyage of exploration that offers things both known and worthy of (re)discovery. [more...]

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September 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 597 091 B

=Hilde Konetzni, Josef Kripfs: Songs

The recording conditions could hardly have been more dramatic. In the bleak mid-war winter of 1942-3, the lirico-spinto soprano Hilde Konetzni learnt a romantic song programme with Josef Krips as her accompanist and mentor. [more...]

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September 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 801 091 B

George London

It is not unique, but it will probably remain an occurrence as rare as it is welcome when the leading heroic baritone of his generation is also a master of the „small“, subtle form of the lied. [more...]

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August 2009

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2009

Ever since its launch in 1992, Orfeo’s Salzburger Festspieldokumente series has showcased particularly memorable performances from the Salzburg Festival, and 2009 is no exception. [more...]

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August 2009

ORFEO 2 CD C 692 092 I

=Press Conference of ORFEO together with Bayreuther Festspiele on 8th of August 2009

Hans Knappertsbusch conducted Der fliegende Holländer at only a single Bayreuth Festival. Even in retrospect the opening night of the 1955 Festival seems altogether exceptional. [more...]

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July 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 642 091 A

On his visits to England between 1791 and 1795, Joseph Haydn not only enjoyed growing popularity, but also developed a taste for arranging folk songs from the British Isles. To celebrate the Haydn bicentenary this year, ORFEO presents a selection of Scottish songs performed by the soprano Julie Kaufmann. [more...]

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July 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 779 091 A

Adrianne Pieczonka

There’s no doubt about it. Adrianne Pieczonka’s diary for the next few months makes it clear that this soprano, long celebrated for her Wagner and Strauss roles across the world, is now also in international demand for the Italian repertoire. [more...]

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June 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 778 091 A

Arabella Steinbacher

It is rare indeed to encounter an artistic collaboration that is so harmonious and results in such fine music-making. In this recording a soloist and a conductor of the younger generation. [more...]

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June 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 780 091 A

[more...]

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May 2009

ORFEO 2 CD C 761 092 A

Felix Mendelssohn - Early Concertos for Violin and Piano

Youth and maturity – that could be the motto of the first new ORFEO recording for the Mendelssohn year 2009, with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and its chief conductor Michael Hofstetter. [more...]

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May 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 782 091 A

Simona Saturová - Haydn Arias

Simona Saturová, with her crystal clear, supremely flexible soprano voice, has already long established herself in the world’s concert halls, working with conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Neville Marriner, Jirí Belohlávek and Manfred Honeck. [more...]

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May 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 770 091 B

Waldemar Kmentt

In 1955, he was already singing Jaquino in the production of Beethoven’s Fidelio for the reopening of the Vienna State Opera, and performed internationally in roles such as Mirko Zeta in The Merry Widow until the turn of the century. [more...]

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April 2009

ORFEO 2 CD C 777 082 H

Dvorák: Kate and the Devil

After our complete recording of Král a uhlír ("King and Charcoal Burner"), which won a MIDEM Classical Award, we now present a further instalment of our Dvorák opera cycle with the WDR Cologne Symphony Orchestra under Gerd Albrecht: Cert a Kaca ("Kate and the Devil"). [more...]

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March 2009

ORFEO 2 CD C 767 092 I

Puccini - Madama Butterfly

Even though Puccini’s Madama Butterfly flopped so spectacularly at its La Scala world premiere in 1904, the opera remains a hugely popular favourite [more...]

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March 2009

ORFEO 3 CD C 768 093 D

Puccini - Il Trittico

Puccini’s three one-act operas Il Trittico are rarely encountered as a whole on a single evening. The „satyr play“ of the three, Gianni Schicchi, is usually uncoupled and staged alongside other short operas. [more...]

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February 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 673 091 A

Baermann - Mendelssohn

Heinrich Baermann and his son Carl were two of the great clarinet virtuosos of the 19th century, their artistry celebrated the length and breadth of Europe. To their friendship with Felix Mendelssohn we owe the latter’s two Concert Pieces opp. 113 and 114... [more...]

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February 2009

ORFEO 5 CD C 725 085 R

Sergiu Celibidache

Even today Sergiu Celibidache (1912–96) continues to enjoy the reputation of a revolutionary genius, a conductor uniquely capable of realizing his interpretations without making the least concessions... [more...]

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January 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 685 091 B

Lisa Della Casa

No singer at the Vienna State Opera or elsewhere has been as closely associated with the title role in Strauss’s Arabella as Lisa Della Casa, who celebrates her 90th birthday on 2 February 2009, and yet we should be guilty of doing the Swiss soprano a grave disservice by reducing her repertory to this one role alone. [more...]

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January 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 759 081 A

Miroslav Kultyshev

The Russian pianist Miroslav Kultyshev was still a child when he discovered his altogether exceptional gifts as a musician. Not yet in his mid-twenties, he is now a regular visitor to all the world’s major concert halls. [more...]

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January 2009

ORFEO 1 CD C 735 091 B

Ingrid Bjoner

The Norwegian soprano Ingrid Bjoner, who died in 2006, is one of the few long-standing members of the Bavarian State Opera whose name was linked not only with the legendary period immediately after the Second World War when the company was temporarily housed at the Prinzregententheater but also with the Nationaltheater, which reopened its doors in 1963. [more...]

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November 2008

ORFEO 2 CD C 766 082 I

Verdi's Macbeth

Masterpiece though Verdi’s Macbeth undoubtedly is, it was only at a relatively late date that it found a niche for itself in the repertory of the world’s major opera houses. Even today it is difficult to cast the two main roles satisfactorily. [more...]

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November 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 736 081 B

David Oistrach

In 1956 the Vienna Festival marked the bicentenary of Mozart’s birth by focussing largely, if not exclusively, on works by Salzburg’s most famous son. Among the leading European orchestras that appeared on this occasion was the Leningrad Philharmonic, which gave two concerts under its principal conductor, Evgeny Mravinsky. [more...]

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October 2008

ORFEO 3 CD C 581 083 D

Der Rosenkavalier

Carlos Kleiber has conducted Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier in the most famous opera houses all over the world: the Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Vienna State Opera, but nowhere as much as at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. [more...]

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August 2008

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2008

During his first year as artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, it was almost a conscious policy on Herbert von Karajan’s part to court comparison with famous predecessors and eminent models... [more...]

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August 2008

ORFEO 4 CD C 773 084 L

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2008

1957 was Herbert von Karajan’s first year as artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, and he was determined to leave the world in no doubt about his versatility as a conductor... [more...]

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August 2008

ORFEO 3 CD C 774 083 D

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2008

[more...]

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August 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 710 081 B

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2008

Among the countless concerts that Karl Böhm conducted with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival were not only a number of inevitable repeats of standard works from the mainstream symphonic repertory but also a number of surprises and genuine trouvailles... [more...]

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August 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 775 081 B

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2008

Little would be gained by describing yet again the exceptional standing of a pianist like Rudolf Buchbinder, who day in, day out has confirmed his command of his instrument over a period of several decades... [more...]

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August 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 711 081 B

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2008

Among the many artists who returned to Europe after the Second World War and chose the Salzburg Festival as the place to resume their European careers was the violinist Zino Francescatti... [more...]

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August 2008

ORFEO 2 CD C 776 082 B

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2008

One of the most versatile representatives of the classical art of singing during the last twenty years has undoubtedly been the Slovenian mezzo-soprano Marjana Lipovek... [more...]

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July 2008

ORFEO 4 CD C 753 084 L

The 1968 Bayreuth Festival opened with a new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg that seemed to be heading for disaster when the central role of Hans Sachs had to be recast after the final dress rehearsal... [more...]

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July 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 740 081 A

[more...]

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June 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 659 081 A

With his recording of Dmitri Shostakovich's two cello concertos, Daniel Müller-Schott has set out to explore the later works of a composer whose cryptic style represents a particular challenge for the performer, such were the political and personal circumstances of the composer's life of suffering. [more...]

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June 2008

ORFEO 2 CD C 734 082 I

With its new production of Capriccio on 7 June 2008, the Vienna State Opera is reviving a long-standing tradition in a house where the onstage debate over the relative merits of the words or the music in opera has always been conducted between the finest representatives of their profession. [more...]

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June 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 739 081 A

French chamber music from the time of the Third Republic is remarkable for its tremendous stylistic variety, revealing, as it does, not only Neoclassical elements but also unexpected rhythms, the sort of local colour associated with folk music and, last but not least, typically French melodies typified by their elegance and songlike character. [more...]

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May 2008

ORFEO 2 CD C 757 082 I

They made a distinctly odd couple onstage: she was the supreme hochdramatisch soprano of her generation, a singer able to maintain her tremendous vocal powers over a period of several decades, whereas he could captivate his listeners as a poetic and spirited lyric tenor so prodigal with his resources that within a little more than a decade he had burned himself out. [more...]

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April 2008

ORFEO 2 CD C 765 082 I

If singers loved working with Joseph Keilberth, it was because he brought to all his opera performances a deep knowledge of the work in question, a stick technique that left them in no doubt as to his intentions and a highly considerate musical sensitivity. [more...]

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April 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 729 081 B

From the late 1940s onwards, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in D minor was one of the works with which Herbert von Karajan could impress international audiences before he succeeded to Wilhelm Furtwängler’s post as principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1955. [more...]

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April 2008

ORFEO 2 CD C 728 082 B

As the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde’s concert director “for life”, Herbert von Karajan was repeatedly able to programme large-scale vocal works in Vienna’s Musikvereinssaal during the early 1950s. [more...]

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March 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 715 081 A

Piotr Beczala – Salut

With Gounod’s Faust, Piotr Beczala says "Salut" to the international record-buying public. [more...]

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March 2008

ORFEO 1 CD C 674 081 A

The ability to prove oneself in large-scale musical forms does not necessarily mean that a composer is also able to handle small-scale forms, but one composer who was adept at both was Franz Danzi (1763–1826), who exerted a profound influence on the German musical scene at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. [more...]

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March 2008

ORFEO 3 CD C 758 083 D

Christa Ludwig

The wide-ranging repertory in which Christa Ludwig appeared at the Vienna State Opera, spoiling her audiences and often surprising them over a period of many years, is central to the present set of three CDs issued to mark her eightieth birthday. [more...]

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March 2008

ORFEO 2 CD C 733 082 I

It was the local première of Bizet’s Carmen in Vienna in 1875 that ushered in the work’s run of successes in opera houses all over the world. Since then it has been performed countless times at the Vienna State Opera, and yet the new production that opened in February 1966 remains one of the most outstanding ever seen in the house. [more...]

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December 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 755 071 B

Teresa Stich-Randall

The death of Teresa Stich-Randall on 17 July of this year makes us all too aware how close and yet how distant great personalities and their achievements may be to the average opera lover. [more...]

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November 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 749 071 A

It seems that no rung is too high on Diana Damrau‘s career ladder: after being made a Bavarian Kammersängerin during the summer of 2007, she is currently appearing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, alternating in the roles of Pamina and the Queen of Night. [more...]

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November 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 679 071 A

The reputation that Walter Braunfels enjoys today still falls far short of the high regard in which he was held during the 1920s, when he was seen as one of Germany‘s leading composers, his name frequently mentioned in the same breath as those of Richard Strauss and Franz Schreker. [more...]

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November 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 676 071 A

It was only after six years’ preparatory work, during which time he consulted every available edition of the piece, that Konstantin Lifschitz made this spectacular recording of Bach‘s Musical Offering, the first to be made on a modern concert grand. [more...]

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October 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 689 061 A

A Victorian Christmas

Charles Dickens notwithstanding, today’s readers will probably prefer not to have received their Christmas presents in England during the Industrial Revolution. [more...]

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October 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 724 071 B

Joseph Keilberth

Although there was a period following his death when Joseph Keilberth’s reputation suffered an eclipse, he is now once again numbered among those conductors of the second third of the 20th century whose work has finally received the attention that it deserves. [more...]

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October 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 723 071 B

Hans Knappertsbusch

So many anecdotes have grown up around the figure of Hans Knappertsbusch and so many remarks have been attributed to him, some of them amusing, others unrepeatably risqué, that it is all too easy to forget what a distinguished conductor he was. [more...]

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September 2007

ORFEO 2 CD C 732 072 I

Der Freischütz is part of the standard repertory of every opera house in the German-speaking world, and yet the production that opened at the Vienna State Opera in May 1972 was the first that had been staged in the house for a quarter of a century. [more...]

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September 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 731 071 B

In Mozart in particular she was admired above all for the clarity of her timbre and her consistently lean-toned intonation that was free of all impurities. But it would be wrong to forget that Gundula Janowitz’s needle-sharp accuracy never impeded her emotional and dramatic involvement in a role. [more...]

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August 2007

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2007

By way of an appendix to the Mozart celebrations of 2006, Orfeo is releasing Richard Strauss's version of Idomeneo on its Salzburg Festspieldokumente label. This version of Mozart's opera received two performances at the 2006 Salzburg Festival, uniquely complementing the "Mozart 22" project. [more...]

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August 2007

ORFEO 4 CD C 690 074 L

When Hans Knappertsbusch conjured up the sounds of the Prelude to Act One of Parsifal from the "mystic abyss" of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus in 1964, few in the audience can have suspected that this would be the seventy-six-year-old conductor's final season on the Green Hill. [more...]

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July 2007

ORFEO 2 CD C 698 072 I

Plácido Domingo

Orfeo’s newly released complete recording of Otello documents a brilliant first night from 1987. Plácido Domingo is heard here at the very height of his powers in one of his most famous roles: supple, impulsive, volatile and moving in his expression. [more...]

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June 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 730 071 B

Julia Varady

It was not until 1993 – relatively late in her career – that Julia Varady made her Vienna State Opera début with a tempestuously acclaimed performance as Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer that allowed her to show off her greatest strengths [more...]

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June 2007

ORFEO 3 CD C 699 073 D

There are almost certainly no superlatives left to describe Plácido Domingo and his standing in the international world of opera today. The fortieth anniversary of his Vienna Opera State début is a further milestone in a career that the tenor, conductor and opera house administrator continues to pursue with unflagging energy. [more...]

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June 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 693 071 A

Difficult though it may be to date Johann Sebastian Bach's Gamba Sonatas BWV 1027–9 and ascribe them to a particular period in their creator's career, these are none the less delightful works from the point of view of their performers. [more...]

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May 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 722 071 B

Eduard Erdmann

Two further pianistic trouvailles in the archives of West German Radio are Reger’s Piano Concerto in F minor and Schubert’s B flat major Sonata, both of which provide eloquent testimony to the mastery of Eduard Erdmann. [more...]

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May 2007

ORFEO 2 CD C 721 072 I

Wilhelm Kempff

The Broadcasting House in Cologne was also the venue for a series of recordings that Wilhelm Kempff made of some of the great showpieces in his vast repertory in 1956 and 1960. All attest to the clear and meticulous playing to which his listeners were accustomed. [more...]

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May 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 720 071 B

Shura Cherkassky

West German Radio’s reputation as one of the leading public media organizations with an active interest in classical music dates back at least to the early post-war period, when there was a constant stream of prominent instrumentalists and conductors keen to record in the old Broadcasting House in Cologne. [more...]

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May 2007

Salzburger Festspieldokumente 2006

For fifteen years our Festspieldokumente series has featured live recordings of highlights from eight decades of Salzburg Festival performances preserved in the archives of Austrian Radio. [more...]

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April 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 718 071 B

Rafael Kubelík was not only one of the leading interpreters of 19th- and early 20th-century concertos and symphonies, he was also well known for his keen advocacy of the music of important contemporaries whose works were relatively under-represented in international concert programmes. [more...]

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April 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 719 071 B

At the end of the concert enshrined in this latest release on the Orfeo label, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is as loudly and warmly acclaimed as its conductor, Rafael Kubelík. [more...]

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March 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 558 061 A

The latest CD in our series devoted to contemporary lieder features works by not one but three composers. The names of the two friends Luigi Dallapiccola and Karl Amadeus Hartmann are closely associated with the renaissance of the avant-garde in the wake of the Second World War. [more...]

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February 2007

ORFEO 2 CD C 696 072 I

Leonie Rysanek

She was a prima donna who in the course of a long and immensely eventful career repeatedly reinvented herself, starting with her early sensational successes when she was barely thirty. After a series of spectacular débuts at many of the world’s leading opera houses, she suffered a number of crises that she rapidly overcame, before finally going on to explore the fascinating world of character roles. [more...]

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February 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 639 061 A

Anthony Spiri
Sonatas and Fantasias by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

In the wake of his keen interest in the music of the whole of the Bach family, the pianist Anthony Spiri has long been eager to introduce works by Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714–88) to a wider audience. Many of these pieces are barely known, not least because the music is not available in printed form but only in manuscript copies. [more...]

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January 2007

ORFEO 2 CD C 697 072 I

Così fan tutte

The name of Josef Krips is associated the world over with ensemble opera of the finest sort and with a timelessly valid approach to Mozart that remains exemplary in our responses to the composer. Both these qualities are evident in the Orfeo’s live recording of the Vienna State Opera’s production of Così fan tutte, a performance recorded on 22 September 1968. [more...]

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January 2007

ORFEO 1 CD C 006 061 A

Herbert Blendinger: Media in vita

It is not easy to pigeonhole Herbert Blendinger’s compositional style and place it within the existing categories of new music. In spite of his profession of faith in traditional values, Blendinger’s works are far from conventional. Quite the opposite. [more...]

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October 2006

ORFEO 2 CD C 684 062 I

Sena Jurinac

Although it is now twenty-four years since Sena Jurinac – an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera – bade farewell to the stage, memories of her great performances remain as fresh as ever. [more...]

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October 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 714 061 B

Inge Borkh

Inge Borkh made operatic history as Salome and Elektra, and she will continue to fascinate future generations of listeners with her recordings of these roles. The present portrait demonstrates that her artistic range was far greater than these two parts. [more...]

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September 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 193 061 A

Leopold Kozeluch – Mozart's Antipode?

Viele Komponisten ander Schwelle vom Rokoko zur Wiener Klassik, die sich durch eine große stilistische Bandbreite ausgezeichnet haben, werden an Worten und Taten, nicht aber an ihren Werken gemessen. [more...]

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September 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 687 061 A

Shostakovitch - Violin Concertos

A century after his birth, Dmitri Shostakovich is one of the most widely performed composers of the 20th century. He is not, however, particularly associated with the virtuoso concerto as a medium. [more...]

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September 2006

ORFEO 2 CD C 681 062 I

La forza del destino

Verdi’s own operas, by contrast, generally need little help in promoting them, although it is still a good thing if from time to time they are lifted out of the rut of operatic routine, as happened to La forza del destino in 1960 [more...]

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September 2006

ORFEO 2 CD C 680 062 I

Il giuramento – Pure Belcanto Pleasure

It is, of course, a commonplace that every evening in the theatre and every concert is a unique event that cannot be repeated, even though a great opera house like the Vienna State Opera may present a whole run of performances with an identical cast. [more...]

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July 2006

ORFEO 3 CD C 691 063 D


The success of any performance of Lohengrin depends in no small way on the protagonist’s ability to combine heroic radiance with the cultivated tone associated with the bel canto repertory. In this regard the Hungarian tenor Sándor Kónya has always been regarded by cognoscenti as unsurpassable. [more...]

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June 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 686 061 A

With her much-acclaimed recording of the violin concertos of Darius Milhaud, to which she brought both ethereal weightlessness and naturalness of expression, Arabella Steinbacher showed that virtuoso, playful miniatures are just as close to her heart as the great concertos for her instrument [more...]

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May 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 599 061 B

There are voices that overwhelm the listener like a force of nature. And there are others that are capable of affecting us on the deepest emotional level. It is very rare for a singer – especially a hochdramatisch soprano – to combine these qualities, but one such exception was Ursula Schröder-Feinen. [more...]

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May 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 702 061 B

Candour and artistic curiosity characterize the art of Diana Damrau. There are few other lyric coloratura sopranos of recent years who have enjoyed such meteoric careers and who continue to scale new peaks of achievement. [more...]

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April 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 677 061 A

Meisterschaft in harmonischer wie formaler Gestaltung

Johann Wenzeslaus Kalliwoda (1801–66) is only one of many composers whose works, long undervalued and rarely performed, have been revived in modern times thanks to recordings such as those of the Stuttgart Hofkapelle under its conductor Frieder Bernius. [more...]

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April 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 621 061 A

Daniel Müller-Schott

It is with tremendous pleasure that ORFEO International presents Daniel Müller-Schott’s new CD featuring the cello concertos of Edward Elgar and William Walton. [more...]

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April 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 645 061 A

By the Romantic period at the latest Shakespeare’s works were the yardstick and inspiration for many new works throughout Europe. [more...]

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March 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 665 061 A

Adrianne Pieczonka

Ever since her sensational appearances as Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Vienna State Opera in 1997 the Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka has been in constant demand in all the world’s major opera houses. [more...]

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February 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 663 061 A

What are the necessary conditions, what gifts, what stubbornness and even what element of chance are required for a man like Aribert Reimann to realize his greatest potential? In the light of his life’s work as a composer, this question far from unjustified. [more...]

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January 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 644 061 A

Whether serenade, quartet or sacred aria, Mozart inspired numerous transcriptions and arrangements during his lifetime. Dieter Klöcker and the Mannheim String Quartet reveal how virtuosic and varied Mozart’s music can sound in transcriptions for the same forces as those found in one of his most popular works: clarinet quintet. [more...]

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January 2006

ORFEO 1 CD C 664 061 A

The string quartet as an alternative to the hybrid genre of drama giocoso: champagne and seduction may not be handed out by singers, but thanks to the sophisticated compositional technique of a skilful arranger and the Artist Quartet’s audible pleasure in their playing, the result is far more than mere background music designed to be played at supper. [more...]

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January 2006

ORFEO 2 CD C 675 062 H

„Schmankerl“ for Mozart-Connaisseurs
Rainer Honeck and the Vienna Classical Players

Rainer Honeck, first violinist of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and leader of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra since 1984 and of the Vienna Philharmonic since 1992 often performs as soloist at leading centres in Europe, Japan and America. [more...]

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December 2005

ORFEO 1 CD/SACD C 700 051 B

The places where a person’s life unfolds – especially the life of a musician like Carlos Kleiber – are not random but leave their mark on every facet of his personality. [more...]

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