VERDI: La Traviata

Lisette Oropesa (Violetta). René Barbera (Alfredo Germont). Lester Lynch (Giorgio Germont). Ilseyar Khayrullova (Flora_. Menna Cazel (Annina). Dresden State Opera Chorus / Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra / Daniel Oren, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186 956 (2 disks) TT: 65:49 / 69:11
UPC/EAN: 0827949095665

SCHOENBERG: String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 7. String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30.

Gringolts Quartet
BIS SACD 2567 TT: 79:31
UPC/EAN: 7318599925677

MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 in G

Chen Reiss, soprano. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/ Semyon Bychkov, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186 972 TT: 56:49
UPC/EAN: 0827949097263

This is a first-class presentation of La Traviata. The demanding leading role is sung by the remarkable American soprano Lisette Oropesa who easily presents a convincing doomed heroine, and the many difficulties of the role are no problem for her. This site recently praised her ACD of Mozart concert arias (REVIEW). The remainder of the cast is equally fine, and conductor Daniel Oren provides a crisp accompaniment. This is a San Francisco Classical Recording Production March 2021 in Dresden's Kulturakast and the engineering offers well-balanced multi-channel audio. Pentatone's opera series also contains Otello, Cavalleria rusticana, Il Tabarro and Madama Butterfly. This is a deluxe presentation with the complete libretto and translations. Recommended!

Several years ago this site praised a recording of Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 2 performed by the enrprising Gringolts Quartet (Ilya Gringolts and Anahti Kurtikyan, violins; Sylvia Simionescu, viola, and Claudius Herrmann, cello) (REVIEW). Now they continue their traversal of Schoenberg's quartets with this disk that offers quartets 1 and 3. This music is a challenge for listeners. Arnold Whittalls program notes describe the composer's inspiration for this music. Performances are dedicated, and the recording made March 2021 in Switzerland's Zurich SRF Studio realistically captures the work of Schoenberg. Doubtless Quartet No, 4 soon will appear. Approach with caution.

The famed Czech Philharmonic has a long association with music of Gustav Mahler. In 1908 they gave the premiere of s Symphony No. 7 under the baton of the composer, and 1976 - 1982 they recorded all of the symphonies with Vaclav Neumann. Now there are plans to record the compete cycle again this time with distinguished Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov conducting. Here is the first issue: Symphony No. 4 recorded August 2020 in the Dvorak Hall of Rudolfinum in Prague. Bychkov's love of Mahler is expressed in the set's program book/ Many years ago this site mentioned a video of him conducting Mahler's Symphony No. 2, an experimental video with masses of color panels supposedly visually suggesting the music, an experiment that for me did not work (REVIEW). This superb new Mahler No. 4 surely is a fine performance, beautifully recorded in multi-channel sound. This is strong competition fror the dozens of existing recordings of this masterpiece.

R.E.B. (June, 2022)