Thursday, January 19, 2017
Soprano Anna Netrebko is a long term favorite singer of mine. It is not only because she has a fine voice, but also because of her humor, her stage presence and the diversity of her repertoire. On this CD she sings the amazing Last Four Songs by Richard Strauss. This recording features the following tracks: Strauss, R: Vier letzte Lieder, as performed by Anna Netrebko (soprano) Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 Orchestral support is provided by the Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim conducting. • Anna Netrebko, sings Richard Strauss’ sumptuous Four Last Songs, accompanied by the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim. An irresistible, all-star combination. • Netrebko is a phenomenon. The world’s best-selling active soprano and quite simply, the undisputed superstar – “la prima donna assoluta” (New York Post) – of opera today. Known equally for her poise, her sensuality and her voice’s unmistakable color, Strauss’s elegiac Four Last Songs are an exquisite vehicle for her expressive gifts: Netrebko’s first recording of these gorgeous, iconic songs. • And Daniel Barenboim: conductor, pianist, humanitarian – perhaps the world’s most complete living musician. A venerated interpreter of Wagner, Mozart, Beethoven and Bruckner, in many ways the music of Richard Strauss represents the cross section of Barenboim’s musical background. In 1954, the then 11 year-old Barenboim was introduced to his idol, conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. It was Furtwängler who conducted the world premiere of Strauss’ Four Last Songs in 1949. • The Staatskapelle and Barenboim also perform ‘Ein Heldenleben’, one of the most vivid and popular tone poems by Strauss, who himself was Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatskapelle a century ago. Here is Anna Netrebko, singing the Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss:
“Marlis Petersen, in her first shot at the role, is as complete a video Violetta as Rosanna Carteri, Marie McLaughlin or the young Angela Gheorghiu, and as riveting as Teresa Stratas or Anna Netrebko.” [Opera News ]
With Christmas Eve 2016 falling on a Saturday, the Met offers contrasting orchestral splendors at noon and 6 p.m. Early birds will have another opportunity to catch the earnest performances of Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens, and the commanding one of Tamara Mumford, in Robert Lepage‘s Lite-Brite display of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin. A waning crescent will be overhead when the evening crowd files out of Strauss’s Salome, with its evocative moon talk. Patricia Racette‘s negotiation of the title role has been polarizing, but one acknowledges a game professional’s valor in covering several performances of a difficult role when a colleague withdrew. We draw nearer to the end of a year that has been tumultuous and often upsetting, within and beyond the opera world. It would be fair to say that many of us did not get what we expected or wanted in 2016, and we have said goodbye to many admired figures in the arts. Some had lived long lives full of accomplishments; others were taken too soon. The uneasy situation surrounding the Met’s music-director position reached a resolution in the spring, and the future holds promise. There was much to cheer, and to be cheered by, on the stage: triumphs of favorites such as Nina Stemme, Elina Garanca, Anna Netrebko and Karita Mattila in new Met roles; acclaimed productions of Les pêcheurs de perles, Elektra and Tristan und Isolde; the long-awaited return of Guillaume Tell. Even in disappointing new productions and ordinary revivals, we welcomed newcomers. One day when I am long gone, perhaps someone will pick through the archives and marvel that 2016 was the year Metgoers made the acquaintance of Juan Jesús Rodríguez, Andrew Bidlack, Virginie Verrez, Karel Mark Chichon, Artur Rucinski, Eleonora Buratto, René Barbera, Susanna Mälkki. Every one of them, whether in a large assignment or a small one, did something worth noticing, something that made me want to hear more. Our holiday survey will not, alas, feature Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve, critic Noel Straus, baritone Natale de Carolis, or either Ian or Leah Partridge in a pear tree. But there will be a swan a-swimming. Here is a look back at just some of what you could have seen, and perhaps did see, on December 24th through the years at the Met. 1883: Covering the theater’s first Christmas Eve, a Times reviewer (probably W. J. Henderson) did not mince words: “Rigoletto was represented at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening in presence of an audience which included a great many persons who had evidently never attended an operatic performance before, and by a few persons–those occupying boxes–who, out of consideration for people who care to listen to the singers and band, ought never to attend an operatic performance again.” Principals Marcella Sembrich, Roberto Stagno and Giuseppe Del Puente were credited with singing “tastefully and correctly,” but criticized for “literally walk[ing] through their parts with a genteel placidity.” The reviewer noted that the new company had worked hard to present 14 operas over its first nine weeks. He hoped that the underrehearsed, indifferently acted performances he had often seen would not become the norm. 1903: Parsifal received its first staging anywhere other than the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, to which Wagner had decreed it be exclusive. Risking the enmity of the composer’s widow, who always had plenty to spare, were Milka Ternina, Alois Burgstaller, Anton Van Rooy, Otto Goritz, Robert Blass, Marcel Journet and conductor Alfred Hertz. The Times‘s Richard Aldrich was enthusiastic to the point of hyperbole: “The artistic value of the Parsifal production was of the very highest. It was in many respects equal to anything done at Bayreuth and, in some, much superior. It was without doubt the most perfect production ever made on the American lyric stage. Those who wish to quarrel with the performance on aesthetic, moral or religious grounds have still as much upon which to stand as before. Artistically it was nothing less than triumphant.” Parsifal‘s nearly 300 Met performances have been spread over every decade since. The work failed only to catch on as a yuletide perennial. 1908: Perhaps the adage should be “Some show must go on.” An audience “not large, but of excellent disposition” (the Sun) got the consolation of Geraldine Farrar, Riccardo Martin, Jean Noté and Adamo Didur in an on-the-quick Faust when indisposed leads prevented a planned Christmas Eve Aïda. The singers calling in sick were Emma Eames and Enrico Caruso. 1920: Now suffering from a much more serious illness, Caruso appeared as scheduled for what would be his final public performance, Eléazar to the Rachel of Florence Easton in La Juive. During this difficult month, the tenor also had sung Met performances of Samson, Canio, Don Alvaro and a single act of Nemorino. When he died the following summer, 48 years old, with a Met tally of 863 appearances, 36 roles, and 17 opening nights, the world mourned both a global celebrity and a great artist. Caruso once had been quoted as saying, “I would like to die at the height of my fame, some night when I had just sung Pagliacci, perhaps. But I suppose that cannot be. You may be sure that I will not hang around opera houses with the vestiges of a voice, like so many unfortunate musicians.” On another occasion, in 1916, he had told the New York Friars Club, “I promise you that when I go to heaven I shall sing forever.” 1925: A Tribune reviewer was pleased to report that Tullio Serafin‘s conducting of La Gioconda disclosed full recovery from a recent road accident. Another sparse Christmas Eve crowd heard Rosa Ponselle “singing with a brilliance and power which she has hardly equaled this year,” and rewarded Beniamino Gigli with “rapturous thunder” for Enzo’s second-act aria. 1928: A mischievous unsigned Telegraph review gives a sense of the high spirits and unfocused air of a Lohengrin on the last Christmas Eve before the Great Depression. “The audience at the Metropolitan last night must have been very late hanging their own stockings for they stayed to the end of the late last scene and acted as though there was nothing about this evening different to any other. Various attendants of the staff, however, […] left the building, carrying various kinds of bundles. Backstage, the singers and musicians had a celebration […] The chorus was absolutely impossible from the point of view of good performing, but in the right mood for the evening. A little bird said that gifts had been passed around by quite a number of the stars and principals and that they had been opened before or during the performance.” Translation: Prohibition was being flouted. The cast included Easton, Margarete Matzenauer, Rudolf Laubenthal and Gustav Schützendorf, but only conductor Artur Bodanzky was said to have been “completely the disciple of true art.” 1936: “The singer is neither a Bori nor a Tetrazzini,” wrote Olin Downes in the Times, getting the obligatory comparisons out of the way, “but if all rôles at the Metropolitan were taken as competently and intelligently as her Violetta of last night we would have an extremely high level of performance there.” The Violetta in question was alluring Belgian coloratura Vina Bovy, 36 but with nearly 20 years on the stages of Europe. She made her house debut with support from Nino Martini, Lawrence Tibbett and Maestro Ettore Panizza. Mme. Bovy’s brief Met tenure would consist of 16 appearances over two seasons. 1955: The 80-year-old conductor Pierre Monteux‘s Indian summer at the Met included a fondly recalled Les contes d’Hoffmann, heard in a famous radio broadcast earlier in the season. On Christmas Eve, Richard Tucker remained the titular poet, and Martial Singher continued to give lessons in style and dash as the villains. The love interests, two of them new to the production, were Laurel Hurley, Jarmila Novotna and Lucine Amara. Future headliner James McCracken, 29, sang the small role of Nathanael as if determined to prove his readiness for Tannhäuser or Otello that season. 1957: Ms. Racette was not the first star soprano induced to change her Christmas Eve plans for the Met’s sake. Opera News recorded the following: “Victoria de los Angeles was honored with a backstage Christmas party by Rudolf Bing prior to her appearance as Violetta on December 24, 1957. The soprano had foregone her expected holiday at home in Barcelona with her family in order to accept extra performances at the Metropolitan, at Mr. Bing’s request. Among the guests were the Vienna Choir Boys, who serenaded the assembly with traditional hymns and carols.” Fausto Cleva conducted (the Traviata, not the hymns and carols); Daniele Barioni and Robert Merrill were the younger and elder Germonts. 1960: The Tribune‘s Martin Bernheimer carefully appraised a house favorite in Bohème: “[Renata] Tebaldi was in relatively good voice, and there is no question that she pleased her many admirers. The tender Puccini heroine suits her temperament, and the quieter moments such as the Act Three farewell were exquisite. Although her histrionic technique is of the stand-and-smile variety, and although she is not exactly frail either in voice or in appearance, Miss Tebaldi was a touching and dignified Mimi. The soprano has been having some trouble with top tones lately. Most of Mimi lies comfortably for her, but the role does pose a problem or two. The exposed High C at the end of Act One, for instance, was avoided by a downward transposition of a half-tone, and–even at that–Miss Tebaldi attacked it from below.” Hurley, Eugenio Fernandi and Clifford Harvuot were the other young lovers in Thomas Schippers‘s cast. 1976: Beverly Sills starred in her first Met Lucia di Lammermoor. Newsday‘s Peter Goodman was generous toward the shrewd soprano from Crown Heights: “Sills is an excellent actress with a voice that does much more than make music. She acts with that voice, conveying wide swings of emotion within a brief musical moment. And the singing is marvelous just for itself.” Goodman saw a bright future for the debuting Enrico, Ryan Edwards, “a tall young baritone from Texas [with] a very fine voice, dark and strong, and a powerful and intelligent stage presence.” John Alexander and John Macurdy completed the principal quartet. 1977: The annals are littered with the names of special artists who for whatever reasons, their own decisions or others’, had negligible Met careers. Christmas Eve 1977 began with a Bohème starring ladies who settled in and made the house a home: Renata Scotto and Leona Mitchell racked up more than 500 performances between them. But the evening show was one of just four opportunities to hear Maria Chiara in her only Met role, Violetta, opposite Alexander and Louis Quilico. A week later, the last of these Traviatas received a New Year’s Eve broadcast. Chiara’s only subsequent Met connection would be through the illusion of cinema: in Woody Allen‘s 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, she is seen and heard as the Puccini Manon in the opera date of the Sam Waterston and Dianne Wiest characters. The footage was from Teatro Regio Torino. 1979: The 1967 Nathaniel Merrill/Robert O’Hearn Hänsel und Gretel framed the debut of a soprano who would return over 23 years in music from Beethoven to Berg to Bolcom. Per Newsday, “Catherine Malfitano, long a mainstay soprano at City Opera, made a most successful debut as Gretel–her sweet-shaded soprano carried beautifully in the large house, and she was cute as a button in every movement.” Tatiana Troyanos, singing her first Met Hänsel, was the debutante’s partner. 1993: A Franco Zeffirelli Bohème conducted by Carlo Rizzi, starring Veronica Villarroel, Gwynne Geyer, Fernando de la Mora and Dwayne Croft, sounds like business as usual for this era, but there was an unexpected development. A note on the performance’s page in the archive reads: “As the houselights were dimming, a gentleman from the audience climbed onto the stage apron and proposed marriage to his seated companion; she accepted. The man wished the audience a merry Christmas, and climbed down. No delay occurred.” We wish them a happy 23rd anniversary of the engagement, and hope things worked out well enough for the wish to be tactful. 1998: A Danish baritone and an American conductor made a joint house debut in the Otto Schenk/Günther Schneider-Siemssen Fledermaus. Per the Times‘s Allan Kozinn, Bo Skovhus “proved a charismatic actor and sang with both power and playfulness,” while Patrick Summers led “a sparkling, gracefully paced performance that had both the warmth and rhythmic fluidity that the style demands.” Whirling along with them through the froth were Carol Vaness, Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, Jochen Kowalski and Michael Schade. 2007: A Russian conductor of pedigree, 27-year-old Vladimir Jurowski, had first appeared on this date in 1999 (Rigoletto). He made another Christmas Eve appearance eight years later, conducting a Hänsel und Gretel newly acquired by the Met but seen in Cardiff and Chicago in the preceding nine years. F. Paul Driscoll‘s review captured the qualities of a love-or-hate proposition typical of new productions in the Peter Gelb era: “[Richard] Jones‘s staging is a sweet-and-sour Hänsel, sharp-edged and short on sugar. […] [It] embraces Hänsel und Gretel as an opera suitable for adults.” Driscoll had mixed feelings about the cast (Christine Schäfer, Alice Coote, Rosalind Plowright, Alan Held and Philip Langridge) but only high marks for the maestro: “Jurowski’s first-class command of the Met’s orchestral forces gave full, uninhibited play to the score’s rhythmic variety and Wagnerian depth of color.”
Blood-and-guts singing is the reason to see Nabucco at the Metropolitan Opera this season. Featuring a vocally adventurous cast, and the keen conducting of James Levine, the company redeems a seemingly cheap and outdated production by Elijah Moshinsky, with passionate music making and searing theatricality. Nabucco, which is based on the play Nabuchodonosor by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornu, expands upon stories located within the Hebrew Bible. The Jews, having been conquered by the Babylonian king Nabucco (or, in the English variation, Nebuchadnezzar), win their freedom through the miracles of Jehovah and the overwhelming political power of conversion. Within this broad plot, there are Machiavellian machinations and romantic intrigues, especially regarding the king’s daughters, Abigaille and Fenena, and the Jewish Ismaele. The opera’s plot sympathizes with notions of colonization and misogyny. Abigaille, usurping Nabucco’s place as king and ruler of the Babylonians, exemplifies the stock character of the presumptuous, arrogant woman. And over the course of the opera, she reveals her true origins as that of a slave, compounding her pretentiousness. Moreover, the libretto figures Abigaille as a woman ruled by passion and emotion, and not by reason or sound judgment—much of what drives her is a jealous love for Ismaele, and a desire to seek revenge on his beloved Fenena. As to be expected within the opera’s nineteenth century context, all does not end well for Abigaille, who faces a stiff penalty for her female arrogance. Nabucco undergoes a similar trajectory of vanity and humiliation. Having declared himself a god, he is struck mad by Jehovah, and reduced to an embarrassing state of ineptitude. However, seeing the error of his ways, he repents to the “true” god of the Israelites, and in return he is granted his senses. With his mind in working order, he is able to regain his power, all while remaining devoted to a new religion. These themes of rising and falling, of madness and sanity, recall the topsy-turvy power dynamics of Shakespeare’s King Lear, a figure who undergoes a similar cycle of pride, humiliation, insanity, and reconciliation. Moreover, the relationship between Fenena, the true princess of Babylon, and Nabucco echoes the strained bond between Lear and Cordelia. In both cases, a tear in the Great Chain of Being, in which hierarchy is subverted, has dire, calamitous ramifications. I am less than eager to buy into these themes, merely because they work to reinforce the structures of patriarchy and heteronormativity that have long oppressed women and people of color. And while the opera sympathizes with the oppression of the Israelites, its means of undoing that oppression are hardly radical. The patriarchal king is merely reinstated, but this time with a new (patriarchal, in the truest sense) god leading the way. The mechanisms of power and oppression that created this scenario in the first place have hardly been reworked. While many may merely chalk this up to context (19th century Italy), it’s difficult to really engage emotionally with an operatic plot that seems so unaware of subversive, radical counter-discourses. Lest I am branded too politically correct, I will say that most of these trite narrative moves are overwhelmed by the sheer vocal force of a musical ensemble that cannot be stopped. To begin with Liudmyla Monastyrska brings a level of chutzpah to Abigaille I have not seen at the Met since Anna Netrebko seared my soul with her performance in Manon Lescaut. Full-throttled, gutsy, and campy (in the best sense of the word), Monastyrska stomps about the stage with life-affirming bravado. Her deeply satisfying Abigaille is one that borders on the edge of good taste. She is reckless, bold, and joyful; her performance is thrilling. In light of Monastyrska’s Abigaille, it is hard to get behind the political power of Plácido Domingo’s Nabucco, who appears more milquetoast than he probably intends. His baritone, as usual, sounds more like a tenor essaying a baritone role. But still, his singing is effective and moving, despite the sense that he is miscast. Jamie Barton and Russell Thomas are appealing as the lovers Fenena and Ismaele. Barton is especially moving, her dramatic commitment deepening a role that might be merely tossed off as one-dimensional. Her mezzo is elegant and rich as well, except at the end of her aria, “O, dischiuso è il firmamento!” when her high A spreads a bit. As her counterpart, Thomas is more reliable, and equally expressive. As Zaccaria, High Priest of the Hebrews, Dimitry Belosselskiy sings with a luxurious, exciting bass, his middle voice noteworthy for its resonance and evenness. However, his low notes are, at times, difficult to hear. But the real star of the evening, as is usually the case with Nabucco, is the chorus, under the supervision of Chorus Master Donald Palumbo. Their emotional reading of the evergreen “Va, pensiero” moves with a haunting solemnity. And, beyond this famous passage, the chorus contributes significantly to the evening’s overall appeal, cultivating a deep sense of the communal crisis that undergirds the opera’s drama. Conductor James Levine, warmly received in the house, pulls the entire ensemble together expertly, driving the Met Orchestra through the score. Moshinksky’s 2001 production remains odd and stylistically confusing. The costumes are especially confounding, resembling something somewhere between a summer stock production of Les Misérables and Xena: Warrior Princess. The large, overblown set turns on a turntable, gothic and shadowy, but does little beyond that to invoke the wonder and brutality of the ancient world. In the end, excellent music and courageous performances triumph over a lackluster production and weak libretto. Fortunately for us, enough miracles are located within the music, within the singing, and within the playing, to make any pagan a true believer in this Nabucco. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. Orchestra (Seat DD23, $25.) Story. See prior post. Conductor – Marco Armiliato; Chevalier des Grieux – Marcelo Alvarez, Lescaut – Christopher Maltman, Geronte di Ravoir – Brindley Sherratt, Manon Lescaut – Kristine Opolais. We again took advantage of the Rush Ticket program and got these tickets for the performance. We saw this same opera during the last season (February 2016), the roles of Manon and Geronte were taken by the same artists. What I intend to do below is just to record some additional observations. I had only a vague idea of the sets used in the opera (I think I confused them with what I saw in Manon) but they came back to me as the opera unfolded. My recollection of the February performance isn’t much beyond what I recorded in the blog entry, but I am quite sure at the end of Act 2 Manon wasn’t as indecisive in picking out what jewelry she wanted to take with her. Tonight it didn’t feel at all comedic, as I did last time (and calling it incongruent with the rest of the story.) The other difference was I wondered why there was a need for so many Nazis; tonight their presence was minimal. I do wonder if things indeed were different, or it was simply my perception. My impression of how Opolais did as Manon is the same: good, but not great. However, I thought both des Grieux and Lescaut did very well. There were quite a few empty seats, quite a few people moved after the first intermission. We decided to move also (and took seats Z7 and 9) after the second intermission. At regular pricing these are more expensive seats ($140 vs $95), but I actually found the acoustics weaker. I wonder if it was the singers getting tired or the actual locations. A blurry curtain call. From left: Sherratt (as Geronte), Alvarez (des Grieux), Armiliato, Opolais (Manon), and Maltman (Lescaut) One major change this year in the Met production was Anna Netrebko singing the title role for several of the performances. We didn’t get to see that. The New York Timesreview this season has a rather long discussion on the social significance of the story. A bit too deep for me. I do share her curiosity of what the setting of the opera is returned to the 18th century. [Added after initial post. A couple more points. One is the scene where des Grieux and Manon first meet is very similar to how Mimi and Rodolfo meet in La Boheme, down to "mi chiamo Manon Lescaut/Mimi." This opera was written before La Boheme. The Playbill also talks about how Puccini drew from both the French opera and Wagner traditions, with the result having a "French accent" (my phrase.) That may be true, but wouldn't that be even more serious with his later works such as La Boheme and La Traviata? Or did Puccini abandon the idea after this try?] Anne went to visit Ellie in the afternoon and parked her car in Hoboken. PATH trains run every 30 minutes late at night, so it was after 1 am when we got back.
By Jacob Stockinger This posting is both a news story and a holiday gift guide of classical recordings you might like to give or get. It features the classical music nominations for the 59th annual Grammy Awards that were just announced this past week. As you can see, several year ago, the recording industry decided that the Grammys should put more emphasis on new music and contemporary composers as well as on less famous performers and smaller labels as well as less well-known artists and works. You don’t see any music by Bach, Beethoven or Brahms this year, although you will find music by Mozart, Handel, Schumann and Dvorak. And clearly this is not a Mahler year The winners will be announced on a live TV broadcast on Sunday night, Feb. 12, on CBS. BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL “Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles” — Mark Donahue & Fred Vogler, engineers (James Conlon , Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette , Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra) “Dutilleux: Sur Le Même Accord ; Les Citations; Mystère De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement” — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers (Ludovic Morlot, Augustin Hadelich & Seattle Symphony) “Reflections” — Morten Lindberg, engineer (Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene) “Shadow of Sirius” — Silas Brown & David Frost, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Jerry F. Junkin & the University Of Texas Wind Ensemble) “Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow: Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9” — Shawn Murphy & Nick Squire, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra) PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, CLASSICAL Blanton Alspaugh David Frost Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin Judith Sherman (pictured below with the Grammy Award she won last year. She came to Madison to record the double set of new commissions for the centennial of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Pro Arte Quartet) Robina G. Young BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE “Bates: Works for Orchestra” — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony). You can hear excerpts in the YouTube video at the bottom. “Ibert: Orchestral Works” — Neeme Järvi, conductor (Orchestre De La Suisse Romande) “Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B-Flat Major, Op. 100” — Mariss Jansons, conductor (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) “Rouse: Odna Zhizn; Symphonies 3 & 4; Prospero’s Rooms” — Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic) “Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9” (below) — Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra) BEST OPERA RECORDING “Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles” (below) — James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus) “Handel: Giulio Cesare” — Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl & Anne-Sofie von Otter; Samuel Theis, producer (Il Giardino Armonico) “Higdon: Cold Mountain” — Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Emily Fons, Nathan Gunn , Isabel Leonard & Jay Hunter Morris; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers) “Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro” — Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Thomas Hampson, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni & Sonya Yoncheva; Daniel Zalay, producer (Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Vocalensemble Rastatt) “Szymanowski: Król Roger ” — Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecień & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House ; Royal Opera Chorus) BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE “Himmelrand” — Elisabeth Holte, conductor (Marianne Reidarsdatter Eriksen, Ragnfrid Lie & Matilda Sterby; Inger-Lise Ulsrud; Uranienborg Vokalensemble) “Janáček: Glagolitic Mass” — Edward Gardner, conductor; Håkon Matti Skrede, chorus master (Susan Bickley, Gábor Bretz, Sara Jakubiak & Stuart Skelton; Thomas Trotter; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Bergen Cathedral Choir, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Choir of Collegium Musicum & Edvard Grieg Kor) “Lloyd: Bonhoeffer” — Donald Nally, conductor (Malavika Godbole, John Grecia, Rebecca Harris & Thomas Mesa; the Crossing; below) “Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1” — Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir) “Steinberg: Passion Week” — Steven Fox, conductor (The Clarion Choir) BEST CHAMBER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE “Fitelberg: Chamber Works” — ARC Ensemble “Reflections” — Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene “Serious Business” — Spektral Quartet “Steve Reich ” — Third Coast Percussion (below) “Trios From Our Homelands” — Lincoln Trio BEST CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL SOLO “Adams, J.: Scheherazade.2” — Leila Josefowicz; David Robertson, conductor (Chester Englander; St. Louis Symphony) “Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway” — Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony) “Dvořák: Violin Concerto & Romance; Suk: Fantasy” — Christian Tetzlaff; John Storgårds, conductor (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra) “Mozart: Keyboard Music, Vols. 8 & 9” – Kristian Bezuidenhout “1930’s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2” – Gil Shaham; Stéphane Denève, conductor (The Knights & Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra) BEST CLASSICAL SOLO VOCAL ALBUM “Monteverdi” — Magdalena Kožená; Andrea Marcon, conductor (David Feldman, Michael Feyfar, Jakob Pilgram & Luca Tittoto; La Cetra Barockorchester Basel) “Mozart: The Weber Sisters” — Sabine Devieilhe; Raphaël Pichon, conductor (Pygmalion) “Schumann & Berg” — Dorothea Röschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist “Shakespeare Songs” — Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano, accompanist (Michael Collins, Elizabeth Kenny, Lawrence Power & Adam Walker) “Verismo” — Anna Netrebko; Antonio Pappano, conductor (Yusif Eyvazov; Coro Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia; Orchestra Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia) BEST CLASSICAL COMPENDIUM “Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle” — Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer “Gesualdo” — Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor; Manfred Eicher, producer “Vaughan Williams: Discoveries” — Martyn Brabbins, conductor; Andrew Walton, producer “Wolfgang: Passing Through” — Judith Farmer & Gernot Wolfgang, producers; (Various Artists) “Zappa: 200 Motels – The Suites” — Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Frank Filipetti & Gail Zappa, producers BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION “Bates: Anthology of Fantastic Zoology” — Mason Bates, composer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra) “Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway” — Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony) “Higdon: Cold Mountain” — Jennifer Higdon, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist (Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jay Hunter Morris, Emily Fons, Isabel Leonard, Nathan Gunn & the Santa Fe Opera) “Theofanidis: Bassoon Concerto” — Christopher Theofanidis, composer (Martin Kuuskmann, Barry Jekowsky & Northwest Sinfonia) “Winger: Conversations With Nijinsky” — C. F. Kip Winger, composer (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra) Tagged: 59th Annual Grammy Awards , Andreas Scholl , Andris Nelsons , Anna Netrebko , Anne-Sofie von Otter , Antonín Dvořák , Antonio Pappano , Arts , Bach , ballet , Baroque , Bassoon , Berg , Bonhoeffer , Bonhoffer , Boston Symphony , CBS , CBS-TV , Cecilia Bartoli , Cello , Chamber music , choral music , Christian Tetzlaff , Christopher Rouse , Christopher Theofanidis , Classical music , Cold Mountain , Compact Disc , concerto , David Frost , David Robertson , Early music , Frank Zappa , George Frideric Handel , Gesualdo , Gil Shaham , Grammy , Grammy Award , Grammy Award for Album of the Year , Grammy Award for Record of the Year , Handel , Hemingway , Henri Dutilleux , Ian Bostridge , Ibert , Jacob Stockinger , Janacek , Jennifer Higdon , Johann Sebastian Bach , John Adams , John Corigliano , Josef Suk , Judith Sherman , Karol Szymanowski , Keyboard , Leila Josefowicz , Los Angeles , Ludwig van Beethoven , Madison , Mahler , Manfred Eicher , Mason Bates , mass , Michael Daugherty , Michael Tilson Thomas , Mitsuko Uchida , Monteverdi , motel , Mozart , Nashville , Nathan Gunn , New York Philharmonic , Nijinsky , opera , Orchestra , Patricia Racette , Penderecki , percussion , Piano , Pro Arte Quartet , Prokofiev , Romance , Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra , San Francisco Symphony , Santa Fe Opera , Schumann , Seattle Symphony , Shakespeare , Shostakovich , singer , Sonata , songs , St. Louis Symphony , Stalin , Suite , symphony , tenor , The Ghosts of Versailles , The Knights , The Recording Academy , Thomas Hampson , trio , TV , United States , University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music , University of Wisconsin–Madison , vaughan williams , Verismo , Violin , Violin concerto , vocal music , Warsaw , Wisconsin , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Yannick Nézet-Séguin , YouTube , Zuill Bailey
Great opera singers