Giuseppe Verdi – Rigoletto – Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlo Maria Giulini (1980/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:59:30 minutes | 1,95 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front cover | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: in Vienna, Musikverein, Großer Saal in September 1979.

“This is not one of the most famous recordings of Verdi’s warhorse, but in my opinion it is the best. The great Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini stays away from the melodramatic caricature of opera that this can easily turn into, and brings out the dark, brooding colors of the drama and of the music. He combines lyricism with the greatest dramatic power, at speeds which feel exactly right, even though they are slower than most. And not only does he have a superb individual view of the piece, he is a sensitive accompanist, too, giving the excellent Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra its full dominance without drowning out the singers. And what singers! The velvety, golden voice of Piero Cappuccilli, used with unfailing intelligence and musicality; the warm, gorgeous voice of Plácido Domingo; and perhaps most stunning of all, the bewitching lyric soprano of Ileana Cotrubas, the best Gilda I have ever heard. These singers may not hit the stratospheric unwritten high notes on the Bonynge recording with Pavarotti, Milnes and Sutherland, but they do offer consistently refined, thoughtful and beautiful singing. Cotrubas’ radiant singing alone is worth the modest price of this set. The great Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov makes a riveting, dark-toned Sparafucile; Elena Obraztsova sings Maddalena perfectly well, though not on the level of her colleagues. Kurt Moll is cast luxuriously as Monterone. At mid-price, with full libretto and translation and with excellent work from the VPO and chorus, this is a Rigoletto that must be in all Verdi collections.”

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Georg Philipp Telemann – Concertos & cantata Ihr Volker Hort – Florilegium, Clare Wilkinson (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:24:51 minutes | 1,5 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: channelclassics.com | Booklet, Front Cover | © Channel Classics Records
Recording: St. Michael’s Church, Highgate, London, uk, 1­3 December 2015

As I look back over the last 25 years of performances and recordings (our debut concert was in London on 13 July 1991) I hope and trust that we still offer our audiences the same enthusiasm and excitement for baroque and classical music that we had in the early days. Concert performances have taken us all over Europe, to the Far East and Australia and throughout North and South America. In recent years our work in the Mission Churches of the Chiquitos and Moxos Indians in Bolivia has had a much wider impact than we could have imagined, promoting a rich cultural heritage that was until 10 years ago almost entirely unknown outside of Bolivia. Our recordings for Channel Classics during this period have not only embraced mainstream baroque music but also given rise to some unique projects, which have demonstrated the mutual trust and respect we have for each other. The opportunity to propose and then record some of these seemingly crazy ideas I have had over the years has further strengthened our relationship with Channel Classics, a record company who trust its artists integrity and take a keen interest in their development and promotion. Over the years the membership of the ensemble has naturally evolved and instead of seeing change as a weakness, I feel strongly that each new member has brought something unique to the ensemble and offered us a refreshing insight into repertoire we have known and loved for years, reinvigorating the ensemble. So to the next 25 years!

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