The World of Compact Discs

By Paterson, Anthony | Contemporary Review, March 1997 | Go to article overview

The World of Compact Discs


Paterson, Anthony, Contemporary Review


One of the most exciting opera recordings in 1996 was Puccini's Tosca from TELDEC (O63O-12372-2) in a two CD set at full price. This recording is a newly edited and remixed version of the original soundtrack of the film of the opera made on location in Rome. Placido Domingo sings Cavaradossi and Catherine Malfitano, Tosca. Scarpia is sung by Ruggero Raimondi and the Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Roma della Rai are conducted by Zubin Mehta. Tosca, like Aida, stands as one of the monumental verismo operas of the nineteenth century and this production captures the grandeur and vastness of the operatic canvas on which Puccini created his first fully symphonic opera. This is Puccini at his grandest and most theatrical. Because the recording was first made for the film, recordings took place in various parts of Rome. This adds a tremendous sense of verisimilitude to an opera that is set in Rome at the opening of the nineteenth century. The singing is excellent throughout. Domingo's Cavaradossi is compelling listening and Catherine Malfitano's Tosca reaches the depth of tragedy and, at times, reminds one of the performances of Maria Callas. Ruggero Raimondi's Scarpia haunts the recording with a sense of looming evil, just as the character haunts the production.

New releases featuring the piano include NIMBUS Records six CD set of Mendelssohn's Complete Piano Music (NI 1772) at a most reasonable price. On these recordings the soloist is Martin Jones who won the Dame Myra Hess Award in 1968 and went on to become a concert pianist in Britain, Europe and America. He is now a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. This is a tremendous undertaking because Mendelssohn's music for the piano includes sonatas, songs without words, fugues, preludes, caprices, fantasies and variations and because the pieces were composed over many years. In addition they range from the reasonably simple score to the elaborate. Martin Jones' musicianship is perhaps seen at its best in his playing of the 'Songs Without Words.' For many years Mendelssohn's music for the keyboard was neglected but this six CD set, so beautifully played by Martin Jones, will do much to earn Mendelssohn's music for the keyboard the attention it deserves. VoxBox has issued the third volume in its Beethoven Sonatas series with the incomparable Alfred Brendel at the piano. This is a two CD set (CDX 5-56) which contains sonatas 1,5,6,9,10,13,14 ('The Moonlight'), 15 ('Pastorale') and 25. The composition of these sonatas began when Beethoven was unknown outside Vienna and end when he had become one of Europe's leading composers. The collection gives us not only some of the most beautiful music ever written but an object lesson in the composer's development. The final selection comes from CARLTON CLASSICS and features Cristina Ortiz playing Clara Schumann's Piano Music (30366 00292). Clara Wieck's love affair with Robert Schumann is one of the great stories of musical history as is her own reputation as a concert pianist. Her compositions for the keyboard are much less well known and almost all date from her early years. They range from the delightful Scherzo in D Minor to the subtleties of her Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann (Opus 20). The pianist here is the Brazilian born Cristina Ortiz who made the recordings on a Bosendorfer piano in London's Conway Hall. This type of piano gives the music a welcome lilt. This is a most welcome addition to our repertoire of nineteenth century piano music.

A new CD of Beethoven's Overtures has recently been released by TELDEC at full price (0630-13140-2). The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt in this 'limited edition'. The eight tracts contain the overtures to Coriolanus, The Creatures of Prometheus, The Ruins of Athens, Fidelio, Egmont and Leonore (all three versions). Except for the Coriolanus overture all the tracks are live recordings made in Vienna, Athens and Graz, the conductor's home.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The World of Compact Discs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.