Notes & Reviews:
Decca presents six new titles in the VIRTUOSO series. With stellar recordings, famous artists, strong visuals, innovative booklet notes and best-selling composers, all offered at an excellent price, the Virtuoso series makes serious classical music approachable without compromise. This album includes Britten's Four Sea Interludes, performed by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, conducted by Benjamin Britten.
In The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Britten encourages the London Symphony Orchestra to playing of wit and character as well as high virtuosity, while the English Chamber Orchestra are scarcely less impressive in a wonderfully communicative performance of the Frank Bridge Variations.
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Strauss: Four Last Songs, etc / Karajan, Janowitz, Berlin PO
Khachaturian: Spartacus; Masquerade; Gayaneh / Stanley Black, LSO
Barber & Sibelius: The Violin Concertos / Joshua Bell, violin; Boris Belkin, violin. Baltimore SO, Zinman; Philharmonia Orch., Ashkenazy
Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs; Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, Rückert-Lieder et al. / Kiri Te Kanawa, Brigitte Fassbaender. Vienna PO, Solti
Kenneth Fuchs (b.1956): Falling Man; Movie House; Songs of Innocence and of Experience / Roderick Williams, baritone
Bizet: Carmen (highlights) / Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras, José van Dam, Katia Ricciarelli. Karajan
Verdi: Rigoletto (highlights) / Shicoff, Gruberova, Fassbaender, Bruson. Sinopoli
Kenneth Fuchs: Atlantic Riband; American Rhapsody; Divinum Mysterium / Michael Ludwig, violin; Paul Silverthorne, viola
Sibelius: Finlandia; Symphony No. 2 / Kamu, Karajan, Berlin PO