Six Evolutions: Bach Cello Suites

Yo-Yo Ma will release SIX EVOLUTIONS – BACH: CELLO SUITES (Sony Classical), his third and final recording of these works, on August 17, 2018.

Bach’s Cello Suites have been my constant musical companions,” Ma says of the music. “For almost six decades, they have given me sustenance, comfort, and joy during times of stress, celebration, and loss. What power does this music possess that even today, after three hundred years, it continues to help us navigate through troubled times?”


Yo-Yo Ma is more convinced than ever of the suites’ ability to create shared meaning that extends far beyond the here and now. The suites’ collective vision – at once divergent and coherent, empathic and objective – reminds us of all that connects us despite an increasingly discordant public conversation.


Bach and his Cello Suites entered Yo-Yo Ma's life when he was four, when he learned the first measure of the ‘Prélude’ to Suite No. 1 under his father's instruction, and these works have been a through-line in his life. His Grammy Award-winning, first complete recording of the suites, was made in his late twenties. His second, INSPIRED BY BACH, was released in his early forties and recorded alongside a multi-genre, collaborative exploration of the works. Both previous recordings of the Cello Suites, also on Sony Classical, became landmarks in the history of classical discography, as well as milestones in Ma’s musical life. SIX EVOLUTIONS begins a new chapter in the cellist’s 58-year relationship with this music.


“Now that I’m in my sixties,” Ma says, “I realize that my sense of time has changed, both in life and in music, at once expanded and compressed. Music, like all of culture, helps us to understand our environment, each other, and ourselves. Culture helps us to imagine a better future. Culture helps turn ‘them’ into ‘us.’ And these things have never been more important."


The August release of SIX EVOLUTIONS also signals the beginning of a two-year, six-continent journey in which Yo-Yo Ma will devote himself to Bach’s music, playing all six Cello Suites in single sittings in familiar and unlikely locations.


Ma wants to share Bach’s music with an exceptionally large and diverse audience, in celebration of culture’s role in society. Accompanying each performance will be events that seek to put culture in action by bringing people and organizations together to address pressing social issues. Ma believes that at a time of rapid change, culture must play a central role in shaping our future.


1. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - I. Prélude

2. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - II. Allemande

3. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - III. Courante

4. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - IV. Sarabande

5. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - V. Menuets I & II

6. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - VI. Gigue

7. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 - I. Prélude

8. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 - II. Allemande

9. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 - III. Courante

10. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 - IV. Sarabande

11. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 - V. Menuets I & II

12. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 - VI. Gigue

13. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 - I. Prélude

14. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 - II. Allemande

15. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 - III. Courante

16. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 - IV. Sarabande

17. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 - V. Bourrées I & II

18. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 - VI. Gigue



1. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010 - I. Prélude

2. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010 - II. Allemande

3. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010 - III. Courante

4. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010 - IV. Sarabande

5. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010 - V. Bourrées I & II

6. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010 - VI. Gigue

7. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011 - I. Prélude

8. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011 - II. Allemande

9. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011 - III. Courante

10. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011 - IV. Sarabande

11. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011 - V. Gavottes I & II

12. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011 - VI. Gigue

13. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 - I. Prélude

14. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 - II. Allemande

15. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 - III. Courante

16. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 - IV. Sarabande

17. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 - V. Gavottes I & II

18. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 - VI. Gigue


The Essential Joshua Bell (2CD)

The Essential Joshua Bell (2CD)

by Joshua Bell

CD 1

1 Tchaikovsky: Danse russe from Swan Lake, Op. 20 (Act III)

2 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: III. Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace from Concerto In E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64

3 Chopin: Nocturne

4 Puccini: O mio babbino caro (From "Gianni Schicchi")

5 Goldmark: III.  Moderato - Allegretto from Concerto No. 1 in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 28

6 Debussy: Beau soir

7 Sarasate: Introduction and Tarantella, Op. 43

8 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: May Breezes from Songs without Words, Op. 62, No. 1

9 Massenet: Elegie: O doux printemps d'autrefois

10 Paganini: The Carnival of Venice

11 Fauré: Après un rêve, Op. 7, No. 1

Beethoven: III. Rondo. Allegro from Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61


1 Gershwin: I. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso from Three Preludes

2 Gershwin: Nice Work If You Can Get It

3 G. Gershwin; I Gershwin: I Got Rhythm

4 Hess : Ladies in Lavender

5 Corigliano: The Red Violin

6 Corigliano: Pope's Concert

7 Corigliano: Coitus Musicalis; Victoria's Departure

8 Bernstein; Corigliano: Make Our Garden Grow from Candide

9 Bernstein: Excerpt from West Side Story Suite

10 Bernstein: New York, New York from On the Town

11 Hess : Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra

12 Meyer: Short Trip Home

13 Meyer: BT

14 Meyer; Bush; Marshall: Death by Triple Fiddle

15 Chopin; Meyer; Fleck: Mazurka in F-sharp minor, Op. 6, No. 1

16 G. Gershwin; I, Gershwin: Love Is Here To Stay

A Life in Music (2CD)

Jose Carreras A Life in Music (2CD)


A Life in Music (2CD)

by Jose Carreras
Sold out


CD 1: 
This CD presents the program of the world tour. With "Je te veux" by Erik Satie, "The impossible Dream" from the musical "The Man of La Mancha", "Libiamo, libiamo ne´lieti calici" from Verdi's "La Traviata", "Some enchanted Evening" from the musical "South Pacific".

CD 2: 
This CD presents a "Best of" of José Carreras's best known opera roles: Tosca, Turandot, Werther, Carmen and others including the famous "Nessun Dorma" and "Non piangere Liù" from Puccini's "Turandot".



José Carreras is a Catalan tenor from Barcelona who is particularly known for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini. Born in Barcelona, he made his debut on the operatic stage at 11 as Trujamán in Manuel de Falla's El retablo de Maese Pedro and went on to a career that encompassed over 60 roles, performed in the world's leading opera houses and in numerous recordings.

He gained fame with a wider audience as one of the Three Tenors along with Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti in a series of mass concerts that began in 1990.


CD 1

1 M.P. Costa: Era de Maggio

2 Edvard Grieg: T'estimo (I Love Thee)

3 Franz Schubert: Ave Maria

4 Erik Satie: Je te veux

5 M. Leigh: The Man of La Mancha - The impossible Dream

6.Di Lazzaro: Chitarra Rom

7. Vincenzo Acampora: Vierno

8. Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata - Libiamo, libiamo ne' lieti calici

9. Leoncavallo: Mattinata

10. Elgar: In The Dawn

11. Nardella: Che t’aggia di

12. Bellini: Fenesta Che Lucive

13 Leoncavallo: Sérénade Napolitaine

14 C. Cesarini: Firenze sogna

15 Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II: South Pacific - Some Enchanted Evening

16. Denza: Torna!

17. Johannes Brahms: Guten Abend, gut Nacht

CD 2

1 Giacomo Puccini: Turandot – Nessun Dorma

2 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Ave Verum

3 Giacomo Puccini: Tosca - Dammi i colori ... Recondita armonia

4 Giacomo Puccini: Tosca - E lucevan le stelle

5 Giacomo Puccini: Turandot - Non piangere Liù

6 Umberto Giordano, Luigi Illica: Andrea Chénier - Senza musa. Colpito qui m'avete ov'io

7 Umberto Giordano, Luigi Illica: Andrea Chénier - "Come un bel dì di maggio"

8 Franz Schubert: Mille Cherubini

9 Jules Massenet: Werther - Mais vous ne savez rien de moi

10 Jules Massenet: Werther - Rêve! Extase!

11 Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana - Tu qui, Santuzza?

12 Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana - La tua Santuzza

13 Georges Bizet: Carmen - C'est toi?  C'est moi

14 Georges Bizet: Carmen - Mais moi, Carmen, je t'aime encore


Howard Shore: Two Concerti

Lang Lang & Sophie Shao Howard Shore: Two Concerti


Howard Shore: Two Concerti

by Lang Lang & Sophie Shao

World-renowned for his many award-winning film scores including “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”, Howard Shore’s latest album “Two Concerti” shows that his immense compositional talents light up not only the cinema screen but the classical concert stage as well. Released on February 17, the album presents two specially commissioned works dedicated to the music of Frédéric Chopin - the piano concerto Ruin & Memory - performed by renowned pianist Lang Lang; and the cello concerto Mythic Gardens performed by award-winning cellist Sophie Shao.


Ruin & Memory – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was written in celebration of Chopin’s 200th anniversary and recorded live at its world premiere at the 2010 Beijing Music Festival – whose Arts Foundation commissioned the work. Composed specifically for Lang Lang, Ruin & Memory is Shore’s musical reflection of Chopin’s time and the life he led. About the work Shore explains “The title captures a bit of Chopin’s life, about where he came from and the world he lived in, and what happened when that world was no longer there. The piece is really a love affair with the piano, the intimacy, the tactile perception of that instrument.”


For the companion piece Mythic Gardens – Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra was commissioned for Sophie Shao by the American Symphony Orchestra. Shore took his inspiration from the architecture of three classic Italian gardens: Cimbrone, Medici and Visconti Borromeo Litta. The composer elucidates on his various muses “Growing up in Canada, I spent many summers in Northern Ontario. The surrounding natural beauty of the area was and remains a great inspiration. I believe that it is through this love of nature that I was able to connect so well to Tolkien’s work. The natural world influences the form of my compositions when writing for the concert stage as well. However, it is the incredible musicians themselves, such as Sophie Shao and Lang Lang, whose artistry is always at the center of my creativity when composing.”


Howard Shore is one of today’s most prolific and accomplished composers - his compositions are performed in concert halls around the world by the most prestigious orchestras and his numerous film scores are heard in cinemas across the globe. His scores for "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit" series have garnered him three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, as well as numerous critic’s and festival Awards. Other film scores include “Maps to the Stars”, “The Fly”, “Dead Ringers”, and “Crash” - all by the director David Cronenberg - and six films by Martin Scorsese. His off-screen accomplishments include: an opera of “The Fly” that premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, A song cycle “A Palace Upon the Ruins” featuring mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, and “Fanfare” for the Wanamaker Organ and Brass in Philadelphia.


Chinese pianist Lang Lang is one of the world’s most prolific and highest-profile performing and recording artists. His spectacular career has taken him from his home town of Shenyang in China to the world’s largest stages including performing at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. He performs for Presidents, Grammy Award Show audiences and sold-out concert halls alike. He is passionate about bringing classical music to wider audiences and launched the Lang Lang International Music Foundation to cultivate tomorrow’s top pianists and champion classical music education and growing young audiences.

American cellist Sophie Shao is winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions in recent years. She gave the UK premier of Mythic Gardens with the BBC Concert Orchestra and her passionate performances have been noted as “eloquent, powerful” (The New York Times) and “deeply satisfying.” (The Washington Post).


1. Ruin & Memory - I. Andante Nobile
2. Ruin & Memory - II. Largo
3. Ruin & Memory - III. Prestissimo

4. Mythic Gardens - I. Cimbrone (Moderato)
5. Mythic Gardens - II. Medici (Largo)
6. Mythic Gardens - III. Visconti Borromeo Litta (Presto)


Dolce Vita (CD)

Jonas Kaufmann Dolce Vita (CD)


Dolce Vita (CD)

by Jonas Kaufmann

Italy! Like nowhere else on earth – the sunshine and sea salt, the smell of citrus and coffee, a flirtatious glance, an incomparable song drawn deep from the heart. Italy and its immortal music have a magical pull on people like no other culture – and Jonas Kaufmann feels this particularly keenly. The new album Dolce vita is his tribute to this culture, this way of life that has conceived one immortal melody after the other for the tenor voice and influenced him so much. Now Sony Classical is proud to present this special collection of timeless Italian songs – sung by “The world’s greatest tenor” (The Daily Telegraph).


Jonas Kaufmann has had a special bond with Italy since his youth. Growing up in Germany’s most southern city – Munich, locally known as “the most northern city of Italy” – meant that holidays in Italy were just a car ride away for him and his family. Since spending these childhood holidays playing with local bambini, Jonas Kaufmann has absorbed much more than just the Italian language: long familiar with Italy’s ways, its southern temperament, its love of good food, and its fashion and flair, Jonas feels very much at home in this adopted culture. Naturally, much of the magic and authority that Jonas brings to the opera stage stems from his passion and understanding of this Mediterranean land and its music.


But the opera stage is not the only place where the magic of an Italian tenor melody is to be found. Many wondrous songs were written so perfectly for great tenor voices throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, such as Mattinata, which was dedicated to Enrico Caruso; Non ti scordar di me, which was first sung by Beniamino Gigli in the 1935 movie of the same title; and Parlami d’amore, Mariù, written for the future film director Vittorio De Sica to sing in the comedy Gli uomini, che mascalzoni. The passion and beauty of Italian melody can also be heard in such Neapolitan hits as Torna a Surriento, Core ’ngrato and Passione. Even some of today’s pop songs display the unmistakable stamp of italianità, as for example in Un amore così grande, which was first sung and recorded by Mario Del Monaco in 1976, or in Lucio Dalla’s Caruso and Romano Musumarra’s Il canto, written expressly for Luciano Pavarotti.


Now Jonas presents his own personal homage to a culture where the influence and beauty of opera are felt far beyond the walls of the opera houses. Jonas recorded the album in Palermo with conductor Asher Fisch and the Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo, who bring their innate Italian flair to this music. Jonas will present the songs live in concert later this season. 


1. Caruso

2. Mattinata

3. Parla più piano (The Godfather theme)

4. Passione

5. Un'amore così grande

6. Il canto

7. Voglio vivere così

8. Core 'ngrato

9. Ti voglio tanto bene 

10. Non ti scordar

11. Fenesta ca lucive

12. Musica proibita

13. Parlami d'amore Mariù

14. Torna a Surriento

15. Volare

16. Rondine

17. Con te partirò (Time to say Goodbye)

18. Il Libro dell’Amore (Book of love)  


Amy Dickson Glass



by Amy Dickson


1: Exploration of Glass’s music by classical saxophonist, Amy Dickson


This album continues Amy Dickson’s in-depth exploration of the works of leading contemporary composer, Philip Glass, who celebrates his 80th birthday in January 2017.


Amy Dickson’s fascination with Philip Glass’s music began 10 years ago when she discovered Glass’s Violin Concerto. After many hours transcribing the work for the saxophone and learning circular breathing in order to master the work, Amy recorded the Concerto on soprano saxophone in 2008 and this recording has been remastered for this release.


Last year, Amy set herself a further challenge - one more difficult than the original - to transcribe Glass’s Violin Sonata.


She has also recorded two pieces from the film ‘The Hours’, which have been arranged for saxophone and piano especially for this album.


2: Philip Glass’s 80th birthday:


The album will be released in the week that Philip Glass turns 80. Coincidentally, 2017 also marks the 30th birthday of the Violin Concerto (which was written as a memorial to Glass’s father), and 15 years since the release of ‘The Hours’.


It is also Amy Dickson’s 10th anniversary as a Sony artist, during which time she has released 7 albums.


For the Glass Violin Sonata and ‘The Hours’, Amy Dickson is joined by her long-term duo partner, pianist Catherine Milledge, with whom she recorded her first album, ‘Smile’.


3: BBC Music Magazine Review of the Glass Concerto:


“Amy Dickson’s arrangement for soprano saxophone actually works better than the original (which isn’t too surprising: Glass said he wrote the work for his own sound, not that of the violin). The fast passages sound crisper; the bubbling arpeggios and long slow notes have new varied textures thanks to the saxophone’s reedy depth; the insistent solo interjections in the finale now pierce the orchestra; and occasional violin-specific techniques, such as multiple stopping, are translated with no musical loss. It’s helped by a fine, clear recording (with the best percussion sound of any) with well-focussed wind lines, and the punchiest, best-driven brass power in the nicely-near-chaotic finale”.


4: Circular Breathing: 


In order to play Glass’s violin music on the soprano saxophone, Amy taught herself to circular breathe, a technique used by players of some wind instruments to produce a continuous tone without interruption. This led to a fascination with breathing techniques and the effect that they can have on health and well-being.


In an effort to help others learn to breathe better, Amy Dickson has established a schools’ campaign, ‘Take A Breath’ in association with the UK charity ‘Children and the Arts’. ‘Take A Breath’ aims to teach primary school children how to breathe well so as to be better equipped to deal with stress and anxiety. Initially tested in 2016, the campaign will be presented in schools throughout the UK from January 2017.


 Amy has also given a lecture on breathing techniques to students of the Royal College of Music, London.


1. Sonata for Violin and Piano (Arr. for Saxophone and Orchestra) - Movement I

2. Sonata for Violin and Piano (Arr. for Saxophone and Orchestra) - Movement II

3. Sonata for Violin and Piano (Arr. for Saxophone and Orchestra) - Movement III

4. Morning Passages (From "The Hours")

5. Escape! (from "The Hours")

6. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Arr. for Saxophone and Orchestra - I. Crotchet = 104

7. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Arr. for Saxophone and Orchestra - II. Crotchet = 108

8. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Arr. for Saxophone and Orchestra - III. Crotchet = 150






by Jonas Kaufmann

Has there ever been a performance of Mahler’s Song of the Earth in which both solo parts were sung by the same vocalist? Probably not, or at least not involving any of the great singers of the last 100 years. And certainly not on any of the 120 or so available recordings. The work, which was posthumously premiered in Munich in 1911, was described by Mahler as a “symphony for tenor, alto (or baritone) and orchestra”. It follows that two soloists have featured in every recording to date: either tenor and baritone or tenor and alto/mezzo soprano.


Jonas Kaufmann is the first soloist to be heard singing both parts. The recording will be released by Sony Classical on April 7.


The three tenor songs alone pose quite a challenge, particularly the opening “Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde” (Drinking Song of Earth’s Misery). What inspired Jonas Kaufmann to take on the three lower-pitched songs too?


“During performances I’ve often wondered why one needs two singers for these six songs. Of course, there are powerful contrasts between the songs and also clear differences in terms of their vocal tessitura. In spite of this, I was attracted by the idea of framing these six songs – despite all their differences – within a single overarching structure extending from the first song to the last. Also, I’m so fond of the songs for lower voice that during performances I get very jealous when listening to my baritone or mezzo colleagues, especially with regard to the final song, ‘Der Abschied’. So I’ve always toyed with the idea of one day singing all six songs.”


This idea took shape in June last year: in the tradition-steeped Great Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, where a number of outstanding Mahler performances have taken place, Jonas Kaufmann joined the Vienna Philharmonic under Jonathan Nott in a performance of Song of the Earth that was subsequently broadcast live.


“We can report that this experiment went far beyond the risky test phase and, in the end, became a complete work of art in itself,” according to an article in the Kurier newspaper after the performance. “Such an experiment would normally be considered pretentious but is absolutely logical in the case of Kaufmann, who is thus able to showcase the splendour of his baritone as well as the radiant upper reaches of his range. Besides the enormous amount of energy that went into the performance, which is commendable in itself, the concert with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Jonathan Nott proved to be a memorable experience of music and lyricism. Even the second song ‘Der Einsame im Herbst’ (The Solitary One in Autumn), which is written for baritone, was sung so touchingly by Jonas Kaufmann that the audience gave gentle applause between the verses. Drawing on brilliant cantilenas, excellent diction and intonation and exemplary phrasing, Kaufmann gave his own original account of the entire work.”


What Jonas Kaufmann found most intriguing in the project was the final song, which is the most poignant of them all. This composition by Mahler was influenced by the loss of his daughter Maria Anna, who died of diphtheria at four years of age. This tragedy was compounded when Mahler was forced to resign as director of the Vienna Opera and, not long afterwards, was diagnosed with a severe heart condition. Against this backdrop it is clear why this final song bears the title “Abschied” (Farewell) and contains a funeral march. But Kaufmann sees it as more than just an expression of sorrow and pain:


The final passage, with its harps and celesta and its repetition of the word ‘ewig’ (forever), has something redemptive about it: angels are bearing the soul to Paradise. To that extent I hear consolation and hope here. True, I also sense a certain melancholy but basically I feel relaxed, reassured and liberated after the final notes of ‘Der Abschied’.


1. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde - I. Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde

2. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde -  II. Der Einsame im Herbst

3. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde - III. Von der Jugend

4. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde - IV. Von der Schönheit

5. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde - V. Der Trunkene im Frühling

6. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde - VI. Der Abschied


L'Opera (CD)

Jonas Kaufmann L'Opera (CD)


L'Opera (CD)

by Jonas Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with “Rachel, quand du Seigneur” from Halévy’s La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet’s greatest works, “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen (1875) and “Au fond du temple saint” from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod’s “Ah! lève-toi, soleil!” from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Massenet’s masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way.


“The French operatic repertory is very close to my heart,” says Kaufmann. “This fascinating music reflects a unique period in European culture. I didn’t want to choose only highlights for this album but also works and roles that have been key experiences for me. Wilhelm Meister in Mignon, for example, was my first major French role – I sang it in Toulouse in 2001. Carmen and Werther helped to open doors for me. The fact that I sang my first Werther at the Paris Opéra of all places, as a German surrounded by a French ensemble, was undoubtedly rather risky, but I had some excellent guides to help me: répétiteurs, colleagues, conductors and, not least, the recordings of the legendary French tenor Georges Thill.”


What can be heard on Jonas Kaufmann’s new album is the musical heritage of a time when Paris, newly created by Georges Eugène Haussmann, became the center of the modern world in the 19th century. At that time the opera houses of Paris were the places to “see and be seen”. Their large, luxurious foyers offered fabulous opportunities for the public to gather and socialize. Their opera productions presented the audience with unheard-of exotic locations and staged spectacles beyond compare – the premiere of Halévy’s La Juive reportedly involved more than a dozen horses on stage!  At that time, the Parisian opera also fostered a creative exchange between German and French cultures. German composers such as Meyerbeer and Offenbach flocked to Paris and developed their international careers from there. Likewise, French composers were deeply influenced by German literary works – basing operas such as Massenet’s Werther and Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust on “best-sellers”; Kaufmann has selected scenes from both works for his new album. Often new operas would travel to German opera houses and beyond, after a successful run at the Paris Opéra.


This Franco-German connection is particularly appealing for Kaufmann: “Offenbach’s Hoffmann is, I think, an ideal symbiosis between German profundity and French imagination. And Jules Massenet captured the psychological depths of Goethe’s Werther with so many shades and hues that it’s beyond reproach. So in this respect I feel fully at home in it.”


This recording was made with Kaufmann’s award-winning “hometown” orchestra The Bavarian State Orchestra based in Munich, with whom he performs year-round, conducted by Bertrand de Billy who is an expert in the selected repertoire. Baritone Ludovic Tézier is Kaufmann’s duet partner in “Au fond du temple saint” from Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, and soprano Sonya Yoncheva joins Kaufmann for two scenes from Massenet’s Manon.


Jonas recently was in Sydney performing with Opera Australia in Wagner’s Parsifal at the Sydney Opera House.


1. GOUNOD · ROMÉO ET JULIETTE - “L’amour! … Ah! lève-toi, soleil!”

2 JULES MASSENET · WERTHER - “Traduire… Ah! bien souvent … Pourquoi me réveiller, ô souffle du printemps?”

3 AMBROISE THOMAS · MIGNON - “Elle ne croyait pas, dans sa candeur naïve”

4 GEORGES BIZET · CARMEN - “Je le veux! Carmen, tu m’entendras! … La fleur que tu m’avais jetée”

5 GEORGES BIZET · LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES - “C’est toi, toi qu’enfin je revois! … Au fond du temple saint”

6 ÉDOUARD LALO · LE ROI D’YS - “Puisqu’on ne peut fléchir … Vainement, ma bien-aimée”

7 JACQUES OFFENBACH · LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN - “Ô Dieu, de quelle ivresse”

8 GIACOMO MEYERBEER · L’AFRICAINE - “Pays merveilleux! … Ô paradis”

9 JULES MASSENET · MANON - “Enfin, Manon, nous voilà seuls ensemble! … En fermant les yeux, je vois là-bas”

10 JULES MASSENET · MANON - “Toi! Vous! … N’est-ce plus ma main que cette main presse”

11 JULES MASSENET · LE CID - “Ah! tout est bien fini! … Ô souverain, ô juge, ô père”

12 FROMENTAL HALÉVY · LA JUIVE - “Rachel, quand du Seigneur”

13 HECTOR BERLIOZ · LA DAMNATION DE FAUST - “Merci, doux crépuscule!”

14 HECTOR BERLIOZ · LES TROYENS - “Inutiles regrets! Je dois quitter Carthage!”



Lang Lang Romance



by Lang Lang

Romance showcases Lang Lang’s innate yet sophisticated feeling for nuance and reflection. Carefully selected from his Sony Classical discography, the selections achieve a fulfilling programmatic unity through subtle contrasts in mood and style. The slow, yearning repeated note themes of Liszt’s Liebestraum No. 3 and Chopin’s “Aeolian Harp” Etude naturally lead into Hans Zimmer’s captivating main soundtrack theme from the film Gladiator. Similarly, the juxtaposition of Chopin’s C-sharp minor Nocturne, Liszt’s Consolation No. 3 and the Adagio from Beethoven’s Sonata op. 2 no. 3 and Bach’s Air on the G String illuminates the common ground between four proudly individual composers. Romance casts fresh light on Lang Lang’s lyrical gifts, revealing the artist behind the phenomenon.


1. Liszt - Liebestraum No. 3 in A-Flat Major, S. 541 / 3

2. Bach - Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: III. Air, "On the G String" (Arr. for Piano)

3. Chopin - Nocturne Op. Posth., KK IVa, No. 16 (20a), in C-Sharp Minor

4. Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker, Op. 71: No. 14, Pas de deux, Var. II "Danse de la Fée Dragée"

5. Chopin - Études, Op. 25: No. 1 in A-Flat Major

6. Zimmer - Gladiator Rhapsody (From "Gladiator")

7. Bach - Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: X. Jesus bleibet meine Freude (Choral)

8. Tchaikovsky - The Seasons, Op. 37a: VI. June: Barcarolle

9. Frédéric Chopin - Études, Op. 25: No. 5 in E Minor

10. Liszt / Schubert - Ave Maria, S. 558/12

11. Chopin - Etude, Op. 10, No. 3

12. Liszt - Romance "O pourquoi donc" in E Minor, S. 169

13. Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2: II. Adagio

14. Chopin - Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22

15. Dudley - Poldark Prelude

16. Liszt - Consolation No. 3 in D-Flat Major, S. 172

17. Tchaikovsky - The Seasons, Op. 37a: I. January: At the Fireside



Riccardo Muti & Vienna Philharmonic NEUJAHRSKONZERT 2018 / NEW YEAR’S CONCERT 2018 (2CD)



by Riccardo Muti & Vienna Philharmonic

Few concerts can claim to generate such tremendous international interest as the New Year’s Concert from Vienna. Under the baton of the world’s leading conductors, the Vienna Philharmonic rings in the New Year with a gala concert from the magnificent setting of the Golden Hall in Vienna’s Musikverein. The event is broadcast to over 90 countries all over the world and watched by more than 50 million viewers.


In 2018 Riccardo Muti will conduct the prestigious New Year’s concert for the 5th time (1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004). Together with Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti is one of the most engaged New Year's Concert conductors since the era of Lorin Maazel. The conductor’s close artistic relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra celebrates 47 years, 500 concerts and dates back to 1971. In 2011, this exceptional bond was awarded with the Honorary Membership in the Vienna Philharmonic.


Johann Strauß II: Der Zigeunerbaron: Einzugsmarsch

The Gypsy Baron: Entrance March


Josef Strauß: Wiener Fresken op. 249*
Viennese Frescoes


Johann Strauß II: Brautschau op. 417*
Bridal Parade


Johann Strauß II: Leichtes Blut op. 319
Light of Heart


Johann Strauß I: Marienwalzer op. 212*
Maria Waltz


Johann Strauß I: Wilhelm Tell Galopp op. 29b*


Franz von Suppé: Boccaccio Overture*


Johann Strauß II: Myrthenblüten op. 395*
Myrtle Flowers



Alphons Czibulka: Stephanie-Gavotte op. 312*


Johann Strauß II: Freikugeln op. 326
Magic Bullets


Johann Strauß II: Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald op. 325
Tales from the Vienna Woods


Johann Strauß II: Festmarsch op. 452
Festival March


Johann Strauß II: Stadt und Land op. 322
Town and Country


Johann Strauß II: Un ballo in maschera op. 272
Ein Maskenball · A Masked Ball


Johann Strauß II: Rosen aus dem Süden op. 388
Roses from the South


Josef Strauß: Eingesendet op. 240
Letter to the Editor


John Williams Plays Bach (4CD)

John Williams Plays Bach (4CD)

by John Williams

The famous Bach recordings of two outstanding instrumentalists are also featured in this new release. Describing the 1982 recording of the Solo Suites by, arguably, the world’s favourite cellist, the Penguin Guide wrote that Yo-Yo Ma’s playing “has a characteristic rhythmic freedom and favours the widest range of dynamic. The improvisatory effect is seemingly spontaneous and these performances are very compelling indeed, for Ma seems right inside every bar of the music. The first-class recording is very real and natural.” This Grammy-winning cycle forms the heart of Sony’s new 6-CD Yo-Yo Ma reissue, which also has the American cellist performing Bach’s three Viola da Gamba Sonatas with harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper; transcriptions of Bach chorales and orchestral works plus cello concertos by Boccherini in collaboration with Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra; and, for good measure, concertos and other works by Boccherini and Johann Christian Bach with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra under Pinchas Zukerman. The Australian guitarist John Williams has long been universally recognized as “a true master”, to quote the Guardian. The centrepiece of Sony’s new reissue of his Bach recordings is formed by the Suites for solo lute. Also contained on these 4 CDs are Williams’s inspired transcriptions of the E major Violin Concerto (with the English Chamber Orchestra), preludes and fugues, chorales and movements from various suites. “John Williams is a superb technician,” wrote MusicWeb International, “and justifiably deserves the accolades heaped on him during his long career. His rendition of these works is most authoritative and executed with admirable fluidity.”



Lute Suite in E Minor, BWV 996 (Arr. J. Williams for Guitar)

1                  I. Passaggio - Presto

2                  II. Allemande

3                  III. Courante

4                  IV. Sarabande

5                  V. Bourrée

6                  VI. Gigue


Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998

7                  I. Prelude

8                  II. Fugue

9                  III. Allegro


Lute Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 997

10                I. Preludio

11                II. Fuga

12                III. Sarabande

13                IV. Gigue

14                V. Double



Lute Suite in G Minor, BWV 995 (Arr. J. Williams for Guitar)

1                  I. Prelude - Presto

2                  II. Allemande

3                  III. Courante

4                  IV. Sarabande

5                  V. Gavottes I & II

6                  VI. Gigue


Lute Suite No. 4 in E Major, BWV 1006a

7                  I. Prélude

8                  II. Loure

9                  III. Gavotte en Rondeau

10                IV. Menuetts I & II

11                V. Bourrée

12                VI. Gigue


13                Prelude in C Minor, BWV 999 (Arr. J. Williams for Guitar)

14                Fugue in G Minor, BWV 1000 (Arr. J. Williams for Guitar)



Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042 (Arranged by John Williams for Guitar and Orchestra)

1                  I. Allegro

2                  II. Adagio

3                  III. Allegro assai


4                  Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003: III. Andante (Arranged by John Williams for Guitar)

5                  Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: V. Chaconne (Transcribed for Guitar by John Williams)


Lute Suite No. 4 in E Major, BWV 1004

6                  I. Prelude

7                  II. Loure

8                  III. Gavotte

9                  IV & V: Menuetts I and II

10                VI. Bourrée

11                VII. Gigue


12                Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prélude (Transcribed for Guitar by John Williams)

13                Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009: Bourrée I & II (Transcribed for Guitar by John Williams)


Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998

14                I. Präludium

15                II. Fuge

16                III. Allegro



1                  Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140: I. Chorale (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

2                  Fugue in G Major, BWV 577 "Gigue" (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

3                  Violin Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, BWV 1017: III. Adagio (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)


Trio Sonata No. 6 in G Major, BWV 530 (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

4                  I. Vivace

5                  II. Lento

6                  III. Allegro


7                  Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971: I. - (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

8                  Pastorale in F Major, BWV 590: III. Adagio (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

9                  Trio in G Major, BWV 1027/4a (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

10                French Suite No. 6 in E Major, BWV 817: I. Allemande (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

11                English Suite No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 807: VI. Bourrée II (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ)

12                English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808: Gavotte I & II (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ by John Williams)

13                French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: VII. Gigue (Transcribed for Guitar and Organ by John Williams)


David Zinman Conducts Mahler Symphonies (15CD)

In recent decades, the outstanding American conductor David Zinman has elevated Zurich’s venerable Tonhalle Orchestra into one of the world’s elite ensembles. Their complete set of the Beethoven symphonies has achieved benchmark status, and the complete Zinman/Tonhalle Mahler cycle, reissued here, has also been widely acclaimed. “This is not Mahler for head bangers or hifi freaks,” wrote MusicWeb International, “although this set is definitely in the ‘demonstration’ class – because Zinman never loses sight of the music’s architecture, of the balance between Mahler at his most intimate and at his most extrovert.” Reviewing the Third Symphony, ClassicsToday declared: “This is pretty sensational … Zinman reveals himself here as a fearless Mahlerian who stands with the best.”