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New Releases as of
June 29, 2011

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New DVD Releases

A Connecticut Yankee (Rodgers & Hart)
VAI DVD 4541 $29.95

More than a half-century before Monty Python’s Spamalot, the knights and ladies of King Arthur’s court were already on Broadway, singing and dancing in gleefully anachronistic fashion in Rodgers and Hart’s delightful musicalization of Mark Twain’s classic novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. This 1955 television adaptation, which was produced and directed by Max Liebman boasts a magnificent cast led by Eddie Albert, Janet Blair, Gale Sherwood, John Conte, and the legendary Boris Karloff as King Arthur. The unforgettable score features such songs as “Thou Swell,” “My Heart Stood Still,” and “To Keep My Love Alive.” 77 minutes, black and white, mono, 4:3 standard, All regions.

Jonah’s Mission (Tobias)
VAI DVD 4539, $29.95

A majestic and dramatic oratorio by the father of Estonian classical music, Rudolf Tobias (1873-1918). The libretto, assembled by Tobias himself, ingeniously unites texts from the Book of Jonah with verses from a wide range of scriptural sources. Thanks to the brilliant efforts of the pianist and musicologist Vardo Rumessen, a restored version of Jonah’s Mission (Des Jona Sendung) was given its premiere in 1989. This live 2008 performance by the Estonian national Symphony Orchestra is under the direction of the world-renowned Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi. Sung in German; subtitles in English, German, and Estonian. 126 minutes, color, stereo, 16:9 widescreen, All regions.

New CD Release

Boismortier: Sonatas for Cello and Other Instruments
Brooklyn Baroque
Quill Classics CD QC1010, $16.99

Brooklyn Baroque’s David Bakamjian performs six cello sonatas by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1789–1755), one of the most prolific composers of the French Baroque. Also on the program are two trio sonatas for cello and flute, featuring flutist Andrew Bolotowsky. The music brilliantly blends the French and Italian styles, balancing lyricism and drama—with plenty of luxuriant textures throughout. Performed on period instruments. With Rebecca Pechefsky, harpsichord; Christine Gummere, cello; and Carlene Stober, viola da gamba.

Recent CD Releases

Francesco d’Avalos: Compositions For Piano
Nireo CD 010, $16.99

Francesco Libetta, piano.

Francesco d’Avalos is best known as a conductor, but he was composing long before his conducting debut. His compositional style employs a traditional tonal technique and often evokes composers of the Romantic period, including Schumann, Strauss, Mahler, and Debussy.

Eriberto Scarlino: Compositions For Piano and Chamber Music
Nireo CD 011, $16.99

Francesco Libetta, piano; Eriberto Scarlino, piano; Ines Scarlino, piano; Rosa Maria Scarlino, piano; Giambattista Valdettaro, cello; Giovanni Ciccomi, piano.

Eriberto Scarlino (1895-1962) was a composer and pianist who taught and performed throughout his life. As a pianist he performed in Italy and abroad. His music maintains an equalibrium between Classicism and Romanticism. Also included are recordings Scarlino made in 1934 for Italian HMV. “I remember him as a great musician, teacher and colleague.” – Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.

Francesco Libetta, Music of Bach and Battiato
Nireo CD 040,$16.99

Francesco Libetta, Piano.

Piano transcriptions and original compositions by Franco Battiato. Music by Bach, Lully, Zipoli, Rameau, others.

Le Voce Di Lecce (The Voices Of Lecce)
Nireo CD 066     $16.99

Vanna Camassa, Luigi Demitry, Cloe Elmo, Franco Perulli, Niceta Rizzo, Franco Tafuro.

Historic performances 1930 – 1970. The best-known singer to hail from Lecce, Italy, was Tito Schipa. But there were great singers who were either born in Lecce or who worked and taught there; some of the best of these are represented on this CD. The audio sources include commercial 78s, live performances, and private recordings.

Recent DVD Releases

New Year’s Concert 2011 From the Teatro la Fenice
Hardy Classic HCD 4047 $34.95

Daniel Harding leads the Orchestra & Chorus of the Teatro la Fenice and soloists Désirée Rancatore (soprano), Antonio Poli (tenor), and Luca Pisaroni (bass-baritone) in music by Dvorak (Symphony No. 9), Bellini, Verdi, Mozart, Rossini, Puccini, and Donizetti. Ballet soloists are Emanuela Bianchini, Isabelle Ciaravola, Alessio Carboni, and Kledi Kadiu. 107 min., PCM Dolby Digital, 16:9, Color, All regions.

Kiss Me, Kate (Cole Porter)
VAI DVD 4535 $29.95

Never before available! Original Broadway stars Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison recreate their roles in this legendary 1958 television production of Cole Porter’s most beloved musical. Also starring Julie Wilson, Bill Hayes, Jack Klugman, and Harvey Lembeck. Produced and Directed by George Schaefer. Musical Director: Franz Allers. Choreography by Ernest Flatt. Black & white, mono, 4:3, 78 min., All regions.

The Desert Song (Romberg)
VAI DVD 4534 $29.95

Never before available! The legendary movie star Nelson Eddy in his only preserved live performance of a full musical production. This 1955 telecast of Romberg’s immortal operetta also stars Eddy’s frequent singing partner, Gale Sherwood, as well as John Conte, Otto Kruger, and Salvatore Baccaloni. Black & White, 4:3, 76 min. All regions.

Great Stars of Russian Ballet, Vol. 1
VAI DVD 4530 $34.95

A series of spectacular performances of ballet classics and modern works. The first volume includes The Dying Swan (Plisetskaya), the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake (Plisetskaya & Kovtun), the Béjart Romeo and Juliet (Maximova & Vasiliev), Don Quixote (Timofeeva & Godunov), and much more. Historic performances, 1971 – 1983. 95 minutes, color, mono, 4:3, All regions.

Great Stars of Russian Ballet, Vol. 2
VAI DVD 4531, $34.95

The second volume in this series of spectacular performances includes Icarus (Maximova & Vasiliev), Walpurgis Night (Maximova, Yagoudin, Vlasov), Raymonda (Kolpakova & Semenov), Don Quixote (Vaslieva & Galimullin), Black Swan pas de deux (Bessmeertnova & Bogatirev), La rose malade (Plisetskaya & Kovtun), and much more. Historic performances, 1955 – 1991. 93 minutes, color, mono, 4:3, All regions.

Great Stars of Russian Ballet, Vol. 3
VAI DVD 4532 $34.95

A series of spectacular performances of ballet classics and modern works. The third volume includes Nocturne (Plisetskaya and Verdishev), Don Quixote (Maximova and Vasiliev), The Flower Festival in Genzano (Paliy and Malakhov), Grand Pas Classique (Timashova and Gorbatsevich), and much more. Historic performances, 1972 – 1992. 97 minutes, color, mono, 4:3, All regions.

Great Stars of Russian Ballet, Vol. 4.
VAI DVD 4533 $34.95

The fourth volume in this series of spectacular performances includes Spartacus (Vasiliev), Don Quixote (Semenyaka and Baryshnikov), Swan Lake - Black Swan pas de deux (Tayakina and Kovtun), The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Kolpakova and Selutsky), and much more. Historic performances, 1968 – 1992. 95 minutes, color, mono, 4:3, All regions.

La Forza del Destino (Giuseppe Verdi)
Hardy Classic HCD 4046 (2 DVD) $49.95

The legendary live performance from June 19, 1978, with a stellar cast featuring Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Piero Cappuccilli, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Sesto Bruscantini, and Maria Luisa Nave. Giuseppe Patané conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the La Scala Opera House. Sung in Italian with optional subtitles in English, French. Italian and Spanish. Color, PCD Dual mono - Dolby Digital 5.1 - DTS mono, 4:3, 192 minutes, All regions.

Rita, ou Le Mari Battu (Donizetti)
Kicco Classic KCOU 9019, $39.95

Donizetti’s rare comic opera, whose title translates as “Rita, or The Battered Husband,” is presented here in a live performance recorded at the Teatro Bellini in Adrano (Catania) in September 2010. The cast includes Paola Quagliata, Carlo Giacchetta, Carlo Torriani; Francesco Ledda conducts. Sung in Italian with optional subtitles in Italian, French, English and Spanish. Color, stereo, 16:9 (widescreen), 60 minutes.

Ran Jia: Live In Recital
VAI DVD 4524 $29.95

The young Chinese pianist, Ran Jia, has been heard in concert in China, Germany, USA, Canada, and in broadcasts on WQXR (New York) and WFMT (Chicago.) She is currently studying with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Here she is heard in a concert at the Miami International Piano Festival, recorded May 14, 2010. The program features works of Scarlatti, Schubert, Schumann, Ravel and Rachmaninoff. As a bonus, Ran Jia is seen in conversation with Miami International Piano Festival director Giselle Brodsky. Stereo, Color, Widescreen, 102 minutes, All regions.

Gülsin Onay In Recital
VAI DVD 4523 $29.95

The Turkish virtuoso Gülsin Onay is heard in a recital at the Miami International
Piano Festival, recorded May 12, 2008. The program features works of Schumann, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Debussy, Elgar, Saygun and Bach-Busoni. “Phenomenal… transcendental virtuosity” (Tagesspeigel). Stereo, Color, 4:3, 76 minutes, All regions.

Ida Haendel & Misha Dacic – Live in Recital (2009)
VAI DVD 4529 $29.95

A live performance from the Miami International Piano Festival featuring violinist Ida Haendel and pianist Misha Dacic in a program of works by Schumann, Enescu, and Sarasate. Schumann: Violin Sonata No. 2; Enescu: Violin Sonata No. 3; Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen (“Gypsy Airs”). Bonus feature: Ida Haendel in conversation with Giselle Brodsky, Founder and Artistic Director of the Miami International Piano Festival. Color, Stereo, 4:3, 66 mins. (recital) plus 59 mins. (bonus), All regions.

The Enchantress (Tchaikovsky)
VAI DVD 4528 $39.95

A rarity among Tchaikovsky’s operas, The Enchantress (also known as The Sorceress) is presented here in a live performance by the esteemed Nizhegorodsky State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet; Pavel Reznikov, conductor (Moscow, 1984). Sung in Russian; subtitles in English, French, and Russian, Color, 4:3, 156 min., All regions.

Double Bill: Aleko (Rachmaninoff) / Kashchey The Immortal (Rimsky-Korsakov)
VAI DVD 4527, $39.95

A “double bill” of two Russian operatic masterpieces in visually and dramatically striking film versions. Evgeny Nesterenko stars in the title role of Aleko (1892), an early work of Rachmaninoff’s featuring a score full of colorful evocations of Gypsy life. With the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dimitri Kitayenko. By contrast, Kaschey the Immortal (sometimes called Kashchey the Deathless) is a mature work of Rimsky-Korsakov, based on the same Russian folk tale that inspired Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird. The title role of Kashchey is portrayed by the great singing actor Konstantin Pluzhnikov (who is also the Kaschey in the acclaimed CD recording conducted by Valery Gergiev). With the Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony Orchestra of Leningrad under the direction of A. Trifonov. Films produced 1986/1986. Color, Mono, with subtitles in English, French, and Russian, 124 minutes, Color, Mono, All regions.

Double Bill: The Stone Guest (Dargomyzhsky) and Mozart & Salieri (Rimsky-Korsakov)
VAI DVD 4525, $39.95

An operatic double bill, featuring two rarely-performed works of the Russian repertoire. Dargomyzhsky’s opera is a fascinating take on the Don Juan legend. Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Mozart and Salieri” is a brilliant exploration of the rivalry between those two composers. Casts include Vladimir Atlantov, Tamara Milashkina, Tamara Sinyavskaya, Alexei Maslennikov, and Artur Eizen; conductors Mark Ermler (“Stone Guest”) and Ruben Vartanian (“Mozart and Salieri”). Bolshoi Opera 1979/1981. Color, 4:3, Mono, 132 minutes; Sung in Russian, with optional subtitles in English, French, and Russian. All regions.

The Tsar’s Bride (Rimsky-Korsakov)
VAI DVD 4526, $39.95

Composed in 1898, “The Tsar’s Bride” was Rimsky-Korsakov’s tenth opera. Based on the true story of an ill-fated peasant bride of Tsar Ivan (“Ivan the Terrible”), the opera is filled with lush “cantilena” melodies. This 1983 Bolshoi Opera production features Alexander Vedernikov, Lydia Kovaleva, and Nina Terentieva, under the direction of Yuri Simonov. Color, 4:3, Mono, 158 minutes; Sung in Russian, with optional subtitles in English, French, and Russian. All regions.

The Golden Cockerel (Rimsky-Korsakov)
VAI DVD 4518, $39.95

Another important volume in VAI’s series of Russian operatic masterpieces, The Golden Cockerel (also known as “Le coq d’or,” or, in the original Russian, “Zolotoy Petushok”) was Rimsky-Korsakov’s last, and most modern opera. Completed in 1907, the opera’s biting satire of the Tsar and Russian imperialism made it controversial for its time, delaying the premiere until about a year after Rimsky-Korsakov’s death, in 1909. This DVD presents a stylistically authentic live 1986 performance by the Yerevan Alexander Spendiaryan State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, under the direction of the company’s Music Director, Aram Katanian. Includes optional subtitles in English, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. 123 minutes, Color, mono, 4:3, All regions.

Il Campanello (Donizetti)
Kicco Classic DVD, KCOU 9018, $39.95
Live performance of December 2009 from the Theater Bellini, in Adrano (near Catania) with Michiko Dekita, Sebastian Garramon Ferrada; Francesco Ledda, conductor. Sung in Italian with English, Italian, French and Spanish subtitles 61 Minutes, Color, All regions.

The Nose (Shostakovich)
VAI DVD 4517, $39.95

The Moscow Chamber Opera Theatre made operatic history in 1974 with their definitive production of The Nose by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975). It marked the first time this modern masterpiece had been performed in Russia since its 1930 premiere; rehearsals were supervised by the composer himself. In the words of Boris Pokrovsky, who founded the Moscow Chamber Opera Theatre in 1972, “Shostakovich loved us. He loved this production. He loved our young theatre as one loves children for whom one has high hopes. For our theatre, the association with such a great artist and human being became the inspiration for the future life of our company.” In Russian; subtitles in English, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. 111 minutes, Color, stereo, 4:3, All regions.

Masquerade (Khachaturian)
VAI DVD 4515, $34.95

The ballet Masquerade is a rarity. The Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) originally conceived the evocative score as incidental music for a 1941 production of Mikhail Lermontov’s play of the same name. The ballet, following Lermontov’s drama, more...

Soloists, Corps de ballet, Orchestra and Chorus of the Alexander Spendaryan State Academy Opera and Ballet Theatre; Hakob Ter-Voskanian, conductor. 63 minutes, Color, mono, 4:3, All regions

Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) (Mozart)
VAI DVD 4521, $39.95

Zubin Mehta leads the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in this historic live 1967 Salzburg Festival performance of Giorgio Strehler’s legendary production. Cast features Ingeborg Hallstein, Reri Grist, Luigi Alva, Fernando Corena, Gerhard Unger, and actor Michael Heltau in the speaking role of Pasha Selim. Sung in German; subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. 134 minutes, Black & white, mono, 4:3, All regions.
Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) (Mozart)
VAI DVD 4519, $39.95

Maestro Lorin Maazel leads the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and an all-star cast in this celebrated 1963 Salzburg production. Singers for this live performance include Graziella Sciutti, Hilde Güden, Evelyn Lear, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and Geraint Evans. The production is directed by Gustav Rudolf Sellner and designed by Michael Raffaelli. 180 minutes, Black & white, mono, subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. All regions.
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) (Mozart)
VAI DVD 4520, $39.95

Otto Schenk’s magnificent production is captured in this live 1964 Salzburg Festival performance starring Walter Berry, Pilar Lorengar, Waldemar Kmentt, Roberta Peters, and Walter Kreppel; the eminent conductor István Kertész leads the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. 168 minutes, Black & white, mono, subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. All regions.
Prince Igor (Borodin)
VAI DVD 4513, $39.95

The legendary bass Evgeny Nesterenko sings the title role in this thrilling 1981 Bolshoi Opera production. Though performances outside of Russia are rare, the arias for Vladimir and Igor are beloved staples of the tenor and bass repertoire, and the sequence of the Polovtsian Dances contains some of the most famous and beloved music in the entire classical music repertory. With the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Mark Ermler. 169 minutes, Color, 4:3, mono, subtitles in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian (cyrillic), All regions.
Petrushka / The Rite of Spring (Stravinsky)
VAI DVD 4516, $34.95

Two twentieth-century ballet masterpieces performed by major Russian ballet troupes. Petrushka is a live 1992 performance by the Bolshoi Ballet, with choreography based on the original Fokine. The Rite of Spring is a filmed 1990 studio production by the Moscow Classical Ballet starring Ilgiz Galimullin and Valeria Tsoi. 76 minutes, Color, Mono, 4:3, All regions.
Shirley Jones & Florence Henderson: First Ladies of Broadway - Bell Telephone Hour Telecasts 1960-1966
VAI DVD 4491, $19.95

Before they were the iconic TV moms Shirley Partridge and Carol Brady , Shirley Jones and Florence Henderson were stars of Broadway, movie musicals, and television variety shows. These performances from the Bell Telephone Hour television series showcase their far-ranging talents in a magnificent collection of beloved Broadway favorites. Program also includes solos by Broadway notables Jack Cassidy and Keith Andes, and duets with Gordon MacRae. 66 minutes, Color, mono, 4:3, All regions.
Jerome Rose Plays Schubert – Live In Concert: The Four Last Sonatas
Medici Classics M50059 $24.95

Jerome Rose is acclaimed for his performances of the German Romantics. Here he plays Schubert’s last four sonatas, the Piano Sonatas D. 894 (G Major), D. 958 (C minor), D. 959 (A major), and D 960 (B-flat major). Recorded live in 2010 at Yamaha Artists Services. Bonus: Notes on Schubert by Mr. Rose. Color, Stereo, Widescreen, HD, 146 min. All regions.
Alberto Reyes Plays Schumann
VAI Audio CD 1273-2, $16.99 (2 CDs for the price of 1)

Alberto Reyes celebrates the Schumann year with performances of the major piano works. “Kinderszenen”, Op. 15; “Kreisleriana”, Op. 16 and “Fantasy in C major, Op. 17”.

Reyes’ previous release “Alberto Reyes Plays Chopin” (VAI CD 1271-2) won critical accolades from “Gramophone”, BBC Music Magazine”, “International Piano”, and other major publications.
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