Sep 07

Sadko

By Kenneth Feucht Media, Music, Opera No Comments »

Sadko, by Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by Kirov Opera, Valery Gergiev – Dirigent  ????

Sadko used to be quite strong in the Russian repertoire of opera pieces, and one of the most recognized of RK. This production by Gergiev is very well done, with superb conducting, and awesome and expensive staging sets. No expense was spared on the number of performers/singers, ballet dancers, costumes, visual effects, etc. Unfortunately, the opera story is just plain boring, with a ridiculous plot. The music is delightful, but no pieces stand out as extraordinarily remarkable. It is superb R-K with a bad plot. There are other Russian works far more worth watching. This opera is best for those who have exhausted the standard repertoire and wish to explore the lesser known Russian works.

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Sep 07

Sacred Music

By Kenneth Feucht Media, Music No Comments »

Sacred Music-Cornerstone Works of Sacred Music – a Harmonia Mundi Compilation  ????

This set represents 29 CDs of sacred music from the time of the Gregorian chants through the 20th century. It is a broad mix, including selections of oratorios (Messiah, Paulus, Weihnachtsoratorium), masses, requiems, and singular pieces of church music. The quality of the production is quite variable. Various groups, such as Le Chapelle Royale with Philippe Herrweghe, or Les Arts Flourrisants with William Christie (the Messiah) were quite mediocre. Other works, such as Leonard Bernsteins’ Mass was performed well, though very mediocre as a compositional piece. I could have thought of many other late 20th century works of better quality and more representative of modern sacred music. Harmonia Mundi excels in productions of early music, and that is where this collection shines. The cost of this complete set is quite cheap, and thus a worthy addition to many collectors’ libraries.

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