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Classical CD of the Month: Les Troyens From Strasbourg With Joyce DiDonato

Forbes
by Jens F. Laurson
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“Hector Berlioz’ epic Les Troyens: It’s daunting, it’s not particularly catchy, and it makes Götterdämmerung seem to go by in a breeze. It’s also a grand opera, perhaps even a great opera. Even so, it remains one of the more wonderful miracles of the classical music industry that a recording of this opera, of all works, should have made a record label… Now, 17 years after that last recording (not counting filmed versions, which have begun to outnumber pure sound recordings), Warner/Erato has issued John Nelson’s performance from Strasbourg with a modern-day almost-dream cast headed by Joyce DiDonato’s Dido. The result is controversial; I love it.

This recording topped my Meta-List of “Best Classical Recordings of 2017”that I compiled from a selection of such lists and is, in that sense, the most-saluted recording of last year …

On this recording you have the svelte and radiant voice of Joyce DiDonato’s as Didon … I’d like to think that for the amount of greater enjoyment I get from this interpretation over previous ones – up to the limit that my general skepticism towards the genre imposes on me – a modern listener inherently liking the genre will possibly also gain as much a greater enjoyment, if not more. And even if that weren’t the case, well… at least we’d have the ideal recording for those of us who might never love that type of thing but like it enough to expose themselves repeatedly. Either way: A worthy contribution to the small Trojan discography…”

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17 Aug

Exquisite partners in every way .... ! https://t.co/4Ee1QXn3w8

15 Aug

I know it's been a hot summer, but I hope you all can stand to embrace "Into the Fire" ~ it was a great joy for us… https://t.co/R95m1rPdMj

14 Aug

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I am *THRILLED* to let you know that “Shakuntala” - the first preview track of my new album "Into the Fire” has just been released on @AppleMusic and @Spotify. 🎧 Listen to it here: 🔗link in bio. Recorded live at the iconic Wigmore Hall, this recital with my treasured partners, the Brentano Quartet, was conceived around Jake Heggie’s song cycle "Camille Claudel: Into the Fire", a work written for me. Jake is not only a brilliant composer but he has also been a dear friend for many years. This new recording is truly one of most moving projects I’ve ever been part of and I hope will enjoy it. When Camille utters, “Thank you for remembering me” at the conclusion of this beautiful cycle, it is my hope that we not only remember her, but that we vigorously honor her genius and her vision, as well. @warner_classics . . . Photo: @chrissingerme Design: @lennysstudio #camilleclaudel #wigmorehall #brentanoquartet #joycedidonato #jakeheggie #strauss #debussy #lekeu

How to #paella, 101. #summerlovin #hadmesomerice #gambasforever

🎈 I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about the upcoming release of “Songplay” on @warner_classics . It's a truly unique project that unites extraordinary musicians from the worlds of opera, jazz, and tango in the pure pleasure of improvisation, experimentation, and exchange. Together we create our own musical language, surprising listeners with timeless melodies transformed and universal stories retold over centuries; songs in English, in Italian and – naturally – in the universal language of music. I had one of the most exhilarating musical weeks of my life recording the album #Songplay with a world-class band. Trust me: you’re going to remember each one of these guys! It’s an incredible family of musicians – bass, piano, trumpet, drums and bandoneon. We have essentially created our own sound-world, fusing together music from the Baroque era and classics from the jazz world – with a few other surprises tossed in,’ explains Joyce. ‘We’ve all let down our guard (some of us have even let down our hair) and we’ve each expanded the musical traditions that we have come from to create our own style for this album. It’s joyful, it’s exuberant, it celebrates great music, and it shines a spotlight on the timeless nature of a great song. I hope you’ll want to hear this album over and over, and will grow to appreciate the value of playing with a song! #Songplay - coming to you in February 2019. Stay tuned! Photo: @chrissingerme

Who doesn’t love a lady who lives life without apology? #TheFlorenceFoaterJenkinsStory is available NOW on Amazon Prime in the US and UK. At the end of our filming, I had a profound, new level of admiration and love for this astonishing and complex Lady. I believe you will, as well ... #watchnow @primevideouk @primevideo

Magique......

So happy to be back in #Paris for tonight’s #BastilleDay Concert at the #tourdeiffel. #liberté #egalité #fraternité http://www.maisondelaradio.fr/evenement/concert-symphonique/concert-de-paris

I love beginnings. What an inspiring day, yesterday, with dear @nezetseguin, as we begin a new journey together....do, oh DO, stay tuned! #newadventure #themezzoandthemaestro #summerlovin #badenbadenbliss #anticipation

Summer lovin’, has me a bla-hast .....

Leaving Athens with the fullest of hearts, having met these extraordinary - and I do mean EXTRAORDINARY - young men in Athens. They played and sang for me and with me, along with many other beautiful young people, and they deserve every single opportunity in the world. Thank you, boys, for bringing such beauty, joy, love, and peace to me! We will meet again! @alabrasabdullah @pouya.pouya.372 @vic_palazzo2004 #skaramagascamp @elsistemagreece

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There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato