Five recent releases of classic recordings

Five recent releases of classic recordings, available in all markets outside the United States.

First up is an album that not only features the music of Benjamin Britten, it is also conducted by him! Rave reviews of these recordings in Gramophone and the Penguin Guide, the latter of which calls these performances “memorable as [they are] joyous.” This album features two of Britten’s symphonies – the Spring Symphony and the Simple Symphony – and also includes four orchestral interludes from his opera Peter Grimes. This year on November 22 marks the 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth, which will be celebrated by series of concerts across the globe (including a four-month program at New York’s Trinity Church).

Hungarian-born conductor Antal Doráti enjoyed a long illustrious career which saw him hold the position of principal conductor at many of the finest orchestras across the United States and Europe. His contributions to music were so great that Queen Elizabeth II made him an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1983. We present two albums conducted by Doráti each featuring the works of iconic and essential twentieth century composers, Ottorino Respighi and Aaron Copland. The Respighi album has all three suites of his Ancient Airs and Dances series, which borrow from and are based on lute compositions from the Renaissance, and his beloved work The Birds. Aaron Copland is one of the most important American composers, and here we have Doráti conducting ballet suites and dance sequences from Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo. As with many of the budget re-releases in the Alto catalogue, these albums were specially compiled from multiple sources to maximize the total playing time of the album, with each of these two discs clocking in over 78 minutes in length!

There are many albums available featuring opera highlights of great arias performed by soaring divas or booming tenors, and many of these are indeed exquisite; we offer several such discs on our Alto imprint. What makes this album – Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves – a rarity is that it focuses not on arias but on the great choruses of the opera. Twenty of the most memorable choruses from the masterpieces of opera are on this album, and a complete listing is available on the catalogue page here. If you would prefer a complete opera, we are also offering Turandot. Giacomo Puccini’s final opera (completed after his death by Franco Alfano) would also be one of his greatest works; its aria Nessun dorma is one of the most popular and well-known arias of the twentieth century. This legendary recording features astounding performances by Birgit Nilsson, Jussi BjörlingRenata Tebaldi, and Giorgio Tozzi as the main personae.

Please click on the cover images above for more information on each of these albums, including track listings, reviews, and links to purchase these albums from our retail partners.