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Top 10 Delos Albums of 2011 – Top Five
30 Dec 2011
Delos Music

We’re wrapping up the countdown to 2012 with the continuation of our feature on the top 10 albums (by sales) of 2011! Today we reveal the Top Five bestselling Delos albums of 2011!

#5 – The Art of Theremin

The Art of Theremin

Clara Rockmore, Theremin
Nadia Reisenberg, piano

“WEIRD VIBRATIONS – What with the rave documentary ‘Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey’ having played across the country, and more and more rock bands using the theremin, the first electronic instrument, people are waking up to the sounds that made ‘Good Vibrations’ vibrate. If you want to hear more, pick up a copy of the CD ‘The Art of the Theremin: Clara Rockmore’. The disc came out 1987, but has seen a resurgence since the film came out. The quirky film revolves around the lives of theremin inventor Leon Theremin and Rockmore, his musical partner and romantic interest. The CD consists of classical tunes played by Rockmore on theremin, accompanied by only a pianist. Sometimes sounding like ghosts in the attic, it’s a perfect Halloween gift.” – The Patriot Ledger

“‘The Art of the Theremin’ is a true curiosity. Clara Rockmore, a pioneer of the theremin, apparently came out of retirement to make this recording. The theremin, which sounds vaguely like an excited female soprano, is one of the earlier electronic instruments in which the player uses the motion of her hands to play distinct notes. If the instrument sounds familiar to you, it is because Miklo Rosza used it to great effect in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Spellbound’ in 1945. It became so identified with that film that it was seldom used again. But on this recording the instrument soars through Rachmaninov’s ‘Vocalise’, Saint-Saens’ full-throated ‘The Swan’, and other selections by Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. Rockmore is extraordinary in this first commercial recording of her work. It was produced by none other than electronic music pioneer Robert Moog. The theremin produces a throbbing vibrato that will at first amaze you, then delight you, and finally overwhelm you – if it doesn’t send you running from the room. This is one CD best taken in small doses.” – Digital Audio’s Compact Disc Yearbook 1988

Program:

Rachmaninoff: Vocalise (3:44)
Song of Grusia (4:15)
Saint-Saens: The Swan (2:56)
Falla: Pantomime (3:44)
Achron: Hebrew Melody (5:22)
Wieniawski: Romance (4:45)
Stravinsky: Berceuse (3:06)
Ravel: Piece en forme de Habanera (2:41)
Tchaikovsky: Berceuse (4:12)
Tchaikovsky: Valse sentimentale (2:06)
Tchaikovsky: Serenade melancolique (7:40)
Glazunov: Chant du menestrel (4:00)

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#4 – Mozart: Clarinet Concerto/Quintet

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto/Quintet

David Shifrin, clarinet

Mostly Mozart Orchestra – Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Chamber Music Northwest

‘Record of the Year’ Award, Stereo Review

“‘Recording of Distinction. Superb recording of two great works… Like hearing them for the first time… A gem. Not to be missed.” – Ovation

Mozart’s original versions – played on an extended-range clarinet

This is the one that made David Shifrin famous and became a perennial best-seller for Delos. These two masterpieces for clarinet have entered contemporary life through films: A melody from the Concerto soared through “Out of Africa,” while the Quintet compelled Salieri to acknowledge Mozart’s genius in “Amadeus.” Shifrin, Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, is one of the world’s great clarinetists. “If there is a bel canto school of clarinet playing, Shifrin is surely its finest exponent,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. This recording offers something more than its lyrical performances and superb recorded sound. You’ll notice that the cover shows Shifrin with two clarinets. One of them is a specially elongated instrument which allows him to perform both works with their original melodic contours. Because the clarinet has been shortened and simplified during the nearly two centuries since Mozart’s death, modern instruments are not capable of reaching the low notes in the original works. When musicians play the Concerto and Quintet on the modern clarinet today, parts of whole phrases are transposed an octave higher. Much of the clarinet voice in the Concerto, for example, suffers from breaks in mid-phrase. So Shifrin set out to remedy this problem by designing an instrument that would accomodate the lower register of the Concerto. The result: an extended-range clarinet built for him by the distinguished wind-instrument maker, Leonard Gullotta. Shifrin attaches a unique lower joint, incorporating a system of alternating keys for the little fingers, to the top half of his regular clarinet. Though this adds about eight inches and five pounds to the instrument, and in the soloist’s words, ‘looks like an awful lot of hardware,’ the music ‘takes on a more bittersweet quality, deeper and fuller.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622
Gerard Schwarz, conductor, Mostly Mozart Orchestra

Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581
Chamber Music Northwest

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#3 – Ceremony of Carols


CEREMONY of CAROLS


Etherea Vocal Ensemble

Etherea’s Debut Album
Debuted at #4 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart
Debuted at #3 on iTunes Classical Album Chart

A Ceremony of Carols (Benjamin Britten): Procession ? Wolcom Yole! ? There is no Rose ? That youngë child ? Balulalow ? As dew in Aprille ? This little Babe ? Interlude In freezing winter night ? Spring Carol ? Deo Gracias ? Recession

Noel (traditional)
Gabriel’s Message (traditional)
Impromptu for Harp (traditional)
In dulci jubilo (traditional)
Good King Wenceslas (traditional)
I Saw Three Ships (traditional)

Dancing Day (John Rutter): Prelude ? Angelus ad Virginem ? A virgin most pure ? Personet hodie ? Interlude ? There is no rose ? Coventry Carol ? Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

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Ceremony of Carols - Etherea Vocal Ensemble, Grace Cloutier & Alan Murchie

#2 – Veri Arias

VERDI ARIAS
Sondra Radvanovsky, soprano
Constantine Orbelian, conductor
Philharmonia of Russia
Academy of Choral Art, Moscow
DE 3404

“a true Verdian, with a big, juicy, vibrato-rich sound” London Times

“today’s most exciting Verdian spinto” Opera Canada

“the Leonora of our time” San Francisco Sentinel

Il Trovatore: “Tacea la notte” • “D’amor sull’ali rosee” • Un ballo in Maschera: “Ecco l’orrido campo… Ma dall’arido stelo divulsa” • Il Corsaro: “Non so le tetre immagini”La Forza del destino: “Pace, pace, mio Dio!” • “La vergine degli Angeli” • Ernani: “Ernani, Ernani involami”Aida: “O patria mia” • I vespri siciliani: “Arrigo! Ah, parli a un cor” • “Bolero”

Sondra Radvanovsky has been hailed as one of the great Verdi singers of the new generation, and this magnificent debut album from the American soprano demonstrates what all of the excitement is about. As George Loomis puts it, “At a time when genuine Verdi sopranos seem rarer than heldentenors, Sondra Radvanovsky is cause for joy. Her brightly lustrous voice of generous proportion can amply fill out Verdi’s arching phrases and is backed by an interpretive flair that brings the composer’s heroines to life.”

Sondra has been called “the ‘Leonora’ of our time” (San Francisco Sentinel), “today’s most exciting Verdian spinto” (Opera Canada), and “a true Verdian, with a big, juicy, vibrato-rich sound” (London Times). “The evening’s stand-out performance came from Sondra Radvanovsky, an impassioned, big-voiced Leonora,” wrote Edward Seckerson in London’s The Independent. “Firstly, it’s a real Verdi colour, plangent, open, with bags of reach. But she’s not all about big notes, this singer (though heaven knows she has them); her way with Verdi’s expressively
exacting hairpin dynamics was arresting and affecting in both her big arias.”

Sondra has sung in every major opera house in the world including Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and numerous others. Her home is the Metropolitan Opera, where she has recently sung Stiffelio with Domingo conducting.

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#1 Bestselling Delos Album of 2011 – Verdi Opera Scenes

Verdi Opera Scenes

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, baritone
Sondra Radvanovsky, soprano
Constantine Orbelian, conductor
Philharmonia of Russia

VERDI:
Un Ballo in Maschera,Act 3: “Morró, ma prima in grazia,” “Eri tu”
Don Carlo, Act 4: “O Carlo, ascolta”
Simon Boccanegra, Act 1: Recognition Scene
Il Trovatore • Act 4: Confrontation scene

ENCORES:
Dvorák: Rusalka • “Song to the Moon”
Mozart: Don Giovanni • “Deh vieni alla finestra”
Puccini: Tosca • “Vissi d’arte”

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Purchase Verdi Opera Scenes:

Verid Opera Scenes - Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Constantine Orbelian, Sondra Radvanovsky & Russia Philharmonia
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Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115
Bartók: Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Sz 111
Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Mozart: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major, K 581
Mozart: Serenade for Winds no 11 in E flat major, K 375
Seiber: Serenade for 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons and 2 Horns
Music for Viola and Gypsy Band
Bolcom: Afternoon Cakewalk
Brahms: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 120 no 1
Brahms: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 114
Piazzolla: La muerte del Angel
Debussy: Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Piano
Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in B-flat major, FP 184
Martinu: Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, H 356
Hindemith: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Lutoslawski: Dance Preludes (5) for Clarinet and Piano
Debussy: Two pieces from Children's Corner arr. for clarinet and piano by David Schiff
Debussy: Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Piano
Mozart: Parto, ma tu ben mio from La Clemenza di Tito
Dvorak: Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44
Mozart: Serenade for Winds no 10 in B flat major, K 361 (370a) "Gran Partita"
Weber: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B flat major, J 182/Op. 34
Weber: Variations (7) for Clarinet and Piano from "Silvana," J 128/Op 33
Weber: Grand Duo concertante for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major, J 204/Op. 48
Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D 965/Op. 129 (The Shepherd on the Rock)
Dvorak: Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44
Strauss: Duet-Concertino for Clarinet, Bassoon, Strings and Harp, AV 147
Piazzolla: Oblivion
Rogerson: Constellations
Bunch: Ralph's Old Records for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello, and PIano
Schickele: Serenade for Three
Schickele: Clarinet Quintet "Spring Ahead"
Shulman: Rendezvous
Etler: Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Ensemble
Mozart: Serenade for Winds in E-flat Major, K. 375
Beethoven: Quintet for Piano, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn in E flat major, Op. 16
Bruch: Eight Pieces for viola, clarinet, and piano, Op. 83
Davidovsky: Septet for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass
Beethoven: Septet in E flat major, Op. 20
Jalbert: Street Antiphons
Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115
Mozart: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major, K 581
Stravinsky: L'histoire du soldat