Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, men of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and bass soloist Alexey Tikhomirov in this poignant performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, Op. 113 (Babi Yar), recorded live in September 2018.
Riccardo Muti conducts a fine cast in the powerful and atmospheric 1991 production of Verdi's ninth opera, whose story of the heroic tussle between Ezio, a Roman general, and Attila, the Nordic invader was written for the 1846 Teatro la Fenice season and premiered there to huge acclaim.
Maria Guleghina impresses strongly. To my mind she is Puccini’s ideal ‘tart with a heart for gold’. She has control and sensitivity and she acts everybody off the stage. She’s coy (but with just a hint of being street-wise) in Act I, outrageously flighty and avaricious in Act II, and, at last, contrite in Act IV. Just watch her as she taunts Geronte di Ravoir (a far too gentlemanly Luigi Roni) in Act II and the way she disports herself on the floor of the stage to seduce Des Grieux back to her charms.
Verdi's 1855 Paris opera which followed Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La Traviata is treated to a performance of blazing energy and intimate refinement with a superb cast which includes Cheryl Studer and Chris Merritt. The rarely-seen third act ballet is included complete, with the internationally-acclaimed dancers Carla Fracci and Wayne Eagling.
TDK presents an impressive staging of one of Rossini’s opera masterpieces. This production, staged by La Scala Milan is conducted by Riccardo Muti. Moïse et Pharaon - Rossini’s re-adaptation of the story of Moses in Egypt - emphasizes the dramatic moments of the biblical account beautifully and also demonstrates the composer‘s mastery of the French tradition: solos and choral work are superb compositions, the duets are expressive and touching. Including an extensive ballet scene at the beginning of Act III and featuring a preeminent international cast of singer-actors – Erwin Schrott, Barbara Frittoli, Sonia Ganassi - this recording brings a Rossini experience of the highest rank onto the screen.
Director Werner Herzog and conductor Riccardo Muti combine with the finest of casts to lavish Rossini’s rarely-performed Neapolitan masterpiece, set in feudal sixteenth century Scotland, with the genius it deserves. June Anderson is an outstanding Elena (the Lady of the Lake) in the 1992 production of the melodrama based on Sir Walter Scott’s poem.