Classicalite's favorite Benedictine community of monks from Norcia's new album, 'BENEDICTA: Marian Chant from Norcia,' not only debuted atop Billboard's classical chart, it's No. 1 for the second straight week. The record also garnered the top spot overall at Barnes and Noble, no doubt thanks to a wonderful campaign from Universal Music Classics.
You, too, can discover the power, beauty and authenticity of The Monks of Norcia when De Montfort Music and Decca/Universal Classics release their major label debut recording, Benedicta: Marian Chant from Norcia, on June 2--featuring classic and never-heard-before chants alongside new compositions.
Classicalite contributing editor James Inverne states his case, with videos, for the five best Carlo Bergonzi recordings.
Valentina Lisitsa's latest album for Decca/Universal Music Classics, 'Chasing Pianos', features the music of celebrated British film composer Michael Nyman. He is perhaps best known for his score to Jane Campion's film 'The Piano' (1993).
The U.K.'s classical landscape was hit by the cultural equivalent of a bombshell earlier this week as news spread that Roger Wright, the controller of BBC Radio Three and of the BBC Proms, will step down to run the Aldeburgh Festival.
The Benedictines of Mary may be one of the most unlikely success stories in the recording industry. Their third album on the De Montfort Music/Decca label, 'Lent at Ephesus,' debuted at #1 on the Billboard classical chart. These 22 Sisters live a monastic life on a secluded farm in rural Missouri, and most are not aware of how successful their albums have been in the secular world.
PBS has announced a television special, "Lent At Ephesus," about the Benedictines of Mary, whose recent recording of the same name debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard classical chart.
BBC Music Magazine has opened the voting process for its 2014 awards. These awards are largely decided by public vote and, as ever, some of the artists and record labels concerned are engaged in concerted lobbying campaigns.
Many happy returns to Marilyn Horne, who turns 80 years young this month! One of the truly iconic singers of the 20th century, the American mezzo may not grace our stages these days, but we have her dozens of recordings to remind us of that great, glorious voice and charismatic personality.
Italian conductor Claudio Abbado--music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Vienna State Opera, and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic--is dead at age 80.
How to interpret the news that Universal is to drop the Decca company name in the United States? The first thing to say is that it's not as bad as it looks at first glance. The second thing is that, in fact, it might even indicate that Universal is on the ball and serious about classical.
Well, this might be the least surprising news story of the week. As Italian newspapers report, variously, that Riccardo Chailly or Fabio Luisi will be taking over at La Scala, Daniel Barenboim has announced that he will be leaving Italy's preeminent opera house early. He will now be stepping down at the start of 2015.
In a world that seems more likely to rip us apart, rather than bring us together, there is the occasional exception that offers some glimpse of hope--no matter how misplaced it may be. More apropos, at a time when musicians would collaborate to boost record sales, rather than to further their creative consciousness, it’s refreshing to see like minds come together, indeed.
UPDATE: Now, Italy's La Reppublica is reporting that Genoese maestro Fabio Luisi--principal conductor of the Met since September 2011 (i.e. from whence James Levine withdrew)--may very well be the preferred candidate. Call it "commedia dell'errori."
If the mounties are known for always getting their man, the same is often decidedly untrue in the murky world of opera house politics. But at La Scala, Italy's premiere house, they have pulled one heck of a triumph out of the hat and, reports Italy's influential Corriere della Sera (no official announcement from Milan yet), persuaded Riccardo Chailly to take up the mantle when Daniel Barenboim leaves.