John Corigliano is an American composer who should be more famous than he is. His most notable compositions are the opera The Ghost of Versailles, commissioned for the Metropolitan Opera’s 100-year anniversary, and the soundtrack to the movie The Red Violin.
His Symphony No. 1 is being released in a recording with the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic. The NOIP is a collection of top conservatory students from the nation's leading institutions.
Sinfonia Drammatica P.102 (1914)
Respighi’s Sinfonia Drammatica is the orchestral piece that appeals most to of the new releases. Respighi is also an under-appreciated composer. His Roman Trilogy remains popular but this symphony is rarely performed or recorded.
The logistics of the piece are daunting. It runs to about an hour long and has a gargantuan orchestra.
There is a classic re-release of Tosca, featuring Renata Tebaldi, Mario del Monaco, and Georg London in the lead roles. We’re not going to find a better trio of leads on any recording of Tosca. This set has been missing in physical form for quite some time.
A new recording of Le Nozze di Figaro is coming out on Deutsche Grammophon. Why we need a new recording of Nozze is beyond me. I suppose it is interesting that the new Metropolitan Opera music director, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, is conducting. I personally find him to be a lightweight, but people seem excited by what he does on the podium.
Far more interesting is a release of 1990 production Donizetti’s Parisina. The performance was staged at Florence’s Teatro della Pergola. This is the theater where Parisina was premiered in 1883. The opera gained popularity when Alexander Dumas referred to it in his Count of Monte Cristo.