Exciting New Classical - Wed, 14 Nov 2012

Alison Balsom is the world's preeminent female classical trumpeter. She is an unique and independent artist who have broken through to the mainstream whilst retaining her integrity and core musical values. 'Sound the Trumpet - Royal Music Of Purcell And Handel' finds her joining forces with Trevor Pinnock, harpsichordist, conductor and pioneer of historical performance, and with the English Concert orchestra that he founded, Balsom demonstrates the versatility and expressive power of her valve-less instrument in original works and new arrangements. 'The Times' raved about this recording... "The music is glorious; so is Balsom's artistry as she weaves a flawless path alongside Trevor Pinnock's English Concert"

Check out 'Sound the Trumpet' here

Where might you get to find such great singers as Victoria de los Angeles, Sari Barabas, Teresa Berganza, June Bronhill, José Carreras, Michel Dens, Nicolai Gedda, Barbara Hendricks, and Mady Mesplé, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Rolando Villazón and Fritz Wunderlich, together? These singers have one thing in common...they are known for their recordings of 19th and 20th century operetta. 100 Best Operetta contains 100 tracks from the international catalogues of EMI Classics and Virgin Classics of the best songs from the most famous operettas from Vienna, Berlin, London, New York and Madrid. Die Fledermaus, Der Zigeunerbaron, Gräfin Mariza, Orphée aux Enfers, La vie Parisienne, La Belle Hélène are just a few of the featured operettas. Alongside these add Naughty Marietta by Victor Herbert , The Firefly by Rudolf Friml, and you get the idea. (P.S. This set also includes the great NZ bass Inia te Wiata singing the Cobbler's Song from Chou Chin Chow)

Check out '100 best Operetta' here

Crowned with a Grammy Award for her last album, Diva, Divo, Joyce DiDonato joins conductor Alan Curtis and Il complesso barocco for Drama Queens, an electrifying programme of royal arias from the 17th and 18th centuries, composed by figures as famous as Handel and Vivaldi and as little known as Orlandini and Porta. The two flashy arias by Giuseppe Orlandini [1676-1760] come from an opera about the great Jewish Queen Berenice, thought to be lost, but found in a California library! "For me, this is my most exciting recording project to date," says Joyce DiDonato," because it is everything I deeply adore about the world of opera: high drama, profound emotion, fearless vocal writing, time-stopping passages, historical significance and real discovery."

Check out Joyce's 'Drama Queens' here

Alessandro Brustenghi - from the original friary founded by Saint Francis of Assisi, the Porziuncola in Assisi - made the headlines earlier this year when he became the first Friar in the history of music to land a major record deal. The legendary Mike Hedges (U2, The Cure, Manic Street Preachers) and his manager discovered Alessandro whilst in Italy, after years of searching for "the next Italian Tenor". The album is a heavenly mix of traditional and modern sacred songs, including an original track by Royal Wedding and Christmas No.1 composer Paul Mealor, set to a prayer written by St Francis of Assisi, "Le Lodi Dio Altissimo". Also on the album is a song written by '60s singer-songwriter Donovon, "Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna", from the famous biopic of St Francis (called Brother Sun, Sister Moon), as well as a recently discovered sacred area by the Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini (who died in 1835), "Tantum Ergo Sacramentum", here recorded for the first time.

Check out Friar Alessandro here

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