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August highlights from EMI and Virgin Classics

S P O T L I G H T

Ariadne auf Naxos

Deborah Voigt – Natalie Dessay Filmed in 2003 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, this DVD presents Elijah Moshinsky’s sumptuous production of Ariadne auf Naxos featuring two of today’s reigning sopranos. Deborah Voigt and Natalie Dessay portray the contrasting roles that embody the opera’s themes: princess Ariadne, who believes in loyalty unto death, and flirtatious Zerbinetta, who takes a more pragmatic approach to life and love. James Levine conducts.

“With breezy confidence, Ms Dessay dashed off Zerbinetta’s coloratura flights … Ms Voigt brought floods of cool radiant sound, arching lyrical beauty, crisp diction and sheer vocal charisma to her signature role.” The New York Times

A L S O N E W T H I S MONTH

Arvo Pärt

The Estonian composer is 75 this month. This 2CD commemorative set contains many of his best-known works, including Spiegel im Spiegel and Cantus in memoriam

Spiegel im Spiegel in memoriam

Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten. Along with Gorecki, Pärt is the best-selling living composer of the last 20 years.

Ravi Shankar

The great Indian sitarist and composer turned 90 in 2010. This 2CD set showcases some of his best work, including performances that introduced Western audiences to Indian classical music.

ICONs

Six new releases from the ICON series pay homage to some of the greatest recording artists of the recent past. Artists featured in this latest set include Rudolf

Kempe, Edwin Fischer, Pierre Fournier and Alicia de Larrocha.

Barbara Hendricks

Five CDs of essential recordings from the American star soprano feature varied repertoire from Bach and Debussy to Christmas and Disney songs and opera favourites.

For nearly 20 years, Hendricks’ solo recordings have been made exclusively for EMI Classics.

Riccardo Muti

This 7CD boxed set marks the 250th anniversary of Luigi Cherubini’s birth with masses conducted by Riccardo Muti, overtures conducted by

Sir Neville Marriner and performances by Barry Tuckwell and Maria Callas.

Best of British

Three CDs featuring the nation’s favourite classical music, including The Lark Ascending, Jerusalem, Music for the Royal Fireworks, Elgar’s Nimrod and

Lark Ascending Jerusalem for the Royal Fireworks Nimrod many more. Featuring British artists such as Sir Adrian Boult and Vernon Handley.

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