ArkivMusic Newsletter

Dear ArkivMusic Customer,

From the heart of Bavaria comes the Orfeo label and its enviable catalog of live performances from the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna State Opera, and the Bavarian State Opera – a marvelous collection of exceptionally fine recordings that consistently capture the thrill of a live performance that a studio recording can miss.

In addition to this invaluable archive, Orfeo has also released many recordings of up-and-coming artists who have become world-renowned, including Piotr Beczala, Diana Damrau, Daniel Müller-Schott, Arabella Steinbacher, and Andris Nelsons.

Here are a few picks from Orfeo's live archive and catalog of studio recordings:

Fischer-Dieskau - Salzburger Liederabende 1956-1965
This Orfeo issue is an absolute "must" for any Fischer-Dieskau collection. It is a rewarding compendium of his interpretations of all the most important composers of Lieder. (11 CDs)

Beethoven, Liszt: Sonatas / Claudio Arrau
Recorded at the Salzburg Festival, this epic recital comes as a reminder of Claudio Arrau’s unique stature. His grandeur is overwhelming. Seemingly hewn out of rock, these performances form a deeply personal, mesmeric, and exhausting experience.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4 / Nelsons, Birmingham
These are great performances by a great conductor. I would hold out Nelsons as a measuring stick by which to judge other young conductors.

Slavic Opera Arias / Piotr Beczala
These deeply felt performances time and again reveal the great artistry of Piotr Beczala. One of the few tenor recitals of these last years that should be in everyone’s collection.

Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Watson, Popp, Kleiber
We all know that Carlos Kleiber recordings are like gold dust and there’s no doubting that his Rosenkavalier was miraculous. With Claire Watson heading a marvelous cast, this is simply unmissable. (3 CDs)

Chopin, Beethoven, Barber, Brahms / Van Cliburn
This recital was Van Cliburn's only performance at the Salzburg Festival. Recorded in 1964, it demonstrates Cliburn's fully developed technique and unique art of interpretation.

Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Levine, Vienna
James Levine's is a Mahler 2 of insight and honesty. It’s that rare thing, a genuinely transfiguring performance – surely one of the great Resurrections of our time. (2 CDs)

Stravinsky, Martin: Violin Concertos / Baiba Skride
Orfeo’s squeaky-clean recorded sound helps sharpen the focus of Baiba Skride's melding of keen swordsmanship with beguiling textures and smooth lyricism, providing strong appeal both to those familiar with the repertoire and to those willing to explore.

Puccini: Suor Angelica / Opolais, Nelsons
Kristine Opolais, like de los Angeles before her, has a purity of tone married to heartfelt but restrained expressivity. She masterfully manages the role's balance of the ethereal and the passionate.

Prokofiev, Britten: Cello Symphonies / Muller-Schott
Daniel Müller-Schott demonstrates both his agility and sovereign command of every register of his instrument, mastering the changes of register and enormously difficult intervals with awesome ease.

Be sure to view all of our featured titles from Orfeo, or browse the entire Orfeo catalog while it is all on sale. (Sale ends at midnight ET 4/2/13.)

As always, I thank you for your support and love of classical music.

The Arkiv Team