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Exploring the often surprising links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern


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Saturday, March 12, 2016 Permalink

The Unsung Connection

Matthew Oberstein leads the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra


Sometimes, composers become so well known for one type of music that we forget they wrote anything else.

That’s particularly true of those remembered almost entirely for their operas, but who also turned out music for piano, string quartet, chamber ensemble, and symphony orchestra.

These instrumental works underscore the breadth—and depth —of their creators, and round out our understanding of their more familiar work for the operatic stage.

In this hour, “unsung” works by Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Menotti, and more.

CD Title Group/Artist Catalog # UPC
Bizet: Symphony in C, etc. Orchestra de Paris, Paavo Jarvi Virgin Classics 62861304 5099962861304
Rossini Overtures Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Claudio Abbado Deutsche Grammophon 431 653-2 028943165327 
Rossini: Piano Music, Vol. 2 [for “Polka mazurka” Alessandro Marangoni Naxos 8.570766 0747313076673
Rapture [for “Una furtiva lagrima”] Gosta Winbergh Deutsche Grammophon 289 471 717-2 028947171720
Carnevale Di Venezia [for Donizetti’s Concertino for Clarinet & Orchestra ] Eduard Brunner; Munich Chamber Orchestra, Hans Stadlmair Tudor 728 7619911072827
Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne [for No. 22 “Vivo”] Boston Pops, Arthur Fiedler RCA 09026-61847-2 090266184729
Offenbach Romantique [for Cello Concerto] Les Musiciens de Louvre, Marc Minkowski Archiv Produktion 477 6403 028947764038 
Verdi Without Words [for “Sempra Libre”] Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel Telarc 03642 089408036422
Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti String Quartets Alberni Quartet CRD 3366 708093336623
Best of Bizet [for Carmen Suite] Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, Antal Dorati Philips 442 273-2 028944227222
Bizet Symphony in C, etc. [for Roma Symphony] Orchestra of Paris, Paavo Jarvi Virgin Classics 62861304 5099962861304
Wagner: The ‘Ring’ Without Words [for Entry of the Gods into Valhalla] Berlin Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel Telarc CD-80154 089408015427
Wagner: Symphonies Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Hiroshi Wakasugi Denon CO-75259  081757525923
Puccini Without Words [for “Un Bel Di” instrumental] Andre Kostelanetz & His Orchestra CBS Records MDK 46825 07464462852
Puccini Discoveries [for “Scherzo”] Milan Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly Decca 475 320-2 028947532026
Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors [orchestral clip] Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Alastair Willis Naxos 8.669019 730099901970
Menotti Violin Concerto Ittai Shapira; Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Sanderling ASV CD DCA 1156 743625115628
Heggie: Dead Man Walking [for Prelude] Houston Grand Opera, Patrick Summers Virgin Classics 5099960246325
Here/After [for Heggie’s Soliloquy] Jake Heggie, Carol Wencenc Pentatone PTC 5186 515 827949051562

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