Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has recorded for many of the major classical-music labels: EMI, Decca, Philips, RCA, Sony Classical, Warner Classics and most recently, Deutsche Grammophon. This fall, several new releases with Muti as conductor are in stores or available through digital outlets.
First up, a double disc set on DG of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 2 and R. Strauss’ suite from Der Bürger als Edelmann (more commonly known outside German-language nations as Le bourgeois gentilhomme), recorded in 2016 with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival. Muti chose these works to celebrate his 75th birthday and to commemorate the historic connections between the two composers and the Vienna Phil.
Coincidentally, Muti will lead the CSO in Le bourgeois gentilhomme in concerts Nov. 16-18 and 21 during his late fall residency at Symphony Center.
Out on Nov. 15 are three CD and DVD sets featuring Maestro Muti, all recorded live for the Riccardo Muti Music label: Donizetti’s Don Pasquale; oratorios and sacred works by Jommeli, Mozart and Paisiello, and a collection of Muti rehearsal sessions.
Don Pasquale, a two-CD/three-DVD set recorded at Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna, Teatro Municipale in Piacenza and Teatro Sociale in Como, features Muti leading the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini, the Coro del Teatro Municipale di Piacenza (chorus master Corrado Casati) and guest soloists (on the CDs and concert DVD) Nicola Alaimo (Don Pasquale), Mario Cassi (Dr. Malatesta), Juan Francisco Gatell (Ernesto), Laura Giordano (Norina) and Luca Dall’Amico (a notary). The DVDs chronicle Muti’s presentation of the opera at the piano, followed by orchestra rehearsals and a concert performance. The DVDs are in the PAL format (requiring an all-region DVD player).
The Jommeli/Mozart/Paisello set, recorded at the Ravenna Festival, consists of three DVDs; the first is Paisiello’s requiem Missa defunctorum, with Muti leading the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini, the chorus La Stagione Armonica, and guest soloists soprano Beatriz Diaz, mezzo-soprano Anna Malavasi, tenor Juan Francisco Gatell and bass Nahuel di Pierro. (The latter will make his CSO debut in performances March 22-24 of Schubert’s Mass in E-flat Major, conducted by Muti.)
The second and third DVDs feature two performances of the oratorio Betulia liberata with Muti conducting the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini and the Philharmonia Chor Wien (chorus mater Walter Zeh). Based on a libretto by Pietro Metastasio, Betulia liberata recounts the biblical story of Judith and Holofernes. More than 30 composers, including Niccolò Jommelli, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, have set Metastasio’s libretto to music. In 2010, the Mozart and Jommeli versions were revived after years of neglect when Muti conducted both works at the Salzburg Whitsun and Ravenna festivals.
For the Jommeli, the guest soloists are soprano Laura Polverelli (Giuditta), countertenor Terry Wey (Ozìa), tenor Dmitry Korchak (Carmi) and baritone Vito Priante (Achior), and for the Mozart, tenor Michael Spyres (Ozìa), soprano Alisa Kolosova (Giuditta), soprano Marta Vandoni Iorio (Amital), bass Nahuel di Pierro (Achior), soprano Barbara Bargnesi (Cabri) and soprano Arianna Vendittelli (Carmi). (Russian tenor Dmitry Korchak, heard earlier this season in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at Lyric Opera of Chicago, makes his CSO debut June 21-24 in Rossini’s Stabat mater, conducted by Muti.)
The eight-DVD set “Riccardo Muti in Rehearsal” features the maestro leading the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; Berlioz’s Lélio, ou Le retour à la vie; Verdi’s Le quattro stagioni (movements 1-2) from his opera I vespri siciliani; Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished); Cimarosa’s comic opera Il ritorno di Don Calandrino; Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter); Paisiello’s opera Il matrimonio inaspettato, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 5. This set is in PAL as well as NTSC (the North American DVD format), and the discs are subtitled in English, French and German.
For more information about these releases, click here.
The CSO’s music director position has been endowed in perpetuity by a gift from the Zell Family Foundation.