NICHOLAS MAW (1935-2009): Sophie's Choice.

Catalogue Number: 04L101

Label: Opus Arte

Reference: OA 1024D

Format: DVD

Price: $39.98

Description: Maw's opera treats its often harrowing subject matter - anti-Semitism, the horror of the death camps, the various kinds of displacement and alienation that assail and shape a life - to a glowingly naturalistic, representational musical setting. His chosen vocabulary - fundamentally tonal, with the lushness of the latest of late-romanticism - Mahler, early Schoenberg, and Berg - seen from a late-20th century viewpoint and combined with the powerful communicative directness of his forebears among the English symphonists, especially Vaughan Williams, provides an ideally expressive medium for this kind of operatic story-telling. As anyone familiar with Maw's master-work, Odyssey, knows, the shaping of an epic structure to hold the listener's attention throughout a complex and varied journey was one of the his greatest strengths. The piece combines a quasi-symphonic sense of structure and direction with some of the most compelling operatic narrative since Berg and Britten, both present among the work's influences, and Maw's reliance on his own very individual use of a relatively conservative idiom serves to enhance the emotional content of the drama. 2 DVDs. Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo), Gordon Gietz (tenor), Rod Gilfry, Dale Duesing (baritones), Royal Opera Chorus, Royal Opera House Orchestra; Simon Rattle. 16:9 widescreen. NTSC region 0. PCM stereo 2.0 or 5.1 DTS surround. 223 min.

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