Riccardo Muti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (born July 28, 1941) is an Italian conductor. In May 2008 he was appointed the 10th music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, effective with the 2010-11 season.With Philadelphia, his recordings include the first Beethoven Symphony Cycle made for compact disc, the symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Alexander Scriabin, selected works of Tchaikovsky and Sergei Prokofiev, as well as less-known works of composers such as Giacomo Puccini and Ferruccio Busoni.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has long been renowned for the sound of its brass section. This CD features the symphony's brass in a selection of pieces that span almost 250 years, including some works originally written for brass and some transcriptions of works for keyboard, orchestra, or band. It's a diverse and appealing program that effectively shows off the players' virtuosity and should interest any fans of brass.
Recorded live in April 2013 at the Royal Opera House in London, Sony Classical is proud to present Verdi: Nabucco starring the legendary Placido Domingo in his debut in the title role. Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, the release celebrates the bicentenary year of Verdi’s birth.
Recorded in 2010 during Riccardo Muti's first subscription concerts as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's tenth music director, this new double-CD release pairs Hector Berlioz's beloved Symphonie fantastique with its sequel, Lélio, ou le retour de la vie (Lélio, or The Return to Life). Berlioz intended Symphonie fantastique to be followed by Lélio in concert, as the artist returns to life to comment anew on music and art. Maestro Muti and the CSO are joined in Lélio by the acclaimed actor Gérard Depardieu as the narrator, tenor Mario Zeffiri, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. With the "conclusion and complement" of Symphonie fantastique, as Berlioz referred to Lélio, this recording increases listeners' familiarity with the music of a daring and revolutionary composer.
The first of Puccini's operas to become popular, Manon Lescaut is a study of a composer reaching his youthful maturity. Each act is a little less flabby than the one that came before it. By the time we reach Act Four, Puccini has built up a full head of steam, and there's not much distance to traverse between Manon's death on a plain near New Orleans and Mimi's death in a garret in Paris. To get there, we start with an Act One that has its moments (notably the tenor's "Donna non vidi mai," although Puccini cannibalized it from an earlier work), an Act Two that has the heartbreakingly simple "In quelle trine morbide" and a whiz-bang climax, and an Act Three that is full of pathos – just like the equivalent act in La Bohème, but without the great set-pieces…Raymond Tuttle