New Releases by Gustavo Dudamel, Philippe Quint and I Barocchisti

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This week's new releases include Gustavo Dudamel's Berlin Philharmonic debut recording, opera transcriptions from Philippe Quint and pianist Lily Maisky, and rarities by Baroque composer Agostino Steffani.

Also Sprach Zarathustra
Berlin Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Available at

Gustavo Dudamel’s debut album with the Berlin Philharmonic, released last month, features music by Richard Strauss, including Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks. The album, which was recorded live in concerts, features the Berlin ensemble in peak form, with a gleaming sound. In assembling this release, the marketing team at DG played heavily (perhaps too heavily) off of the associations of Strauss’s piece with Stanley Kubrick's film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Below is DG’s Kubrickian promotional video followed by the opening of the 1968 film, which was performed by Herbert Von Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic. Watch both versions and tell us which one you prefer.

Dudamel and Berlin

Karajan and Vienna

Opera Breve
Philippe Quint and Lily Maisky
Avanti Classic
More about this album

Violinist Philippe Quint and pianist Lily Maisky have just released this an album of operatic arrangements and transcriptions. As the two artists explained in a recent interview, they wanted to avoid the “top 10 hits of opera” approach – there's no Carmen or La Boheme to be found here. The Russian-born, New York-based Quint did two of the transcriptions -- Humperdinck’s “Evening Prayer” and Donizetti’s “Una Furtiva Lagrima," both of which include double stops and other techniques foreign to singers. There’s also Kreisler’s arrangement of Falla’s Spanish Dance and two numbers that Lily Maisky first played with her father, the celebrated cellist Mischa Maisky: Strauss’s Morgen and the Cantabile from Saint-Saens Samson et Dalila. You can download the album’s bonus track above.

Agostino Steffani
Danze e Ouvertures
I Barocchisti and Diego Fasolis
Available at

Few had heard of Agostino Steffani (1654-1728) until Cecilia Bartoli took up his cause on her adventurous “Mission” album. She has another recording out now of Steffani’s music, but our attention is focused on his overtures and dances. Steffani was a contemporary of Corelli and was a leading star in Germany for a time. I Barocchisti and its leader, Diego Fasolis, capture the mix of French and Italian styles in this music, which is often breezy but with some vivid pictorial effects.