Twelve months ago, Michael Storrs Music launched an exciting new in-house record label featuring performances by many of the varied range of artists it promotes.
The very first release, Stolen Notes, contained a range of Verdi arias and ensembles, while the seven subsequent issues have included a disc of Puccini arias sung by Melanie Diener to celebrate the composer's 150th birthday, a CD of unusual verismo pieces by Marco Berti and a disc of Rare Verdi sung by the Danish bass-baritone Johan Reuter, the latter receiving a rave four-star review in The Times and an outstanding notice from Opera News.
No less exciting are plans for the coming year. The MSM label has just released a CD of Korean art songs by the tenor Wookyung Kim, who made a prestigious ROH debut last year in Rigoletto and will return for La bohème in October. Though the titles will be unfamiliar to the average opera enthusiast, the songs encompass a wide range of texts and emotions and have a classical poise to them.
September brings a CD entitled Rimsky-Korsakov: Angel and Demon for the composer's centenary. Russian diva Anna Samuil joins rising Mexican baritone Alfred Daza for songs both unusual and well-known. Daza will be seen at Glyndebourne next year as Belcore in L'elisir d'amore.
Wookyung Kim offers a CD of settings of Hugo, Schiller and Goethe in October (with music by Verdi, Donizetti, Gounod and Thomas), and November's release is a stimulating album of Strauss and Nielsen songs from Johan Reuter. Further ahead, Jose Carreras will make his first recording of Mozart's Requiem with Barbara Bonney and the Tokyo Philharmonic based on a live concert in Japan – it will be only the third time Carreras has performed the work – and January gives us a disc of bel canto arias from young tenor Dmitry Korchak.
To celebrate the first anniversary of MSM's CD label, we have twenty sets of their first and latest releases on offer, namely the Verdi CD of Stolen Notes and Wookyung Kim's Korean Songs. To win, just answer this simple question:
Stolen Notes contains the tenor aria and cabaletta 'Pietoso al lungo pianto alfin m'arride amore...Deh! lasciate a un'alma amante' sung by Dmitry Korchak, whose new bel canto CD is due in January 2009 (see right).
From which of these early Verdi operas does the aria derive?
a) Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio
b) Un giorno di regno
c) I due Foscari
Send your answer, name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 August 2008. (Please indicate if you do not wish to receive further mailings.)
For more information on these and all the CDs available from MSM CD, see http://www.msm-cd.com/.
Editorial by Dominic McHugh
Rules, terms and conditions: 1. This competition is organised by MusicalCriticism.com. 2. MusicalCriticism.com reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition at any time without prior notice. Any changes will be posted within the competition notice. 3. In the event of a dispute regarding the terms and conditions, conduct, results and all other matters relating to this competition, the decision of the Editor or Deputy Editor shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into. 4. The competition is open to residents of the world, including the USA, Europe and the UK. 5. Contributors and employees, their associates and members of their families and households are not eligible to enter. 6. Only one entry per person is permitted for this competition. 7. Entries received after the closing date of 12pm on 1 August 2008 will be automatically disqualified. No purchase required. 8. The winners will be chosen at random after the closing date, from all correct entries received by 11.59pm on 1 August 2008. 9. Prizes are non-transferable. No cash alternatives will be offered. Winners will be notified by email and their prizes delivered by post. 10. The winners' names will be posted on this page after the closing date.