Author Topic: Wozzeck  (Read 5251 times)

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Offline suzyq

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Wozzeck
« on: April 11, 2011, 07:00:55 AM »
Went to see this opera Saturday night (4/9/11) and admit that it's not for me.

It's difficult music and it must be hard for the musicians to play and for the singers.

I am very  interested in your opinions.  Thanks. :)

Offline springrite

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 07:10:35 AM »
Went to see this opera Saturday night (4/9/11) and admit that it's not for me.

It's difficult music and it must be hard for the musicians to play and for the singers.

I am very  interested in your opinions.  Thanks. :)

One of my favorite operas, which I loved the first time I heard it (1985 or so, MET broadcast). I have since seen it LIVE 6 times, 5 of which was the same production, seen in a two week span.

But I understand that it simply isn't for everyone. The music is gorgeous but tough if you more used to the Puccinian or Verdian lyricism. I love those too but I do get bored after a while. I can stand WOzzeck a lot longer.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 07:11:16 AM »
I was there on Saturday, too, and loved it, but it's one of my favorite operas. (I am seeing it again on Wednesday.) I thought the singers did a great job--especially Waltraud Meier and Alan Held--and the orchestra sounded terrific with Levine.

But it can be a tough piece at first. Consider trying it again sometime.  :)

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Offline MDL

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 07:53:02 AM »
Wozzeck is an outstanding opera. Because it consists of short, punchy, sharply contrasted scenes, I found it easier to get into than many other operas, including Berg's own Lulu, and the vividly atmospheric use of the orchestra rivals Strauss's Salome and Elektra.

It's not an easy listen, but stick with it. It's immensely rewarding once you've found your way in. Instead of trying to swallow the whole thing again, you could try listening to the last act, which I think is more accessible than the previous two. That's what I did decades ago. Once I'd got my ears around Act 3, the other acts were easier to understand, musically.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 07:56:22 AM by MDL »

klingsor

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 07:58:36 AM »
I must agree. Wozzeck is top-notch opera. As you suggest, it's concise and gets to the point. I'm always pleasantly surprised by how often it's performed, even at the Met, since most opera fans I know don't care for its musical style and lack of vocal display.

Offline suzyq

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 08:06:05 AM »
Thanks everyone - the singers were A++ - but I kept thinking how difficult it must be to sing this opera and also to play - at least to my ears.

You are right, I should give this opera another go. :)

Offline Guido

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 02:42:24 PM »
Just because Verdi sounds easier to sing and play, really doesn't mean it reflects the truth of the matter - virtually all of the great operas (of which Wozzeck is certainly one) have their difficulties.

In someways I find Wozzeck more beautiful than the more obviously gorgeous Lulu, which just swims in it's own opulent lovelyness. But in Wozzeck there are little moments, vocal lines and details in the orchestration that fill me with overwhelming admiration and gratitude.
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Offline westknife

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 05:33:34 PM »
I was there on Saturday, too — it was my first time seeing it live, although I knew the music somewhat beforehand and I love Berg. It was a terrific performance.

Offline yashin

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2011, 05:04:21 AM »
Different casts/orchestra's and conductors have slightly different sounds. Maybe this particular performance did not appeal to you.  Berg's opera's are different to many other melodic opera and i can understand when i first heard it -it was a mixture of 'yikes' and 'wow'.  I have many recorded versions and some make me wince and some i absolutely love and make me love this opera.

Maybe it is like pastry making- you just have to keep at it and it will come to you.

Have they plans to release this Met production on DVD? We could sure use a good version.

Offline mjwal

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2011, 06:04:11 AM »
There is an moving TV version on DVD with Blankenheim, Unger, Cassilly, Sotin and Jurinac among the excellent performers, based on Rolf Liebermann's Hamburg State Opera production of the 60s but appropriately filmed on location at a castle and conducted very expressively by Bruno Maderna. I actually saw the stage production there around '66, but my first Wozzeck in the opera house was conducted by Pritchard at Covent Garden (sets by Caspar Neher!) with Geraint Evans and Marilyn Horne in '64; I saw two productions while I lived in Frankfurt 1970-2003: Wieland Wagner's (with Silja, twice) and Mussbach's (powerfully unsettling - it's on a DVD too, which I haven't seen), but since then I have gone to the opera less and less for a variety of reasons (here in Berlin it's just too expensive to go regularly). I could never tire of this great work, but it does take work to get inside it. I recommend starting with the three scenes Berg prepared for concert performance - either in the (hard to find) recording by the conductor of the work's premiere in Berlin in 1925, Erich Kleiber, or the recording by Dorati (now on Brillliant) with Helga Pilarczyk, whom I saw as both Marie and Lulu, the greatest singing actress I have ever been privileged to experience.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 06:06:01 AM by mjwal »
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not a tune and not a key
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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2011, 11:31:23 AM »
Have they plans to release this Met production on DVD? We could sure use a good version.

Unfortunately, this season's revival isn't being HD'd/telecast, but the 2001 revival was recorded, and was released last year in the 11-opera DVD Levine 40th anniversary box.  I've been going through the CD and DVD boxes chronologically, and haven't quite made it to 2001 yet (I just listened to the CDs of the 1999 Moses und Aron). 

Here's the 2001 cast:

Metropolitan Opera House
October 6, 2001 Telecast


WOZZECK {56}
Berg-Berg

Wozzeck.................Falk Struckmann
Marie...................Katarina Dalayman
Captain.................Graham Clark
Drum Major..............Wolfgang Neumann
Doctor..................Michael Devlin
Andres..................John Horton Murray
Margret.................Wendy White
Apprentice..............James Courtney
Apprentice..............Ronald Naldi
Fool....................Anthony Laciura
Soldier.................David Frye
Townsman................Meredith Derr
Child...................Benjamin Pakman
Piano Solo..............Robert Morrison

Conductor...............James Levine

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Scarpia

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2011, 11:38:37 AM »
Unfortunately, this season's revival isn't being HD'd/telecast, but the 2001 revival was recorded, and was released last year in the 11-opera DVD Levine 40th anniversary box.  I've been going through the CD and DVD boxes chronologically, and haven't quite made it to 2001 yet (I just listened to the CDs of the 1999 Moses und Aron). 

Here's the 2001 cast:

Metropolitan Opera House
October 6, 2001 Telecast


WOZZECK {56}
Berg-Berg

Wozzeck.................Falk Struckmann
Marie...................Katarina Dalayman
Captain.................Graham Clark
Drum Major..............Wolfgang Neumann
Doctor..................Michael Devlin
Andres..................John Horton Murray
Margret.................Wendy White
Apprentice..............James Courtney
Apprentice..............Ronald Naldi
Fool....................Anthony Laciura
Soldier.................David Frye
Townsman................Meredith Derr
Child...................Benjamin Pakman
Piano Solo..............Robert Morrison

Conductor...............James Levine

Extremely annoying that these DVDs are only available packaged in the giant box, and can't be purchased individually.  The Wozzeck is the one DVD from the set that I want, and I ain't paying $300 to get it.

Offline yashin

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2011, 12:25:35 AM »
Yes, i agree that it might not be worth having the whole bundle of DVDs/CD's but there are one or two worth having a look at.

Maybe some of them will come up as Single items once it does not sell so well as a Box set. Thats what seemed to happen to the Mozart 22 series and i found some of them dirt cheap.

For DVD the best one i have seen is the Paris Chatelet version with Grundheber and Maier with Graham Clarke again as the Captain. I had it on VHS and have not found the DVD yet. Am sure i could buy it online but i am prefer 'hands on' shopping.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2011, 02:19:58 PM »
BBC Radio 3 has this afternoon's Met broadcast of Wozzeck up for a week, here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0106yt9

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline yashin

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2011, 04:23:36 PM »
Wonderful , thanks. It means that even in Asia i can listen to this broadcast.

Offline yashin

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2011, 04:31:40 PM »

Offline Sandra

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2011, 04:14:28 AM »
The music of Wozzek by itself is hard to enjoy, but in the context of the opera is a fascinating experience. I haven't enjoyed an opera as much as this one.
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abidoful

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2011, 05:23:44 AM »
Wozzeck indeed is amazing. Took opera to the 20th century.

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2011, 08:30:15 PM »
Here's a clip of Wozzeck (1954) sung by Tito Gobbi and Hugues Cuénod as the Captain. The RAI Orchestra is very good and the Italian language instead of German doesn't seem to be a disturbance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-jmG8H-QQc&feature=related

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Offline king ubu

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Re: Wozzeck
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2016, 01:14:18 AM »
Up on arte now, the "Wozzeck" from Zurich that ran earlier in the 2015/16 season (I think Jens was there, right? I missed it, alas, though it takes me just about 15 minutes to get there but contrary to Jens I'm not being invited, so ... ;))

It shall be out on BluRay within a few days, too, but this is cheaper  ;D

http://concert.arte.tv/de/wozzeck-aus-dem-opernhaus-zuerich

Letzte Aktualisierung 05.06.2016 - (101 Minuten)

Irrlichternd hetzt der Soldat Wozzeck durch eine Welt, die er nicht zu enträtseln vermag. Vom Doktor wird er mit absurden medizinischen Experimenten gequält, vom Hauptmann gedemütigt und verhöhnt. Und seine Geliebte Marie, mit der er ein Kind hat, betrügt ihn mit dem Tambourmajor. Wozzeck wird zum Mörder und ersticht Marie.

Georg Büchners Dramenfragment, das Alban Berg als Vorlage für seine erste Oper nahm, ist eine erbarmungslose Fallstudie über soziales Unrecht und menschliches Leid. Aber es ist auch eine Groteske, die von der Überzeichnung lebt; das Abgründige und das Lächerliche liegen ganz nahe beieinander. In diesem Panoptikum erscheinen die Figuren wie Marionetten, die letztlich alle durch dieselbe existenzielle Angst zum Zappeln gebracht werden.

Alban Bergs Wozzeck, 1925 uraufgeführt und rund hundert Jahre nach Georg Büchners Drama entstanden, gehört zu den Hauptwerken der Operngeschichte und darf im Repertoire keines Opernhauses fehlen. In Zürich nehmen sich Regisseur Andreas Homoki und Generalmusikdirektor Fabio Luisi der Jahrhundertoper an. Der charismatische deutsche Bariton Christian Gerhaher gibt sein Rollendebüt als Wozzeck, Brandon Jovanovich verkörpert den Tambourmajor und als Marie kehrt Gun-Brit Barkmin auf die Opernhausbühne zurück.

Die Inszenierung zeigt einen der Höhepunkte im europäischen Opernjahr 2015 und ist am 6. Juni um 02.10 Uhr auch auf ARTE zu sehen.


Le soldat Wozzeck peine à exister dans un monde qu’il ne comprend pas. Le docteur le soumet à d’absurdes expériences médicales, son capitaine l’humilie et sa chérie Marie, mère de son enfant, le trompe avec le tambour-major. Wozzeck ne le supporte pas et finit par la poignarder.

Georg Büchner avait laissé à l’état de fragments son Woyzeck, drame inspiré par un fait divers de 1821. Alban Berg le retravaille entre 1914 et 1920 pour composer son premier opéra, finalement créé en 1925. À la fois réquisitoire contre l’injustice sociale et chronique de la souffrance humaine, cette œuvre oscille entre l’abject et le grotesque, sa kyrielle de personnages s’agitant comme des marionnettes.

Le "Wozzeck" d’Alban Berg se doit de figurer au répertoire de toute scène musicale qui se respecte. La version très expressive proposée en septembre dernier par Andreas Homoki avec Fabio Luisi pour la partie musicale a été l’occasion pour le charismatique baryton Christian Gerhaher d’aborder pour la première fois un opéra. Brandon Jovanovich campe le tambour-major, tandis que Gun-Brit Barkmin signe son retour à Zurich dans le rôle de Marie.

Cette production de l’Opéra de Zurich a été l’un des moments forts de 2015, Année européenne de l’opéra et sera également diffusé sur ARTE le 6 juin à 02h40.


Christian Gerhaher - Wozzeck
Brandon Jovanovich - Tambourmajor
Mauro Peter - Andres
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke - Hauptmann
Lars Woldt - Doktor
Pavel Daniluk - 1. Handwerksbursch
Cheyne Davidson - 2. Handwerksbursch
Martin Zysset - Der Narr
Gun-Brit Barkmin - Marie
Irène Friedli - Margret

Orchester : Philharmonia Zürich
Chor : Chor und Kinderchor der Oper Zürich
Chorleitung : Jürg Hämmerli
Dirigent/-in : Fabio Luisi

Komponist/-in : Alban Berg
Libretto : nach Woyzeck von Georg Büchner

Inszenierung : Andreas Homoki
Dramaturgie : Kathrin Brunner
Bühnenbild / Ausstattung / Bauten : Michael Levine
Kostüme : Michael Levine
Licht : Franck Evin

Regie : Michael Beyer
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
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Und do die roten röslein stan:
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