Author Topic: Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann - any thoughts  (Read 911 times)

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Offline yashin

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Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann - any thoughts
« on: May 20, 2011, 04:25:42 PM »
There are whole chunks of Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann that i really love but i can never seem to get through the whole lot.

My favourite Hoffmann on cd and DVD would probably be Neil Shicoff. Any thoughts?  The cd with him is conducted by Sylvain Cambreling and it seems to plod along a little, even the Kleinzach seems slow.

I have a number of other Hoffmann's with Alagna, Domingo, Laho, Machado, La Scola and Galvez-Vallejo  - all on DVD and i must admit there is no clear favourite but i do like La Scola's voice and Laho's for that matter although both are not the most exciting actors and are often let down by strange stagings

Seems to me we are still waiting for a definitive Hoffmann....what about Kraus? Did he make a cd of this?

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann - any thoughts
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 01:23:13 AM »
There are whole chunks of Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann that i really love but i can never seem to get through the whole lot.

My favourite Hoffmann on cd and DVD would probably be Neil Shicoff. Any thoughts?  The cd with him is conducted by Sylvain Cambreling and it seems to plod along a little, even the Kleinzach seems slow.

I have a number of other Hoffmann's with Alagna, Domingo, Laho, Machado, La Scola and Galvez-Vallejo  - all on DVD and i must admit there is no clear favourite but i do like La Scola's voice and Laho's for that matter although both are not the most exciting actors and are often let down by strange stagings

Seems to me we are still waiting for a definitive Hoffmann....what about Kraus? Did he make a cd of this?
You should check out the Offenbach thread in my sig. We had a Hoffman discussion at the end of page 1/beginning of page 2. I am not as familiar with DVD versions, but on CD, I would pick Domingo/Sutherland as my first choice. However, if you are looking for something more 'French' Cluytens '48 is probably the one to give a try.  Shicoff is rarely a first choice for me. In this, I prefer Domingo to him by a fair amount (though as shicoff goes, this is not a bad performance at all). It is just a matter of preference. But I can't really think of any clunkers in this opera either - most every version has some redeeming quality to it.

I don't think we will ever have a 'definitive' edition, since Hoffman died before the premiere. There are a dizzying array of choices that every conductor must make (some minor and some huge). 
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

kishnevi

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Re: Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann - any thoughts
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 07:55:57 AM »
I have the Cluytens 1965 version, which features Gedda, and Gianna d'Angelo, Schwarzkopf and de los Angeles as the three ladies,  and the villian spread among Nicola Ghiuselev, George London (Coppelius and Dr. Miracle), and Ernest Blanc.  They apparently had a special recording session in Barcelona to accomodate de los Angeles, who sang Antonia.    I have no complaints about it, especially as it is now part of EMI's budget series.  I suppose I should get an alternate version, but I'm in no rush.

Offline Harry Powell

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Re: Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann - any thoughts
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 03:19:20 PM »
If you want to learn about this opera's editions (provided you can read Italian) I recommend Elvio Giudici's "L'Opera in CD e Video".

As for the discography, I stick to the Bonynge set. Hoffmann's the only role in which I consider Domingo left a milestone and Joan Sutherland's four portraits are something incredible to listen to, one of her supreme achievements (there's a live recording from the MET in which she's even more dazzling).Bonynge's direction is elegant yet electrifying. One must stand Bacquier's coarse singing, but that's life.
I'm not an native English speaker, so please feel free to let me know if I'm not expressing myself clearly.