Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 51395 times)

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Online mc ukrneal

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #140 on: May 14, 2017, 09:44:52 PM »
Well that rather depends on the conductor. Gardelli mostly avoids it in his Philips series, whereas Levine, in Giovanna d'Arco for instance, which he recorded for EMI, doesn't.


I disagree. I have both of those Levine recordings and I think the generalization doesn't really fit. Of course, I like the Arco/Levine, but still, it isn't a characterization that strikes me as apt. Levine partners rather well. While listening to it, I was even struck by how much it reminds me of certain parts of other Verdi operas that were to come later. 

The Otello, on the other hand, is probably my favorite of any Otello (though the congestion in the recording can be maddening at times). It certainly ranks up there....
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Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #141 on: May 15, 2017, 12:20:55 AM »
I disagree. I have both of those Levine recordings and I think the generalization doesn't really fit. Of course, I like the Arco/Levine, but still, it isn't a characterization that strikes me as apt. Levine partners rather well. While listening to it, I was even struck by how much it reminds me of certain parts of other Verdi operas that were to come later. 

The Otello, on the other hand, is probably my favorite of any Otello (though the congestion in the recording can be maddening at times). It certainly ranks up there....

It's also one of my favourites, though, as I intimated, Domingo's Otello is not yet the towering creation it was to become. Shame about the congested recording, though, which is not even as good as the earlier Serafin (also RCA) and nowhere near as good as the Karajan for Decca.

But I stand by my comments on Levine's Giovanna d'Arco. I just find that, in comparison to Gardelli, his conducting can be a bit too loud and over emphatic.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 01:29:23 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #142 on: May 15, 2017, 01:39:02 AM »
When I say Milnes did Iago, I mean that he did more than just sing it, he also acted it, and to get the full impact of his performance one would need the video record.



Though it was never released commercially, the 1979 Met telecast with Milnes, Domingo, and Cruz-Romo, Levine conducting, is available from the Met's "On Demand" service:

http://www.metopera.org/Season/On-Demand/opera/?upc=811357012833

You do have to pay to "rent" it, or subscribe, though they do have a seven day free trial offer.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 01:41:40 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #143 on: May 15, 2017, 03:28:16 AM »
This is a little off-topic, but I got this brand-new guide to russian opera



which is already one of the best selling book on amazon.fr
It gives a lot of valuable informations of the relationship with litterature.  Of course Pushkin is omipresent.  It will be translated to english.
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #144 on: May 15, 2017, 11:47:38 PM »


Despite the cuts (traditional at the time) this recording, made in 1955, has managed to hold sway for over sixty years, and remains one of most regularly recommended. No other Rigoletto sings with such tonal variety, nor created a character of such psychological complexity; no other Gilda has so successfully captured the touch of wilfulness in the Gilda, nor managed the transition from virginal innocence to shame and self sacrifice with such truthfulness; no other tenor (though some have sung more stylishly) creates a Duke of such carefree charm. The opera can seem like a long series of duets for father and daughter, and here Gobbi and Callas are in perfect empathy with one another. Serafin's pacing of the score is absolutely spot on, and the La Scala forces play brilliantly.

Nothing is perfect in life, of course. There are the aforementioned cuts, and the recording is mono, though the voices come through well. Still this remains my favourite recording of Rigoletto. For a more detailed review of it, please take a look at my blog https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/rigoletto/

« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 11:51:14 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #145 on: May 16, 2017, 05:46:38 PM »
Strictly speaking, this should go on the New Releases thread, but of relevance here.
1)Sony is reissuing Toscanini's Verdi recordings as part of its Classical Masters series



2) Warner/EMI is adding some titles to its budget "Home of Opera". That's the series without librettos.  Among the more interesting items:
Pretre conducting Samson et Delila
Rostropovich conducting War and Peace
Christie conducting Zauberflote
Less exciting but may be of interest.
Harnoncourt conducting Aida and Entfuhrung aus dem Serail
Dessay's Sonnambula
Sills in Barber of Seville (Levine) and Thais (Maazel)
Gruberova and Kraus in Lucia di Lammermoor (Rescigno)
Barenboim conducting Nozze di Figaro
3) DVD releases:
Moses und Aron from Paris National Opera
Floyd's Susannah from St Petersburg FLORIDA (on Naxos)

« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 11:17:02 AM by Que »

Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #146 on: May 17, 2017, 01:11:58 AM »
I'm curious to know what is so particularly good about Verdi's music that he is one of the most recorded composer of operas in history. I love Verdi and I believe his own dramatic approach to structure based on existing forms worked brilliantly for him, but I've never felt his music interests me quite so much as Wagner, Bizet, Berlioz and composers after them on into the twentieth century.

Offline Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #147 on: May 17, 2017, 02:04:54 AM »
I will be seeing Rossini la Cenerentola, at Paris opera in a new staging by film director Benoit Jacquot.

So I picked the last MET dvd to get a good feel of this opera considering that the libretto differs significantly from Cinderella story.

The MET staging is a cold and unimaginative transposition to 1920 NYC, stripping the opera from its magic.  Fortunately, Elina Garanca in the title role carries the whole production with flying colors.  The rest of the cast is just OK.  The chorus assembled for this production is quite good.


A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #148 on: May 19, 2017, 01:21:51 AM »

Autumn Leaves

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #149 on: May 19, 2017, 09:07:41 PM »
Now playing:



Terrific! - my kind of thing as far as Operas go.. :)

Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #150 on: May 20, 2017, 01:41:43 AM »
I'm curious to know what is so particularly good about Verdi's music that he is one of the most recorded composer of operas in history. I love Verdi and I believe his own dramatic approach to structure based on existing forms worked brilliantly for him, but I've never felt his music interests me quite so much as Wagner, Bizet, Berlioz and composers after them on into the twentieth century.

It's a rather large topic to discuss here, which is really just a listeners' thread. If his music doesn't interest you, then that might just be down to personal taste.

As it happens, I also love Berlioz (Wagner not so much, though I appreciate his greatness), and I think his Les Troyens is one of the greatest masterpieces of opera ever written. That said, I know others who just think it's one long bore and no pleading on my part will make the slightest difference.

Verdi has his own thread, by the way, so you could start by taking a look at that and maybe posting your question there.
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,425.0.html

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Alberich

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #151 on: May 20, 2017, 01:46:36 AM »
Les Troyens is so far pretty much the only work from Berlioz I've heard that I don't like.  :-[
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Offline Spineur

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #152 on: May 20, 2017, 01:52:12 AM »
Les Troyens is so far pretty much the only work from Berlioz I've heard that I don't like.  :-[
The problem with Les Troyens is that it is way too long and the second half (the Didon an Enée part) is much better than the first part.  Next time start at act III, and see if you feel the same way.
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #153 on: May 20, 2017, 01:52:52 AM »
Les Troyens is so far pretty much the only work from Berlioz I've heard that I don't like.  :-[

There you go then.

I love pretty much all Berlioz's music, and Les Troyens seems to me like the summation of his life's work.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #154 on: May 20, 2017, 02:00:47 AM »
The problem with Les Troyens is that it is way too long and the second half (the Didon an Enée part) is much better than the first part.  Next time start at act III, and see if you feel the same way.

People often say that, but it's shorter than Gotterdammerung.

There is some great music in the first two acts. It would be a shame to miss out on that. It does need careful handing, though, and, so far, I haven't heard anyone who paces the opera as well as Colin Davis in both of his recordings.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Alberich

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #155 on: May 20, 2017, 02:28:45 AM »
Yeah, the length is not an issue to me, after all Wagner is my favorite composer. I just find that the music is uninteresting and the orchestration is way too thin, based on what I heard about Les Troyens before I listened to it, I expected typical Berliozian bombing, instead it sounded almost like a chamber orchestra, especially the opening. I have no issue with refined and subdued sound, if it is combined with interesting music. To me, it was not. Admittedly I have heard it only a couple of times. Also, with Berlioz something like that was unexpected.
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
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Online Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #156 on: May 20, 2017, 04:02:46 AM »
Yeah, the length is not an issue to me, after all Wagner is my favorite composer. I just find that the music is uninteresting and the orchestration is way too thin, based on what I heard about Les Troyens before I listened to it, I expected typical Berliozian bombing, instead it sounded almost like a chamber orchestra, especially the opening. I have no issue with refined and subdued sound, if it is combined with interesting music. To me, it was not. Admittedly I have heard it only a couple of times. Also, with Berlioz something like that was unexpected.

This is where the conductor is so important. It doesn't sound thin in either of the two Davis recordings, quite the reverse in fact.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #157 on: May 20, 2017, 02:37:31 PM »
The problem with Les Troyens is that it is way too long and the second half (the Didon an Enée part) is much better than the first part.  Next time start at act III, and see if you feel the same way.
No way the whole thing is amazing!!! :o

Offline jessop

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #158 on: May 20, 2017, 02:39:05 PM »
People often say that, but it's shorter than Gotterdammerung.

There is some great music in the first two acts. It would be a shame to miss out on that. It does need careful handing, though, and, so far, I haven't heard anyone who paces the opera as well as Colin Davis in both of his recordings.
Götterdämmerung is really fast paced though.....

And I agree, Colin Davis is excellent for Les Troyens.

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #159 on: May 20, 2017, 07:58:01 PM »
Recent listening:



Top stuff - almost finished now but may give it another spin when it has ended.