Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 31590 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1754
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #140 on: May 10, 2017, 02:13:30 AM »


On balance this is still the best recording of Nabucco out there. Gobbi was nearing the end of his career, but is still superb, bringing the character alive like no other. Souliotis, at the beginning of her brief career, is stupendous as Abigaille, though the seeds of her demise can be heard in the thrilling recklessness of her singing. None of her later recordings is so successful.

None of the other singers is as interesting, but Gardelli's conducting is, as always, first rate, and the 1960s Decca recording wonderfully clear.

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

Offline ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4113
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #141 on: May 10, 2017, 04:12:51 AM »

...Souliotis, at the beginning of her brief career, is stupendous as Abigaille, though the seeds of her demise can be heard in the thrilling recklessness of her singing....
Very true! Her "Salgo già nel trono aurato...", in its sheer recklessness (as you rghtly point out), always sends shivers down my spine...  :)

I must say that Sinopoli's Berlin version on DG (with another fantastic Abigaille in Ghena Dimitrova , and with the recklessness--in a good way--coming from the conductor's handling of the orchestra) is also quite good IMHO.

Regards,



« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 05:15:34 AM by ritter »
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
   Luxe, calme et volupté ».

Online jessop

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4002
    • jessop's SoundCloud
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #142 on: May 10, 2017, 12:49:41 PM »

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1754
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #143 on: May 12, 2017, 01:39:05 AM »


On balance, this is probably my favourite recording of Otello, though I don't much care for Leonie Rysanek's Desdemona. It was recorded before Vickers had stage experience of the role, but he is still a great Otello and Gobbi arguably the best Iago on disc. Serafin conducts in the central Italian tradition; no great surprises, but unfailingly and unobtrusively right.

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

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1754
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #144 on: May 14, 2017, 04:44:10 AM »


There is little doubt in my mind that Vickers and Domingo were the two greatest Otellos of the latter part of the twentieth century, so it is only right that I should follow Vickers with Domingo. Though Domingo probes deeper in his later recordings (and in the many visual documents we have of his portrayal), I value this first one for the imaginative and musical singing of Scotto as Desdemona. Others (Tebaldi, for instance) may have sung the role with more beauty of tone, but few make the character come alive so well. Milnes is also in fine form, and, I think, better than any of the Iagos on Domingo's other recordings (Leiferkus is also interesting, but less vocally entitled). This is also one of Levine's best Verdi recordings, a lot less bombastic than he was apt to be in early Verdi.


« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 05:50:34 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10484
    • Flickr photostream
  • Location: Florida
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #145 on: May 14, 2017, 06:59:53 AM »


There is little doubt in my mind that Vickers and Domingo were the two greatest Otellos of the latter part of the twentieth century, so it is only right that I should follow Vickers with Domingo. Though Domingo probes deeper in his later recordings (and in the many visual documents we have of his portrayal), I value this first one for the imaginative and musical singing of Scotto as Desdemona. Others (Tebaldi, for instance) may have sung the role with more beauty of tone, but few make the character come alive so well. Milnes is also in fine form, and, I think, better than any of the Iagos on Domingo's other recordings (Leiferkus is also interesting, but less vocally entitled). This is also one of Levine's best Verdi recordings, a lot less bombastic than he was apt to be in early Verdi.

Given how easy it is to be bombastic in early Verdi....

I saw Milnes do Iago live when the Met toured the Zeffirelli production in 1979.   Richard Cassilly sang Otello: a substitute for Vickers, who claimed illness (rumor said he did this so often that the announcement before the performance was no surprise to most of the audience), and Gilda Cruz-Romo sang Desdemona.  Levine conducted, but I don't remember anything beyond the general feeling the man knew what he was doing.

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.

I think I have this recording in a set not yet listened to....

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1754
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #146 on: May 14, 2017, 10:07:33 AM »
Given how easy it is to be bombastic in early Verdi....


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.

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

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8188
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #147 on: May 14, 2017, 10:44:52 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....
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1754
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #148 on: May 15, 2017, 01:20:55 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, 02:29:23 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Wendell_E

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 979
  • Location: Mobile, AL, USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    mostly opera and chamber music
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #149 on: May 15, 2017, 02:39:02 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, 02:41:40 AM by Wendell_E »
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2187
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #150 on: May 15, 2017, 04:28:16 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

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1754
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #151 on: May 16, 2017, 12:47:38 AM »


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 16, 2017, 12:51:14 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10484
    • Flickr photostream
  • Location: Florida
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #152 on: May 16, 2017, 06:46:38 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, 12:17:02 PM by Que »

Online jessop

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4002
    • jessop's SoundCloud
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #153 on: May 17, 2017, 02:11:58 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

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2187
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #154 on: May 17, 2017, 03:04:54 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

Online jessop

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4002
    • jessop's SoundCloud
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #155 on: May 19, 2017, 02:21:51 AM »

Autumn Leaves

  • Guest
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #156 on: May 19, 2017, 10:07:41 PM »
Now playing:



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

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1754
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #157 on: May 20, 2017, 02:41:43 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

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1625
  • "I don't have a horse face!"
  • Location: Finland
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #158 on: May 20, 2017, 02:46:36 AM »
Les Troyens is so far pretty much the only work from Berlioz I've heard that I don't like.  :-[
"I am a shadowy reflection of you."

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2187
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #159 on: May 20, 2017, 02:52:12 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

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK