Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 41795 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2516
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #580 on: August 12, 2017, 12:21:47 PM »
Another live broadcast of Aida but this time from Salzburg festival.  More money has been comitted to the staging but it is pretty ridiculous with chorus wearing Christian.orthodox outfits and others bull skulls.  Overall everything looks and sound stiff.  I doubt I will last to the end.  At least I didnt pay 300€ or more for a seat.
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 king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3441
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #581 on: August 13, 2017, 10:20:34 AM »


Since it's only a bit over a week that I'll catch Monteverdi's L'Orfeo live (Gardiner at Lucerne Festival), I felt like revisiting one of the recordings around ... this one's wonderfully played and sung, and somehow very tight and compact, but I guess Anthony Rolfe Johnson will be my favourite Orfeo on record. Have yet to play the Jacobs, Garrido and Haïm recordings though, the third one next to Gardiner and the above on I have already played is the Venexiana/Cavina one.

Anyway, after that I also watched Verdi's Aida from Salzburg ... I'd say it's quite nice, all in all, and wonderfully played and most of the time sung (Semenchuk will never be my favourite, I'm afraid (saw her sing Eboli at La Scala earlier this year and had an even stronger reaction that now on TV ... gotta revisit the Harteros/Kaufmann "Aida" to check her out as Amneris again). Stage and costumes looked gorgeous, but that's not quite enough of course - some acting would have been very welcome, even more so watching on TV where you get all the close-ups (and often miss what little "action" there was - this singer walking five meters to the left, that singer waving with arms, five minutes later another singer walking seven meters to the front right ... you get the idea).



Still not quite enough opera for the day, it seems, so this new arrival is in the player for the first time now, Verdi again with La Traviata, as conducted by maestro Krips.

Not familiar with Cotrubas all that much yet ... and frankly in Kleiber's take on "La Traviata" I consider her one of the weaker spots - let's see how she acquits herself in a live setting. (Note to self: play that Pritchard recording of "L'elisir d'amore" soon to check out her Adina ... and the Giulini "Rigoletto" for her Gilda - somehow I feel her voice could be just right there).
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8312
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #582 on: August 13, 2017, 01:21:50 PM »
Not familiar with Cotrubas all that much yet ... and frankly in Kleiber's take on "La Traviata" I consider her one of the weaker spots - let's see how she acquits herself in a live setting. (Note to self: play that Pritchard recording of "L'elisir d'amore" soon to check out her Adina ... and the Giulini "Rigoletto" for her Gilda - somehow I feel her voice could be just right there).
She's wonderful alongside von stade in Hansel and Gretel (interestingly, also with Pritchard). It's an excellent set.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3441
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #583 on: August 14, 2017, 12:57:51 AM »
She's wonderful alongside von stade in Hansel and Gretel (interestingly, also with Pritchard). It's an excellent set.

Now there's an opera I don't know at all so far.

But I'm just figuring out what day might work out to see the new "Le grand macabre" production in Lucerne in September or October!

And I'm planning to catch the new Sciarrino opera in Milano in November (ciao Giocar!)
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #584 on: August 14, 2017, 02:36:24 PM »
Still have to listen to John Vickers.




The Vickers disc is superb.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #585 on: August 14, 2017, 02:42:22 PM »

Not familiar with Cotrubas all that much yet ... and frankly in Kleiber's take on "La Traviata" I consider her one of the weaker spots - let's see how she acquits herself in a live setting. (Note to self: play that Pritchard recording of "L'elisir d'amore" soon to check out her Adina ... and the Giulini "Rigoletto" for her Gilda - somehow I feel her voice could be just right there).

Though no one is quite in the Callas class in the role of Violetta, I rather like Cotrubas in it, and like her in the Kleiber recording, which is, in any case, my favourite studio set of the opera. I saw Cotrubas in the role at Covent Garden, and she was incredibly affecting.

I also like her in the Pritchard L'Elisir d'Amore.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3441
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #586 on: August 15, 2017, 01:04:30 AM »
Though no one is quite in the Callas class in the role of Violetta, I rather like Cotrubas in it, and like her in the Kleiber recording, which is, in any case, my favourite studio set of the opera. I saw Cotrubas in the role at Covent Garden, and she was incredibly affecting.

I also like her in the Pritchard L'Elisir d'Amore.

Somehow, for myself, I have come to the sad conclusion that the perfect recording of La Traviata doesn't really exist. But I'll have to revisit the Kleiber. Enjoyed Cotrubas and the entire Krips recording quite some.

That Pritchard set of L'elisir d'amore was your recommendation a few months back, when I mentioned listening to the Bonynge and attending a live performance under the baton of Nello Santi, right? I bought it back then but it hasn't yet made it into the player.
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #587 on: August 15, 2017, 05:37:20 AM »
Somehow, for myself, I have come to the sad conclusion that the perfect recording of La Traviata doesn't really exist. But I'll have to revisit the Kleiber. Enjoyed Cotrubas and the entire Krips recording quite some.

I'd agree the perfect recording probably doesn't exist, but performance? I honestly don't think you could better the live Callas 1958 Covent Garden performance, better in fact than the one from Lisbon in the forthcoming Warner Liver Remastered box. Its emotional impact is so shattering that I can't listen to it too often.


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

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2516
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #588 on: August 15, 2017, 06:11:53 AM »
I'd agree the perfect recording probably doesn't exist, but performance? I honestly don't think you could better the live Callas 1958 Covent Garden performance, better in fact than the one from Lisbon in the forthcoming Warner Liver Remastered box. Its emotional impact is so shattering that I can't listen to it too often.
What about Theresa Stratas in Zeffirelli movie ?  I remember seing quite a few people in the movie theater crying at the end.  I have not bought the DVD since, so I never had a second critical viewing, but the first one really touched me.

I have also the Cotrubas recording, which is a fine one, although I almost never reach for a listening.  The problem with Traviata is over-exposure.  I have seen just too many performances.  The last one was no later than last fall at the Paris Opera with a staging of Benoit Jacquot (film director).  Besides the staging, I cant remember a thing.
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 Alberich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1686
  • "I don't have a horse face!"
  • Location: Finland
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #589 on: August 15, 2017, 06:42:26 AM »
Haydn's Lo speziale. I think this is the first opera from Haydn that I've heard.
"I am a shadowy reflection of you."

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #590 on: August 15, 2017, 07:05:07 AM »
What about Theresa Stratas in Zeffirelli movie ?  I remember seing quite a few people in the movie theater crying at the end.  I have not bought the DVD since, so I never had a second critical viewing, but the first one really touched me.

I have also the Cotrubas recording, which is a fine one, although I almost never reach for a listening.  The problem with Traviata is over-exposure.  I have seen just too many performances.  The last one was no later than last fall at the Paris Opera with a staging of Benoit Jacquot (film director).  Besides the staging, I cant remember a thing.

I love the Zeffirelli movie and Stratas is indeed very moving, but her actual singing of the role is not quite in the Callas class, and the coloratura of the first act, which didn't suit her particularly well even in the live recording I have of her doing it with Wunderlich in 1965, is even less cleanly articulated by the time of the movie.

I've seen and heard many performances of the opera too, but Callas slays me every time, particularly, as I said, in the 1958 Covent Garden performance.

I review it on my blog here https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/callass-covent-garden-traviata/



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

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2516
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #591 on: August 17, 2017, 10:08:35 AM »
Thanks for your comments Tsaras.  I need to fast on Traviata for a year or two.  I will appreciate it all the more when I return to it after a long time.

I am finishing the Diapason great recital box with yet another fantastic disk: Inge Borkh in an all Strauss CD with scenes from Salome and Elektra



For some reason I love Strauss, while I should have all the reasons not to.  Most of his composition have little structure and appear as a succession of musical scenes.  In term of illustrating the story contained in a libretto, it should have all the reason to fail.  And yet, I am so drawn into his music that it actually works.  Amazing !!

« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 10:10:20 AM by Spineur »
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: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #592 on: August 19, 2017, 02:56:44 AM »

For some reason I love Strauss, while I should have all the reasons not to.  Most of his composition have little structure and appear as a succession of musical scenes.  In term of illustrating the story contained in a libretto, it should have all the reason to fail.  And yet, I am so drawn into his music that it actually works.  Amazing !!

I have equivocal feelings about Strauss. I liked his music a lot more when I was younger, but these days I find much of it a tad overblown.

There are exceptions, of course. I love the Vier letzte Lieder and most of his other songs, both with and without orchestra. Among the operas Der Rosenkavalier remains one of my favourite operas, I still enjoy Ariadne auf Naxos, Capriccio and Salome (though not the Nilsson/Solti recording), but can't abide Elektra, which for much of the time just sounds to me like a load of women screaming at each other.

The orchestral works I have to be in the right mood for too. My favourites are Tod und Verklärung and Metamorphosen, but I can enjoy the others from time to time.

But not a composer I turn to that often.

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

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #593 on: August 19, 2017, 03:04:07 AM »


Lord knows why this issue has a photo of Callas as Amina in La Sonnambula on the cover, but no matter, I quite like this performance, whilst acknowledging that it's not quite in the class of the 1955 Berlin Karajan performance.

Molinari-Pradelli provides sympathetic support (without Karajan's insights) and I rather like Gianni Raimondi's Edgardo.

Unfortunately the recording seems to have been made from somewhere in the orchestra pit, and the timpani section often drown out the singers.


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

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3441
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #594 on: August 19, 2017, 03:26:45 AM »
... Strauss ... can't abide Elektra, which for much of the time just sounds to me like a load of women screaming at each other.

Have you seen the Chéreau production of "Elektra" with Evelyn Herlitzius in the title role? To me one of the most intense opera experiences ever - consider that I'm still pretty young (still this side of the big four for another short while) and have ignored opera for most of the past 20 years, that only changed around 4-5 years ago, a couple of years after I started listening to classical. Anyway, I found both the production and the music/singing/acting outstanding!

And apologies for not following up on your question re: Callas' London Violetta. I have bought that recording only fairly recently upon your recommendation and the enjoyed it a lot during it's only spin so far. I guess we can easily agree on Callas being the most outstanding and probably perfect Violetta, but that does not necessarily make it a perfect recording/production all in all - and that's what my comment was aiming at, not at the role of Violetta or at Callas.
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #595 on: August 19, 2017, 03:57:50 AM »
Have you seen the Chéreau production of "Elektra" with Evelyn Herlitzius in the title role? To me one of the most intense opera experiences ever - consider that I'm still pretty young (still this side of the big four for another short while) and have ignored opera for most of the past 20 years, that only changed around 4-5 years ago, a couple of years after I started listening to classical. Anyway, I found both the production and the music/singing/acting outstanding!

And apologies for not following up on your question re: Callas' London Violetta. I have bought that recording only fairly recently upon your recommendation and the enjoyed it a lot during it's only spin so far. I guess we can easily agree on Callas being the most outstanding and probably perfect Violetta, but that does not necessarily make it a perfect recording/production all in all - and that's what my comment was aiming at, not at the role of Violetta or at Callas.

I suppose I should seek out your recommendation, but the opera just doesn't appeal to me anymore - neither the treatment of the subject matter or the music. I quite liked it when I was younger, but now I just can't stand all that high voltage screaming. I sometimes think Strauss himself might have had second thoughts, because he seems to have changed direction after composing it (Der Rosenkavalier followed by Ariadne, followed by Die Frau ohne Schatten).

I agree that the live Callas Covent Garden is by no means perfect, but, in all but matters of recording quality, it comes as close as you can get. Had it been recorded in studio conditions in modern sound, I doubt you'd get much better.

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

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2516
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #596 on: August 20, 2017, 07:58:30 AM »
In spite of Callas efforts to revive an interest in Gaspare Spontini operas, it has not really caught on.  La Vestale gets some rare performances once in a while.  His other operas Fernand Cortez and Olympie fate has been even worse.
Last year Le Cercle de l'Harmonie directed by Jérémy Rohrer revived Olympie at the Théatre des Champs Elysées and his production was subsequently performed in several European cities.

I was always curious about this opera created in 1819, as it is the last tragédie lyrique composed.  Spontini inspiration has always been Gluck and the italian bel canto, two traditions which seems hard to marry together.  In spite of a certain anachronism, his operas did meet some success (La Vestale and Fernand Cortez were performed more than 200 times).  On of his strongest admirer was Hector Berlioz, and after listening to Olympie, I can say that the second act did clearly inspired Berlioz writing in Les Troyens.

There is a podcast of Jéremy Rohrer production from the Concertgebow, which I listen today with Karina Gauvin



in the title role and Juliette Mars in the role of Statira the mother of Olympie who also happens to the the daughter of Alexander the great.  Much of the libretto is highly improbable even though it was inspired by a play of Voltaire.

The first act, follows a slightly romantic path of the tragédie Lyrique, but there is little action, as the identities of the main characters isnt known to any of the protagonists.

Their identities is finally revealed in the second act, which I found to be quite beautiful, in paticular the begining where Statira (mother of Olympie and the most interesting character) sings the beautiful aria "Oh déplorable mère" and is followed by several duos.

The final act is also pretty lively.  The opera has several possible endings.  The 1819 version chosen by Jérémy Rohrer has a happy ending where Olympie maries her lover.  In the 1926 version she throws herself in the fire.

If you are curious, the aria "Oh déplorable mère" has been recorded by Jennifer Borghi and can be listened to on soundcloud

https://soundcloud.com/outhere-music/spontini-olympie-o-deplorable-mere-jennifer-borghi-les-agremens-guy-van-waas

It lasts some 9 minutes and is really quite nice.

   
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: 1801
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #597 on: August 20, 2017, 11:00:22 AM »
In spite of Callas efforts to revive an interest in Gaspare Spontini operas, it has not really caught on.  [

Not quite correct. Callas appeared in one production of La Vestale, which opened the 1954 La Scala season. It was the first production she did with Visconti, and unveiled the new ultra-slim Callas. The production was stunningly beautiful, but the opera didn't take fire the way Cherubini's Medea had, and consequently it was never revived.



The same fate befell Visconti's equally stunning production of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, also with Callas.





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

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3441
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #598 on: August 21, 2017, 04:51:28 AM »
Will hear Gardiner conduct "L'Orfeo" tomorrow and am most excited about this!



To warm up, I played the Garrido recording for the very first time - it's excellent.
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1203
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #599 on: August 22, 2017, 01:35:23 AM »
Anyway, I was deeply impressed by the great acoustic in Munich. I had asked Jens for pointers - thank you kindly! - and sat front row, almost centre, in the gallery, at the very top that is, with perfect view and indeed glorious acoustic - I never heard an opera sounding so good!

Ah, this is gratifying to hear! Very glad you enjoyed it.

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