Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 41882 times)

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Online André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #840 on: February 12, 2018, 08:56:29 AM »


Adolphe Adam’s Le toréador. Review in the WAYLT thread.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #841 on: February 13, 2018, 04:33:18 AM »


It's a great shame the La Scala performance of the previous year (with Corelli and Bastianini) was never recorded, so this Carnegie Hall concert will have to do.

Though hardness and stridency afflicts some of her top notes, Callas is still a great singer and a great Bellinian stylist. Unfortunately Ferraro or Ego are really no more than adequate. None the less I am happy that we have this one recording of Callas in her penultimate creation.

The sound on this Warner issue is a marked improvement on the murky EMI release.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #842 on: February 14, 2018, 10:27:47 AM »
Revisiting the complete Act IV of Pietro Mascagni’s Parisina:



Parisina has nothing to do with the crude verismo of Cavalleria rusticana, the pastoral atmosphere of L’amico Fritz or the florid orientalism of Iris (just to mention the composer’s best known operas). This is an ambitious (over-ambitious?) and overlong medieval tragedy by Gabriele d’Annunzio (a companion to the poet’s Francesca da Rimini, set to music by Riccardo Zandonai). Mascagni apparently said he’d set “even the commas” of d’Annunzio’s text to music, and the result is a work that lasted 3 hours and forty minutes. On the second performance in 1913, the composer decided to suppress the fourth act completely, but still the opera has had very little circulation since then.

It is a very interesting piece, and the composer tries to adopt a much more refined musical language, with a superb orchestration. The opera’s tone is one of almost incessant exaltation (in line with text), and accomplished as it is, this is also a weakness IMHO. Still, I think this is a noble effort, worth exploring, and represents Mascagni at the top of his craft (which one could argue isn’t saying much).

Gianadrea Gavazzeni, who was an ardent defender of the opera in print and in the pit in post-WWII Italy, leads a impassioned performance of this fourth act, with his wife Denia Mazzola in the title role. She went on to record the whole opera (shorn of this fourth act, and apparently with assorted cuts here and there) in Montpellier for Actes Sud, and is in better form there than in this concert from the Maggio Musicale. There’s also a recording of the four act opera under Gavazzeni, in an abridged edition of his own, live from Rome in 1978 on Bongiovanni (which I’m tempted to seek out).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 01:52:41 AM by ritter »
Ritter
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Offline Draško

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #843 on: February 15, 2018, 12:20:21 PM »


From The Metropolitan, 18.01.1956, in quite spectacularly good sound for its day and age.

Gorgeously sung by Della Casa, Gueden and Edelmann in top form as well. Slight reservations over Rise Stevens' somewhat matronly Octavian. Very well played and balanced Met orchestra under Kempe. A fine performance overall. Worth hearing.

I've been streaming it, but it also can be sampled (in its entirety) via youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDdZMcLkr-c

Offline Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #844 on: February 18, 2018, 12:26:59 AM »
.



Wagner: Tannhäuser, WWV 70 - Wolfgang Windgassen, Etc.; Wolfgang Sawallisch: Chor & Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele


Only the 2nd time I have listened to this work - I loved it!.
Live and let live.

Offline anothername

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #845 on: February 18, 2018, 03:55:15 AM »


Lombard conducting Cosi fan Tutte,
Delightful singing by the ladies.

Offline Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #846 on: February 18, 2018, 04:45:06 AM »
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Verdi: Rigoletto - Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Etc.; Richard Bonynge: London Symphony Orchestra


Good, as you would expect, but (in my copy at least) a fair bit of distortion in the louder moments.
Live and let live.

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #847 on: February 18, 2018, 06:01:51 AM »


Lombard conducting Cosi fan Tutte,
Delightful singing by the ladies.

I have to chuckle at how much larger their names are than the gentlemen's, and that the Alfonso gets first billing in the XY group.  :D
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline anothername

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #848 on: February 19, 2018, 12:23:42 AM »
I have to chuckle at how much larger their names are than the gentlemen's, and that the Alfonso gets first billing in the XY group.  :D

I think it's pure marketing.  ;)

Offline Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #849 on: February 23, 2018, 02:23:46 AM »


Verdi: Macbeth - Sherrill Milnes, Fiorenza Cossotto, Ruggero Raimondi, José Carreras; Riccardo Muti: Ambrosian Opera Chorus & New Philharmonia Orchestra

Enjoyable work - No complaints about the performance from the pictured Box-Set
Live and let live.

Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #850 on: February 24, 2018, 09:21:11 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:

Still (re)exploring obscure works of the Italian operatic novecento:



I have long admired Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, which imho contrins some of the best pages of any Italian opera of this (or any) period. I cavalieri di Ekebù is more uneven, while the subject matter (based on Nobel prize winner Selma Lagerlöf’s novel Gösta Berling's Saga) is less appealing to me, and it also permits Zandonai  to occasionally lapse into verismo-ish clichés and crudeness. Still, the harmonic treatment of the orchestra is interesting and sometimes daring, and the piece overall is a fun operatic show.

The 1983 performance is lovingly and expertly led by Gianandrea Gavazzeni, and the vocalists are all fine. Fiorenza Cossotto is past her prime, but puts her experience to use in the role of Commandante.
Ritter
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Offline Undersea

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #851 on: Today at 01:03:36 AM »


Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore - Richard Suart, Thomas Allen, Etc. Charles Mackerras: Chorus & Orchestra Of The Welsh National Opera

Just a (probably not too interesting) aside about this recording - It's part of a Box-Set which I purchased back in 2011 and I am only now listening to it for the 1st time. :-[
It was a pretty enjoyable Disc - I must listen to the rest of the Set soon.
« Last Edit: Today at 01:39:12 AM by Undersea »
Live and let live.

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