Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 82935 times)

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Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1320 on: October 14, 2018, 06:23:10 PM »
For Parsifal lovers, all 12 recordings made by Knappertsbusch, On the Venias label.





Box 1 (48 cds) of the 204 cd set devoted to Kna.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1321 on: October 15, 2018, 12:38:17 AM »


Cast from strength, this performance of Pagliacci remains one of the most recommendable despite its age and mono recording.

Though Callas never performed Nedda on stage, the performace feels like a real performance from a cast reacting and responding to each other, as they would on stage. This, top to bottom,  must be one of the most strongly cast versions ever recorded, with excellent contributions from Rolando Panerai as Silvio and Nicola Monti as Beppe. Gobbi is a superbly malevolent Tonio, Di Stefano a deeply unhappy Canio, the brute in him lurking just under the surface, and Callas's Nedda is much more complex than the two dimensional little minx we are often given. Serafin's conducting is brilliantly paced and just sounds unobtrusively right.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 04:02:18 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Draško

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1322 on: October 15, 2018, 02:33:24 AM »
When I first started to post on music sites on the web I was listening to Arabella and wondering what name to give myself.

And here's another titbit of trivia. When Mandryka comes to Vienna he tells Arabella's father that for the expenses of the trip he sold this grand old forest in Sisak (Sissek in ger.). My grandmother was from Sisak, small town in nowdays Croatia, back then in Austro-Hungarian empire, a place you last expect to find in opera libretto.   

Offline knight66

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1323 on: October 15, 2018, 03:49:04 AM »
For Parsifal lovers, all 12 recordings made by Knappertsbusch, On the Venias label.





Box 1 (48 cds) of the 204 cd set devoted to Kna.

I have two of those, well spaced in time. The later one I bought to obtain Vickers as Parsifal. My own favourite is however Kubelik. I feel prompted however to give Kna a spin.

Mike
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1324 on: October 15, 2018, 04:31:22 AM »


Strauss never in fact wrote an operetta called Wiener Blut, but, towards the end of his life, he did give Adolf Müller permission to adapt some of his existing dance music to a text by Victor Léon and Leo Stein. The result is a charming confection of familiar tunes, brilliantly performed here by Legge's house operetta team of Schwarzkopf, Gedda and Kunz, alongside Emmy Loose, Erika Köth and Karl Dönch, with the Philharmonia under Otto Ackermann. However heavily cut (and this one probably suffers mroe cuts than the others they recorded), there is no denying the echt-Viennese style in this sparkling performance.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1325 on: October 15, 2018, 07:35:29 AM »
For Parsifal lovers, all 12 recordings made by Knappertsbusch, On the Venias label.





Box 1 (48 cds) of the 204 cd set devoted to Kna.
I notice from the picture that the elusive 1955 Parsifal is not included in this set either... And the number “4” in 1954 is inverted for some strange reason  :D
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1326 on: October 15, 2018, 07:22:05 PM »


A magical performance of Rachmaninoff's seldom heard and seldom recorded operatic masterpiece. I have never understood the accusations that Rachmaninoff supposedly couldn't write well for the human voice.

Yeah, those accusations are false. He wrote gloriously for the voice. One listen to The Bells, Three Russian Songs or All-Night Vigil will reveal this pretty quick or so I believe to be the case.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Online Mandryka

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1327 on: October 15, 2018, 09:03:40 PM »
I’ve seen the Miserly Knight, I can’t remember where, it was fully staged though, I thought it was very very boring! 
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1328 on: October 16, 2018, 07:29:21 AM »


Santuzza was the first role Callas ever sang on stage - at the tender age of 15, in a student production. She sang the role once more with the Athens Opera in 1944 and never again on stage. Indeed if the mezzo who had been engaged for this recording hadn't dropped out at the last minute, she might not have even sung it again in the studio.

This 1953 recording remains one of the most recommendable versions of the opera sixty odd years since it was made, and not just for Callas, though her Santuzza is incomparable. No other singer manages to marry music and words with quite the same degree of intensity yet without straying from the letter of the score.

There are other reasons to treasure this version, not least the conducting of her mentor Tullio Serafin and the forces of La Scala, Milan. Di Stefano is also excellent, his Turiddu caddish, charming and ultimately genuinely remorseful. Between them Callas and Di Stefano work up a veritable lather in their central duet. Panerai is superb as Alfio, vengeful in his duet with Santuzza, but absolutely chilling in his short exchange with Turiddu. Ebe Ticozzi is a fine, sympathetic Mamma Lucia and Anna Maria Canali makes quite an impression as Lola, particularly in her brief scene with Santuzza.

The Karajan set might enjoy better sonics, but, to my mind, it doesn't bristle with true Sicilian fire the way this one does, however beautifully played and sung it is.

Fuller review on my blog https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/cavalleria-rusticana/
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1329 on: October 17, 2018, 05:19:58 AM »


Eine Nacht in Venedig has had a somewhat complicated history. The original Strauss operetta enjoyed only a limited success, and was massively revised (by Korngold and Ernst Marischka) for a 1923 production, which is, with one or two re-arrangements, additions and omissions) the version used for this 1954 recording.

Regardless of editions, though, this performance, like the other operettas in this series, is an absolute joy, with superb performances from the house team of Schwarzkopf, Gedda, Loose and Kunz.

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

Offline king ubu

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1330 on: October 21, 2018, 05:04:11 AM »
Going to catch the new Zurich productoin of Franz Schreker's "Die Gezeichneten" Tuesday night ... totally unprepared, but curious (read a review and will try and get hold of the programme book before going ...) - here's the specifics:

https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/die-gezeichneten/
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1331 on: October 21, 2018, 05:18:18 AM »
Going to catch the new Zurich productoin of Franz Schreker's "Die Gezeichneten" Tuesday night ... totally unprepared, but curious (read a review and will try and get hold of the programme book before going ...) - here's the specifics:

https://www.opernhaus.ch/en/spielplan/calendar/die-gezeichneten/
Have fun!!
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1332 on: October 21, 2018, 09:49:20 AM »


The all-important factor in successful Mozart opera performances is pacing. It emanates first from the podium, but must also be felt in the singers’ recitatives, arias, duetting and ensembles. The conversational aspect in Da Ponte’s librettos is what makes them flow so beautifully. This is fortunately well done here. It helps make an average cast sound better than they are individually. Jurinac, Sciutti and Cuénod are the best elements. Jurinac is actually the only world class vocalist in the group. None of the singers attempts something like a star turn. All told this is a refreshing second tier version of Le Nozze di Figaro.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1333 on: October 22, 2018, 03:45:24 AM »


Gorgeous music wonderfully performed, especially by Frederica Von Stade, who could not be more perfect as Cendrillon. In fact most of the recording is perfect, with one glaring omission. The role of Le Prince Charmant was conceived as a breeches role to be sung by a mezzo soprano or falcon (performed at the premiere by Georgette Bréjean-Gravière), but here it is given to the tenor Nicolai Gedda. Stylishly as he sings, he cannot disguise the fact that he is singing in the wrong octave and the substitution seriously damages the sound of the duets. I can't imagine why such a decision was made.

However I'll put up with him for the pleasure of hearing Von Stade in a role that fit her like a glove.

For those who have been following some of the earlier discussions, it should be noted that Teresa Cahill plays Noémie, one of the stepsisters.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 04:17:10 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1334 on: October 22, 2018, 09:06:03 AM »


Oddly enough, I was listening earlier to an opera (Massenet's Cendrillon) where a female breeches role was given to a tenor, and the same happens here, though not quite to such detrimental effect. Rudolf Christ's languidly effete Orlovsky almost reconciles me to the change and is my only slight quibble about a superb, classic recording, which I happen to prefer to Karajan's later effort for Decca.

Though recorded in London with the Philharmonia, cast and conductor bring an echt Viennese quality to the whole enterprise, the judicially edited dialogue delivered in sparkling fashion. You don't really need to speak German to understand what's going on.

Schwarzkopf is a superb Rosalinde, none better, singing her Czardas with appropriate dash and swagger, the voice gloriously rich and firm; Streich a delightfully pert and flirtatious Adele; Gedda a properly tenor Eisenstein, with a fine line in comedy, especially when impersonating Blind in the final scene; Kunz a genially scheming Falke. Excellent contributions also from Krebs as Alfred, Dönch as Frank and Majkut as Blind.

Karajan's conducting is on the swift side, but the whole performance fizzes and pops like the very best brut champagne that the operetta celebrates.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 12:47:08 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1335 on: October 22, 2018, 11:18:10 AM »


I have that set in the EMI Karajan big box, it is very enjoyable. Although I have flirted with other sets, Domingo, Previn, Bohm, I keep returning to the Boskovsky with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on EMI. Rothenberger is a singer we rarely mention, she was superb in Mozart for example and is splendid here. Renata Holm is the other soprano and they really sound like they are having fun. Gedda is in the mix as is the best ever Orlovsky, Brigitte Fassbaender, she is properly sexy and ambiguous and sings without guying it or degrading the sound. No one starts the Bruderline ensemble like Fischer Dieskau does here, elevating it to the universal. It is a similar moment for me as the reconciliation at the end of Mozart’s Figaro.

The whole thing fizzes along, the dialogue sparkles. It should be regarded as a classic.

The Bohm with Janowitz, Wachter and Holm again has Windgassen as a world weary and rather pallid prince. But as a whole, it is well worth hearing. Previn employs te Kanawa and Fassbaender, Gruberova and Bar. It goes well, but sounds like it was recorded in a huge bathroom. The Boskovsky is closely recorded and relatively intimate.

I don’t recall much about the Domingo conducted set, apart from it not leaving much of an impression, though it has yet another great cast of singers. The Carlos Kleiber has some great singers, but Ivan Rebroff is a falsetto Orlovsky, and I really don’t want to hear that.

Mike

PS The Boskovsky is available on Amazon UK for 1p plus postage!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 11:20:46 AM by knight66 »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1336 on: October 22, 2018, 12:59:12 PM »
I have that set in the EMI Karajan big box, it is very enjoyable. Although I have flirted with other sets, Domingo, Previn, Bohm, I keep returning to the Boskovsky with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on EMI. Rothenberger is a singer we rarely mention, she was superb in Mozart for example and is splendid here. Renata Holm is the other soprano and they really sound like they are having fun. Gedda is in the mix as is the best ever Orlovsky, Brigitte Fassbaender, she is properly sexy and ambiguous and sings without guying it or degrading the sound. No one starts the Bruderline ensemble like Fischer Dieskau does here, elevating it to the universal. It is a similar moment for me as the reconciliation at the end of Mozart’s Figaro.

The whole thing fizzes along, the dialogue sparkles. It should be regarded as a classic.

The Bohm with Janowitz, Wachter and Holm again has Windgassen as a world weary and rather pallid prince. But as a whole, it is well worth hearing. Previn employs te Kanawa and Fassbaender, Gruberova and Bar. It goes well, but sounds like it was recorded in a huge bathroom. The Boskovsky is closely recorded and relatively intimate.

I don’t recall much about the Domingo conducted set, apart from it not leaving much of an impression, though it has yet another great cast of singers. The Carlos Kleiber has some great singers, but Ivan Rebroff is a falsetto Orlovsky, and I really don’t want to hear that.

Mike

PS The Boskovsky is available on Amazon UK for 1p plus postage!

I haven't heard it in ages, so maybe I should get it. I remember quite enjoying it. I agree that Fassbänder is superb as Orlovsky, probably the best I've ever heard. Rothenberger and Holm are good too, but I find Schwarzkopf and Streich pretty unbeatable. Still it's only 1p plus postage. Maybe I should go for it. On the other hand, I suppose I could always track it down on Spotify.

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

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1337 on: October 23, 2018, 03:19:36 AM »
The role of Le Prince Charmant was conceived as a breeches role to be sung by a mezzo soprano or falcon (performed at the premiere by Georgette Bréjean-Gravière), but here it is given to the tenor Nicolai Gedda. Stylishly as he sings, he cannot disguise the fact that he is singing in the wrong octave and the substitution seriously damages the sound of the duets. I can't imagine why such a decision was made.


From the essay in the original LP release of that recording:

Quote
In order to suggest the prince's youth and grace, and to enhance the tender, ethereal quality of his love scenes with Cendrillon, Massenet composed the part for a falcon, .... Moreover, to prevent fashionable prime donne of the buxom kind from being miscast in the part, Massenet also stipulated in the score that the falcon should possess an appropriate physique du costume. (In a recording, of course, physique du costume matters not at all, but oral delineation of characters is of the utmost importance, especially in an unfamiliar work. Hence the role of the Prince is sung in the present recording by tenor Nicolai Gedda.)

I never bought that argument for casting a tenor, but there it is. If "oral delineation of characters" was of importance to the composer, he would have written the role for a different voice. And of course, two females can still have very different voices. Fortunately, the two productions I've seen live (New York City Opera 1983, and New Orleans Opera 2014) followed the composer's wishes.

A small correction: Georgette Bréjean-Gravière sang La Fée at the premiere, Marie-Louise van Émelen the Prince.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 03:21:32 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline Draško

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1338 on: October 23, 2018, 04:23:11 AM »
Speaking of Johann Strauss, Decca has recently reissued Clemens Krauss' Fledermaus and Zigeunerbaron. Anyone familiar with them?




Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #1339 on: October 23, 2018, 11:21:12 AM »

A small correction: Georgette Bréjean-Gravière sang La Fée at the premiere, Marie-Louise van Émelen the Prince.

Absolutely right. My eyes jumped a line.

Still think it made no sense to cast a tenor as Le Prince, even if it was Nicolai Gedda.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

 

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