Author Topic: Fidelio  (Read 9964 times)

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #80 on: December 14, 2016, 07:03:55 AM »
Unfortunately, of Furtwängler's I only have the studio... not sure if I ever listened to the whole thing and now I am told that it suffers from the studio boredom not infrequent with that conductor...
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #81 on: December 20, 2016, 01:15:24 PM »
Concluding my thoughts on the remaining versions of Fidelio in my collection....





Lighter textures offer great clarity of lines, if lacking a little weight; a very minor quibble as this is a fine performance throughout. Both male and female voices are very strong and work very well individually and together. Harnoncourt directs a very refined, taut performance that flows fluidly.






The voice of Rachel Harnisch, although wonderful, is a bit too big for Marzelline for me. Nina Stemme is undoubtedly a show stopper. All of the voices are strong and powerful which leads to a powerful performance overall. It is still, however, not in my top rank; perhaps it suffers [for me] from having too many big voices competing with each other.






This is a wonderful version in every way. All of the voices sound like smooth, golden honey to me. The pacing is excellent, providing a good sense of drama and providing a sense of constant forward momentum. Fricsay conducts a taut, controlled performance but one that flows effortlessly.
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Offline king ubu

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #82 on: December 21, 2016, 02:09:21 AM »
Guess I have to finally dip into that second Fricsay box and listen to some of his opera recordings ... haven't received the Furtwängler yet, but I guess your posts here will lead to another round of "Fidelio" (and Gardiner's recording of "Leonore") spins sometime soon!

First version I got btw was the Bernstein, and I love how the (female) voices blend in the first part there - truly wonderful. But on a larger scale, I don't feel I have a grip of "Fidelio" quite yet. Will keep listening!
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Offline knight66

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #83 on: December 21, 2016, 07:50:10 AM »
I have most of the recordings discussed on the last few posts. I have long enjoyed the Karajan and remember the excitement I had over the set when it was issued on LP. I thought the engineering was especially vivid and allowed close placement of the voices. I remain mystified as to why critics so often sweep it aside.

I also love the Bernstein, Janowitz was a surprise in the casting, but does very well apart from the pay-off to her big aria.

The Abbado was an intense disappointment to me, I clearly hear something different in Stemm's voice than most people. I can't stand the sour tone and the vibrato. Other than that, I enjoy the drama of the set and the other voices.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #84 on: December 21, 2016, 11:59:29 AM »
Guess I have to finally dip into that second Fricsay box and listen to some of his opera recordings ... haven't received the Furtwängler yet, but I guess your posts here will lead to another round of "Fidelio" (and Gardiner's recording of "Leonore") spins sometime soon!

First version I got btw was the Bernstein, and I love how the (female) voices blend in the first part there - truly wonderful. But on a larger scale, I don't feel I have a grip of "Fidelio" quite yet. Will keep listening!

I must admit that it took me a while to fully come to terms with Fidelio but once I did it felt so simple and natural a work that I really did wonder what my issue was with it in the first place! So what better motivation for you than to break into your Fricsay set and give it another go  :)
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #85 on: December 21, 2016, 12:03:21 PM »
I have most of the recordings discussed on the last few posts. I have long enjoyed the Karajan and remember the excitement I had over the set when it was issued on LP. I thought the engineering was especially vivid and allowed close placement of the voices. I remain mystified as to why critics so often sweep it aside.

I also love the Bernstein, Janowitz was a surprise in the casting, but does very well apart from the pay-off to her big aria.

The Abbado was an intense disappointment to me, I clearly hear something different in Stemm's voice than most people. I can't stand the sour tone and the vibrato. Other than that, I enjoy the drama of the set and the other voices.

Mike

I am absolutely with you on the von Karajan version; I think that it is a wonderful version too. I am not a huge admirer of all of Abbado's body of work and although I did not go into it with any preconceived ideas I was somehow not surprised that I did not really like it.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline knight66

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #86 on: December 22, 2016, 01:51:48 AM »
By coincidence, this was on my FB timeline today. Bernstein really manages that suspended moment and inner dialogue so terrifically well. Four minutes of bliss.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A9l1wKCv9nE


As for Abbado, he seems to be like Marmite for a lot of people. I loved a lot of his work, I was fortunate to be in choir for his performances a few times. I have read a fair bit of the kind of remarks, that get beople blocked on Twitter, about his work, some people simply detested him. Frankly, it is a mystery to me.

I recently bought the live Mark Elder set for about £6 on Amazon. It is well worth a listen. He is strong on structure and provides plenty of drama. The singers are all very good. I also recommend the Halasz on Naxos, it is very much an unjustly overlooked performance, it is excellent all round.

Mike

DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline ritter

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #87 on: December 22, 2016, 02:09:15 AM »
As for Abbado, he seems to be like Marmite for a lot of people. I loved a lot of his work, I was fortunate to be in choir for his performances a few times. I have read a fair bit of the kind of remarks, that get beople blocked on Twitter, about his work, some people simply detested him. Frankly, it is a mystery to me.
...
Mike
I was lucky enough to see Abbado conduct a fully-staged Fidelio here in Madrid (IIRC as part of a mini-tour of the Lucerne production--the orchestra was the Mahler Chamber Orchetsra, not our local band), and must say his handling of the score was simply outstanding...he managed to blend the  Singspiel and heroic / oratorial aspects of the work into one marvelous unified whole. We had Clifton Forbis as Floretsan (not Kaufmann, alas), and Anja Kampe  as Leonore (vastly superior to Nina Stemme IMHO).

It was a memorable perfomance in all respects...Grande, Claudio Abbado!
Ritter
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #88 on: December 22, 2016, 09:42:00 AM »
By coincidence, this was on my FB timeline today. Bernstein really manages that suspended moment and inner dialogue so terrifically well. Four minutes of bliss.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A9l1wKCv9nE


As for Abbado, he seems to be like Marmite for a lot of people. I loved a lot of his work, I was fortunate to be in choir for his performances a few times. I have read a fair bit of the kind of remarks, that get beople blocked on Twitter, about his work, some people simply detested him. Frankly, it is a mystery to me.

I recently bought the live Mark Elder set for about £6 on Amazon. It is well worth a listen. He is strong on structure and provides plenty of drama. The singers are all very good. I also recommend the Halasz on Naxos, it is very much an unjustly overlooked performance, it is excellent all round.

Mike

Thank you for the recommendations, particularly the Halasz on Naxos. I bought his versions of the Liszt Symphonic Poems this year and I really enjoyed them finding them to be strong performances.

BTW, I really like Marmite  8)
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #89 on: January 05, 2017, 09:28:06 AM »
I have just recently purchased the Halász version of Fidelio mentioned above and I wanted to add my thoughts here for the record....





We open with as good a performance of the overture as I have heard; full of drive and energy. This is followed by strong performances throughout by all concerned. The orchestra is very strong, ably supporting the vocalists. The performance never falters, has good forward momentum holding your interest and compares very favourably with most versions that I have heard. I think that it is very good and would definitely come with a recommendation.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline knight66

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #90 on: January 05, 2017, 02:39:41 PM »
I am glad you enjoyed it, also a bit relieved. One man's meat and all that.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Fidelio
« Reply #91 on: January 06, 2017, 09:47:59 AM »
I am glad you enjoyed it, also a bit relieved. One man's meat and all that.

Mike

A big hat tip to you for that one Mike  8)
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

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