Author Topic: Gundula Janowitz  (Read 11207 times)

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Offline knight66

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Gundula Janowitz
« on: January 22, 2008, 03:16:02 PM »
I am surprised I don't seem to have previously started a thread about this soprano. She is a favourite of mine, I probably have just about all the works that she appears in.

Orfeo has provided a disc of live performances, there is a lot of pleasue to be had in listening to that creamy, silvery voice. I do not understand the structure of the disc. It might possibly have been made to emulate a recital; but backwards, forwards or sideways, it is a miscellany. Nothing like the bleeding chunks rag-bag they produced of Julia Varady, but it does feel random in structure.



There are the expected items such as Ariadne and Mozart; less anticipated would be Don Carlos and Simon Boccegnera. Although not thought of as a Verdi Soprano, no one could suggest that she makes other than the most beautiful sounds and does savour the words. She is not the passive singer that Karajan so often seemed to encourage and her Eva in Meistersingers shows even more acuity with words.

The Boccegnera is shorn of most of its prelude of beautiful water and breeze evocations, a great pity. Verdi wrote some lovely evocations of nature, this among the best.

There is also superb support and the sound is natural and quite close in the various performances. This is a bit of a hit and run review as I am popping in quickly, but I hope some others enjoy her singing; if you do, this disc will provide lasting pleasure.

Mike
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 03:18:48 PM by knight »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 03:22:27 PM »
I am a huge fan of Janowitz, and didn't know about this recording, which looks delectable.  She was my introduction to Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs, a version I still treasure to this day, among others which have appeared in the interim. 

But I don't have that many recordings by her, so this suggestion and others would be most welcome.  This looks like a really wonderful disc...

--Bruce
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Offline knight66

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 03:55:11 PM »
Ho! Now you have asked for it. How about this to start with.



Five discs; lots of it new to CD.

A disc of Mozart opera and concert arias, Telemann and Handel and Bach, Beethoven Mass in C and the sop movement from The German Requiem. Weber, Wagner and J Strauss. The final disc includes the final scene from Capriccio and Four Last Songs in a live recording with Haitink conducting. Finally extracts from the Figaro conducted by Bohm. It is a splendid taster to what she can do. The voice is very consistant and never less than beautiful.

If you would like complete works, then the Kubelik Meistersingers, Kempe Ariadne, Bohm live Cosi with Fassbaender and Beethoven Missa Solemnis with Karajan. All show her at her best. The Schubert songs she recorded for DGG are also worth collecting. I have two double discs of them. They were recorded a an adjunct to Fischer Dieskau's epic survey of all songs that were suitable for the male voice. Originally it was planned that the female songs would be recorded by Janet Baker; but EMI refused to release her, this decision signaled the end of her exclusive relationship with EMI.

However, Janowitz was used instead and there are some very skillful as well as beautiful performances. In later years she seemed to become more in tune with lieder and her late recordings of such as Strauss songs on Virgin Classics is a step up in terms of detail and identification with the songs.

Here is a reasonably recent discography.

http://www.doremi.com/gundulajanowitz.html

Perhaps if I could only take one recording on holiday; it would be the Haydn Creation, Karajan's studio version with Wunderlich singing his final performance; he died in a accident in between recording sessions.

Mike




« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 03:56:52 PM by knight »
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 06:07:07 AM »
Janowitz is one reason I think so highly of Karajan's Walküre.

Sarge
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Offline wagnernn

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 01:42:14 AM »
I love Janowitz in Weber's "Die Freischutz". I think that no soprano can sing this role beautifully like her.

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 05:16:14 AM »
Good call Mike,

Janowitz's voice was remarkable and, as you say, probably one of the most sheerly beautiful ever.

As well as the Karajan Creation, which has already been mentioned, she contributes a lovely Pamina on Klemperer's Magic Flute recording (along with Lucia Popp's unsurpassed Queen of the Night).

When I first heard her performance of Agathe on Kleiber's Der Freischutz the tonal beauty was intoxicating, even though later listens caused me to revise my views slightly (I came to think that Kleiber luxuriates too much in the beauty of her voice on this recording, when there are times that he really needs to get on with the drama.  The recording is also a bit clinical and, in the end, you don't get the feeling that this is a complete performance, rather than a selection of beautifully played bits and pieces).

I only saw her once, as Ariadne at Covent Garden; but it is a special memory.

I have just been given the recently released DVD of Ariadne auf Naxos with her and a very young Edita Gruberova.  I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but have high hopes.

Jon

Offline Benny

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 08:24:52 AM »
Speaking of Orfeo, Janowitz also sung Euridice in Gluck's opera.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 12:39:12 PM »
Yes, there is a Gluck Orfeo. Fischer Dieskau is in the name part and this tells us it will not be a lot like a HIP performance. Taken on its own terms it is fine; but more for the collectors of either singer than for someone looking for a traversal of the piece.

I do love her as Elsa in Lohengrin. That is a marvelous set, Kubelik again providing really superb Wagner. There is one blot in that landscape, Gwyneth Jones at her wildest. But the set is nevertheless superb.

There is also a live Tannhauser that was on Opera d'Oro and that is worth tracking down. Sorry right now I don't have time to really describe these performances.

Mike

 
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 01:04:23 PM »
Janowitz is one reason I think so highly of Karajan's Walküre.

Sarge

  Janowitz's collaborated  with Karajan on numerous projects: Haydn's The Creation, Bach's St. Matthew Passion are the two recordings I have.  I am not surprised that Karajan would choose her again for his Ring Cycle!!

  marvin
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 01:06:31 PM by marvinbrown »

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 09:23:26 AM »



Five discs; lots of it new to CD.

On sale in HMV Oxford Sreeet for £21 at the moment.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2008, 12:21:51 AM »
Elegance and restraint in the letter duet (Figaro) with Lucia Popp:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd5nFd3utLg

What it means to sing on one's interest and not principal (Magic Flute):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aFZ8xz-3gg

She looks pretty good as well in "come scoglio":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqexdd_jbZU&feature=related
(The acoustics seem very bright as evidenced by the orchestral sound, very echo-like.)

ZB
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Offline knight66

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2008, 01:40:08 PM »
Yes, all beautiful performances. An instantly recognisable voice.

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

Offline cosmicj

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 09:07:07 AM »
I am a big fan of Gundula, too.  That big recitative & aria in the first part of The Creation (HvK rec) is a wonder, with amazing purity and control of the high passages.  I feel she tends to be an emotionally cool singer (description, not criticism), but the last half of the Four Last Songs, 2nd song (again HvK rec) is transporting, like Janowitz, Karajan and the orchestra have been fused into a mystical union.  I'm going to be venturing into the Klemperer Magic Flute soon and look forward to hearing her work there.

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2010, 09:25:00 AM »
Interesting, no one's mentioned Janowitz with Karajan in his great Beethoven 9th .

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2010, 01:54:05 PM »
Interesting, no one's mentioned Janowitz with Karajan in his great Beethoven 9th .

Or indeed this Christmas Oratorio with Karl Richter -- which is one of the few things about Christmas which I enjoy.

I also like The Boehm Capriccio
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 01:57:21 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Scarpia

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2010, 01:56:52 PM »
Sorry to crash the party, but I can't say I enjoy the timbre of Janowitz' voice.  She reminds me of the stereotypical operatic voice that can shatter a crystal champagne glass, as in the Bugs Bunny cartoons.  For the signature Four Last Songs of Strauss I like Auger, with Previn and the VPO on Telarc.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 02:00:46 PM by Scarpia »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2010, 02:05:42 PM »
I think she’s got a very ethereal and pure voice. Maybe cold sometimes, but in fact I find the timbre exceptionally beautiful. I think her Pamina is one of the greatest ever, for example.

Her vibrato – or lack of it – may be a problem for some people. It’s there: she certainly doesn’t sing with no vibrato at all. But  it’s  very light,  and I find it  really distinctive and attractive.
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Scarpia

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2010, 02:10:10 PM »
I think she’s got a very ethereal and pure voice. Maybe cold sometimes, but in fact I find the timbre exceptionally beautiful. I think her Pamina is one of the greatest ever, for example.

Her vibrato – or lack of it – may be a problem for some people. It’s there: she certainly doesn’t sing with no vibrato at all. But  it’s  very light,  and I find it  really distinctive and attractive.

I don't listen to her recordings often, for obvious reasons, but I recall her tone being very pure and her vibrato being very rapid and night, like a theremin in an Ed Wood movie.   8)

Offline Guido

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2010, 03:33:04 AM »
No matter how many versions I hear, her recording of the four last songs is still my favourite. Ok its not as intelligently sung as Schwarzkopf but that sound!!
Geologist.

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Scarpia

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Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2010, 06:58:03 AM »
Ok its not as intelligently sung as Schwarzkopf but that sound!!

I don't see how intelligence has anything to do with singing.

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