Author Topic: Gundula Janowitz  (Read 12147 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cosmicj

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #60 on: June 24, 2010, 04:19:03 AM »
In the main she has a terrific technique, though on the famous 'Creation' disc, ... she evinces a weakness in one phrase or other in actually getting round the notes.

I was the one raving about her big Creation Part 1 aria above and I agree that Gundula slips up at the beginning of the aria, but that doesn't detract from what happens later on. 

Offline cosmicj

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2010, 04:22:57 AM »
Just re-listened to Janowitz's Vier letzte Lieder, and, this time round, I admit to finding it very beautiful. Nor is the singing unfeeling or bland, but, and this could be because it's the version I first came to know the work by, my inner ear kept harking back to Schwarzkopf/Szell, her inimitable way with the music, her more intelligent (yes, that word) use of the text. It is a work I love, and I have several versions, but Schwarzkopf's with Szell is the one I always return to - one of my desert island discs.

I find the Schwarzkopf/Szell a complete misfire, with awkward phrasing and a lack of rapport between the performers.  If I were to try to turn someone on to the Last Songs, I would use the Janowitz/HvK recording (beautiful conducting, too).  But my personal fave is the Schwarzkopf recording from the early 1950s.  What you describe as "intelligent" I would describe as more outwardly expressive, emphatic, dramatic.   [BTW, I haven't heard the Isokoski version yet, although I am very interested in it.]

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9568
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #62 on: June 24, 2010, 08:55:23 AM »
I think that Scarpia mentioned the Previn Auger version and I agree with him, that is terrific and I think underrated.

A musical friend of mine who is into vocal music, also dislikes Janowitz. He hears the voice as shallow and pushed and that a lot of the music is a size too big for her. I don't agree, but that is what he hears.

He does like Callas though. So as always, beauty is the the ear....etc.

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

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1756
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #63 on: June 24, 2010, 10:12:57 AM »
I find the Schwarzkopf/Szell a complete misfire, with awkward phrasing and a lack of rapport between the performers.  If I were to try to turn someone on to the Last Songs, I would use the Janowitz/HvK recording (beautiful conducting, too).  But my personal fave is the Schwarzkopf recording from the early 1950s.  What you describe as "intelligent" I would describe as more outwardly expressive, emphatic, dramatic.   [BTW, I haven't heard the Isokoski version yet, although I am very interested in it.]

Funny how two people can hear completely different things in the same performance. Beautiful though the Janowitz/Karajan version is, I feel it misses much of the deeper meaning of the poetry. I find the rapport between Schwarzkopf and Szell exemplary, and certainly hear no awkwardness in the phrasing.

This is what I wrote in the Vier letzte Lieder thread:-

I have all three of Schwarzkopf's recordings , 1953, live 1956 and 1965, with, respectively, Ackermann, Karajan and Szell. I also have Popp/Tennstedt, Janowitz/Karajan and Fleming/Thielemann.

I have to say, that, though I enjoy all these recordings, it is the Schwarzkopf/Szell recording I like best, as, for me, they get right to the heart of these songs as no others do. With Strauss's gorgeous writing for the soprano voice, it is all too easy to forget that these are Lieder, and to ignore the texts and just revel in the sheerly beautiful sounds, provided by a Te Kanawa, a Fleming, or indeed a Janowitz. I also feel the more mature Schwarzkopf better suited to the songs than the young one. After all, these are Autumnal songs, and the voice of youth doesn't seem quite right somehow. Certain phrases in Swhwarzkopf's later recording are now so firmly etched into my memory, that they spoil me for all others and Schwarzkopf and Szell seem to be completely at one in their vision. Two places stick out for me, Schwarzkopf's voicing of the words "langsam tut er die mudgewordenen Augen zu" in September, where Szell matches her tone perfectly in the orchestra. The other is in the final song, Im Abendrot. The way Schwarzkopf sings the words "so tief im Abendrot" has an almost cathartic release, not matched in any of her other recordings (nor by any other soprano), and superbly seconded by the rich carpet of sound Szell provides for her. "Ist dies etwa der Tod", asks Schwarzkopf/Eichendorff, and as the orchestra creeps in with the quote from Tod und Verklaerung, one can only assume that it is. For me it is one of the classic discs of all time, and would definitely be one for my desert island.


I see no reason to revise that opinion, even with the Janowitz fresh in my memory now.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 02:53:28 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1756
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #64 on: June 24, 2010, 10:14:45 AM »

A musical friend of mine who is into vocal music, also dislikes Janowitz. He hears the voice as shallow and pushed and that a lot of the music is a size too big for her. I don't agree, but that is what he hears.

He does like Callas though. So as always, beauty is the the ear....etc.

Mike

I wouldn't go as far as your friend, but I know exactly what he means. And, as you know, I too love Callas, so maybe we have similar ears.  :)

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

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9568
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #65 on: June 24, 2010, 10:18:21 AM »
Though I have a lot of Callas recordings I won't part with and agree with your remarks about Schwarzkopf in the Szell disc. Oh, that friend of mine can't stand Schwarzkopf. Too studied and elaborate seemingly.

Where is Andre? He has a fine ear for voices.

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

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2975
  • selig sind
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2010, 09:47:59 AM »
... I find the rapport between Schwarzkopf and Szell exemplary, and certainly hear no awkwardness in the phrasing... For me it is one of the classic discs of all time, and would definitely be one for my desert island.[/i]


I vote for the above and would also pack into my suitcase for the desert island (hopefully with some palm trees).

ZB
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Scarpia

  • Guest
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #67 on: June 30, 2010, 11:19:24 AM »
Though I have a lot of Callas recordings I won't part with and agree with your remarks about Schwarzkopf in the Szell disc. Oh, that friend of mine can't stand Schwarzkopf. Too studied and elaborate seemingly.

The Gods just don't want me to listen to Callas.  I got out my deluxe box set of Tosca with Callas (the EMI recording with de Sabata, 1953 or so).  Well, about half way through the first act I found that every other page in the booklet libretto was missing.  I get to read a page of dialog, then a page of dialog is missing, then a page, then a page missing.  Thanks alot to EMI (Every Mistake Imaginable).  In any case, I get what people say about Callas' ability to act with her voice, but the sound of her voice doesn't strike me very pleasantly.  Before I turned it off in disgust it was the tenor, di Stefano, who really made an impression.


Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21094
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #68 on: June 30, 2010, 11:32:10 AM »
In any case, I get what people say about Callas' ability to act with her voice, but the sound of her voice doesn't strike me very pleasantly.

Back in the day some opera fans pitted Callas against Tebaldi: vocal acting vs vocal beauty ( to simplify the rivalry). I guess I'm shallow because I almost always preferred Tebaldi. Not that there aren't Callas recordings I love: the '55 Lucia (Karajan conducting); Norma, of course. In Puccini and Verdi roles, though, I prefer Tebaldi (and Freni and Scotto and Moffo).

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2975
  • selig sind
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2010, 11:34:03 PM »
Back in the day some opera fans pitted Callas against Tebaldi: vocal acting vs vocal beauty ( to simplify the rivalry). I guess I'm shallow because I almost always preferred Tebaldi. Not that there aren't Callas recordings I love: the '55 Lucia (Karajan conducting); Norma, of course. In Puccini and Verdi roles, though, I prefer Tebaldi (and Freni and Scotto and Moffo).
Sarge

I don't think preferring Tebaldi is a shallow opinion at all. Recently I was listening to quite a few recordings of Magda Olivero and was speculating why verismo singers are not necessarily bel canto and vice versa. Tebaldi somewhat marred her "greatest soprano" reputation by not being as careful with the little notes. Being good at one doesn't preclude the other, or does it?
Callas, however, proved that one can do both.

Magda is beautiful and expressive in "Sempre Libera", but what happened to the roulades? (Check out zamyrabyrd's comment below.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlsioKE-cUs

ZB
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1756
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2010, 11:16:02 PM »
Itching to get into the debate vis-a-vis Callas, voice versus expression, but refuse to hijack the Janowitz thread. If anyone wants to continue the discussion, let's take it back over to the Callas thread, which can be found here http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,788.0.html
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9568
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #71 on: July 02, 2010, 12:01:04 AM »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3180
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #72 on: July 20, 2017, 12:47:26 AM »
double post from the Purchases thread (hi there, Spineur! - almost a rhyme  :laugh: ):

Arrived yesterday:


The Gundula Janowitz Edition (DG, 14 CD)

Classy presentation for sure! Sturdy box, all discs in foldout cardboard cases roughly the size of jewel cases (a wee bit higher), the Schubert lieder in two double cases, the remainder with a cover "flap" and just one disc included ... front covers reproduce one lp cover each, back covers have photos of Janowitz (different ones for each disc), inside you get track and line-up listings. Booklet has a short intro by Löbl (the one guy of the most useful Löbl/Werba opera guide) and one more longer text (forgot by whom, sorry) - this of course in three languages, and with more photos scattered through the whole booklet.

Other than plenty of excerpts (Bernstein's "Fidelio", the Karajan "Vier letzte Lieder" and more), I'm only familiar with the Mozart concert arias album, which starts off the box (and comes with a pair of bonus items not included on the single disc in the DG Originals series) ... information available here (as usual without recording dates):
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4797348

I played the first of the four Schubert lieder discs last night - took me a moment to get used to Janowitz' dramatic approach, but of course the singing is great, and her approach strikes me as most valid one, just different (more operatic, I assume) from what I'm used to (but then, most of the Schubert I've heard so far was sung by men anyway, other than the Christine Schäfer take of "Die Winterreise", which may well be the Schubert recording played most often).
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/

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2975
  • selig sind
Re: Gundula Janowitz
« Reply #73 on: July 25, 2017, 08:36:35 AM »
Thanx King Ubu for a heads-up after a 7 year hiatus of this thread.
While we're on the subject:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aUJgye0A5PY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aUJgye0A5PY</a>
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

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