REALLY BIG BOXES - Click to see details on Amazon. All sales from these links support your forum.

Author Topic: Best Salome?  (Read 13350 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
  • Location: London, UK
  • Currently Listening to:
    Tchaikovsky Manfred Petrenko
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2012, 09:23:57 AM »
And I still haven't heard the Studer version.

Did a bit of "Salome" revisiting over the last couple of days though. First the live Met recording from 1949 with Welitsch and Reiner conducting, and then the Behrens/Karajan.

Of course the sound on the Reiner mitigates against it, a boxy live recording in mono, but Welitsch is absolutely stunning, pouring forth silvery tone unstintingly. It certainly sounds like the right voice for the role. That said, there are greater subtleties in Behrens's performance, and, at this stage in her career, it too was a voice capable of silvery beauty. She also uses a wider range of tone colour than Welitsch. Sonically the Karajan easily trumps the Reiner of course, and his reading is much more lushly romantic; easy to forget, in the final moments, the horror of what is actually going on, and just bathe in the beauty of the music. Here Welitsch and Reiner bring you much closer to the drama.

I enjoyed both performances immensely and wouldn't be without either.

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

Offline nico1616

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 289
  • Location: Leuven, Belgium
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2012, 01:27:23 PM »
I love Salome and have the 3 best known versions.

I would definitively place the Behrens/Von Karajan on top, I can not image it to be bettered. The sound of the Wiener Philharmoniker is great, Behrens is ideal for the role and José Van Dam is just as perfect. He is a great vocal actor with a beautiful voice and his pronunciation is always incredible. Moreover the Herodes/Herodias couple is extremely good: I think it is the only recording of Karl-Walter Böhm I have but he is completely right as the weak king and Agnes Baltsa is some luxury casting. There twisted relationship is heard in every bar they sing.

I love Solti as a Strauss conductor, but Nilsson just does not feel right for the young Salome. I love her as Isolde, Turandot, Brünnhilde... but she sounds somewhat too healty and mature for Salome. Behrens sounds a little mentally unstable from the beginning and Nilsson sounds completely (too much) in control. Otherwise a great version, but Von Karajan's has got the edge.

The Sinopoli has the best sonics, but Studer is just no match for Behrens and Nilsson. Moreover, I do not like Terfel at all, with his vocal overacting, here at its worst.
Leonie Rysanek sounds great on paper (as Herodias), but she is well past her prime. So this is the one I could do without...

Nico

The first half of life is spent in longing for the second, the second half in regretting the first.

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8669
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #62 on: July 21, 2012, 08:41:24 PM »
 Very interesting to read the different takes people have on the Karajan and the Sinopoli. I much prefer the latter and find strengths of the performance which Nico regards as weaknesses. If our tastes all coincided, we would only need a couple of versions, of this or of anything else. Yet again it interests me how differently each listener processes specific voices.

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

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6056
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #63 on: July 21, 2012, 11:43:50 PM »
Very interesting to read the different takes people have on the Karajan and the Sinopoli. I much prefer the latter and find strengths of the performance which Nico regards as weaknesses. If our tastes all coincided, we would only need a couple of versions, of this or of anything else. Yet again it interests me how differently each listener processes specific voices.

Mike
This is so true. I love Nilsson here, but not so much in Turandot. We are lucky to have so many good Salomes (regardless of which one prefers). There are some other good ones like Nielsen too (and the above mentioned Welitsch). But even singers such as Goltz and Malfitano add to the repertoire.
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
  • Location: London, UK
  • Currently Listening to:
    Tchaikovsky Manfred Petrenko
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2012, 12:46:10 AM »
This is so true. I love Nilsson here, but not so much in Turandot.

Whereas for me the reverse is true. To my ears, her voice doesn't once suggest the wilful teenage Salome, whereas her steely tones are just right for Turandot. That said, Nilsson's voice is never one I warmed to, and I actually prefer both Sutherland and Callas in the role.

Can there ever be a definitive performance of a given work? I very much doubt it. We all have differing views, which of course is what makes forums such as this interesting.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8669
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2012, 01:11:18 AM »
I never really enjoy Behrens, much as she was admired. I find she has everything I look for in a great singer: except a voice. I have just read praise of Nina Stemme in recent Wagner performances. I put her in the same box as Behrens. Lots on offer but I just dislike the uningratiating tone and the impressive wobble. I bought the Abbado Fidelio, for me ruined by her. When I linked part of her performance here, people got my point. Perhaps some of these voices come off better live. The microphone can exaggerate some aspects of some voices.

I still urge Caballe on those investigating Salome and agree that althought the Solti set is good in many ways, Nilsson does not sum up the right vocal needs for the part: Elektra yes, Salome no.

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

Offline nico1616

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 289
  • Location: Leuven, Belgium
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2012, 02:06:49 AM »

Can there ever be a definitive performance of a given work? I very much doubt it. We all have differing views, which of course is what makes forums such as this interesting.

I think this is especially true for opera. It is extremely difficult to get it all right: all the roles, the conductor and the orchestra. And then there is personal taste :)

This forum is great, but not for my buying addiction. I have only 3 Salomes, maybe one more would not hurt  :D
The first half of life is spent in longing for the second, the second half in regretting the first.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
  • Location: London, UK
  • Currently Listening to:
    Tchaikovsky Manfred Petrenko
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2012, 02:39:04 AM »
I never really enjoy Behrens, much as she was admired. I find she has everything I look for in a great singer: except a voice.

Mike

I don't actually like Behrens in much else that she did, Mike, but she sounds quite different here in this Karajan Salome, recorded near the beginning of her career. She sounds quite different here to how she sounds in many of her other recordings, the voice secure and with a silvery brightness suited to the role, not a million miles from Welitsch actually.

I can't comment on Studer's performance, because I haven't heard, but she, too is a singer I don't respond to. I haven't liked her in any of the Verdi roles she did, nor did I like her much as Elisabeth in Tannhauser. I keep telling myself I should listen to her Salome (easy enough, as it's on spotify), but just never get round to it.

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

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8669
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2012, 03:46:18 AM »
I do know what you mean about Studer: I have her Traviata, never bother with it. I do have the Big Karajan vocal box, so have the Salome we have been referring to. I ought to give it a spin!

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

Offline nico1616

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 289
  • Location: Leuven, Belgium
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2012, 06:32:38 AM »
Studer has just recorded too much. She sang the Queen of the Night in the Marriner/Philips, it is really horrible.
Then there is Lucia di Lammermoor and Semiramide in the Marin/DG, which are just acceptable.
I don't think she is a coloratura soprano.

I kind of like her as the Countess in the Abbado/DG Nozze and even in Four Last Songs with Sinopoli, but it is a bit of a guilty pleasure since she always has moments of singing out of pitch.
The first half of life is spent in longing for the second, the second half in regretting the first.

Lilas Pastia

  • Guest
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2012, 07:04:23 AM »
This link  www.classicalcdreview.com/salome.html gives an extensive review of the work's recordings, including, most interestingly, many that derive from live performances - some in very good stereo,if one is to believe the reviewer.

I'd be interested in getting that Vienna performance with Rysanek under Böhm.



Offline Superhorn

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 844
  • Location: U.S.A.
  • Currently Listening to:
    I'm a classical music omnivore
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #71 on: July 22, 2012, 07:41:03 AM »
   The old Decca Salome from the early 50s with  Christel Goltz and the great Straussian Clemens Krauss leading the VPO has recently been reissued on  CD and has a lot going for it, too .   I remember it for LP long ago .

Fafner

  • Guest
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #72 on: July 22, 2012, 09:53:36 AM »
Maybe my life is in vain if I don't listen to those 1949 shellac transcription discs, but I'm happy with this one.



I can't imagine how it can be improved upon, although I have a few other versions lying around.

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9608
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #73 on: July 22, 2012, 12:35:45 PM »
I'd be interested in getting that Vienna performance with Rysanek under Böhm.

I can't pretend that I've heard them all, but has the rare combination of the right singer and the right conductor.

I tried the recommended recording with Ljuba Welitsch - she is overrated IMO. I wouldn't second the label "mightily impressive".

And Fafner, the Rysanek/ Böhm is from 1972! :) (but live)

For a nice recording in opulent sound, however, Sinopoli is your man.


Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
  • Location: London, UK
  • Currently Listening to:
    Tchaikovsky Manfred Petrenko
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #74 on: July 22, 2012, 02:14:22 PM »


I tried the recommended recording with Ljuba Welitsch - she is overrated IMO. I wouldn't second the label "mightily impressive".







There's more than one Welitsch/Reiner recording. The more generally available one is from 1952, with Hotter as Jokanaan, and Welitsch is past her best. The voice lost voume and sheen quite early, though she continued singing character roles well into old age. Why, only a few years after this, she is singing the Duenna in Karajan's 1955 Der Rosenkavalier, the voice quite unrecognisable from her glory days.

The 1949 recording has Herbert Janssen as Jokanaan. If you find Welitsch overrated on that, then you and I must have very different ears.

There is also a famous radio broadcast of the final scene with Welitsch conducted by Lovro von Matacic. It was recorded in 1944 and is even better.



« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 02:20:26 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
  • Location: London, UK
  • Currently Listening to:
    Tchaikovsky Manfred Petrenko
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #75 on: July 22, 2012, 02:17:38 PM »
Maybe my life is in vain if I don't listen to those 1949 shellac transcription discs, but I'm happy with this one.



I can't imagine how it can be improved upon, although I have a few other versions lying around.

Some people don't like the fact that the singers are lip syncing. It didn't bother me unduly, and Stratas is superb.

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

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9608
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2012, 09:49:37 PM »

There's more than one Welitsch/Reiner recording. The more generally available one is from 1952, with Hotter as Jokanaan, and Welitsch is past her best. The voice lost voume and sheen quite early, though she continued singing character roles well into old age. Why, only a few years after this, she is singing the Duenna in Karajan's 1955 Der Rosenkavalier, the voice quite unrecognisable from her glory days.

The 1949 recording has Herbert Janssen as Jokanaan. If you find Welitsch overrated on that, then you and I must have very different ears.

There is also a famous radio broadcast of the final scene with Welitsch conducted by Lovro von Matacic. It was recorded in 1944 and is even better.

I heard the Reiner recording, so I'll take your word for it! :) The von Matatic recording sounds interesting.

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
  • Location: London, UK
  • Currently Listening to:
    Tchaikovsky Manfred Petrenko
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #77 on: July 23, 2012, 12:17:44 AM »
I heard the Reiner recording, so I'll take your word for it! :) The von Matatic recording sounds interesting.

Q

It's more than a little confusing because Reiner conducted the 1949 performance too, and I believe there may be a few other Welitsch/Reiner performances arround.

He also conducted her in a studio performance of the final scene, also recorded in 1949. However it is eclipsed by the 1944 von Matacic radio broadcast, my first exposure to Welitsch. I listened to a lot of Welitsch after that, and have to say I often find her disappointing. In Mozart and Verdi the singing is often short breathed and monochromatic, and she often rushes the beat. In a disc of lieder by Brahms and Schumann, she sings everything at an unrelenting mezzo forte to forte, with none of the true lieder singer's range of expression. So, to be honest, I too think she can be overrated, though not in that 1949 Salome, or in the 1944 Final Scene.

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

Offline brunumb

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Location: Australia
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #78 on: July 23, 2012, 07:48:14 PM »

Can anyone comment on this recording?

Offline StLukesguildOhio

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Location: The Mistake on the Lake
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart, Wagner, Richard and Johann Strauss, Schubert, Gesualdo, Monteverdi, Haydn, Berlioz, Faure, Offenbach... did I say Mozart? Mozart... the Baroque... and always always always always J.S. BACH!
Re: Best Salome?
« Reply #79 on: November 29, 2012, 05:37:14 PM »
Stratas owns Salome... when it comes to video/film/DVD versions:



Nilsson is ridiculous in the video footage I've seen of her performing Salome... but when it comes to her singing, that's something altogether different. I think this remains my absolute unrivaled favorite:



Bohm is one of the great Strauss opera conductors, and I quite love this recording:



For whatever reason, I never picked up Karajan's recording... but for only $7 US I had to put in an order for it.



The recording I most desire is that of the classic Ljuba Welitsch performance from 1949 with Fritz Reiner:



For some reason I'm just not up to shelling out $130 for it.
Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.
-John Ciardi

Nothing is more useful to man than those arts which have no utility.
-Ovid

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