Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 447844 times)

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Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2880 on: January 13, 2022, 06:06:22 AM »
Very interesting, Wendell !

I have the Nagano Khovanshchina DVD and enjoyed it quite a lot. Franchetti is a name I’ve never encountered before.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2881 on: January 13, 2022, 08:52:08 AM »


I know it's not HIP, but what glorious, characterful voices! This was my first recording of the opera and it remains my favourite recording.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 01:04:19 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2882 on: January 13, 2022, 05:59:36 PM »
Very interesting, Wendell !

Franchetti is a name I’ve never encountered before.

I've got a recording of his Christoforo Columbo, with Renato Bruson as Columbus, which I'm fairly certain I've only listened to once. Maybe I'll give it another listen.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2883 on: January 14, 2022, 06:53:10 AM »


Another favourite recording of Cosí fan tutte. I may have problems with the plot, but the music is sublime, amd some of Mozart's most beautiful music for the human voice.

This one is a little more serious in tone than the Böhm I was listening to before, but the women in particular are wonderful.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2884 on: January 14, 2022, 07:17:17 AM »
I may have problems with the plot

We all do when it comes to opera.  :D

But then again who listens to operas for the plot? Some of the silliest plots have the most sublime music.

My golden rule is Prima la musica poi le parole!.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2885 on: January 14, 2022, 09:22:07 AM »
We all do when it comes to opera.  :D

But then again who listens to operas for the plot? Some of the silliest plots have the most sublime music.

My golden rule is Prima la musica poi le parole!.

You have a point, and many comic operas have intentional absuridities built into the plot, but my main problem with Cosí is its inherent misogyny.

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

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2886 on: January 14, 2022, 09:39:17 AM »
my main problem with Cosí is its inherent misogyny.

Misogyny is a concept that was  completely unknown in the 18th century. Just saying.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 09:41:38 AM by Florestan »
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2887 on: January 14, 2022, 10:22:17 AM »
Misogyny is a concept that was  completely unknown in the 18th century. Just saying.

That may be so, but it does no harm to mention that it makes me uncomfortable in this day and age. The misogyny in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is also uncomfortable and the most successful modern day productions are those that are aware of it and also sensitive to it.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2888 on: January 14, 2022, 10:24:24 AM »
That may be so, but it does no harm to mention that it makes me uncomfortable in this day and age. The misogyny in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is also uncomfortable and the most successful modern day productions are those that are aware of it and also sensitive to it.

Let's agree to disagree and move on to Carmen:D

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2889 on: January 14, 2022, 11:50:34 AM »
Misogyny is a concept that was  completely unknown in the 18th century. Just saying.

And, incidentally, it's still misogyny, even if being a misogynst was acceptable back then. Some think it still is.   ???
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2890 on: January 20, 2022, 01:17:52 AM »


Once quite frequently performed (its Met premiere starred Caruso, Muzio and Amato no less), Montemezzi's L'Amore dei tre Re is something of a rarity these days. It's sometimes referred to as a sort of Italian Pelléas et Mélisande and the story does have certain similarities.

This recording was made in 1976, by which time Moffo had become more of a crooner than a soprano. Still she's a good deal better here than she was in the disastrous Thaïs she recorded the year before. The men Domingo, Elvira and Siepi are all excellent and the LSO under Santi provide lush support.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2891 on: January 20, 2022, 05:08:57 AM »
This recording was made in 1976, by which time Moffo had become more of a crooner than a soprano. Still she's a good deal better here than she was in the disastrous Thaïs she recorded the year before.

You mean this?



I have it but never listened to it. In what way is it a disaster?

What Thais recording would you recommend?
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2892 on: January 20, 2022, 08:16:29 AM »
You mean this?



I have it but never listened to it. In what way is it a disaster?

What Thais recording would you recommend?

Moffo is practically voiceless. She croons and swoops her way through it, as she just can't sing it anymore.



The Fleming recording is definitely the one to have, by the way. Way ahead of the competition.

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

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2893 on: January 20, 2022, 08:28:26 AM »
Moffo is practically voiceless. She croons and swoops her way through it, as she just can't sing it anymore.



The Fleming recording is definitely the one to have, by the way. Way ahead of the competition.

Duly noted, thanks.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2894 on: January 21, 2022, 01:03:29 AM »


I was there. Well I might not have been at this actual performance, but I was at one of the series and it was a very memorable evening in the theatre. With Davis in the pit and a well nigh perfect cast, how could it be otherwise?

Having recently listened to Davis's studio recording, I'd say that this one is even better, the recitatives in particular delivered in sparkling fashion - and what wonderful voices! Last year I watched a telecast of Covent Garden's latest production and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the singing, though accomplished and perfectly acceptable, had none of the beauty and character we hear here. Te Kanawa who could be a placid performer in the studio is here transformed and quite one of the best Fiordiligis I have ever heard, with a voice of quite arresting beauty but also a thoroughly convincing characterisastion. Baltsa is the perfect foil, adorably volatile and she too is in her very best voice. Next to Thomas Allen's confidently outgoing Guglielmo, Stuart Burrows might seem a more reticent performer, but he sings quite beauitfully and is actually more dramatically involved than I remember.

Mazzucato and Van Allan make an excellent pair of conspirators and Davis speeds, though occasionally slower than what we have become accustomed to now, are perfectly judged.

Highly recommended.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 08:15:16 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2895 on: January 21, 2022, 07:47:31 AM »
I’ve never seen this particular release, but by the looks of it (cast list and conductor) it’s mightily tempting. Thanks fo the tip !

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2896 on: January 21, 2022, 07:52:06 AM »
I’ve never seen this particular release, but by the looks of it (cast list and conductor) it’s mightily tempting. Thanks fo the tip !

+ 1.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2897 on: January 22, 2022, 02:23:45 AM »


Now here's a festival cast. Furtwängler's speeds would no doubt be considered to ponderous now, but, oh what singing! The two Elisabeths, Grümmer and Schwarzkopf are absolutely magnificent, no other word for it, and Erna Berger, 53 at the time, though you wouldn't believe it, is a delightful Zerlina. Siepi, who was for some years the Don is both seductive and swashbuckling and Edelmann contrasts nicely as a somewhat dour Leporello. The young Walter Berry is luxury casting as Masetto and Raffaele Arie a sonorous Commendatore. Anton Dermota's Ottavio is the only comparative disappointment, his Il mio tesoro rather effortful.

Nonetheless a great performance, and arguably the best of all the Furtwängler performances available from this period (one from 1950 and two from 1954).

This edition comes with a fill up in the shape of excerpts from a 1951 performance of Die Zauberflöte, also under Furtwängler, with Irmgard Seefried, Wilma Lipp, Antn Dermota, Erich Kunz and Josef Greindl.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 02:52:16 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 #2898 on: Today at 02:22:17 AM »


It's good to reminded just how good this set is. Odd to think that it almost never happened. The cast were assembled for a recording under Klemperer, preceded by a couple of concert performances at the Royal Festival Hall. Klemperer fell ill and Legge suddenly had to find a replacement. Giulini had just recorded Le Nozze di Figaro with some of the same singers (Schwarzkopf, Wächter, Taddei and Cappuccilli) and so Legge asked him to step in, which he did with great trepidation and reluctance as he'd never conducted the score before. (To take some of the pressure off him, Legge asked Colin Davis to conduct the concert performances.)

An all time classic, which sounds even better in this most recent Warner re-master.

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