Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 358048 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2480 on: April 29, 2021, 12:53:13 AM »


The premiere recording of Barber's somewhat neglected Vanessa with the cast of the original production. Superb performances from Steber, Elias, Resnik, Gedda and Tozzi.  I sometimes wonder why nobody ever thought of reviving it for Renee Fleming. Is it because Erika is the more sympathetic character, despite the opera being called Vanessa?
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Fritz Kobus

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2481 on: April 29, 2021, 08:10:32 AM »
Just got this awesome set. Never heard this opera before, but am loving it.


The soprano sometimes reminds me of Beverly Sills.  Listen to her here:
https://youtu.be/IbxaXiXcU64?t=110

The tenor hits a pretty high C the likes of which reminds me of those in La fille du Regiment.
https://youtu.be/f7iMvrcx-5s?t=148
I am a musical dunce but I have to guess that is a high C.

There is about 17 minutes of ballet at the beginning of Disk 2:
https://www.allmusic.com/album/donizetti-les-martyrs-mw0002840508
« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 08:14:46 AM by Fritz Kobus »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2482 on: April 29, 2021, 09:21:58 AM »


The premiere recording of Barber's somewhat neglected Vanessa with the cast of the original production. Superb performances from Steber, Elias, Resnik, Gedda and Tozzi.  I sometimes wonder why nobody ever thought of reviving it for Renee Fleming. Is it because Erika is the more sympathetic character, despite the opera being called Vanessa?

I should revisit this opera. I recall enjoying it --- the aria Must the winter come so soon? is worth the price of admission.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2483 on: April 29, 2021, 09:25:19 AM »
Just got this awesome set. Never heard this opera before, but am loving it.


Gorgeous music aside, the booklet is one of the best conceived, most informative I've ever encountered. An Opera Rara trademark, actually.
What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love!  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Fritz Kobus

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2484 on: April 29, 2021, 03:43:32 PM »
Gorgeous music aside, the booklet is one of the best conceived, most informative I've ever encountered. An Opera Rara trademark, actually.
So this set is expensive but I found a set for $12 shipped.  It was listed as VG which is supposed to include the booklet. It didn't. I complained and the seller gave me a 50% refund.  I would like the book but to get the disks for $6 shipped is not a bad deal.  Besides that the case was damaged (postal service presumably).

I just got the Harnoncourt Schuman symphony set and it arrived with a destroyed case but playable disks. That was $8 shipped and again VG but no booklet.  This seller gave me a 100% refund.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2485 on: April 30, 2021, 01:45:00 AM »
So this set is expensive but I found a set for $12 shipped.  It was listed as VG which is supposed to include the booklet. It didn't. I complained and the seller gave me a 50% refund.  I would like the book but to get the disks for $6 shipped is not a bad deal.  Besides that the case was damaged (postal service presumably).

I just got the Harnoncourt Schuman symphony set and it arrived with a destroyed case but playable disks. That was $8 shipped and again VG but no booklet.  This seller gave me a 100% refund.

Check your PM box.
What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love!  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Wanderer

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2486 on: April 30, 2021, 01:58:10 AM »
Nice.... I like that one! :)

It is utterly delightful, isn't it.  8)

Offline Maestro267

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2487 on: April 30, 2021, 08:22:45 AM »
Listening to one of two new opera purchases I made today, Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, with Jessye Norman as Ariadne (Primadonna), Leipzig Gewandhausorchester conducted by Kurt Masur.

The other purchase is my first dive into Verdi. Falstaff, Karajan conducting (EMI Great Recordings of the Century)

Offline Fritz Kobus

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2488 on: April 30, 2021, 05:35:33 PM »
Check your PM box.

Yes, thanks, much appreciated. :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2489 on: April 30, 2021, 05:50:49 PM »
Listening to one of two new opera purchases I made today, Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, with Jessye Norman as Ariadne (Primadonna), Leipzig Gewandhausorchester conducted by Kurt Masur.

I don’t know this performance, but I love Ariadne auf Naxos sans the narration in the beginning, which I could live without. There is some exquisite music to be found in this opera.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Maestro267

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2490 on: April 30, 2021, 10:17:08 PM »
I didn't really notice any narration in the beginning. I know one of the characters in the Prologue spoke rather than sung, but that seemed to be dialogue rather than narration spoken to the audience. But yes, some lovely music in here.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2491 on: April 30, 2021, 11:47:35 PM »


A classic recording of Bartók's wonderful Duke Bluebeard's Castle and a suitable tribute to Christa Ludwig, who died earlier this week.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2492 on: May 01, 2021, 01:32:24 AM »
I don’t know this performance, but I love Ariadne auf Naxos sans the narration in the beginning, which I could live without. There is some exquisite music to be found in this opera.

I didn't really notice any narration in the beginning. I know one of the characters in the Prologue spoke rather than sung, but that seemed to be dialogue rather than narration spoken to the audience. But yes, some lovely music in here.
IIRC, John has the Nagano recording of the original version of Ariadne, in which in lileu  of the Molière play (within which the opera is performed), the incidental music is played along with recitation of lines of M. Jourdan (the lead role of Le bourgeois gentilhomme).  The revised (and standard) version of the opera eliminates the play altogether, and substitutes it with a musical prologue, with only one  spoken role (the major-domo) among the many characters.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2493 on: May 01, 2021, 05:43:00 AM »
IIRC, John has the Nagano recording of the original version of Ariadne, in which in lileu  of the Molière play (within which the opera is performed), the incidental music is played along with recitation of lines of M. Jourdan (the lead role of Le bourgeois gentilhomme).  The revised (and standard) version of the opera eliminates the play altogether, and substitutes it with a musical prologue, with only one  spoken role (the major-domo) among the many characters.

I own the Nagano, but the Sinopoli is the one I listened to recently and loved. Yes, I remember the spoken dialogue now and was happy that it didn’t last long.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2494 on: May 01, 2021, 09:36:59 AM »
Pagliacci from this box:



I bought this box set when it came out some 9 years ago. I’m still not finished listening to it  :P. Cavalleria Rusticana and Otello should follow and then I’m done.

I’ve never cared much for Pagliacci. It’s way inferior to Cav with which it’ss often paired on disc or on the stage. Granted, it’s very difficult to cast, as each of the three main roles require large, penetrating voices capable of riding over a wide tessitura and display a flair for crude histrionics (Leoncavallo’s setting of a provincial theatre in Calabria is not exactly the Old Vic !). The present performance starts on the wrong foot with a limp, plodding account of the orchestral introduction to the Prologue. Juan Pons then steps in with a lifeless, woolly, almost apologetic Si può? Si può?. Teresa Stratas is a good diseuse, but her voice is unsupported and she sounds shrewish. Domingo’s Canio is a size too small in scale. He was still a lirico/spinto in 1983, singing elegantly and with ringing tone but without the heft Canio requires. In Vesti la giubba he wallows in self-pity, not despair and in the last scene he is more angry than menacing.

Among the other operas in this box (from the DG, Philips and Decca catalogues) Domingo excels in Tosca, Hoffmann, Turandot and Trovatore, where he is in his element, and supported by great singers and sympathetic conductors. In some other works like Samson, Lucia, Traviata, Lohengrin and Carmen he is let down either by a miscast soprano or an unexciting conductor. I find him out of his element in Barbiere, an obvious mistake on his part.

This box contains 26 discs but it is by no means Tutto Domingo recorded on these labels. Missing are the wonderful Sinopoli-led Manon Lescaut, his other Wagners (included in the DG Complete Wagner Operas box) and Verdis (Luisa Miller, Aida, Rigoletto, Don Carlos, Macbeth). At the time I paid less than half today's asking price for this box, so all in all a good value.

Offline Fritz Kobus

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2495 on: May 01, 2021, 04:51:33 PM »


Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2496 on: May 01, 2021, 11:41:42 PM »
Pagliacci from this box:




I’ve never cared much for Pagliacci. It’s way inferior to Cav with which it’ss often paired on disc or on the stage. Granted, it’s very difficult to cast, as each of the three main roles require large, penetrating voices capable of riding over a wide tessitura and display a flair for crude histrionics (Leoncavallo’s setting of a provincial theatre in Calabria is not exactly the Old Vic !). The present performance starts on the wrong foot with a limp, plodding account of the orchestral introduction to the Prologue. Juan Pons then steps in with a lifeless, woolly, almost apologetic Si può? Si può?. Teresa Stratas is a good diseuse, but her voice is unsupported and she sounds shrewish. Domingo’s Canio is a size too small in scale. He was still a lirico/spinto in 1983, singing elegantly and with ringing tone but without the heft Canio requires. In Vesti la giubba he wallows in self-pity, not despair and in the last scene he is more angry than menacing.





Pagliacci is not a great favourite of mine either, and in fact I only have the Callas/Di Stefano recording, which, even if Di Stefano is a notch too light-voiced for the role, is pretty exciting.

The Domingo recording you cite above was actuallyt the soundtrack to a Zeffirelli film and is a whole lot better when you can actually see the performers, Stratas in particular. She was a superb actress and makes a totally convincing Nedda on screen when was is less focused on the limitations of her voice. Zeffirelli makes Canio an aging bully of a man and Nedda a young woman trapped in a childless, abusive relationship. I really loved the film, but wouldn't seek out the soundtrack if I wanted to just listen to the opera.

Incidentally, this was Domino's second recording of the opera. There is an earlier one with Caballé and Milnes conducted by Nello Santi, but that was on RCA. I don't think I've ever heard it. Caballé no doubt sounds gorgeous, but I can't really imagine her playing the role on stage.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Fritz Kobus

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2497 on: May 03, 2021, 06:28:50 AM »

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2498 on: May 03, 2021, 10:05:37 AM »
Pagliacci is not a great favourite of mine either, and in fact I only have the Callas/Di Stefano recording, which, even if Di Stefano is a notch too light-voiced for the role, is pretty exciting.

The Domingo recording you cite above was actuallyt the soundtrack to a Zeffirelli film and is a whole lot better when you can actually see the performers, Stratas in particular. She was a superb actress and makes a totally convincing Nedda on screen when was is less focused on the limitations of her voice. Zeffirelli makes Canio an aging bully of a man and Nedda a young woman trapped in a childless, abusive relationship. I really loved the film, but wouldn't seek out the soundtrack if I wanted to just listen to the opera.

Incidentally, this was Domino's second recording of the opera. There is an earlier one with Caballé and Milnes conducted by Nello Santi, but that was on RCA. I don't think I've ever heard it. Caballé no doubt sounds gorgeous, but I can't really imagine her playing the role on stage.

It is my intention to listen to the EMI version. I’m sure it must do the work better justice, what with these singers !

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2499 on: May 03, 2021, 01:06:30 PM »
It is my intention to listen to the EMI version. I’m sure it must do the work better justice, what with these singers !

It certainly does.. I reviewed it on my blog some time ago http://tsaraslondon.com/2017/01/08/i-pagliacci/
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas