What Opera Are You Listening to Now?

Started by Tsaraslondon, April 10, 2017, 04:29:04 AM

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Tsaraslondon



I normally avoid Bartoli, but the rest of the cast, save for the rather weak Eustazio of Daniel Taylor, is excellent and David Daniels, at his mid career best, is superb. Wonderful performances too from Bernarda Fink, Luba Organasova and Gerald Finley, but Hogwood, as so often in opera, can be a bit stiff.

Actually Bartoli doesn't  get that much to do in the role of Almirena, though she does get the opera's big hit number Lascia ch'io pianga, a gorgeous piece, which is marred here for me by the explosive way she rolls her r's.

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

JBS

Crosspost from WAYLT2

One of several operas I found at a used CD/book store in Fort Lauderdale.

The libretto is adapted from a tragedy by Racine (Andromaque). Composed for Naples in 1819, it was a failure and never revived until the modern era. The only other recordings are one from Opera Rara and a live recording from a 1987 performance with Montserrat Caballe and Marilyn Horne. This Scimone recording was made in 1988. Total timing is almost exactly 2 hours.
Music is typical Rossini skillfullness, singers seem good. Recommended if you find it at a suitable price.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

The new erato

Quote from: Tsaraslondon on October 24, 2021, 01:50:45 AM

I normally avoid Bartoli, but the rest of the cast, save for the rather weak Eustazio of Daniel Taylor, is excellent and David Daniels, at his mid career best, is superb. Wonderful performances too from Bernarda Fink, Luba Organasova and Gerald Finley, but Hogwood, as so often in opera, can be a bit stiff.


I do as well. Wonderful agile singer, but she too often are too hectic and aggressive. She often simply wears me out.

Now listening to an opera I never heard complete before. Dessay is outstanding as usual.


Tsaraslondon

Quote from: The new erato on October 25, 2021, 03:49:48 AM
I do as well. Wonderful agile singer, but she too often are too hectic and aggressive. She often simply wears me out.

Now listening to an opera I never heard complete before. Dessay is outstanding as usual.



I have the Mady Mesplé recording, which the BBC's Building a Library programme named as top choice. It was Mady Mesplé's signature role and she sang it all over. Worth investigating too, if you enjoyed the opera.

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

Tsaraslondon

Cross posted from the main forum.



This is a really lovely disc. About half of it is taken up with Holst's short but extremely effective opera, Sãvitri, wonderfully sung here by Janet Baker, Robert Tear and Thomas Hemsley, under the composer's daughter, Imogen Holst. The libretto is by Holst himself, taken from an episode in the Mahabharata.

The opera is sandwiched between beautiful Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, choral settings of Sanskrit texts, translated by Holst himself and more choral settings of poems by Robert Bridges and Henry Vaughan.

Superb performances with Janet Baker in radiant form in the opera.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Tsaraslondon



Karajan's classic 1954 recording of Humperdinck's perenial favourite Hänsel und Gretel. Recorded in 1953 in very warm mono sound, it has hardly been out of the catalogue and this is only one of several CD reissues. I've read elsewhere that the digital transfer was better managed on some of the subsequent releases, but this one sounds good enough to me.

The two Elisabeths (Grümmer and Schwarzkopf) give wonderfully light and exuberant performances as the two children, Else Schürhoff doesn't ham it up too much as the Witch and Maria von Ilosvay and Josef Metternich make characterful parents. Annie Febermeyer doubles as Sandman and Dew Fairy and is delightful as both.

Some have remarked that Karajan's conception is more Sraussian than Wagnerian. Be that as it may, the Philharmonia play gloriously for him and I consider this recording to be as much of a classic as his Philharmonia Der Rosenkavalier and Falstaff.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

JBS

Quote from: Tsaraslondon on October 27, 2021, 06:54:13 AM


Karajan's classic 1954 recording of Humperdinck's perenial favourite Hänsel und Gretel. Recorded in 1953 in very warm mono sound, it has hardly been out of the catalogue and this is only one of several CD reissues. I've read elsewhere that the digital transfer was better managed on some of the subsequent releases, but this one sounds good enough to me.

The two Elisabeths (Grümmer and Schwarzkopf) give wonderfully light and exuberant performances as the two children, Else Schürhoff doesn't ham it up too much as the Witch and Maria von Ilosvay and Josef Metternich make characterful parents. Annie Febermeyer doubles as Sandman and Dew Fairy and is delightful as both.

Some have remarked that Karajan's conception is more Sraussian than Wagnerian. Be that as it may, the Philharmonia play gloriously for him and I consider this recording to be as much of a classic as his Philharmonia Der Rosenkavalier and Falstaff.

The libretto is certainly more like Strauss than Wagner--the former composed works in which the Witch and the Sandman would fit in, the latter didn't; and I don't want to think of what musical damage Wagner might have done to the children.

TD

My copy is the original release, with libretto in the booklet.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Tsaraslondon

#2767
Quote from: JBS on October 27, 2021, 05:27:19 PM
The libretto is certainly more like Strauss than Wagner--the former composed works in which the Witch and the Sandman would fit in, the latter didn't; and I don't want to think of what musical damage Wagner might have done to the children.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Quote from: JBS on October 27, 2021, 05:27:19 PM

TD

My copy is the original release, with libretto in the booklet.

An excellent set. Levine is a bit too bombastic for my taste, but the singing is superb.

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

The new erato

Played this recently:



Rather good, and nice to expand ones view of Saint-Saens.

Tsaraslondon



What a gorgeous opera this is and beautifully performed here.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

The new erato

Quote from: Tsaraslondon on October 28, 2021, 01:11:31 AM


What a gorgeous opera this is and beautifully performed here.
Indeed. I have that on LP, a beautiful package.

ritter

I'm not that much of a fan of Janáček, but have (and enjoy) that recording of the Vixen, which I bought after seeing the work onstage here in Madrid in 1998, in a staging by Nicholas Hytner and with Thomas Allen as the forester. That was a memorable experience!  :)
ritter
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« ...tout cela qui prend forme et solidité, est sorti, ville et jardins, de ma tasse de thé. »

Ganondorf

Quote from: The new erato on October 27, 2021, 11:37:37 PM
Played this recently:



Rather good, and nice to expand ones view of Saint-Saens.

That's one of my top 3 Saint-Saëns operas. Very good!

Tsaraslondon



I recently saw Jenůfa at Covent Garden in a riveting new production, with Karita Mattila, an erstwhiile Jenůfa now playing Kostelnička. It was a thoroughly rewarding evening, but this recording (and these singers) bring out more of the lyricism in the writing. Söderström and Mackerras made several fine recordings of Janáček operas back in the 1980s and they are all worth getting to know.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

JBS


Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

André

What's your opinion, Jeffrey ? I have a disc of french opera arias with Hadley and it's a favourite of mine. I like both his vocal and verbal delivery.

JBS

Quote from: André on October 30, 2021, 11:50:32 AM
What's your opinion, Jeffrey ? I have a disc of french opera arias with Hadley and it's a favourite of mine. I like both his vocal and verbal delivery.

He's the least impressive element in this. To be fair, I don't think I've heard more than highlights from this opera before today. (Maybe a Met Opera broadcast back in my teenage years.) But it seems like Gounod gave all the good bits to the other roles.
Mephisto/Ramey is the star, quite diabolic.
Gasdia is sort of generic soprano, but a capable singer.
Two bits of the Walpurgisnight scene and the entire ballet are placed as appendices at the end of CD 3.

Tomorrow I may listen to Spohr's Faust, a very different approach that largely ignored Goethe's version.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

André

Thanks. No match for the best versions, then.

The original version of Faust is substantially different and IMO flows much better (less bombast). It's on Bru Zane and this time an excellent tenor sings the title role.

JBS

Quote from: André on October 30, 2021, 05:11:16 PM
Thanks. No match for the best versions, then.

The original version of Faust is substantially different and IMO flows much better (less bombast). It's on Bru Zane and this time an excellent tenor sings the title role.

I've put it on the List, thank you.
Mind you, Ramey makes this a good recording all on his own, and the singers who do Valentin and Wagner, as well as the chorus, all do a top notch job.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Undersea

Now listening:




Wagner: Das Rheingold, WWV 86A


Been enjoying some older recordings this week...
I'd like to be
Under the sea
In an octopus' garden
In the shade

- Ringo Starr