What Opera Are You Listening to Now?

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

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JBS

I ordered some Richard Strauss and Rossini from Presto's opera sale to fill in operas I don't have.

First up is Daphne from WW2 Vienna. Orchestral top notes and bottom notes get scratchy and tinny, but otherwise the sound is rather good.





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Florestan

Quote from: JBS on July 02, 2024, 01:04:05 PMI ordered some Richard Strauss and Rossini from Presto's opera sale to fill in operas I don't have.

First up is Daphne from WW2 Vienna. Orchestral top notes and bottom notes get scratchy and tinny, but otherwise the sound is rather good.






And the Rossini?  :laugh:
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

JBS

Quote from: Florestan on July 02, 2024, 01:06:42 PMAnd the Rossini?  :laugh:

I'll post them as I listen.
Almost all are Naxos recordings, and almost all are opere buffe, except for Donna del Lago. One batch hasn't been shipped yet; I just ordered it a couple of days ago.

The other two Strauss are Aegyptische Helena and Schweigsame Frau.

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JBS

And why not Rossini after dinner?



Rossini's first full length (ie two act) opera, composed at age 19. The plot, revolving around a girl pretending to be a castrato to avoid marriage to the man her father picked for her to marry, was apparently too much for the Neapolitan censors; it received only 3 performances.
This live recording from 2001 has only one rival on CD, an Opera d'Oro issue of a 1971 performance, but there are three DVD versions, including a recent one from Naxos.

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JBS

#4044


From a performance at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, September 22, 1961. Except for Wunderlich, the singers are all unknown.  The parrot was performed by Victor de Narke. The cover shows Kurt Böhme as Sir Morosus and Ingeborg Hallstein as Aminta.
Source tapes were apparently a radio broadcast, so the opening track is an announcer reciting the cast listing in Spanish.

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JBS


(Crosspost with WAYLT2)

And after dinner, something of an oddity from the Sony Mitropolous set:


As the cover said, abridged, with entire scenes deleted: no opening scene (the recording begins with the Coronation Scene labelled as Act 1 Scene 2), no Inn Scene, no Forest scene.
So we get the Coronation, Cell, and Terem (Kremlin) scenes, the Polish act, then the St Basil's scene and Boris's death. I don't have a libretto handy, so I don't know what further cuts may have been done. Total length is about 100 minutes. Recorded in 1956.

And it's all sung in English; Giorgio Tozzi is Boris.


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NumberSix

Quote from: JBS on July 02, 2024, 01:04:05 PMI ordered some Richard Strauss and Rossini from Presto's opera sale to fill in operas I don't have.

First up is Daphne from WW2 Vienna. Orchestral top notes and bottom notes get scratchy and tinny, but otherwise the sound is rather good.






I am of course far far far from being an expert, but I at least thought that I knew all of Strauss's operas by name!

TIL

JBS

Again from the Mitropolous box:

A small bit of historical importance--although a studio recording, it was recorded to take advantage of Marian Anderson breaking the color barrier at the Met when she sang Ulrica on January 7, 1955.
The cover image on the left was issued in February 1955 with liner notes highlighting Ms. Anderson, who actually appears on only one track:

[Embiggening might make this readable]
The cover image on the right dates from 1959, when it was re-issued with a more generic booklet.

The Met would eventually a recording of the same cast in a December 1955 matinee, which is also in the Mitropolous box.


[Cross post from WAYLT2]

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Lisztianwagner

Richard Strauss
Elektra

Herbert von Karajan & Wiener Philharmoniker


"You cannot expect the Form before the Idea, for they will come into being together." - Arnold Schönberg

JBS

The third of four operas in the Sony Mitropolous box: Samuel Barber's Vanessa

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JBS


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ritter

Quote from: JBS on July 08, 2024, 10:43:48 AM
I don't know that particular recording, but La Donna del lago is one of my favourite Rossini operas. He really was at the top of his game in these works composed for Naples.

And the final rondò, Tanti affetti..., is such a fantastic piece!

JBS

Quote from: ritter on July 08, 2024, 10:51:24 AMI don't know that particular recording, but La Donna del lago is one of my favourite Rossini operas. He really was at the top of his game in these works composed for Naples.

And the final rondò, Tanti affetti..., is such a fantastic piece!

My first time hearing it.
Like most of Naxos's Rossini, this was recorded at the Rossini in Wildbad festival, this one in 2006.

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André



This version of DG has often been maligned in the musical press for no other reason than the slightly cavernous acoustics. That's BS. Despite the hint of the airplane hangar, the sound is crisp and well detailed, often highlighting low brass and winds to telling effect. And the often indistinct chorus of spirits in the banquet scene is heard clearly, every word crystal clear despite the offstage provenance. A telling and thrilling detail.

In DG Mozart used an unparalleled array of vocal types (8 distincly characterized voices). The female roles are taken by singers at the top of their considerable talent, strongly characterful, perfectly controlled (or almost perfectly in the case of Edda Moser's fire-eating Anna) in tone color and intonation. Raimondi is a strong Giovanni, van Dam excels as Leporello. Riegel sings strongly as Ottavio, with excellent breath control, although the voice has basically two colors: light grey and dark grey. John Macurdy has a voluminous bass voice, clean and with intonation. What it lacks is a core of blackness, the kind of steel that cuts through and scares the daylights out of the listener (Kurt Moll is the ideal here).

Maazel conducts wih energy, sweep and great attention to textures. The orchestra is among the best I've heard play in this opera: crisp, athletic strings, colourful winds, stunning horns and trombones. The timpani could be heard with more impact though. No recording of DG has it all, but along with Krips and Solti, this one provides the full experience with no serious letdown.

JBS

The last of the four operas in the Mitropolous set

A matinee performance from December 1955, using the version which sets the action in colonial Boston.
Checking Wikipedia, Ulrica was a real person, and the story of Gustav/Riccardo's incognito visit and her prediction of who would kill him, seems to have actually happened (or at least, was not an invention of 19th century librettists), although the details of the prediction were different from the version used in the opera.

QuoteIn 1786, Ulrica Arfvidsson was consulted by King Gustav III of Sweden in disguise, who came to her in the company of Count Jacob De la Gardie posing as someone else. Arfvidsson presented several predictions about his past and his future, as well as that of his escort. At this occasion, she warned him about a man in a mask with a sword. This was remembered when in 1792, the King was assassinated at a masque ball by Jacob Johan Anckarström who shot the King from behind. She also warned the King: Beware of the man with a sword you will meet this evening, for he aspires to take your life.[4]

When the King and the Count left her, they saw no one suspicious on their way back to the palace. The Count told the King to ignore her warning, but he answered: But she has told me so many other things, that have already come true! [4] When they entered the palace and were proceeding up the stairs, they met a man with a sword leaving the apartment of the King's sister-in-law the duchess of Södermanland, consort of Prince Charles, who was suspected of conspiring against him. The man was Adolph Ludvig Ribbing, one of the future participants in the conspiracy which planned the regicide of the King in 1792.
From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulrica_Arfvidsson

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ando


How many conductors get their name billed above the composer and title nowadays? :D I'll do a proper write up in a few. Meantime, I'm enjoying this classic performance of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. Hope you will, too.

JBS

Time for another Strauss opera I've never heard


I think after this I have five Strauss operas to go: Guntram, Feuersnot, Intermezzo, Liebe der Danae, Friedenstag.

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JBS

Time to turn my attention to Rossini's Venetian farse

These are in one act, but they're really full opere buffe compressed into a continous hour and a half of music [to be precise, 88'25" in this case].

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steve ridgway

Quote from: JBS on July 09, 2024, 02:55:45 PMTime for another Strauss opera I've never heard


I think after this I have five Strauss operas to go: Guntram, Feuersnot, Intermezzo, Liebe der Danae, Friedenstag.

I haven't ripped all my Strauss opera box yet but have already heard a version of Feuersnot. The story is quite entertaining in a ridiculous way and sufficiently outrageous to get it banned by Mrs. Kaiser Wilhelm ;) .

Mirror Image

Quote from: steve ridgway on July 10, 2024, 11:31:22 PMI haven't ripped all my Strauss opera box yet but have already heard a version of Feuersnot. The story is quite entertaining in a ridiculous way and sufficiently outrageous to get it banned by Mrs. Kaiser Wilhelm ;) .

Of the Strauss operas you've heard so far, which one is your favorite? For me, in continues to be Der Rosenkavalier (the Bernstein recording), but I do like Elektra, Salome and Daphne a lot as well.
"You cannot set art off in a corner and hope for it to have vitality, reality, and substance." ― Charles Ives