Author Topic: Mozart operas  (Read 93303 times)

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Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #480 on: May 04, 2013, 03:30:00 AM »
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Drasko

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #481 on: February 27, 2015, 07:06:24 AM »


Any opinions of Bohm's mid 60s Prague recording of Don Giovanni? I found relatively cheap Supraphon LP set of it (this one) and thinking of picking it up. In previous 25 pages of this thread there's no single mention of it, amazon reviews look mixed.

Offline ritter

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #482 on: February 27, 2015, 01:35:41 PM »


Any opinions of Bohm's mid 60s Prague recording of Don Giovanni? I found relatively cheap Supraphon LP set of it (this one) and thinking of picking it up. In previous 25 pages of this thread there's no single mention of it, amazon reviews look mixed.
I personally don't have a very good opinion of this recording (but must admit I haven't listened to it for many, many years). Although I am a great admirer of Karl Böhm in Mozart, on this occasion I think the result is rather heavy-handed, and there's very little of giocoso in this dramma. As for the singing, well, FiDi is FiDi (I like him), but Birgit Nilsson is a singer I've never warmed to (in this or any repertoire--too clarion-voiced and one-dimensional, IMHO), Reri Grist soubrettish as Zerlina, Flagello rather coarse as Leporello. Only Martina Arroyo left a pleasant impression...

Böhm's later (1977) live recording from Salzburg (also on DG) is a vastly superior affair, I think, and very enjoyable (even if it shares the very germanic-sounding Peter Schreier as Ottavio with the previous recording):

ritter
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Offline knight66

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #483 on: February 27, 2015, 11:47:04 PM »
Ii agree, Nilsson was never a comfortable fit with Mozart. Now a days, that weight of voice would never be asked to sing that part.

Mike
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Drasko

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #484 on: February 28, 2015, 09:24:25 AM »
Thank you for your opinions gentlemen! I just found that the complete recording is on youtube, so I'll just try to hear it before deciding whether to get it or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8fshhOF_Pw

Drasko

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #485 on: June 23, 2015, 04:04:49 AM »
Cross posting from listening thread:





Mozart - La clemenza di Tito

Tito Vespasiano: Toby Spence
Sesto: Tara Erraught
Vitellia: Kristine Opolais
Servilia: Hanna-Elisabeth Müller
Annio: Angela Brower
Publio: Tareq Nazmi

Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Conductor: Kirill Petrenko

Direction: Jan Bosse
Bayerische Staatsoper 15. Februar 2014

I liked the staging, simple and effective. Stylized Roman senate for the first act and singed rafters of the same for the second. Fancy costumes for the first, getting disheveled for the second (except Tito). Orchestra raised, in white in first then in black for second act. Acting good all around. Singing: Erraught, Müller, Brower excellent, Spence bit cautious on top and in more florid passages but fine overall, Opolais has tendency to hurl herself at her top notes in a manner that made me wince couple of times in the first act, better in the second. It's not an easy role. Petrenko's conducting I thought was mostly excellent, good balances, flexible with tempo. Shame there is no DVD.

Video can be found here.   

Offline knight66

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #486 on: June 25, 2015, 03:49:29 AM »
I heard Spence in Gerontius a few weeks ago and he was in good voice. He seems to be making a good recovery from cancer and I hope he recaptures his top form. He seems to have lots of high profile bookings ahead this year.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline André

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #487 on: April 07, 2016, 12:54:31 PM »


The "little cousins" of the Countess and Susanna are found in this wonderful pocket opera, one of Mozart's best efforts in the genre. Mind you, that is a nincompoop, as there is not a snitch of effort here.

This wonderful version does it all for me: it has naturalness written all over. Highs and lows (vocal of course) are sung and played with splendid élan and brio. The most amazing to my ears was the quality of the sound (1954), full and ringing, with plenty of space and presence.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #488 on: April 08, 2016, 02:57:19 AM »
There is another Abduction with Fricsay, a broadcast production with a slightly different cast, also very good (but it's probably not necessary to have both and the sound quality on the DG studio is better, I think).

For a singspiel of its time, the Abduction is very elaborate, with wonderful and luxurious instrumentation and great characterization. At least the huge "Martern aller Arten" Aria with concertante woodwinds is far too serious and grand for a singspiel, so Mozart is already mixing genres here. I also especially love the pseudo-medieval romance with its pizzicato and strange harmonies: Pedrillo's "Im Morgenland gefangen war".
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline André

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #489 on: April 08, 2016, 03:06:12 AM »
Yes, Pedrillo's romance is a little gem. I also very much like Beecham's version with Leopold Simoneau and Lois Marshall. Beecham gives it the grand treatment, but does not overinflate the work.

kishnevi

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #490 on: April 08, 2016, 09:09:16 AM »
One of the odd things embedded in the Callas Recitals boxes I am now listening to is the presence of German and French arias (even the Bell Song from Lakme!) sung in Italian:  and it takes a minute to figure out what "Tutte le torture" actually is.   I have to admit the translation does not really serve the music well, and the difference in languages does have an impact on the overall presentation.   

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #491 on: April 09, 2016, 02:08:57 AM »
One of the odd things embedded in the Callas Recitals boxes I am now listening to is the presence of German and French arias (even the Bell Song from Lakme!) sung in Italian:  and it takes a minute to figure out what "Tutte le torture" actually is.   I have to admit the translation does not really serve the music well, and the difference in languages does have an impact on the overall presentation.

I don't mind anything that Callas has sung. In fact, the "Bell Song" is rather interesting in Italian. As for translations, Mozart's operas were frequently done in at least two languages: German and Italian. In the classical era, this was no big deal.

German singers at least into the 1950's were singing standard operatic repertoire in their own language.  For example, Fritz Wunderlich sang Lenski's aria in German. The Russians consistently returned the compliment, importing any opera into their own language. At least the audience could understand what was going on.

I read somewhere that even into the 1920's it was possible to hear singers on the same stage singing in different languages. That must have been some polyglot-phony.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #492 on: April 09, 2016, 02:54:18 AM »
Opera in the language of the audience was frequent in Europe at smaller theatres until the 1970s or 80s and even today one of the three opera houses in Berlin has almost everything in German (it used to be everything until a few years ago). The polyglot mixtures were supposedly frequent already at the first German public opera theatre (Hamburg, "am Gänsemarkt" (at the Geese's Market) with Keiser, the young Handel and later Telemann.
There were occasions of guest singers singing in another language even until the 1950s or 60s in Germany and Austria, I believe, but I am too young to name examples.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #493 on: April 09, 2016, 09:42:47 AM »
One of the odd things embedded in the Callas Recitals boxes I am now listening to is the presence of German and French arias (even the Bell Song from Lakme!) sung in Italian:  and it takes a minute to figure out what "Tutte le torture" actually is.   I have to admit the translation does not really serve the music well, and the difference in languages does have an impact on the overall presentation.

She actually sang four performances of the complete opera (her only performances in a complete Mozart opera), in Italian, at La Scala, in April 1952:

KONSTANZE MARIA CALLAS Soprano
BLONDE TATIANA MENOTTI Soprano
BELMONTE GIACINTO PRANDELLI Tenore
PEDRILLO PETRE MUNTEANU Tenore
OSMIN SALVATORE BACCALONI Basso baritone
BASSA SELIM NERIO BERNARDI Attore

Maestro concertatore e direttore JONEL PERLEA

« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 09:46:51 AM by Wendell_E »
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kishnevi

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #494 on: April 09, 2016, 12:20:00 PM »
I don't mind anything that Callas has sung. In fact, the "Bell Song" is rather interesting in Italian. As for translations, Mozart's operas were frequently done in at least two languages: German and Italian. In the classical era, this was no big deal.

German singers at least into the 1950's were singing standard operatic repertoire in their own language.  For example, Fritz Wunderlich sang Lenski's aria in German. The Russians consistently returned the compliment, importing any opera into their own language. At least the audience could understand what was going on.

I read somewhere that even into the 1920's it was possible to hear singers on the same stage singing in different languages. That must have been some polyglot-phony.

Someone I knew in my college days once attended a performance of Boris Godunov in Vienna c. 1970 that was sung in German.

kishnevi

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #495 on: April 09, 2016, 12:25:22 PM »
Opera in the language of the audience was frequent in Europe at smaller theatres until the 1970s or 80s and even today one of the three opera houses in Berlin has almost everything in German (it used to be everything until a few years ago). The polyglot mixtures were supposedly frequent already at the first German public opera theatre (Hamburg, "am Gänsemarkt" (at the Geese's Market) with Keiser, the young Handel and later Telemann.
There were occasions of guest singers singing in another language even until the 1950s or 60s in Germany and Austria, I believe, but I am too young to name examples.

The English National Opera is still going strong (albeit the current production is Sunset Boulevard).

Offline Jo498

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #496 on: April 09, 2016, 12:45:50 PM »
I think in the German speaking countries the practice changed from audience language to (mostly) original language in two waves: First the big international houses, like Vienna and Berlin wanted to boast star casts from all nations whereas until the 1950s they had kept comparably fixed ensembles and only occasionally star soloist from elsewhere. The second wave was when many international singers entered German/Austrian/Swiss ensembles (those countries have by some margin the highest number and the highest density of theatres playing opera in the world) even in the provincial theatres. As most singers, regardless of where they hail from, can sing some halfway recognizable Italian it made more sense to have them sing bad Italian than worse German in often cheesy oldfashioned translations. Of course, there are still quite a few important operas in German, so they also get to sing in bad German (and bad French, occasionally, I guess).
The Russian and Czech of most non-native singers is probably terrible. (I have often been told that native speakers frequently do not recognize the language if non-native singers try to sing Czech or that it is laughably bad.) So some of these operas are more frequently performed in German whereas with e.g. Mozart's Figaro performances in German have become rare.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline André

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #497 on: April 09, 2016, 02:36:40 PM »
She actually sang four performances of the complete opera (her only performances in a complete Mozart opera), in Italian, at La Scala, in April 1952:

KONSTANZE MARIA CALLAS Soprano
BLONDE TATIANA MENOTTI Soprano
BELMONTE GIACINTO PRANDELLI Tenore
PEDRILLO PETRE MUNTEANU Tenore
OSMIN SALVATORE BACCALONI Basso baritone
BASSA SELIM NERIO BERNARDI Attore

Maestro concertatore e direttore JONEL PERLEA


Amazing: Callas, Prandelli, Munteanu and Baccalone. Wow !! The only name I know nothing about is Tatiana Menotti (a relation of the composer ?). And of course Perlea was an excellent conductor. Have there been recorded incarnations of those evenings ?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 02:56:16 PM by André »

kishnevi

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #498 on: April 09, 2016, 02:54:39 PM »


(Re Callas in Mozart)
The only trace on Amazon beyond those recital recordings is


Which you can purchase for a mere 1800USD.  Plus $20 shipping.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 02:56:27 PM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline André

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Re: Mozart operas
« Reply #499 on: April 09, 2016, 02:57:24 PM »
Skata...  :(