Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 371682 times)

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kishnevi

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #160 on: November 14, 2010, 07:30:10 PM »
No, they were actually issued together on a single disc apart from the symphonies. (Chailly's "filler" was unusually interesting, and different: works by Bach, Schoenberg, Berg, Zemlinsky, Diepenbrock.) A couple of years after the songs Chailly and Fassbaender recorded Das Klagende Lied too. That plus the song cycles are now coupled on a Decca twofer that I've been eyeing for quite some time. Your review of the songs has finally convinced me to hit the buy button.

Sarge

She also recorded DLvdE with Guilini; the tenor is Francisco Araiza.  That performance, and the Klagende Lied, are part of DG's Complete Mahler box, which is how I know of them.

The only other recording I have of hers (actually, there probably are more but I don't recall them at the moment) is of Winterreise, almost the only female Schubert song performance I have.

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #161 on: December 30, 2010, 03:42:55 AM »
I have had this recital for some time. It has languished and until today I have not managed to listen right through the disc.

Diana Damarau sings Mozart Opera Arias. Conducted by Jeremie Rhorer on Virgin Discs.

The language of wine has its parallel in how we describe voices. Well, here goes. A touch of lemon and tannin, rather than diamonds in a string, a cascade of cut glass. I can't get along with this voice at all. I find the tone alternatively sweet then shallow, there is an innate vibrato in the upper middle of the voice and some tooth paste swelling in phrasing.

Against that is her acuity with words and an ability to ping top notes as though from another voice, often pure in sound. Her phrasing is musical. But...rather a big but....I don't like the voice at all. Thus my inability to listen right through to the disc. About half of it would be OK. I get fatigued with the angry doll attitude in some arias and in the likes of Pamina, she lacks the beauty I look for.

At her best she provides interest and narrative to a longish aria from La finta semplice. But two arias later, we have the trial of Martern aller Arten, exhausting in the wrong way. Workmanlike rather than triumphant in getting through those notes, a lesson rather than relishing what is being unrolled before us.

So, not for me I am afraid. I wonder what garners her so much praise? Perhaps this disc is not representative of her work, or that the microphone does not like her.

Mike
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 03:44:39 AM by knight »
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Offline Guido

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #162 on: December 31, 2010, 09:30:31 AM »
I also find her hard to like - she's very good in some roles (her Sophie is nice), but considering she is a lyric coloratura, her vibrato can be very wide indeed - something of which I am never a fan. Thing is, she can also sing very purely a sweetly e.g. the famous phrase "Wie himmlische, nicht irdische, wie Rosen vom hochheiligen Paradies". Her singing in Die Schweigsame Frau last summer was another case in point. Perplexing. Haven't seen her live though. Maybe she's just popular because she's better than Dessay. I'm not a great fan of either.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #163 on: January 01, 2011, 12:03:25 PM »
Guido, Damarau is in the DVD of Rosenkavalier I recently bought. I watched Act 1 yesterday. Fleming gives a remarkable performance. I hope when she appears that Damarau is at her sweetest. I will report back on the DVD thread when I get through the whole performance.

Mike
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Marc

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #164 on: January 01, 2011, 01:15:01 PM »

Offline Guido

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #165 on: January 01, 2011, 01:36:47 PM »
Oh I just posted on the other opera DVD thread Mike - so glad that you liked Fleming's performance. I think it's wonderful, but I'm an unashamed fan - I know that some around here, like Tsaraslondon are more guarded in their praise. The role fits her like a glove vocally, and the acting I think is also amongst her finest. She's very good at these "thinkey" heroines, because it's who she is - her Tatiana at the Met was also very affecting, mainly because that's roughly who she was as a young girl, and now also (ok, not royalty, but wildly successful, famous, and rich). Her Capriccio Countess (Madeleine) also.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #166 on: January 01, 2011, 02:04:32 PM »
I am with you. I don't think I have seen such an intense reading of that final long section of Act 1 of Rosenkavalier. But it completely fits the words and is basically quite a disturbing and disturbed reading; as against the usual rather more soft centred approach.

I also thought her Tatania was first rate and have reviewed that and the Cappriccio. The latter again I enjoyed enormously, except for the odd idea of having her in a stage box observing...that was self conscious, but a small point up against the entire role.

Mike
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Offline Guido

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #167 on: January 01, 2011, 04:07:16 PM »
Yes, that staging of the last scene annoys me more and more - it's so unsubtle and obvious, in this most subtle and recherché of operas, and ruins the best bit of the whole opera somewhat. (oh look , she's wearing a glitzier slightly differently hued version of the same dress, oh look the servants have over the top makeup - it's an operatic version of the real events guys! Look!) Actually it completely ruins it because what one is really meant to realise at the point the Count suggests the theme of the opera, is that the whole thing is folding in on itself, the mirror in the mirror etc. (we're back to the Marschallin). In this staging, only the last part is Flamand/Olivier's creation, not the entire opera.

And the last scene also loses it's poignance and depth - we're meant to be thinking about the uncertainty of life and the future, the impossibility of the choices we make (and more generally, the ending of this era of german opera, the ending of a life and creative career as Strauss' rapturous penultimate essay for soprano and orchestra...) and then the beautiful sighing irony and lightness of the very end... Instead, we're constantly brought back to the opera within an opera motive, the inherent weirdness of the operatic medium, the stage itself and how unnatural it is to declame your inner most thoughts with music accompanying to an audience of a thousand...

But I really do love the rest of the staging! As I've said before it's my favourite opera, and I love the updating here - such a beauty and elegance and naturalness to it all.

The Met Capriccio is even worse than their Rosenkavalier for chocolate boxeyness - everyone praises the Te Kanawa DVD to the nines but I hate what it looks like. Another reason I find it hard to watch is the acting from the men - all seems a bit hammy and overdone - they don't seem like people I'd want to know.

The Met broadcast coming up in April with Renée Fleming is actually a new production which I'm curious to see - I think it's another updating to 1942, the year the piece was premiered. It's such a common trick to just update a piece to the time the composer wrote it, rather than the date it's meant to be set in, but it's obvious why it works - the effect can seem more cohegent often - the visual and aural seem less at odds.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 04:05:08 AM by Guido »
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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #168 on: January 01, 2011, 06:34:26 PM »
The Met broadcast coming up in April with Renée Fleming is actually a new production which I'm curious to see - I think it's another updating to 1942, the year the piece was premiered. It's such a common trick to just update a piece to the time the composer wrote it, rather than the date it's meant to be set in, but it's obvious why it works - the effect can seem more cohegent often - the visual and aural seem less at odds.

It's the same John Cox/Mauro Pagano production from San Francisco they did with Te Kanawa in 1998, but with new costumes and "interior décor" by Robert Perdziola.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 06:45:44 PM by Wendell_E »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #169 on: January 02, 2011, 02:40:28 AM »
Guido, I agree with you entirely on the odd framing device in the Capriccio. It entirely undercuts the integrity of what went before.

Mike
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Offline Guido

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #170 on: January 02, 2011, 04:16:02 AM »
Thanks Wendell - didn't realise it was as old as that, though I was aware that it had been done before. The production I had been talking about was the previous one which is on the Te Kanawa DVD.

I'm guessing this is the new one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFp5CMY6dlE (It's the met opening night gala that she did a couple of years ago.)

The decor is certainly very plush and apt, but somehow the costume, makeup and wig look less sophisticated than I think they're meant to... Somehow they conspire to make her look quite old! Is this the costume in the new production?
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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #171 on: January 03, 2011, 04:28:36 AM »
Thanks Wendell - didn't realise it was as old as that, though I was aware that it had been done before. The production I had been talking about was the previous one which is on the Te Kanawa DVD.

I'm guessing this is the new one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFp5CMY6dlE (It's the met opening night gala that she did a couple of years ago.)

Again, it's all the same production. with some new furniture and costumes.  It premiered in Covent Garden in 1991.  San Francisco did it in in June 1993 (those performances produced the DVD you refer to).  Lyric Opera of Chicago did it in 1994, and it came to the Met in 1998, with several of the same cast members as in the DVD (Te Kanawa, Keenlyside, and Kuebler as the points in the love triangle).  It was used again for that gala in the youtube video, with a new John Galliano frock for Fleming and the new interior decoration (same old set) by Perdziola who, according to the Met website, will also be doing the costumes for the upcoming revival.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 05:01:34 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline Guido

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #172 on: January 03, 2011, 05:26:23 AM »
Again, it's all the same production. with some new furniture and costumes.  It premiered in Covent Garden in 1991.  San Francisco did it in in June 1993 (those performances produced the DVD you refer to).  Lyric Opera of Chicago did it in 1994, and it came to the Met in 1998, with several of the same cast members as in the DVD (Te Kanawa, Keenlyside, and Kuebler as the points in the love triangle).  It was used again for that gala in the youtube video, with a new John Galliano frock for Fleming and the new interior decoration (same old set) by Perdziola who, according to the Met website, will also be doing the costumes for the upcoming revival.

Ah right! Sorry for being so dim!
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #173 on: May 27, 2011, 11:19:18 PM »
A little time ago a professional countertenor came onto the site and left a link, within a thread of discussions on his voice type, to a very interesting technical article on singing. I followed up and found that the singer, Ian Howell, had made some recordings. I listened to samples and felt prompted to buy this disc on the Americanbach label:

'1685 and the art of Ian Howell'.

1685 was the birth year of Bach, Handel and Domenico Scarlatti. So there is plenty of scope here to range across masterpieces that can be tackled by the countertenor. The disc starts with Scarlatti's Salva Regina. The only other recording I have of this piece is by Janet Baker and she had that gift of injecting meaning and emotion into any phrase or word she chose. The melismatic repeated opening words are a case in point. So, from the off Howell tells us he is highly musical, phrasing terrifically well, has excellent breath control and sings with taste. He is not up for providing the ultra expressive experience that was Baker's hallmark. Arguably the older and slower recording makes too much of a meal of it. But it packs an emotional punch that this new performance is not aiming to emulate.

But the piece comes up fresh and the purity of the voice is a pleasure to listen to. The tone is sweet. He reminded me of Alfred Deller; but more substantial and obviously with a wider range. I would welcome more weight of tone and the balance on the recording sometimes felt like the voice was not given sufficient prominence.

He is accomplished without being outright virtuosic, some scale work sounds careful rather than tossed off. I enjoyed his performances, regard them as a find and will watch out for this singer. He has a thriving international career. The rest of the well filled disc includes all of Bach's Cantata BWV 170 Vergnugte Ruh, now so well recorded but bearing for most older listeners that indelible stamp of Baker in her prime. But we can't keep harking back as though there was only one legitimate way to sing these works. Here the opening aria is taken swiftly, it ripples along, with beautiful playing from the American Bach Soloists.

Handel is well represented by arias from Saul, Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare, Serse and Orlando.

Generous samples are available on his site:

http://www.ianhowellcountertenor.com/live/

It will be interesting to see how this singer develops.

Mike
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 01:58:13 AM by knight66 »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #174 on: April 01, 2012, 02:36:52 AM »
Margaret Price died just over a year ago: an event that seems to have spurred various music companies and radio stations to disgorge their treasures. A pity they did not do this a decade ago to give the singer the pleasure of witnessing the increase in the catalogue of her superb performances.

The disc I have here is issued by BR Classik. Simply with the name of the singer as title; it contains live works performed within Sunday morning relays of concerts from Munich between 1977 and 1991. The sound quality is very good, the voice well captured and forward, it is also very consistent. There are some pieces here that I am not aware are available elsewhere in her catalogue.

This voice has often been described as warm and creamy. She excelled in Mozart, Strauss and Verdi and seemed not to have to drop the Mozart once the Verdi became mainstream. She was initially a mezzo, which slightly surprises the listener, as her lowest notes are slightly weak. But a minor quibble and there are few of them. She latterly suffered from stage fright in a fairly major way; but certainly I have only once encountered a recording where this might have been a noticeable issue. Hers was a first rate technique where the voice was evenly supported from top to almost bottom and she could fill out those Verdi lines as adroitly as she got round the fast work in Mozart. In the Mozart she uses slight portamento to good effect.

Hers is probably the most beautiful Isolde we have on disc, there she also showed that she used words intelligently. In this gathering of arias there is no Isolde. We have a number of the expected Mozart roles plus the surprise of Parto, Parto from Clemenza di Tito. This is usually assigned to the Mezzo, here she sings it superbly tossing off the long lines with excellent breath control. The Dove Sono has a couple of moments where she is not entirely comfortable.

There is Weber and Rossini, then Casta Diva. Here and in the final Verdi there is a concentration and projection that is hypnotic. Without losing detail, she sings across the arias. Otello, Forza, Aida extracts follow and then a final long 11 minute aria from Don Carlo. This is well kept to last; it left me in a bit of a trance....eventually I realised the music had finished and I was sitting in silence, magical.

A treasurable disc.

Mike
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 02:42:44 AM by knight66 »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #175 on: April 01, 2012, 02:19:01 AM »
On one of the Wagner threads I recently left a review of a live concert performance of Tristan that provided an all round memorable evening. The Brangane was new to me and for me a very impressive find. I hunted out any discs she had produced, by chance her debut solo disc has just been issued.

Christianne Stotijn accompanied by Joseph Breint: 'Stimme der Sehnsucht' on the  Onyx

With a title meaning, 'Voices of longing' we are not going to encounter much to laugh about. Songs by Pfitzner, Strauss and the major focus of the disc: Mahler's Kindertotenlieder. Now although no comedy, it is not a miserablist recital and the Strauss is much about love rather than loss. The recital has the Mahler at the end, but exceptionally, Strauss's 'Morgan' is placed as a postlude and that has significance. The Mahler is not approached in an epic of the neurotic and grief laden. This is a deeply reflective interpretation. A touch of disbelief, regret, loss, latterly with the 'Morgan', resignation is projected backwards. An interesting piece of programming. It is very effective.

The voice is forward, rich and vibrant. Moments reminded me of Fassbaender. But although she has been taught by, among others, Janet Baker, if I have to compare her in order to provide a reference point; then Christa Ludwig is closer in sound if not in temperament.

The Mahler is really excellent and the pianist almost makes me forget that we don't have the full orchestral palate. Even in that Wagnerian outpouring of  Strauss's 'Befreit', I am content with the piano. The voice is large in real life, but she resists the temptation to oversing this song as it puts the voice into flight mode.

I did not get much out of the Pfitzner; penny plain, but I probably need to put time in on them to get them to yield their quality. I like the idea that she has not gone for an obvious pairing, an intelligent singer providing an interesting programme.

I believe we will hear a lot more from this singer. This is an auspicious first recital disc, I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #176 on: April 01, 2012, 03:28:36 AM »
On a roll today: another Mezzo. Sarah Connolly. She is probably now right at the peak of her career in terms of the voice condition balanced with the insight she brings to what she sings. In a week I will hear her sing The Angel in 'Gerontius' and a couple of weeks ago I heard her juicy Octavian at the ENO. In the last decade she has produced a string of admired performances.

I first encountered her on the Glyndbourne Julius Caesar DVD and I don't expect to encounter it better acted and sung. Her Dido in the Purcell opera is I think the best take on the part in the last 30 years. She has been showcased in a few recital discs, but sadly few in relation to her 50 years.

Chandos has issued a disc of English Song: 'My True Love Hath My Heart'. She is aided and abetted by Malcolm Martineau.

I have quite a few discs of English song and I do enjoy, as here, where the famous ones rub shoulders with rare or new ones. The newest material is put at the end: Richard Rodney Bennett's three songs collectively known as, 'A History of The Dansant', that final 'e' should have an acute over it. The composer's sister supplied the words, biographical of their parents. Very enjoyable songs, grateful to sing.

Backwards, many of the expected composers appear, Britten, Howells, Ireland and Ivor Gurney; this latter has two songs, one being that beautiful melismatic piece, 'Sleep'. As elsewhere, well everywhere, Connolly is excellent at capturing mood and the light hearted songs are kept appropriately light. The solemn songs are mined. Verbal acuity is gratefully heard. I can't discern an arc to the programme, but it is totally enjoyable.

Mike
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Offline Lisz

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Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #177 on: December 29, 2012, 11:06:13 AM »


A surprising holiday gift from overseas....is anyone familiar with this recording? Thx in advance for any thoughts you can share.

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #178 on: December 29, 2012, 11:11:38 AM »
I have had this recording in different formats for about 40 years and I can's see past it to any other version. Christoff's French is demonic, but perhaps that is appropriate. Most of the other singers have good French and it is terrifically sung.

I hope you enjoy it.

Mike
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Offline Lisz

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #179 on: December 29, 2012, 11:43:07 AM »
I have had this recording in different formats for about 40 years and I can's see past it to any other version. Christoff's French is demonic, but perhaps that is appropriate. Most of the other singers have good French and it is terrifically sung.

I hope you enjoy it.

Mike

Mike, thx so much for the feedback.

The friend who sent it mentioned that it is one of his favorite operas, loves that it is in French, "the plot (based on Goethe's master work)," and the "superb" work of Victoria de los Angeles, in particular the "Jewel Song," all new to me. It will take me a while to get through it, but am really looking forward to it.

Hilde
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 12:04:06 PM by Hildegard »