Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 371668 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #180 on: January 01, 2013, 07:28:19 AM »
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

I still think that, on balance, it's the best Faust available, and very French, despite the fact that, of the major roles, only Valentin is sung by a native French singer. For some reason, every time I hear the overture in this set, it really conjures up the atmosphere in a theatre, and I can imagine the lights dimming and the audience settling down, that sense of expectation before the curtain rises.

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

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #181 on: January 01, 2013, 11:25:08 AM »
On DVD the Pappano is excellent....and fun.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #182 on: April 26, 2013, 09:57:56 AM »
Here is a recital that will be listened to as a touchstone in a generation.

Wagner: Jonas Kaufmann, Runnicles, Deutcher Opera Berlin, Decca

This singer in this repertoire cannot be bettered and possibly never has been. Reinzi, Lohengrin, Tannhauser, Walkure, Siegfried Meistersingers and the Wesendonk Lieder.

There are a very few singers who can make a language so come alive to a foreign ear. I don't understand much of it without following the words, but even without following them, you certainly get the idea. I think his tone is getting rounder, possibly also darker. His dramatic sense and intelligence means the extended In fernam land and the Rome narration are entirely gripping and as i noted in his Florestan, he traces the arc of a piece of music and shoots you across it with his imagination. I have never heard Wagner tenor singing that I have enjoyed so very much.

It all feels like it is torn from live performances, i just want more. I even fell under the spell of a tenor in the Wesendonk Lieder. It does not make me want to forgo the female singers, it was written for soprano, but he makes a very good case for it using the tenor range, though an exceptionally dark tenor. This sounds like a full baritone voice which has by miracle been transported upwards, intact, flowing, generous high notes and rich middle and low notes. This voice might just last!

I hope someone can give us a complete Tristan with him and i am daily waiting for the Met Parsifal.

The sound is forward and open, Runnicles is a wonderful conductor and together they have made what will become an historic recording.

Mike

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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #183 on: May 11, 2013, 01:20:53 AM »
There are a handful of pieces where despite my intensions, i cannot resist yet another well received version. Missa Solemnis, Das Lied von Der Erde, St Matthew Passion are amongst them. Les Nuits d'ete is another. I don't know, I probably have rising a baker's dozen and along comes yet one more i did not resist.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Robin Ticciati and Karen Cargill. The other pieces on the disc are: The Love Scene from Romeo and Juliet and La morte de Cleopatre, all Berlioz of course. The disc has had fairly universal praise. Do I recommend it? Yes strongly, but not without reservations.

Is it my ears I wonder? First up is the song cycle. This is a chamber orchestra and the voice is placed very much to the fore. I can hardly hear the orchestra in some of the quite areas of the cycle, of which there are many. The strings seem to whisper a commentary rather than join the partnership. Other than that, the pacing is unerring and colours do come through now and then. The conductor and singer conspire to draw you into their world with great concentration and I was certainly carried along with the feeling that I was listening to a symphony rather than a collection of disparate movements. So, I know that I will listen repeatedly to this disc. Now the singer, it took me a little time to acclimatise to her voice, I am not fond of a integral vibrato which is noticeable here in the middle register. But I was won over by the many qualities. Around the vibrato is a most beautiful dark voice and either I got used to it, or it somehow lessened throughout the disc. Her French sounds first rate to my untutored ear. She brings a terrific inner quality to her performance and I loved it. It does not copy any one else's approach. It is a special performance, not perfect, but how rare is perfection?

The Romeo and Juliet was beautifully played, but again to my ears the orchestra sounds under nourished, a bit. But that bit is the difference between enjoyment and being swept off your feet. Berlioz is the master of the passionate rush and here passion is just slightly muted.

The final piece is the cantata, another of my favourite pieces. This stands superbly up to the competition. Yes, Baker, Norman, Podles , this one goes straight up there with them. Right from the first utterance Cargill grabs you and colours the drama, a very imposing queen. This was for me the most satisfying performance. it felt live and as though the culmination of a longer opera. it is worth the cost of the disc, even if the other performances had been less good than they are.

I thought this name Cargill rang a vague bell and looking through likely candidates, lo and behold, she was on a terrific version of Das Lied that was on my shelves. Partnered by Runnicles and Botha this live prom performance was stuck to the front of a BBC music magazine, but I see it can be had on Amazon. It is well worth searching out. Cargill's voice is pretty well supported, one or two hollow notes apart, even four or five years ago she was pretty well superb and she responds imaginatively to the words. But the whole piece is beautifully conceived, and in the Runnicles style, this is not the stoic approach, it is dramatic. Botha is also well worth hearing.

Mike

Edit: Puzzled at the sound balance, i have listened to the disc on my other system. Sound turned up, the Arcam definately brings out more orchestral detail. I have not specifically noticed this before.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 02:31:25 AM by knight66 »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #184 on: May 11, 2013, 04:35:52 AM »
You piqued my curiosity so I did a quick Spotify search. No "Nuits d'Ete", but the search threw up a couple of LSO live discs, a Beethoven 9 with Haitink, a "L'Enfance du Christ" with Colin Davis and  a Verdi Requiem, also with Davis.

I didn't have much time so just listened to the Lux aeterna from the Requiem, and thought it quite riveting. There are a few vocal problems. The voice doesn't have the solidity and firmness of a Ludwig, a Cossotto, or even a Baltsa (at least early in her career on the Muti recording), but she really connects with the text and there is the sense of a true partnership with Davis. The other soloists on this Requiem are Christine Brewer, Stuart Neil and John Relyea, none of them singers I would readily seek out, but this excerpt made me want to hear the whole performance.

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

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #185 on: May 11, 2013, 04:47:00 AM »
I will have a listen to the Verdi. Thanks.

Mike
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Offline BobsterLobster

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #186 on: May 11, 2013, 05:01:23 AM »
One of my most treasured CDs- but quite hard to get hold of these days:


Offline knight66

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Lucy Crowe......Lucy Crowe.......Lucy Crowe
« Reply #187 on: July 13, 2013, 10:25:11 PM »
You will guess from how I titled the heading that i have come to praise not to bury Lucy Crowe. Do we need yet another Handel Arias disc? Well, back in 2012 when this was issued I clearly thought not. But having accidentially encountered the song and the singer on Spotify I now urge people to go and listen for themselves. Where I am living I have a bit of a spotty web connection, so even though most of the time I could hear the disc at will, I safeguarded myself and bought it....so, down to it.

Lucy Crowe, The English Concert, Harry Bicket on Harmonia Mundi   Handel in Italy 74 minutes

Here we have the young Handel writing religious and non religious music for church princes. We have a couple of substantial pieces Armida abbandonata and Salve Regina HWV241 plus a collection of arias from Resurrezione, clori and a couple of sonata movements. It is a very beautiful disc and the singer is set in a resonate acoustic, but forward so that you do catch the expressivity in her singing. It is a perfect voice somewhat in the Ameling frame, but I say that simply to provide a reference point, not to suggest she is a sound-alike. The technique is not even noticeable, so the singer has arrived at that place where she is utterly secure in what she is doing and stylistically she seems at home bringing these pieces to life without breaching the confines of the slightly cool concert platform.

Since I got the disc I have listened over and over and looked for more by the singer. She is a superb Mozartian and brings more overt feelings to his opera roles.

The orchestra and conductor as an important element and the names ensure you know what stile and sensitivity they will bring to the performances.

Now for another run through.

Mike

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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #188 on: September 22, 2013, 03:10:57 AM »
Verdi: Kaufmann: Sony

This is a much heralded disc by probably the most versatile and skilled tenor now singing. (Let's leave Domingo out of this now.)

It is a very generous disc, it even contains a 'bonus' track. Now in this context what the hell is that? Did they find it down the back of the fridge, was it recorded accidentally....what codswallop, especially as it has been tacked onto the end after the final utterances of Otello. Idiotic programming. Indeed what is the programming here? Chronological would have been good, random seems to have been the method.

His voice seems to ever darken and I hear an odd covered, cupo sound from a lot of his technique. I want the words to sit more closely just behind the teeth. In La Forza some phrases almost sound like they are being sung through cupped hands. But this is perhaps all carping, as he has so much on offer.

His voice now sounds out of scale in Rigoletto where the Duke's music can sound deceptively Mozartian. Here it is big boned, heavy, dramatic. The Don Carlo fits like a glove, ditto Trovatore. But the journey here is towards Otello which is flat out remarkable. Several times I have complained at the lack of use of the words in Otello, any healthy big voice gets a shot at it. At last here is a modern tenor who understands what to do with words.

A lot of superb communication right through the programme and his top notes are a joy. This is not at all a typical Italianate voice. But I would be glad to hear any of these portraits in full.

The sound picture is forward. The orchestra is good, Morandi is the trusted and capable conductor.

There are 13 tracks on the discs and what is now lavish packaging with libretti, essay and notes on each role by the singer. There are also lots of moody photos of the star.

Edited due to my typing in an entirely different tenor's name.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 05:02:57 AM by knight66 »
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Offline North Star

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #189 on: September 22, 2013, 04:30:38 AM »
Verdi: Hoffmann Sony
Interesting reading as usual, Mike!
But I assume you mean Kaufmann, hot Hoffmann :D For a while there I was excited about a new tenor :(

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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #190 on: September 22, 2013, 05:01:27 AM »
Haha,quite right and thanks. I will amend. A bit pathetic really as I had the blinking CD in my hands while I was writing.

Mike
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kishnevi

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #191 on: September 22, 2013, 07:49:57 AM »
I think there will be a sort of plain vanilla issue released without the bonus track, without the fancy packaging and possibly without the moody photographs.

At any rate,  I've given it a first listen.  He is a much darker-hued tenor than one often gets in Verdi,  and he makes it work.

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #192 on: October 24, 2013, 12:04:02 PM »
David Hansen, countertenor, Academia Montis Regalis, Alessandro De Marchi: RIVALS        Harmonia Mundi.

The name of this disc is apt. The singer throws down the gauntlet in a flamboyant way for his debut recital. He has recorded nine arias which are all premier recordings. The composers are unfamiliar, Vinci, Leo, Bononcini and Broschi. These composers provided astonishing showpieces for that set of rival singers some of whose names, such as Farinelli, still resound down 200 years.

This singer has a really remarkable range which extends well into soprano territory. There is plenty of muscle here and I don't mistake the sound for that of a female, which I have done with one or two countertenors I can think of. We cannot really know quite what the famous castrati sounded like, but it was not a sound that was mistaken for a female, being somehow trumpet like. Here we have sweetness, but a power that suggests muscularity, fluidity in the coloratura, no noticeable break in the registers and excellent breath control.

He phrases interestingly and certainly avoids monotony. I prefer the slow pieces and the second piece here is 13 minutes of meditative music making with obbligato, like an echo of a Bach aria. It is a really fine disc and the unfamiliar music is becoming established in my ear as I have listened over several weeks.

I went onto YouTube and caught some Handel and Mozart and as agents like to claim, he is the full package, voice, acting ability and striking looks. He has just moved recording companies and I assume plans are afoot. I hope so. Some of my favourite countertenors are becoming venerable and it is good to know there is talent like this coming up after them.

Mike 
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Offline Peregrine

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #193 on: October 24, 2013, 01:04:34 PM »
Great thread!

Possibly the recital disc I'd take to the proverbial desert island:



A rather virile debut from the legendary tenor.

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Offline Peregrine

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #194 on: October 24, 2013, 01:13:35 PM »

Also from the LP age, we have Sutherland's Art of the Prima Donna, still mercifully available in its original form. This still, for me, represents Sutherland at her vesy best.




I have long wanted to purchase this classic album, but I'm sure I remember reading there are remastering 'issues'? I see several versions on Amazon, so is the version to choose?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 01:32:30 PM by Peregrine »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #195 on: November 10, 2013, 01:24:48 AM »
Ivor Gurney Songs: Susan Bickley, Iain Burnside: Naxos

In several ways Naxos has done us a favour. One is the exploration of Gurney's output, another is giving us over an hour of Bickley.

I bought this disc off the back of listening and watching Bickley in the Britten DVD of 'The Turn of the Screw' where she shone amongst a superb cast and the voice hit home. It is a juicy mezzo with warm tone and she knows how to make words tell. Looking for more of her I encountered this disc and what a beautiful stream of songs we are given.

I learned several of Gurney's songs years ago and despite connecting with them, somehow I looked no further and filled up on Schubert and Brahms. So, here for example, are 'Five Elizabethan Songs', using words oft set from the time of the first Elizabeth. 'Sleep' is a tiny masterpiece about loss and the conjuring of sleep that allows the bliss to be recaptured. It yields to regret or anger depending on the approach: wistful or bitter. Here the former way is explored. As with all of these the words come alive and the arc of each song is evident. The approach sensitive and the technique allows plenty of expression, really using the dynamics. I did not know the preceding song in the set, Shakespeare's Under the Greenwood Tree, an instant favourite.

There is so much here, nothing longer than four minutes, 30 songs receive care and imagination from the singer and of course Burnside.

I wish it had been a double disc it gives so much pleasure.

Mike
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Offline Fafner

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #196 on: November 10, 2013, 01:33:26 AM »
Simon Estes - Richard Wagner



This was my introduction to Wagner. I bought it back in the 90's as a used vinyl LP in a bargain bin for less than a dollar and I played it all the time. I recently bought it again on CD - the original Philips edition from 1984. Of course, I have heard Wotan performed better, but I still love it.
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Mario Denis

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #197 on: January 10, 2014, 05:28:35 PM »


all time favorite....saw him live in winter 1977, the same year I saw Leontyne Price, in Vancouver. :P


Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #198 on: January 10, 2014, 10:26:35 PM »
Mario, Can you give us your memories from those recitals?

Mike
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Offline Guido

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #199 on: January 11, 2014, 05:30:27 AM »
Mike - agreed on the quality of kaufmann's singing but when you hear him in the theatre you realise that he is not a heldentenor and probably not even a dramatic tenor. The extremely covered sound works well on recordings, and I think he is superb on the Wagner disc, but there really is no way he will make an adequate tannhauser or Siegfried in the theatre - his Parsifal and siegmund, wonderfully sung though they were, were already not exactly large. Additionally the vocal cover makes his live Verdi not really that thrilling to me.

I think he is a great vocalise and artist, and there are many recordings of his that I love (have you heard the Strauss songs?) but I have rarely been as enamoured by him live as I have been with his efforts on disc.
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