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Thread: Berg on DVD and Blu-ray

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I'm watching this right now (as I type)



    Oh boy. This twelve-tone system needs some getting used to.
    I can't say I like it.
    Does this make of me some sort of musical moron?
    So far, to be frank, I find this to be a good play with ugly music in the background.
    I have enjoyed other 20th century atonal works.
    But I can't really wrap my mind around this music.
    In what way can this be considered beautiful music? It's a bunch of disconnected shrieks.
    Poooommmm piiiiiiiii paaaaaahhhhh eeeeeehhhhhhh uuuuuuuuuuu
    I don't get it.
    Maybe by the end of the third hour (3 hours 3 minutes of runtime) I'll get used to it. I hope.

    Addendum - OK, I think it's getting better for me. My poor ears are starting to settle.
    The intermezzo between scenes 2 and 3 is actually interesting and the odd music does add some weird but intriguing atmosphere to this somber drama. Maybe I'll end up liking this thing. I'm still reserving judgment, though.

    Certainly Christine Schäfer is doing a fine job as Lulu.
    I love Lulu, I don't find it difficult...I think that ears can be "educated"...try harder...Incredibly, I started liking even Ernst Krenek! Tutto è possibile except that I don't like Verdi...and this isn't going to change...Alas!

    Martin

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    Default Just Arrived by Post... Alban Berg - Lulu/Petibon/Salzburger Festspiele

    see Just Arrived by Post...
    Last edited by rsmithor; Mar-09-2012 at 05:07. Reason: duplicate entry
    -- RS
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  3. #48
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    Default Just Arrived by Post... Alban Berg - Lulu/Petibon/Salzburger Festspiele

    Quote Originally Posted by rsmithor View Post
    Ah Berg's Lulu on audio CD's/MP3 file
    Here are my favorites, each for different reasons

    Chandos Saffer/Daniel... This performance is electric... Richard Stokes cheeky English translation made Berg's Lulu a
    real page turner, from start to the harrowing finish... It's on my iPod...

    Met Broadcast MP3 Petersen/Luisi... (attended the Met's 08 May 2010 Lulu... Awesome!!!)

    DGG Stratas/Boulez... Stratas and the first rate cast

    EMI Tate/Patricia Wise... with this recording I heard things in the score that Boulez only hinted at... beauty.

    RCA/Migenes/Maazel... Maazel... another surprise, Berg's music became liquid gold, with notes coming out of nowhere, like fireflies in the night...

    DVD/Blu Ray...

    Enichenholz/Pappano ROH Blu-Ray... this production is a knockout... sight and sound... in a word... stunning

    Met Opera Broadcast Migenes/Levine (1980) DVD... the attention Levine gives to the music. Dexter's detailed production, staging, and the stellar cast... only thing missing, Teresa Stratus and the silent film...

    Schafer/Davis/Glyndebourne (2004) DVD ... a solid production

    Stratas/Boulez/Chereau Paris (1979) (Japanese DVD NTSC) suffers from poor recording quality, i believe this DVD/video was used to document the premiere of the three-act version, and not intended for commercial release... it's still fascinating to watch Teresa Stratus do her magic as Lulu.

    Just arrived by post... Alban Berg - Lulu

    Lulu blueray.jpg

    Lulu - Alban Berg - Blu-ray DVD - Salzburger Festspiele (2010) Starring Patricia Petibon, Michael Volle and Wiener Philharmoniker (2012)
    Last edited by rsmithor; Mar-09-2012 at 05:12.
    -- RS
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    definition (adj. Holding stubbornly and often unreasonably to one's own opinions)

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    Patricia Petibon is great in most everything she does. I like this Lulu, especially how she develops the character from the typical Petibon pretty face and body! to the tormented soul at the end. I found the production a little too garish though and distracting, but it is a must for Lulu lovers.

    The Boulez/Stratas is fantastic on CD or DVD, but the why they do not remaster it and reissue it on DVD, especially as it was such a landmark priduction, is criminal. Stratas is more the vulnerable, less conniving Lulu.

    I prefer Laura Aikin to Christine Schäfer; though she is back to the manipulative Lulu there are overt references to abuse in her childhood and the ending is very well done. This and the Stratas would be my personal faves - though it is great to have such a choice for this opera.
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    Just watched bits of the Patricia Petibon Lulu (the one from the Liceu directed by Oliver Py). Now, i have always been a huge fan of this director - i collected all of his operas that were released on DVD on the dynamic.it label and i especially enjoyed his video discussion about the concept. I really missed that on this DVD. Why do more labels not do that?? Some do ...but not very well, they have a silly 2 minute chat with the director, conductor and singers but on the Dynamic.it label they had like a 50 minute discussion about the concepts and ideas.

    Anyway, i like the seedy setting and i like Patricia Petibon's voice anyhow. My favourite part of Lulu is the ending where Jack the ripper kills her. I never forget this scene on the Glyndebourne DVD with Wolfgang Schone as the ripper and i am afraid the new DVD did nothing to stir my emotions...it just ended. Anyway, need to watch more of this opera (or it all would be nice) but on initial looking i don't think i will have a new favourite.

    Anyone seen the other DVD of Lulu with Petibon from Salzburg?? Some good and some bad reviews.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashin View Post
    Just watched bits of the Patricia Petibon Lulu (the one from the Liceu directed by Oliver Py). Now, i have always been a huge fan of this director - i collected all of his operas that were released on DVD on the dynamic.it label and i especially enjoyed his video discussion about the concept. I really missed that on this DVD. Why do more labels not do that?? Some do ...but not very well, they have a silly 2 minute chat with the director, conductor and singers but on the Dynamic.it label they had like a 50 minute discussion about the concepts and ideas.

    Anyway, i like the seedy setting and i like Patricia Petibon's voice anyhow. My favourite part of Lulu is the ending where Jack the ripper kills her. I never forget this scene on the Glyndebourne DVD with Wolfgang Schone as the ripper and i am afraid the new DVD did nothing to stir my emotions...it just ended. Anyway, need to watch more of this opera (or it all would be nice) but on initial looking i don't think i will have a new favourite.

    Anyone seen the other DVD of Lulu with Petibon from Salzburg?? Some good and some bad reviews.
    LULU.jpg

    OMG... I can't stop watching... "Petibon's, Berg Lulu, Salzburg 2010"... it's stunning use of color (in HD) it's fine singing cast, sets (lack of), direction, orchestra and Petibon's huge eyes. The same week the Blu-ray DVD arrived, I found out my sisters 3 year old Sony Blu-ray player wasn't playing some of the newer Blu-ray's... hmm, I ran a few questions by her... how long has this been going on? ("over a year") Have you ever updated your Blu-ray firmware? ("huh? what?") I checked, (not updated, ever) A quick search on Sony's web site, I download and burn the lasted firmware to a DVD-R disc... The Blu-ray player update OK took about 15mins. I tested her Blu-ray player with the Salzburg Lulu... I turned on the sub-titles... boy, that did it... My non-opera-going sister, sat down, (Lulu is a real trainwreck) and she could NOT look away... Petibon had wow'ed her and she ordered her own copy... Berg, Lulu, dare I mention 12-tone?... hmm, go fiqure...
    -- RS
    Opinionated? Yes... At least I have one...
    definition (adj. Holding stubbornly and often unreasonably to one's own opinions)

  7. #52
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    A force-feeding of Berg is likely to be in my future- since the 12-work MET-Levine 40th anniversary set has both Lulu AND Wozzeck as part of the collection(!).
    rsmithor likes this.

  8. #53
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    Default Two Lulu's Two DVD Reviews

    What a timely read...

    Opera Today
    by Jim Zychowicz

    13 Apr 2012

    0886979100992.jpg

    Lulu by the Metropolitan Opera

    A recent release by the Metropolitan Opera, this two-disc set makes available on DVD the famous performance of Berg’s Lulu that was broadcast on 20 December 1980 as part of the PBS series “Live from the Met.”

    Based on the production that received its Met premiere in 1977, this video makes available John Dexter’s classic presentation of Berg’s opera that James Levine conductor over three decades ago. The Met’s production was a major event because the three-act version of Berg’s score was still new, with houses vying to program it. Even though the opera received a number of fine productions since then, this production of the Met’s Lulu remains a strong and insightful performance, which Levine led masterfully.

    Dexter’s staging offers a conventional approach to this unconventional opera, with wonderfully detailed interiors that give a sense of realism to this extraordinary score. While various obvious places in the video do not disclose the fact that this is a filmed opera rather than an opera conceived as a film, the direction gives a sense of intimacy which allows the viewers to observe the work from a closer perspective than if they were in the audience. It is a credit to the sensitivity of the production staff involved with the film that they were able to convey the interactions well, as in the finale scene of Act 2. Yet the film also gives a sense of this specific production with its closeups of Levine conducting from the pit, especially in the orchestral numbers that are part of Berg’s score.

    One element unique to this production is the setting of the film music ingeniously. With its use of stills which resemble Manga, the section has a timeless quality which fits well into the live action used for the rest of the film. The sepia-tone images and art-deco are entirely appropriate to the production, with a good sense of cinematic continuity.

    The cast was outstanding in its days and their efforts remain laudable. Julia Migenes, perhaps known best for her depiction of Carmen in the film of the opera, is a solid, convincing Lulu. In this role Migenes combines her strong acting abilities with her command of the role. Her coquettish behavior in the first act gives way to an increasingly manipulative persona, which Migenes also expresses well vocally. The penultimate scene in the third act gives a fine sense of how Migenes handles this complex role.

    As Countess Geschwitz, Evelyn Lear gives a classic performance which merits attention for the details she brings to its performance. Lear’s Geschwitz is appealing for the dimensions it offers, as both a foil for some aspects of Lulu and as an individual with a compelling presence. Lear offers a Geschwitz with consummate style, which fits well into the production, especially in her impassioned final scene. Likewise, Kenneth Riegel’s Alwa is memorable for the musical and dramatic depth it offers. Riegel’s supple voice works well in this production, where his voice is neither lost in the full orchestral sound nor harsh in the more dramatic passages of the role.

    The casting is evenly strong, with both the solo passages and ensembles well executed. The opening scene of the third act offers a brilliant rendering of the cocktail party depicted in the libretto, with the solo voices intersecting the ensemble and orchestra with appropriate style. Frank Mazura gives a strong performance in the dual role of Dr. Schön and Jack the Ripper, as does Andrew Foldi as Schigolch. These and the entire cast work well under Levine’s leadership, which shaped this performance from start to finish.

    It is difficult to fault this classic performance of Lulu, except for some aspects that are out of the control of the Met. The color was fine for television in 1980, but it seems faded, even in this well-produced DVD. The sound is rendered well, but suffers at times from the necessary placement of microphones for the broadcast. While not a major obstacle, such details serve as reminders that this is a television broadcast, not a studio recording of the opera. Thus, the subtitles are entirely in English, as would occur in a broadcast. Yet it would be useful to have the original German text as an option for the subtitles.

    With several productions of Lulu available on DVD, this one is a solid choice. Dramatically and musically compelling, this performance has much to recommend. The sensuality implicit in the score is not overtly depicted, and so the parental warnings that occur with other releases of this opera are absent from this video. More than that, this performance has historic significance for being part of the production that introduced the Met’s audiences to Berg’s famous opera.

    Jim Zychowicz

    http://www.operatoday.com/content/20...rg_.php


    13 Apr 2012

    Lulu by Gran Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona

    8584409.jpg

    Released in late 2011, Deutsche Grammophon’s DVD of the new staging of Berg’s Lulu at the Gran Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona is an excellent contribution to the discography of this fascinating opera.

    The production was designed by Pierre André Weitz, with stage direction by Olivier Py, and its post-modern approach supports Berg’s score through its vivid settings and facile staging. Unlike the conventional staging of Lulu, as found in another recent DVD which preserves the 1977 Metropolitan Opera premiere of the opera (filmed in 1980), this Barcelona staging plays upon the surrealistic elements of the work to powerful effect. With excellent sound and intense visuals, this recent DG release is a compelling presentation of Lulu.

    The casting is impressive, with Lulu played by Patricia Petibon, and Alwa by Paul Groves. Both singers are fully engaged in their characters both dramatically and vocally. Petibon brings out the vulnerability of Lulu along with her ruthlessness. As the narrative takes the Lulu into increasingly complex situations, Petibon expresses her character’s desperation in her acting and vocal tone, with a sense of timing that serves the music and the dram. Yet at the end, when Lulu becomes a prostitute in London, Petibon brings a sense of detachment to the climax, which allows the action to focus on the actions of Ashley Holland as Jack the Ripper and reactions of Julia Juon as Countess Geschwitz. Petibon’s subtlety allows the staging to emphasize the tragedy, and also brings out the lyrical emphases in various numbers, as with Lulu’s Lied (“Wenn sich die Menschen” in the first scene of act two.

    As Alwa Paul Groves is appealing for performative reasons. The role is well within Groves’ abilities, which receives fine voice in this video. His delivery of the passage “Über die ließe sich freilich eine interessante Oper schreiben” is memorable for the way it works well in the scene yet seems like commentary on the work itself. His clear enunciation of the text and sense of line supports both the part of Alwa and also his strangely intense relationship with Lulu.

    Ashley Holland brings a similar command to the dual role of Dr. Schön and Jack the Ripper, a quality which allows him to build the dramatic and musical tension in the first part of the opera and then, at the end, to bring it to its tragic ending. Holland’s Dr. Schön interacts well with Petibon’s Lulu, as well as the other characters. The complex relationship between Dr. Schön as father and Alwa as his son emerges with appropriate edginess in this production. At the same time the final scene hinges on Holland’s intensity as Jack the Ripper.

    With the role of Countess Geschwitz, Julia Juon creates a sympathetic persona as Lulu’s erstwhile lover and dramatic Doppelgänger. Introduced only in the second act, it is important for anyone taking on the role of Geschwitz to create a solid impression, and Juon does so from the start. Her obsession with Lulu emerges without overstatement, with her final lines haunting. Juon’s performance stands well with Petibon’s, as the two women create strong impressions throughout the performance.

    Supporting all of this is the fine leadership of Michael Boder, who brings a fine sense of timing and balance to excellent sound of the DVD. Boder’s interpretation is strong, as it reflects his sense of interactions of instrumental and vocal music in this complex score. The orchestral outbursts have their place in the drama, and are nicely integrated into the polished whole of the production.

    Yet throughout the performance, the staging stands out for the bold approach to this landmark twentieth-century opera. The carefully considered and and well-thought details make support work. While this results in some provocative images, the results does not seem gratuitous Labeled with a parental advisory for adult content, this DVD makes a provocative staging available to a wide audience. The sensuality of the work emerges in overt elements, like the suggestion of sexual intimacy and the alluring sense of bodies in depicting the lust that is part of the libretto. As strong as this aspect of the production may be, it is never out of place or sensationalist. Rather, this staging makes use of those elements to bring out the narrative elements in ways that sometimes fall short in other productions. At the same time the vivid use of animal images in the prologue and first act make Wedekind’s text come to life memorably. In addition Brechtian elements emerge in the placards with slogans in various languages that punctuate some of the scenes. “Meine Seele” or “I hate sex” seen to be non-sequiturs on their own, but contribute to the entire experience when viewed within the mise-en-scène of this Lulu. As these and other elements work together well in this production, they bring a powerful focus on the dramatic aspects of Berg’s opera in a performance that includes some of the finest interpreters of the work in the first decade of the twenty-first century. A modern conception of the opera, this Lulu is simultaneously accessible for its solid conception of this seminal twentieth-century opera.

    Jim Zychowicz

    http://www.operatoday.com/content/20...lona_alban.php
    -- RS
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    definition (adj. Holding stubbornly and often unreasonably to one's own opinions)

  9. #54
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    New Wozzeck DVD out/out soon from Belair classiques (always enjoy their recordings).

    Georg Nigl (Wozzeck), Mardi Byers (Marie), Maxim Paster (Captain), Pyotr Migunov (Doctor) & Roman Muravitsky (Drum-major)
    Orchestra & Chorus of the Bolshoi Theatre, Teodor Currentzis
    Stage direction and set design: Dmitri Tcherniakov

    If you are a fan of Tcherniakov's Macbeth, Eugene Onegin and Dialogue des Carmelites then this could be brilliant
    Last edited by Yashin; Oct-12-2012 at 15:47.

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