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Thread: What opera are you currently listening to / watching? CD/DVD

  1. #11266
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    Excellent performances of Puccini's tryptich, though, of the three, only Suor Angelica would be my absolute top choice.

    A word first about the presentation of this budget release. These days I suppose we have to become used to not getting texts and translations, but documentation is really of the minimum, and tracking of the CDs is at ludicrous; just one for Il Tabarro, and two each for Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.

    Nothing really wrong with Maazel's conducting, which is spacious and warm throughout, though he misses some of the high spirits of Gianni Schicchi.

    Despite the excellent performances of Scotto and Domingo in Il Tabarro, I still prefer the old mono recording conducted by Vincenzo Bellezza, which is dominated by Gobbi's darkly menacing, but troubled Michele. It is one of his greatest achievements on disc, and, good though Wixell is, he doesn't begin to match Gobbi in emotional range. Scotto and Domingo are far preferable to their counterparts on the older recording, but Gobbi is irreplaceable.

    In Gianni Schicci, Gobbi is up against himself in an earlier recording, conducted by Gabriele Santini with a degree more urgency than we get here. Gobbi is as sharply characterful as ever, but the other soloists on that earlier recording are a tad more individual than those on this one, and it just generates a bit more fun and high spirits. Domingo, expertly lightening his voice, manages Rinuccio surprisingly well, but it's still a bit like getting a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and Ileana Cotrubas is a charming Lauretta, if not quite eclipsing memories of Victoria De Los Angeles on the earlier recording.

    When it comes to Suor Angelica, I would have to admit that Scotto's top notes can be afflicted with hardness and unsteadiness, but that she presents the most intense, most psycholgically penetrating traversal of the role I've heard. Between them Scotto and Maazel turn what is often a piece of quasi religioso sentimentality into a mini psychodrama about the effects of repression, almost echoing some of the themes in Powell and Pressburger's darkly intense movie Black Narcissus. Much as I like recordings featuring De Los Angeles and Ricciarelli, this one is much more gripping as drama. It's defnitely the prize of the set.
    Last edited by GregMitchell; Yesterday at 19:32.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  3. #11267
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    Jobs.jpg
    Mason Bates: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
    Michael Christie, conductor
    Sasha Cooke, Jessica E. Jones, Edwards Parks, Garrett Sorenson & Wei Wu
    The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra

    I listened because of the Grammy nominations (opera recording and composition) and because it's supposed to be performed at SFO during the summer 2020 session.

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, musically. The music is pulsing and inventive; it's clearly Mason Bates. The vocal writing can be quite engaging, too. It opens big, too, with Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone in 2007. I'm not sure what I think of the plot; it jumps around in time, has a bunch of short scenes, and hits a number of iconic points in his life... all of which feel like strikes against it, but it also seems to have some sort of a dramatic arc. I am now more excited to see it staged.
    Last edited by mountmccabe; Yesterday at 20:29.

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  5. #11268
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Shatterhand View Post
    I thought it was the definitive Figaro? It was the first one I heard 17 years ago, and the only audio recording of the opera I've got.
    This was my favorite recording until the Jacobs recording was released. It’s must miraculous in my opinion and shouldn’t be missed. It always bothered me that Giulini omitted the two ACT IV arias. I’m sure that was an EMI decision, but it was a really stupid one IMO.

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  7. #11269
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    Half a masterpiece.

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