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

  1. #12256
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Verdi: Nabucco (Highlights in German) / Thomas Stewart, Sandor Konya, Martti Talvela, Liane Synek, Evelyn Lear, Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Horst Stein / 1965)

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    This is a great set and the only "highlights" of the Ring that I would recommend. Nice sampler of historic Rings and a nice way to get your Ring fix when you don't have 15 hours to spare. This one is 4 disks, so probably 4 hours or so.

    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Working my way through my second Ring on DVD (already did Levine and have to more after this, think Barenboim and de Billy). So far this is a great ring. I am in the middle of Siegfried. Love the way the dragon turns back into the giant once mortally wounded.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    In a bit of a Mozart mood.
    Picked the Harnoncourt Mozart operas up for 10-12 dollars each.
    Enjoying them.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Verdi: Die Macht des Schickals Highlights in German)/ Stefania Woytowicz, Cvetka Ahlin, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jess Thomas, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Hans Löwlein / 1962)

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Puccini: Le Willis

    Ermonela Jaho (Anna), Arsen Soghomonyan (Roberto), Brian Mulligan (Guglielmo)

    Opera Rara Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder
    First spin yesterday, no verdict so far.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Victoria De Los Angeles has long been a favourite singer of mine and her Violetta satisfies on so many levels. She is a little strained by the tessitura of the first act, but the voice is generally clear and beautiful, her singing always musical and deeply felt. As in everything she did, the sensitivity and sincerity of the performance are most affecting and she is without doubt one of the best Violettas on disc. What I miss is that sense of desperation and impulsiveness inherent in the character. Her Violetta is touching, but not overwhelmingly tragic as it is with Callas, who does tend to spoil me for all comers.

    She has a good supporting cast with Carlo Del Monte a manly and forthright Alfredo and Sereni a sympathetic Germont, as he is in Callas's Lisbon performance.

    I sometimes feel Serafin's virtues are rather underestimated. He paces the score brilliantly, particularly good in the choruses, which can sometimes outstay their welcome. If I'm honest, I rather prefer his approach to the more interventionist Kleiber. The cuts traditional at the time are observed, so no cabalettas to Alfredo and Germont's arias.

    If Callas, particularly in London, remains my yardstick for this opera, this is nevertheless one of my favourite studio sets and I might even place it just above Cotrubas/Kleiber.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Sep-22-2019 at 15:02.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  21. #12266
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post


    Victoria De Los Angeles has long been a favourite singer of mine and her Violetta satisfies on so many levels. She is a little strained by the tessitura of the first act, but the voice is generally clear and beautiful, her singing always musical and deeply felt. As in everything she did, the sensitivity and sincerity of the performance are most affecting and she is without doubt one of the best Violettas on disc. What I miss is that sense of desperation and impulsiveness inherent in the character. Her Violetta is touching, but not overwhelmingly tragic as it is with Callas, who does tend to spoil me for all comers.

    She has a good supporting cast with Carlo Del Monte a manly and forthright Alfredo and Sereni a sympathetic Germont, as he is in Callas's Lisbon performance.

    I sometimes feel Serafin's virtues are rather underestimated. He paces the score brilliantly, particularly good in the choruses, which can sometimes outstay their welcome. If I'm honest, I rather prefer his approach to the more interventionist Kleiber. The cuts traditional at the time are observed, so no cabalettas to Alfredo and Germont's arias.

    If Callas, particularly in London, remains my yardstick for this opera, this is one of my favourite studio sets and I might even place it just above Cotrubas/Kleiber.
    I agree, especially about Serafin's conducting. This recording along with the 1955 live Giulini is probably the best Traviata as far as the conducting is concerned.

    N.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Another awesome watch! Next up: Gotterdammerung.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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  25. #12268
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    I went to see Werther at Covent Garden on Friday night with Juan Diego Florez as Werther and Isabel Leonard as Charlotte. It was a mite disappointing, I'm afraid, Florez underpowered and Leonard rather uninvolved, and the Albert, Jacques Imbrailo, was completely ineffectual.

    Though this recording wouldn't be my out and out favourite, I chose to listen to it today for the singing of Gedda and De Los Angeles in the main roles. The rest of the cast is very good too. Prêtre is the main problem. I feel he pushes too hard sometimes and the orchestra is often too loud. Both Pappano and Davis are much better.

    That said Gedda is, as always in French opera, very impressive and De Los Angeles quite lovely as Charlotte. It was good to be reminded how the opera can pack quite a punch. Friday night's performance at Covent Garden came across as rather muted.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  27. #12269
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    ^^^ I'm not surprised to hear that Florez doesn't quite have the goods for Werther, but it occurs to me that the role has been sung effectively by a rather wide variety of tenors. Weightier voices can be impressive - Kaufmann has had great success with it recently, and Corelli scooped and gargled his way through it quite effectively, if you like that sort of thing - but a lyric tenor with good projection and fine style might be ideal, as witness this marvelous clip with the inimitable Schipa:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgdo0uJO4zE

    Charlotte too can accommodate very different singers, both sopranos and mezzos. Based on her powerful singing of the letter aria, Callas should certainly have sung and recorded the part.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Sep-22-2019 at 19:22.

  28. #12270
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    ^^^ I'm not surprised to hear that Florez doesn't quite have the goods for Werther, but it occurs to me that the role has been sung effectively by a rather wide variety of tenors. Weightier voices can be impressive - Kaufmann has had great success with it recently, and Corelli scooped and gargled his way through it quite effectively, if you like that sort of thing - but a lyric tenor with good projection and fine style might be ideal, as witness this marvelous clip with the inimitable Schipa:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgdo0uJO4zE

    Charlotte too can accommodate very different singers, both sopranos and mezzos. Based on her powerful singing of the letter aria, Callas should certainly have sung and recorded the part.
    Yes, Werther has been sung effectively by a variety of voices, and you could hardly find two more different than Thill and Schipa. I expected him to be quite good, but neither voice nor personality ariied and we weren't that far away. I wonder how he came across in the upper reaches of the house.

    Leonard had the vocal goods. Indeed, vocally she was quite good and looked perfect. She was just a bit tepid and uninvolved dramatically. There was no real chemistry.

    It's a role that has also been sung by a variety of singers, both mezzos and sopranos, among them Von Stade, Vallin, De Los Angeles, Troyanos and Gheorghiu. Callas's version of the Letter Scene is, as you say, superb and there's another by Verrett, which is hardy less good.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Sep-22-2019 at 20:09.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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