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Thread: The 2015 TC most recommended opera CD's and DVD thread...........

  1. #91
    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post

    Only another 270 operas to vote for ........
    In a world which is ruled by gangsters and maniacs, art means nothing but just a junk food and there's no hope for human's salvation throughout... (Shāmlou)

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  3. #92
    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    More info please................


    This space for rent.

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Furtwangler, now and forever.

    Once you've heard his Act 2, no one else's makes sense. Tristan and Isolde sing about the wondrous realm of night. Only Furtwangler knows the way to it.
    For the Act II love music and singing, the Furtwangler/Philharmonia is absolutely captivating in every way.

    His treatment of Brangane's calling to the star-crossed lovers in the night is the 'essence' of Wagner to me. Its so indescribably beautiful that I get goose bumps every time I hear it. Its absolutely sacred music to me and I will only play it late at night.

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  7. #94
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Of the versions I have of this opera:

    Tristan Kar 1.jpg
    Karajan 1952 is an overwhelming experience white hot live with Modl and Vinay and Hotter terrific. the recording is, of course, dated. But to me this is the best performance.

    Tristan Furt.jpg
    Furtwangler has to be heard for the conducting although Flagstad was frankly a bit past it by that stage. Although some Wagnerians will accuse me of heresy, she does sound strained in places and a bit matronly.

    Tristan bohm.jpg
    Bohm is too monochromatic for my taste - too little light and shade although very exciting. Windgassen sounds very thin by this stage of his career. Both Ludwig and Wachter are admirable. Nilsson's power has to be heard but you can't love her. But just listen to the way the voice cuts through the orchestra at the end. Incredible!

    Tristan kleiber.jpg
    Kleiber is a bit of a microphone job but who cares? It blows the cobwebs off and Price is a stunning Isolde even if Kollo is very rough round the edges and D F-D sounds as if he is singing on a Zimmer frame. Fassbender is good but sounds too much like Price.

    Tristan Kar.jpg
    Karajan / BPO is a marvel of orchestral playing but there are decidedly odd balances, maybe due to the fact that Karajan insisted on recording it in chunks like an aural jigsaw puzzle.. Karajan is as different from his live version as can be. Vickers is absolutely superb and I can actually love Dernech's Isolde although that has come in for much criticism. To me she sounds very much like Modl on Karajan 1. Ludwig is also superb. One critic said there was a 'glacial chill' coming from this version. I detect only warmth. If Karajan errs it is in that he over-loves the score. But with orchestral playing like this who cares!

    If I could have only one it would be Karajan 2 for the sound quality (despite the balances), singing, orchestral playing and conducting. But then I feel I want Karajan 1 when I want to be absolutely overwhelmed.. But stick to Karajan 2.
    Last edited by DavidA; Mar-06-2015 at 19:14.

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  9. #95
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    BTW did someone else write operas other than Wagner?

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  11. #96
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    BTW did someone else write operas other than Wagner?
    Oh, is he in the shade again?

    Yes: Verdi and Strauss.

    ;D

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    BTW did someone else write operas other than Wagner?
    To quote our esteemed and patient thread creator and all round good egg - Itullian .....

    Sheeeeesh!!!

    We're using this list. Herr Wagner nabbed the top two that's why we're voting for him (well not me but that's another story). Wolfie is next!
    Ann

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  14. #98
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    To quote our esteemed and patient thread creator and all round good egg - Itullian .....

    Sheeeeesh!!!

    We're using this list. Herr Wagner nabbed the top two that's why we're voting for him (well not me but that's another story). Wolfie is next!
    I'm assuming this list is, like the X Factor contestants, "in no particular order"?

  15. #99
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post
    Oh, is he in the shade again?

    Yes: Verdi and Strauss.

    ;D
    Hmm. Strauss? Was he a cricketer? Did he write something about a bat?

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  17. #100
    Senior Member Figleaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    BTW did someone else write operas other than Wagner?
    Wake me up when we get to La Traviata!


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  19. #101
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    If we're making comparisons, here are mine (before we move on to Mozart or whoever):

    Tristan Kar 1.jpg

    Karajan, Bayreuth 1952: As intense, dramatically, as you could wish, with Karajan more spontaneous and less mannered than in his later studio work. Dark-toned Ramon Vinay is one of the strongest Tristans on record. The supporting cast is variable. The hitch for me is Modl: she gives probably the most interesting and passionate interpretation of Isolde on records, and was apparently a superb actress, but her voice is strangely produced - "chesty" and squeezed out, is the best way I can put it, with the high notes taken by a (mostly successful!) effort of will - and I'm afraid I find her irritating and tiresome to hear. Sonics are just OK. Don't make this your only Tristan, but do hear it.

    Tristan Furt.jpg

    Furtwangler: This is not only the most profound interpretation on record by a conductor, but brings us one of the greatest Wagnerian voices of all time. Flagstad's age (57) at the time means that some of the higher-lying passages have become effortful. Otherwise the power, security, tonal beauty, and pure legato of her singing is still an object lesson for all who would attempt Isolde's music. Her colleagues may be individually surpassed on this recording or that, but they all acquit themselves honorably. Other recordings of the opera bring out more of its potential for sheer frantic energy; Furtwangler's is a deeper, wiser, more Romantic vision which, for me, comes closest to the work's innermost soul. When I think of this recording, passages that come to mind are the introspective and sorrowful moments in Act 1, such as Isolde's "Mir erkoren, mir verloren," when Flagstad's voice sounds as deep as the ocean and Furtwangler's hushed intensity is incomparable. I think too of the prelude and opening scene of Act 2: others tend to overemphasize the agitation and shortchange the magical woodwind writing, but Furtwangler misses nothing. Isolde's little speech about "Frau Minne," with Flagstad floating gorgeously on Furtwangler's glimmering orchestra, the haunting orchestral lead-in to "O sink hernieder," Brangaene's warning from the tower - it's all unbelievably beautiful, and once you've heard it nothing else will satisfy. As my favorite critic Conrad Osborne wrote ca. 1966 (I paraphrase slightly), "for all the faults of their colleagues and even of themselves, it's Flagstad and Furtwangler who take us, for a few moments here and there, closest to the essence of what this work is about." It's essential to have more than one recording of this impossible opera, but this must be one of them.

    Tristan bohm.jpg

    Bohm, Bayreuth 1966: This complements Furtwangler's rather nicely. The kinetic excitement whipped up by Bohm is most telling in Act 3, which he and his Tristan make as gripping as you'll ever hear. The supporting cast is excellent, probably the best on any recording, with Christa Ludwig, Eberhard Waechter and Martti Talvela all superb. Despite the aging, unsensuous tone of Windgassen, he portrays the part insightfully. Nilsson is vocally heroic, hurling high notes like lightning bolts, always alive to the text if characteristically lacking something in warmth. What I miss in this performance, mostly in Act 2, is subtlety and magic. It's an unromantic, rather neurotic, view of the opera, but still quite powerful in its ultimate impact.

    Tristan kleiber.jpg

    Kleiber: One of the more interesting conducting jobs, with some unusual tempos here and there. You'll need to make up your own mind. I don't buy the concept here: a Tristan and Isolde clearly too small-voiced to carry their parts in the theater, blown up by the microphone. They don't fool me; in the climaxes they still sound like pygmies. Price does give us a lovely, feminine isolde; Kollo is no Tristan at all, sounding whiny and rather pathetic. Fischer-Dieskau is over the hill and does a lot of barking (hear him in his beautiful prime in the old Furtwangler). The other singers are fine. I gather that Kleiber was opposed to the release of this recording. In any event I can't believe in it or recommend it.

    Tristan Kar.jpg

    Karajan's studio recording should be heard for the powerful Tristan of Jon Vickers, perhaps the most vocally ample since Melchior's, and frighteningly intense in Act 3. Dernesch portrays a sympathetic Isolde, though her attractive, middle-weight voice is screamy at the top and occasionally unsupported lower down. Ludwig is a superb Brangaene; others in the cast are adequate. I'm not as fond of Karajan as some; he creates some beautiful sounds, but his tendency to unusual orchestral balances and dynamic extremes can annoy. As one example, the whispered pianissimo he asks from everyone at "O sink hernieder" takes Wagner's markings too literally and makes the climaxes sound disproportionate. If you like Dernesch, and Karajan's conception isn't too mannered for you, you'll probably like this version.

    One more Tristan I'd definitely recommend (I have no photo) is a live performance from Munich in 1950 under Hans Knappertsbusch. Kna offers powerful leadership and has a very strong cast including Helena Braun, Gunther Treptow, Margarethe Klose, Paul Schoeffler and Ferdinand Frantz. This is available on several labels, about which I can't comment; the sound is likely to be just acceptable, comparable to that on the 1952 Karajan. This performance exerts quite a dramatic grip and in my estimation is comparable to any of the other recordings. It should be better known.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-06-2015 at 23:05.

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  21. #102
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figleaf View Post
    Wake me up when we get to La Traviata!

    Sorry I'll be asleep then!

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  23. #103
    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Sorry I'll be asleep then!
    Aye - not much chance for a credible vote for Herbert for that one, is there
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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  25. #104
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headphone Hermit View Post
    Aye - not much chance for a credible vote for Herbert for that one, is there
    I must confess I just don't like the opera. I believe Herbert was of the same opinion. He once conducted Moffo in it and rushed the whole thing off the stage. Her 'crime' apparently was to parade in furs outside the opera house the night before!

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  27. #105
    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    ^^^ its fine if you don't like it - you (and anyone and everyone else) are perfectly entitled to have likes and dislikes in classical music - for music, for performers, for recordings - it doesn't mean you're an idiot any more than someone who doesn't like Lang Lang is an idiot
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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