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Thread: Best Operadepot recordings

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    Senior Member WildThing's Avatar
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    Default Best Operadepot recordings

    I know this site offers some enticing sales from time to time, and so in anticipation of their next deal I'd like to hear some recommendations of some of the best recordings they have available from others who have explored their catalogue more than I have.

    I own the 1976 Kleiber Tristan from Bayreuth, and know the Boulez Ring from 1976 gets a lot of praise from some as well, though I'm not too fond of Boulez's way with Wagner. But outside of those, anything in particular to be on the lookout for? It doesn't have to be just Wagner either, I'm open to anything. And to be clear, I'm talking about bootlegs and performances that are OPP elsewhere, not recordings available from other labels like their
    Kubelik Meistersinger.

    This may be a bit of a long shot, but any pointers would be appreciated!

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    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildThing View Post
    I know this site offers some enticing sales from time to time, and so in anticipation of their next deal I'd like to hear some recommendations of some of the best recordings they have available from others who have explored their catalogue more than I have.

    I own the 1976 Kleiber Tristan from Bayreuth, and know the Boulez Ring from 1976 gets a lot of praise from some as well, though I'm not too fond of Boulez's way with Wagner. But outside of those, anything in particular to be on the lookout for? It doesn't have to be just Wagner either, I'm open to anything. And to be clear, I'm talking about bootlegs and performances that are OPP elsewhere, not recordings available from other labels like their
    Kubelik Meistersinger.

    This may be a bit of a long shot, but any pointers would be appreciated!
    Oh, I have a long list for you

    Don Carlo - 1975 Karajan/Domingo/Freni/Ludwig/Cappuccilli/Ghiaurov - My favorite of the 4 act recordings of DC; although I strongly prefer the 5 act, this performance is so great, I end up listening to this more than the 5 acters I have. Excellent stereo sound. Better than but very similar to the next one:

    Don Carlo - 1976 Karajan/Carreras/Freni/Cossotto/Cappuccilli/Ghiaurov - I like Domingo's Carlo better than Carreras, basically. Cossotto probably sings technically better than Ludwig--it sounds like Ludwig was having some vocal difficulties that night--but I like the overall approach from Ludwig better. She's also more apt for the lovely and seductive Eboli than Cossotto.

    Aida - 1972 Abbado/Arroyo/Domingo/Cossotto - this one is my favorite recording of Aida bar none. Good stereo sound. Exceptionally taut and propulsive and well sung, the only flaw being an ugly oboe squeak in Act 3. I feel like Cossotto gets a little monotonous at times, but she's certainly an effective Amneris, and Arroyo's performance of the title role is a favorite.

    Don Giovanni - 1975 Solti/Soyer/Margaret Price/Te Kanawa/Burrows/Van Dam/Moll - this is my favorite recording of DG, again good stereo sound, but this one has some problems with the audio--the sound drops out of one speaker near the start for a couple of minutes, and you occasionally hear radio static. Very unusual interpretation--Solti conducts this very slowly at times, even slower than the Klemperer, and it does lead to some problems in ensemble--you can sort of tell that they didn't get enough rehearsal time at these speeds and singers get out of sync at times. Rather wish they'd picked someone less acidic for Zerlina than Jane Berbie. But Soyer, a criminally underrecorded French bass-baritone delivers easily the most seductive and charismatic performance of the title role I've heard. When he's making you wonder if it's possible his is the most beautiful voice of the three when he's singing trios with Van Dam and Moll... well, that's pretty amazing. Donna Anna might be Margaret Price's best role, it's perfect for that wounded dignity and nobility that Margaret played so well.

    Nozze di Figaro - 1973 Solti/Van Dam/Freni/Janowitz/Von Stade/Bacquier - Not my favorite but is among them--the sound is decent but not quite as good, so it does take a bit of a hit for that. Van Dam is just so great at Figaro and Leporello, he perfectly projects that combination of wit and cynicism. Freni should have done Susanna more, she's great here, and you get Von Stade's Cherubino in one of earliest takes on the role.

    Otello - 1959 Erede/Del Monaco/Tucci/Gobbi - surprisingly great sound. Del Monaco is somewhat crude and vulgar as usual but shows a lot more life than in the pretty dull performance he delivers on the Karajan studio recording, and what a treat to have Gobbi in something other than the somewhat lifeless Serafin studio recording as well. Tucci is fine, not great but a perfectly creditable Desdemona

    Manon Lescaut - 1970 Santi/Olivero/Domingo - she might be most known for Adriana but Olivero's Manon is equally great. Pretty good sound. But speaking of...

    Adriana Lecouvreur - 1973 Olivero/Domingo - just excellent. Rapturous ovation for L'anima ho stanca so you actually get it twice including the encore, and Olivero is a marvel of longevity, sounding nearly as good in 1973 as she did in the famous 1959 performance.

    Ballo in Maschera - 1961 De Fabritiis/Gencer/Bergonzi/Zanasi - A very fine recording in pretty good mono sound. I tend to find Bergonzi a little too careful and restrained to really work for a lot of the more dramatic roles he recorded, but he's great as Riccardo, perfect really since Riccardo's essentially a charming and attractive weakling. Gencer is perfect as Amelia, her loony intensity serving her very well in Ma dall'arido and Morro, ma prima in grazia.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Sep-06-2019 at 19:09.

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    Otello - 1959 Erede/Del Monaco/Tucci/Gobbi - surprisingly great sound. Del Monaco is somewhat crude and vulgar as usual but shows a lot more life than in the pretty dull performance he delivers on the Karajan studio recording, and what a treat to have Gobbi in something other than the somewhat lifeless Serafin studio recording as well. Tucci is fine, not great but a perfectly creditable Desdemona
    I own the recording from the Andromeda label, which uses stereo tapes rather than mono like OD. I strongly reccomend this performance and it usually competes against my Levine / Domingo / Scotto / Milnes Otello.

    If I reccomend any Otello from OperaDepot, that is the Salzburg 1970 recording conducted by Herbert von Karajan. It offers the same cast as the studio recording and of course average sound quality, but performance_wise everything goes perfect, especially from the two failures of the studio IMO: Karajan's conducting and Glossop's Iago.

    Strongly reccomend the 1976 Salzburg Lohengrin too.

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    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    I own the recording from the Andromeda label, which uses stereo tapes rather than mono like OD. I strongly reccomend this performance and it usually competes against my Levine / Domingo / Scotto / Milnes Otello.

    If I reccomend any Otello from OperaDepot, that is the Salzburg 1970 recording conducted by Herbert von Karajan. It offers the same cast as the studio recording and of course average sound quality, but performance_wise everything goes perfect, especially from the two failures of the studio IMO: Karajan's conducting and Glossop's Iago.

    Strongly reccomend the 1976 Salzburg Lohengrin too.
    I like the Salzburg Otello much better than the Karajan II studio recording too, but I just can't recommend a performance of Otello with that hideous Act 3 cut, which Karajan apparently felt strongly enough to use for both. Madman.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Sep-13-2019 at 23:56.

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    The '76 and '77 Boulez Ring Cycles. Both performances are exceptionally better in sound and performance quality than the commercial release.
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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Here is a very good Ring from Opera Depot. Listen to the sound clip of Ligendza as Brunnhilde here:
    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen - Ligendza, Adam, Cox, Jones, Brilioth; Horst Stein. Bayreuth, 1971
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Nov-03-2019 at 05:10.
    "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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