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Thread: Need Idomeneo DVD Recommendation

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    Default Need Idomeneo DVD Recommendation

    Hi All,

    I've been listening to nothing but Jacobs Idomeneo recording over the past few days. I have never given much time to this work, often casting it aside for Mozart's other mature operas. What a mistake that was. Focusing so much on this work has really made me see what a masterpiece it is. That ACT III quartet alone is magnificent. I'm starting to think this work is every bit as good as my two favorite operas - Figaro and Don Giovanni.

    Anyway, I'm looking for a DVD recommendation. The single most important thing is that it is complete as much as possible in relation to what Mozart wanted at the 1781 premiere in Munich (complete like the Jacobs and Gardiner recordings). I will sacrifice performance quality for completeness.

    Would appreciate anyones thoughts...

    Thank you.
    Last edited by gellio; Mar-20-2020 at 00:43.
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    I have this one, 185 minutes long but....the sound is so much different from Jacobs recording, I doubt if you like it.
    Anyway my two cents .
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Recommend Norrington from Salzburg.

    idomeneo.jpegidomeneo.jpeg
    Last edited by Ulfilas; Mar-20-2020 at 10:13.

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    It may be worth adding that even the 1781 recordings aren't absolutely complete because Mozart revised the opera in 1786, adding some things and deleting others. As with Don Carlos, one can't even put everything from both versions together into a supercomplete composite score, because some of the new items are substitutes for some of the old ones. Thus in my personal view, whether in audio or in video form, one really needs two Idomeneo recordings: one of the 1781 version, and one of the 1786 version.

    The most complete DVD of the 1786 version is the 1983 Glyndebourne performance conducted by Bernard Haitink and staged by Trevor Nunn. (The 1991 Drottningholm DVD is also good, but omits the 1786 tenor aria K 490.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gvn View Post
    It may be worth adding that even the 1781 recordings aren't absolutely complete because Mozart revised the opera in 1786, adding some things and deleting others. As with Don Carlos, one can't even put everything from both versions together into a supercomplete composite score, because some of the new items are substitutes for some of the old ones. Thus in my personal view, whether in audio or in video form, one really needs two Idomeneo recordings: one of the 1781 version, and one of the 1786 version.

    The most complete DVD of the 1786 version is the 1983 Glyndebourne performance conducted by Bernard Haitink and staged by Trevor Nunn. (The 1991 Drottningholm DVD is also good, but omits the 1786 tenor aria K 490.)
    Thank you. I did know that about Idomeneo. I have five recordings: Böhm (with the Dresden forces), Gardiner, Davis, Mackerras, and Jacobs. I think the Böhm is 1786, I’m not sure what Davis is (haven’t listened to it in over 20 years), and I know the other three are 1781. I used to love the Mackerras until I got the Gardiner, which I loved, until I got the Jacobs. It just just so good. I spent part of today listening to it while following along with the libretto (from the Mozart 225 box set which is the Gardiner), so I’m missing some of the recitative because Jacobs has more. Highly enjoyable work. The ACT III quartet is my favorite musical moment for sure.
    Last edited by gellio; Mar-22-2020 at 03:19.
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    Yes, Böhm is 1786 and I think is still the best CD account of the 1786 score. It has abridgements, but at least it consistently adopts the 1786 options all the way through. (As far as I know, it's the only audio Idomeneo that does.) But it isn't as full as the Haitink/Nunn Glyndebourne DVD.

    There are two studio Idomeneos conducted by Davis, as far as I know. The earlier (1968, with Shirley, Davies, Rinaldi, Tinsley & BBC) is quite a mix of 1781 and 1786. The later (1991, with Araiza, Mentzer, Hendricks, Alexander & Bavarian Radio) is wholly 1781, I think. I expect some live Idomeneo recordings with Davis are probably in circulation, too.

    I think Idomeneo is absolutely unique. It's by far the biggest, most serious thing Mozart had ever done up till that point, and in some ways I think it's the biggest, most serious thing he ever did in his life. I feel that he went on to do other things just as good, but never quite in the same vein; all his later operas (even Clemenza) are lighter & more basically comic. If it didn't exist, I'd never guess that Mozart would have been capable of it.

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    I own the Kent Nagano set.
    It's the only Idomeneo available on blu-ray.

    71KMN7k4BWL._SL1024_.jpg

    On april 24th another Idemeneo blu-ray wil be available =>

    61UFb29lx6L._SL1200_.jpg
    Last edited by Andrew Kenneth; Mar-24-2020 at 01:46.

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    As an amateur composer I find "Idomeneo" the most inspiring piece of music ever written, it is probably the only work where Mozart shows the whole palette of his minor key orchestral devices (with Piano Concerto in C minor being close second). If he only could have been given a better libretto...

    Sadly the comments above made it actually harder for me to pick a staged performance to start with, I've listened to various audio releases and I prefer Gardiner's 1781 version in terms of the overall soundscape, it's wholeheartedly Classical with no Romantic contamination. Honestly I'd prefer a number omitted altogether to a poorly rendered one so I am looking for an overall-best-impression candidate. Also I'm not a fan of unnecessary aesthetic modernisation. Do you think Norrington's Salzburg rendition would suffice?
    Last edited by Pawelec; Apr-05-2020 at 11:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawelec View Post
    As an amateur composer I find "Idomeneo" the most inspiring piece of music ever written, it is probably the only work where Mozart shows the whole palette of his minor key orchestral devices (with Piano Concerto in C minor being close second). If he only could have been given a better libretto...

    Sadly the comments above made it actually harder for me to pick a staged performance to start with, I've listened to various audio releases and I prefer Gardiner's 1781 version in terms of the overall soundscape, it's wholeheartedly Classical with no Romantic contamination. Honestly I'd prefer a number omitted altogether to a poorly rendered one so I am looking for an overall-best-impression candidate. Also I'm not a fan of unnecessary aesthetic modernisation. Do you think Norrington's Salzburg rendition would suffice?
    I too regard Idomeneo to be one of the great works in the Mozart canon. I actually think the libretto is quiet good. I too preferred Gardiner’s recording to all others (I’m a huge fan) until I heard the Jacobs. It’s doubtful I’ll ever listen to another of my Idomeneo recordings again, including Gardiner’s. I am tempted to get the Pritchard with Pavarotti, although I think I’ll just be wasting my money.
    Last edited by gellio; Apr-05-2020 at 16:38.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gellio View Post
    I too regard Idomeneo to be one of the great works in the Mozart canon. I actually think the libretto is quiet good. I too preferred Gardiner’s recording to all others (I’m a huge fan) until I heard the Jacobs. It’s doubtful I’ll ever listen to another of my Idomeneo recordings again, including Gardiner’s. I am tempted to get the Pritchard with Pavarotti, although I think I’ll just be wasting my money.
    It's not that expensive $ 15.00 at Amazon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    It's not that expensive $ 15.00 at Amazon
    I know. I can't tell you how many times I've justified a new recording because it's cheap, only to never listen to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gellio View Post
    I am tempted to get the Pritchard with Pavarotti, although I think I’ll just be wasting my money.
    Eww no, don't get it. I just had an opportunity to listen to one at my friend's place. Just no. Plain wrong. Sung like Wagner. In general avoid any Mozart before 1970's period performance movement. All the previous generation stars made it a show-off, Mozart needs a theatrical approach. Also, I find sound realisation in most Deutsche Grammophon yellow labels wrong, woodwinds get lost while The Trumpet Shall Sound.
    Last edited by Pawelec; May-19-2020 at 11:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawelec View Post
    Eww no, don't get it. I just had an opportunity to listen to one at my friend's place. Just no. Plain wrong. Sung like Wagner. In general avoid any Mozart before 1970's period performance movement. All the previous generation stars made it a show-off, Mozart needs a theatrical approach. Also, I find sound realisation in most Deutsche Grammophon yellow labels wrong, woodwinds get lost while The Trumpet Shall Sound.
    Glass being half full and that, be grateful we can watch this great production.
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    You can watch it free from the Met today as it is being streamed.

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    I too made the mistake of dismissing Idomeneo, until I read Brahms' assessment that it is "in general a miracle". The work is full of magical moments from the musical point of view, but it can be quite dramatic with the right cast.

    This my favorite:


    Pros

    The principals are all strong, especially Langridge's Idomeneo, Hadley's Idamante, and Carol Vaness' Electra. I have a soft spot for Jerry Hadley and consider him the finest modern-day Mozartean tenor.

    The staging feels just right: not super-fancy but not distracting like the Eurotrash productions.

    Cons
    The image quality is a bit poor, and they should have remastered it.


    The whole performance is available on youtube.

    Last edited by silentio; May-20-2020 at 22:47.

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