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I'm not surprised that Klemperer drove her up the wall because by all accounts he was a particularly loathsome individual, taken to bouts of manic depression. I have both Klempers recordings both the studio and the live and frankly I can never quite see what people go on about them for despite the excellence of the casting. Klemperer is just too slow in his tempi
A little off stream but on subject, Klemperer's biography is a good read. I think I remember a propos the manic-depression of him trying to play tennis with himself. That's funny, but if it's really a reflection of the severity of his disease in an era with no treatment, how he managed as much as he did is a real testament to some grit behind the mask.
 

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A little off stream but on subject, Klemperer's biography is a good read. I think I remember a propos the manic-depression of him trying to play tennis with himself. That's funny, but if it's really a reflection of the severity of his disease in an era with no treatment, how he managed as much as he did is a real testament to some grit behind the mask.
I know Osborne mentions in his Karajan biography as to how Klemperer followed the Philarmonia all over Europe in persuit of a flame haired cellist. Klemperer's short book on conducting is very interesting. A must for anyone thinking of taking it up
 

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I'm not surprised that Klemperer drove her up the wall because by all accounts he was a particularly loathsome individual, taken to bouts of manic depression. I have both Klempers recordings both the studio and the live and frankly I can never quite see what people go on about them for despite the excellence of the casting. Klemperer is just too slow in his tempi
Yes, Klemperer is dreadful. It's so boring. There are no dynamics. There is no drama. It's one of the most boring opera recording in the 400+ opera recordings I have.
 

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Nonsense. It's dreadful. Great singing. Horrendous conducting.
No, the conducting is not horrendous. You may not like Klemperer's approach, and it's a unique conception of the work to be sure, but one that is wholly convincing and incredibly effective in its way. It's certainly not as dynamic and theatrical as other recordings, but then again Fidelio isn't the most dramatically effective or seamlessly paced opera anyways. What it is is a supreme expression of the resilience of the human spirit, and as Peter Gutmann writes of Klemperer's recording, "its nobility and dignity fit the overarching themes, and its monolithic outlook provides a sense of continuity to unify what admittedly is a disjointed composition." Klemperer is able impart a sense of greatness, of spirituality that I find very impressive and that has made a great impact on many listeners. The superb singing and characterizations only increase it's power.
 

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No, the conducting is not horrendous. You may not like Klemperer's approach, and it's a unique conception of the work to be sure, but one that is wholly convincing and incredibly effective in its way. It's certainly not as dynamic and theatrical as other recordings, but then again Fidelio isn't the most dramatically effective or seamlessly paced opera anyways. What it is is a supreme expression of the resilience of the human spirit, and as Peter Gutmann writes of Klemperer's recording, "its nobility and dignity fit the overarching themes, and its monolithic outlook provides a sense of continuity to unify what admittedly is a disjointed composition." Klemperer is able impart a sense of greatness, of spirituality that I find very impressive and that has made a great impact on many listeners. The superb singing and characterizations only increase it's power.
It is wonderful the we each enjoy different aspects of recordings and that there are so many approaches that pretty much everyone can be satisfied to a large extent.
 

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No, the conducting is not horrendous. You may not like Klemperer's approach, and it's a unique conception of the work to be sure, but one that is wholly convincing and incredibly effective in its way. It's certainly not as dynamic and theatrical as other recordings, but then again Fidelio isn't the most dramatically effective or seamlessly paced opera anyways. What it is is a supreme expression of the resilience of the human spirit, and as Peter Gutmann writes of Klemperer's recording, "its nobility and dignity fit the overarching themes, and its monolithic outlook provides a sense of continuity to unify what admittedly is a disjointed composition." Klemperer is able impart a sense of greatness, of spirituality that I find very impressive and that has made a great impact on many listeners. The superb singing and characterizations only increase it's power.
I respect your opinion but you can't discredit my opinion by stating yours. In my opinion Klemperer either lacked the insight required to conduct this work effectively, or he simply had an ego that prevented him from conducting Beethoven as Beethoven and not as Wagner. It's a dreadful bore to me. To you, it's revelatory. That's great. To me, it's unlistenable.

Fidelio is dramatically effective when conducted with the spirit of the work and as Beethoven. The conductors of the 60s and 70s smoothed over Beethoven and Mozart. Slowing down the tempos. Minimizing the dynamics. That is not Beethoven and it's not Mozart. I tend to think they knew how their works should sound more than those conductors. Klemperer and Bohm were the worst offenders IMO. Klemperer misses the mark for me. If you like it, that's great. We all have our favorites and they aren't going to be the same. My experience with Klemperer is a mixed bag. I like his Missa Solemnis but hate his Fidelio and Zauberflote.

Over time, my tastes have changed. When I first got into classical music, Böhm was one of my favorite conductors. Now, I just can't listen to him when it comes to Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. I love his Wagner. Times change. Opinions change.
 

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I don't know it, but it is not an opera recording as we know.

It is Fidelio rewritten as a "radio drama with music" for children. Whatever this means.
It's on iTunes. I'm not nearly fluent enough in German to understand what is being said, but it seems like it's a recording that talks about the work and has snippets of music. It doesn't sound like it's for children to me, based on the clips on iTunes.
 
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