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Thread: What opera have you been listening to, lately?

          
   
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  1. #16
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Another Werther, with Carreras and Von Stade. Nice thing.
    I have that one & yes, very expressive, very emotional (I have all 'Carreras' operas)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Are there bad Werthers? I guess Gheorghiu/Alagna duet didn't get to it? Let me see... och, well, they did. But who says it must be bad. I don't know, just in case I will keep away from it because I'm cautious. Kraus/Troyanos next in the line. Maybe tomorrow or maybe after Christmas because I need some good perspective ahead of me not to shoot myself on the eve like Werther. I've already checked and seems like Kraus is brilliant there, even if not perfectly expressive.
    I love Massenet & I don't know why I don't explore him more. So many operas, so little spare time.
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  2. #17
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    I'm keeping with solo recordings, up until recently I never listened to them almost at all preferring complete operas. But those one-singer based CDs with various fragments are not that bad as I thought, actually listenable. Sometimes.



    Nice thing. I really liked those Schubert arias, apparently his operas are not as bad as one would think when considering their popularity.

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  4. #18
    Junior Member Newcomer NightHawk's Avatar
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    Eugene Onegin

    Eugene Onegin / Hvorostovsky · Focile · Shicoff · Borodina · Arkhipova · Orchestre de Paris · Bychkov


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    This is a beautiful work. All the singers are very fine, but Neil Shicoff's singing is revelatory, in my opinion. Semyon Bychkov has not impressed me in interpretations such as Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 with Berlin, but in Tchaikovsy's opera he is masterful.
    Last edited by NightHawk; December 23rd, 2011 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Image too small

  5. #19
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    I'm keeping with solo recordings, up until recently I never listened to them almost at all preferring complete operas. But those one-singer based CDs with various fragments are not that bad as I thought, actually listenable. Sometimes.



    Nice thing. I really liked those Schubert arias, apparently his operas are not as bad as one would think when considering their popularity.
    This is my favourite Kaufmann recital. He's so at home in this repertoire, and you're right, the Schubert arias are lovely. I think that Schubert's operas are weak dramatically rather than musically, and there is a lot to enjoy in them.
    Natalie

  6. #20
    Junior Member Newcomer NightHawk's Avatar
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    I quite agree - the very winter of Russia comes across in the score as well as in the wonderful performance. This was my first hearing Hvorostovsky and Shicoff.

    (Though, I must admit, it is the only recording I have heard of this work. *blush* - opera is a much more expensive project for collecting different versions than symphonic/chamber works!)


    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I love this version!

  7. #21
    Junior Member Newcomer NightHawk's Avatar
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    Yes, this is an impressive album and my first hearing of Kaufmann. I like the darker quality of his tenor, and the musicality, of course.


    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    This is my favourite Kaufmann recital. He's so at home in this repertoire, and you're right, the Schubert arias are lovely. I think that Schubert's operas are weak dramatically rather than musically, and there is a lot to enjoy in them.

  8. #22
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Currently listening to Giulini's Barbiere live from La Scalla, with Callas, Gobbi and Alva. As much as I prefer Serafin and Abbado conducting this, the feel of live opera is completely unpaired. I love to hear the audience laughing.
    It's a pity the sound quality is poor, Callas seems to sound even better here than in her studio version.

  9. #23
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    Just finished watching that Comte Ory with Florez famous for the fact that he had his child born something like half of hour before the performance. It's one of most stupendous things I ever saw. From all performances with Florez to-be-seen this is the most complete one. It has wonderful cast, all the way: Florez, Damrau and DiDonato, all singing splendidly and looking very apt in their roles (Damrau actually can look beautiful!), magnificent staging, very colourful and lively, also made with interesting concept of theatre-in-theatre, all run by creepy geezer. Cutomes are impressive (even if not always historically correct), especially the armors of knights who leave at the beginning and come back at the end. All of this done with great comic flair.

    My not exaggerated rating for this spectacle is 329765240252924284244 / 10.

    And this is cult:


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  11. #24
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    Three days, one after another, spent with one and the same opera never happened to me before.

    Some familiar names here. My first thought was "why Don Bartolo pretends to be Rimbaud?". Good voice but not sure if apt for the role of tough frant and company of count's excesses. I find the Met production more musically convicing but I'm glad I listened to this one too so I can appreciate that more.

  12. #25
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Seriously, what was the stage director, (David Alden, in the sin bin), of this DVD on? This is one where the CD is SO much better, both singing-wise and because you don't have to suffer through the spectacularly self-indulgent idiocy of the staging.
    Natalie

  13. #26
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    Some Scriabin (preludes op. 11 and 3rd sonata) but the honest truth is that I feel urge to watch Comte Ory again. I told myself NO MORE ORY IN THIS YEAR because I know it would lead to overdose but it doesn't help, I randomly hear that motive in my head, when the knights-nuns gather around him and he starts to swirl, methinks I hear... with my mind's ears... and I want so badly to turn it again and see and hear and I must fight with myself AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH

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  15. #27
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    Very nice compilation. Stuff from I Capuleti is no big deal because we already have the whole thing with her, but the big deal is this one:



    All of "bel canto three" were great melodists, but probably only one who could write like this was Bellini. Those first four seconds are pure perfection, forgive me speaking about such short fragment, almost a detail, but so often brilliance of whole piece depends on such little thing. Take these four seconds away, the very first, longest notes of the theme which is so impressively melted with harmonic context and all is ruined.

    At the side note, the other thing for which I love Bellini is that he does all those amazings things with flute. Others prefer clarinets, oboes, even bassoons - they mostly introduce aria's theme with these, but Bellini chooses the flute, my favourite wind intrument. There is perhaps no other piece where this choice is of such great importance as here.

  16. #28
    Senior Member Involved Member StLukesGuildOhio's Avatar
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    Currently listening to Andreas Scholl's performances of Baroque operatic arias written for of performed by Senesino (Francesco Bernardi) one of the great castrati of the era and a peer of the famous Farinelli. The arias are by Handel, Tomaso Albinoni, Antonio Lotti, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Nicola Porpora... all, with the exception of Handel, woefully forgotten but currently undergoing a revival along with the operas of Vivaldi. Who knows how the lists of the 50 greatest opera composers or 100 greatest operas will look in another twenty years when Lully, Rameau, Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti, Hasse, J.C. Bach, etc... have all been recorded by top-notch performers as we have with Handel. Until then, these recitals by Scholl, Jaroussky, Simone Kermes, etc... offer a magnificent view of a rich body of music. As always Scholl is magnificent... perhaps the greatest living countertenor... in spite of Jaroussky's facile fluidity.
    "Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of
    Congress .. But I repeat myself." -Mark Twain

  17. #29
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    I saw Andreas Scholl perform live once with the Australian Brandeburg Orchestra (our own professional period instrument group). Listening to recorded music on CD is one thing but hearing him singing arias live is another!

    Those composers you listed are already enjoying a resurgence in their recorded music. Ramuea and Vivaldi operas in particular have done well. The label Opus Arte has recently packaged several Rameau operas in a box, performed by Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset and Les Arts Florissants/William Christie.

    Les Boréades, Castor et Pollux, Les Indes Galantes, Les Paladins, Zoroastre.


  18. #30
    Senior Member Involved Member StLukesGuildOhio's Avatar
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    De Vitae Fugacitate is a collection of laments, cantatas, and arias from Baroque Germany... of the generation (or two) before Bach and before the music in the Scholl disc above. Two of the composers are well-known enough to aficionados of the Baroque: Heinrich Schütz and Dietrich Buxtehude. The other composers are less-well-known: Adam Krieger, Johann Schien, Johann Kindermann, and Christian Geist. The music involved was all influenced by the developments in vocal/instrumental music in Italy. Schütz studied with Giovanni Gabrielli in Venice and was profoundly impressed by the ability of Gabrielli to compose such splendid motets in spite of his access to limited numbers of singers and instrumentalists. Schütz took what he had gleaned home to Germany where he would influence the other two "great 'S's'" of the early German Baroque: Johann Schein and Samuel Scheidt. J.S. Bach undoubtedly learned from his predecessors with regard to composing for a limited number of singers and instrumentalists and employed this ability in his larger compositions such as the St. Matthew Passion so that the work displayed a variety of small instrumental and vocal groupings in a chamber music-like manner achieving a variety of musical colors.

    Johann Kindermann also studied in Italy... either under Monteverdi or Cavalli. His work included here, La Affettuosa is essentially a sonata for three viols in which one viol essentially takes the line of the absent vocalist in a cantata or motet without word.

    The most important composer here, of course, is Buxtehude... quite likely the greatest composer active in Germany prior to J.S. Bach. The two works chosen by Buxtehude illustrate opposing aspects of the viola da gamba. In Jubilate Domino the viol plays a joyful virtuoso obbligato in accompaniment of the solo singer. Klaglied was composed upon the death of the composer's father and illustrates the warmer, mournful sound of the viol in suggesting death.

    All in all, a fascinating collection that illuminates the transmission of musical ideas from Italy to Germany establishing the environment and the musical ideas that would allow for the later developments of J.S. Bach, Handel, Telemann, etc... As with every GLOSSA disc I have come upon, the recording, the performance, and the packaging are all elegant and top notch. The countertenor Claudia Cavina may be less-well-known than Scholl or Jaroussky, but he is clearly of the same class as a vocalist.
    "Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of
    Congress .. But I repeat myself." -Mark Twain

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