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Thread: Operas by Mozart on DVD, blu-ray, and CD

          
   
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  1. #61
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    Yes, i recall the Fricsay Don and quite liked it as i remember, must dig it out. I quite like Fricsay in his Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. Wonder what his Zauberflote is like??

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    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashin View Post
    Yes, i recall the Fricsay Don and quite liked it as i remember, must dig it out. I quite like Fricsay in his Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. Wonder what his Zauberflote is like??
    It is much in the same vein as his other Mozart opera recordings: light and reasonably brisk with a good sense of the theatre. The spoken dialogue is cut to a minimum, and what is left is largely re-written. Streich is the Queen of Night in not quite her finest traversal of the role; the repeated staccati in the Vengeance Aria have an unfortunate yapping quality that is reminiscent of an angry Pekinese. She is much better in the RAI recording with Schwarzkopf and Taddei. Fischer-Dieskau is the birdcatcher and very delightful he is, too; he manages to keep everything light and airy in keeping with Fricsay's approach. Stader is somewhat miscast as Pamina; her lovely tone has more than a hint of vinegar and lemon to it in this set. Perhaps it was a rough patch through which she was passing. Ernst Haefliger is Tamino, and I find him excellent. I know some people object to his basic vocal tone quality, but to me it has an attractive, resinous character that rewards careful listening. The only fly in the ointment is Josef Greindl as Sarastro. His singing, like that of Kurt Boehme on the Karl Boehm Vienna set, is wobbly and Alberich-like. No wonder Pamina is afraid of him at first! Otherwise, a lovely performance by all concerned.

  3. #63
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I have the Fricsay Die Zauberflöte, and it sounds like his Entführung aus dem Serail may be worth acquiring. Right now, I have the Wallberg version with Gruberova and Araiza as Konstanze and Belmonte. If it weren't for Erika Köth's twittery, Minnie Mouse Konstanze on the Jochum version, I'd have purchased it just for Wunderlich's Belmonte. Though I think there may be an earlier recording of Die Entführung with him currently available . . .

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    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    I have the Fricsay Die Zauberflöte, and it sounds like his Entführung aus dem Serail may be worth acquiring. Right now, I have the Wallberg version with Gruberova and Araiza as Konstanze and Belmonte. If it weren't for Erika Köth's twittery, Minnie Mouse Konstanze on the Jochum version, I'd have purchased it just for Wunderlich's Belmonte. Though I think there may be an earlier recording of Die Entführung with him currently available . . .
    MAuer, do you like the Wallberg? I love Araiza's performance, but Gruberova sounds to my ear as if she has not yet acquired the polish she later exhibited in this role, and Gudrun Ebel's Blondchen strikes me as grey and anonymous. However, it is the only Abduction I am aware of that includes every syllable of the spoken dialogue, including Pedrillo's revelation that the Pasha is a Renegade(in the ancient sense of the word: a Christian who renounces the faith to embrace Islam), an important plot point. The only Abduction with Wunderlich besides the Jochum that I know of is a live recording from Salzburg with Ruth-Margret Puetz as Konstanze.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    It is much in the same vein as his other Mozart opera recordings: light and reasonably brisk with a good sense of the theatre. The spoken dialogue is cut to a minimum, and what is left is largely re-written. Streich is the Queen of Night in not quite her finest traversal of the role; the repeated staccati in the Vengeance Aria have an unfortunate yapping quality that is reminiscent of an angry Pekinese. She is much better in the RAI recording with Schwarzkopf and Taddei. Fischer-Dieskau is the birdcatcher and very delightful he is, too; he manages to keep everything light and airy in keeping with Fricsay's approach. Stader is somewhat miscast as Pamina; her lovely tone has more than a hint of vinegar and lemon to it in this set. Perhaps it was a rough patch through which she was passing. Ernst Haefliger is Tamino, and I find him excellent. I know some people object to his basic vocal tone quality, but to me it has an attractive, resinous character that rewards careful listening. The only fly in the ointment is Josef Greindl as Sarastro. His singing, like that of Kurt Boehme on the Karl Boehm Vienna set, is wobbly and Alberich-like. No wonder Pamina is afraid of him at first! Otherwise, a lovely performance by all concerned.
    Wonderful review...thank you!

  6. #66
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    MAuer, do you like the Wallberg? I love Araiza's performance, but Gruberova sounds to my ear as if she has not yet acquired the polish she later exhibited in this role, and Gudrun Ebel's Blondchen strikes me as grey and anonymous. However, it is the only Abduction I am aware of that includes every syllable of the spoken dialogue, including Pedrillo's revelation that the Pasha is a Renegade(in the ancient sense of the word: a Christian who renounces the faith to embrace Islam), an important plot point. The only Abduction with Wunderlich besides the Jochum that I know of is a live recording from Salzburg with Ruth-Margret Puetz as Konstanze.
    My reaction is similar to yours. I think Araiza's Belmonte is the best part of the recording, and I also like the Pedrillo of Norbert Orth in his pre-heldentenor days. My favorite Konstanze is probably Ileana Cotrubas.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Mozart - Die Zauberflöte on DVD



    Die Zauberflöte, Singspiel in two acts, K.620
    Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
    Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder

    Salzburger Festspiele - co-production with De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam - released both as an isolated DVD, and as part of the M22 Boxset. Sung/spoken in German.

    2006 - Live - Riccardo Muti conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker
    Chorus of the Wiener Staatsoper

    Stage Director Pierre Audi
    Set Design Karel Appel
    Costume Design Jorge Zara
    Video Direction Brian Large
    Producer Bernhard Fleischer

    Cast

    Sarastro - René Pape
    Königin der Narcht - Diana Damrau
    Tamino - Paul Groves
    Papageno - Christian Gerhaher
    Pamina - Genia Kühmeier
    Papagena - Irina Bespalovaite
    Erste Dame - Inga Kalna
    Zweite Dame - Karine Deshayes
    Dritte Dame - Ekaterina Gubanová
    Die drei Knaben - only credited as "members of the Vienna Boys' Choir"
    Monostatos - Bulkhard Ulrich

    Excellent, sharp, brightly colored image. High-quality, perfectly balanced sound tracks, in LPCM Stereo or DTS 5.1
    Optional subtitles and various languages including original German, English, French, Spanish, and Japanese
    Bonus tracks: The Making Of Mozart 22; trailers - Petter Sellars directs Mozart; Mozart on Decca and Philips
    2 DVDs - Act 1 - 1 hour 13 minutes; Act 2 - 1 hour 42 minutes
    The Boxset insert contains list of tracks with duration and characters, and synopsis. I do not own the isolated feature so I can't say anything about its insert.

    --------

    This is a very charming production. The musical values are outstanding, with singers homogeneously doing an excellent job, and Maestro Muti with the Wiener Philharmoniker delivering lush, well-paced orchestral playing; the chorus is also great. Acting is generally good except that Paul Groves is a much better singer than an actor (his full and warm voice is a pleasure to hear), and I've seen funnier Papagenos (Gerhaher's singing is fine but he just doesn't have the same impact of the other singers). Diana Damrau looks positively beautiful and sings admirably, with dazzling coloratura, in one of her best outings in this role that she masters so well. Her two big arias are sung with incredible flair and are among the best renditions I've ever heard of these two difficult pieces. I actually think she did better here than in her famous blu-ray recording. While Genia Kühmeier is not on the same level, she doesn't disappoint at all and is a good surprise. Some of the comprimarios are truly excellent singers, such as the three ladies, Papagena, and Monostatos. And then, as a bonus we get the great René Pape with his fine acting and fabulous voice (even though the role is a bit too low for him and there's a couple of shaky lower register moments).

    The cartoon-looking, brightly colored sets and oversized papier-maché props are cute in my opinion - I've seen people who were put off by the excesses of this kindergarten-looking sets, but I rather think they're an asset of this production - I see absolutely no problem in presenting the opera this way, since it does appeal to children. Some of the costumes are not as imaginative as the sets and could have used some more daring, especially the ones for the main characters (paradoxically, the costumes for the comprimarios and extras are more interesting than those for the principal characters such as Tamino and Pamina, and even Papageno). Stage direction is efficient and harmonious, and lighting is good. Brian Large as usual delivers competent video direction that is to the point and avoids the pitfalls we see elsewhere. There's very brief, partial nudity (and very generous Papagena cleavage). This version is not abridged, and includes the lenghty, fairly integral spoken dialogue (which does get to be a bit longish especially in the second act).

    This is a vivacious, visually pleasing production that is well directed, well filmed, with some notable singers, and an exquisite orchestra lead by a great conductor, that is delivered in a technically state-of-the-art product; therefore my overall verdict is grade "A" - highly recommended. It doesn't get to A+ due to some less-than-ideal acting here and there, incomprehensibly sober costumes for some of the principals in such an otherwise visually extravagant production, and a rather generic Papageno.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); January 6th, 2013 at 05:59 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  9. #68
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Mozart - Die Zauberflöte on DVD




    This is a vivacious, visually pleasing production that is well directed, well filmed, with some notable singers, and an exquisite orchestra lead by a great conductor, that is delivered in a technically state-of-the-art product; therefore my overall verdict is grade "A" - highly recommended. It doesn't get to A+ due to some less-than-ideal acting here and there, incomprehensibly sober costumes for some of the principals in such an otherwise visually extravagant production, and a rather generic Papageno.
    This is definitely one of the 3 best operas in the M22 boxset for me.....
    Since Magic Flute is a fantasy tale the bold colorful highly imaginative sets and costumes seem like great ideas to me, some of the visuals are just stunning and highly creative making very dramatic impact, we need more like this (and the Julie Taymor MET Flute)

    Hats off to Damrau, a good sport to act the queen of the night looking like a gumbi toy, he he



  10. #69
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    All I can think when I see that production is that Damrau looks like the Queen of the Broccolis!

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  12. #70
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    All I can think when I see that production is that Damrau looks like the Queen of the Broccolis!
    That's probably why I thought she was yummy!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  14. #71
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Angel View Post
    This is definitely one of the 3 best operas in the M22 boxset for me.....
    Agree, definitely one of the best of out of the M22 series (though not amongst my favourite Die Zauberflöte per se). The staging was nicely done from the fantasy point of view.

  15. #72
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    My favorite Konstanze is probably Ileana Cotrubas.
    Is there a complete Abduction with Cotrubas? I know she recorded 'Ach, ich liebte' for a CBS recital in the '70s, and she performed the role at Salzburg under Maazel, but I am unaware of any studio recordings of the whole opera with her. Perhaps Orfeo will release a CD set of the Salzburg performances.

  16. #73
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    Is there a complete Abduction with Cotrubas? I know she recorded 'Ach, ich liebte' for a CBS recital in the '70s, and she performed the role at Salzburg under Maazel, but I am unaware of any studio recordings of the whole opera with her. Perhaps Orfeo will release a CD set of the Salzburg performances.
    Unfortunately, no -- or at least none that I've been able to find. I'd heard her on a radio broadcast.

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    Senior Member Involved Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    A shame. I loved some of the voices in this performance. But, the sound quality seemed really poor. It is an older performance, of course. The Hockney sets were okay, but the dragon was just too silly for words.

  18. #75
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    Is there a complete Abduction with Cotrubas? I know she recorded 'Ach, ich liebte' for a CBS recital in the '70s, and she performed the role at Salzburg under Maazel, but I am unaware of any studio recordings of the whole opera with her. Perhaps Orfeo will release a CD set of the Salzburg performances.
    I checked the database, and no, she never recorded the opera, there isn't even any bootleg available.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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