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

          
   
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  1. #3616
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Attachment 6257

    I decided to listen to the Böhm Das Rheingold, as I didn't have time to listen to all of Die Walküre by the time I thought of it.

    Despite the age of Solti's Rheingold (1958), I think with the most recent remastering the sound is superior to Böhm's live recording - which is to be expected from a studio effort. There also are places in the live version where the microphone placement leads to singers sounding distant (which they probably were).

    I found that Böhm seems to conduct the introductory chords too quickly - I prefer Solti's more stately pace, which would reflect a calmer Rhine before Alberich came along sowing chaos.

    The Böhm CD, overall, benefits in dramatic emphasis from having been recorded live. There is a big difference in how the singers respond to each other, which is more effective.

    I vastly prefer George London's Wotan, who does sound 'godly' and grander to that of Theo Adam, who is effective but seemingly more prosaic.

    The clincher, though, is the finale where Solti's bold brass and pacing are stunningly beautiful and, well - grand. I think the finale may be where the live sound of the Böhm CD provides a more diminished effect - sounding sort of laid back, rather than a chest thumping Wotan pointing to his creation.

    I bow to Clayton's thoughtful analysis of Die Walküre, a far more complex undertaking.

  2. #3617
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Puccini: Madama Butterfly
    1955
    Maria Callas (Butterfly), Nicolai Gedda (Pinkerton), Mario Borriello (Sharpless), Lucia Danieli (Suzuki), Renato Ercolani (Goro), Mario Carlin (Yamadori), Plinio Clabassi (Lo zio Bonzo), Enrico Campi (Il commissario imperiale), Luisa Villa (Kate Pinkerton)
    Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Milan
    Herbert von Karajan
    Recorded 1-6 August 1955, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

    Name:  Madame Butterfly - Herbert von Karajan 1955, Maria Callas Remastered.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  40.7 KB

  3. #3618
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Name:  LaCalisto.jpg
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Size:  45.7 KB

    Rene Jacobs conducting for Harmonia Mundi

    Maria Bayo
    Marcello Lippi
    Simon Keenlyside
    Graham Pushee
    Alessandra Mantovani
    et al.

  4. #3619
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Puccini: La Bohème
    1956
    Maria Callas (Mimi), Giuseppe di Stefano (Rodolfo), Rolando Panerai (Marcello), Anna Moffo (Musetta), Nicola Zaccaria (Colline), Manuel Spatafora (Schaunard), Franco Ricciardi (Parpignol), Carlo Badioli (Alcindoro/Benoit)
    Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Milan
    Antonino Votto
    Recorded 20-25 August, 3-4 September 1956, Teatro alla Scala

    Name:  La Bohème - Antonio Votto 1956, Maria Callas Remastered.jpg
Views: 137
Size:  52.3 KB

  5. #3620
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Long walk, squeezed in two Verdis:

    Name:  Attila.jpg
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    Ah, Samuel Ramey! What more does one need?

    Name:  Nabuccod'oro.jpg
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    I tend to overlook this because the studio recording is one of my very favorites. This is very good - Suliotis sings thrillingly, as always, and with conviction. Nicolai Ghiaurov probably is in better voice than Tito Gobbi, hitting some amazing low notes. Gobbi, though, is way more expressive, so the studio recording (in my opinion) still rules.

  6. #3621
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Puccini: Turandot
    1957
    Maria Callas (Turandot), Eugenio Fernandi (Calaf), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Liù), Mario Borriello (Ping), Renato Ercolani (Pang), Piero De Palma (Pong), Nicola Zaccaria (Timur), Giuseppe Nessi (L'imperatore Altoum), Giulio Mauri (Un mandarino)
    Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Milan
    Tullio Serafin
    Recorded 9-13 & 15 July 1957, Teatro alla Scala

    Name:  Turandot - Tullio Serafin 1957, Maria Callas Remastered.jpg
Views: 187
Size:  64.1 KB

  7. #3622
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Puccini: Manon Lescaut
    1957
    Maria Callas (Manon Lescaut), Giuseppe di Stefano (Des Grieux), Giulio Fioravanti (Lescaut), Franco Calabrese (Geronte), Dino Formichini (Edmondo), Fiorenza Cossotto (Madrigal singer)
    Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Milan
    Tullio Serafin
    Recorded 18-27 July 1957, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

    Name:  Manon Lescaut - Tullio Serafin 1957, Maria Callas Remastered.jpg
Views: 104
Size:  52.9 KB

    I have had a Puccini revelation over the past couple of days. Not one of my favourite composers but working so much better for me with these recordings at La Scala in the fifties with Callas. These four have climbed a total of over 400 positions in the Clayton charts, with number one being Madame Butterfly. It was languishing somewhere in the lower 200's but mein Gott! Now I really see the beauty of this opera.

  8. #3623
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I had been struggling with listening to this:

    Name:  mose2.jpg
Views: 83
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    This is a 1956 recording of a live performance of a seemingly not very interesting opera - and, at least from what I see on the CD, not remastered. Murky 1950s sound.

    So, taking a cue from Clayton (I also don't listen to Puccini very often), I decided to give up Mose and just put on the remastered, but languishing, Callas Madama Butterfly. Just to start, Nicolai Gedda is terrific!

    Name:  MadamaButterflyCallas_Remastered.jpg
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  9. #3624
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Handel: Teseo HWV 9
    Franco Fagioli (Teseo), Helene Schneiderman (Medea), Jutta Böhnert (Agilea), Kai Wessel (Egeo), Matthias Rexroth (Arcane), Olga Polyakova (Clizia)
    Staatsorchester Stuttgart
    Konrad Junghänel
    Live production, Stattsoper Stuttgart, May 2009

    Name:  Teseo - Konrad Junghänel 2009, Staatsoper Stuttgart.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  40.4 KB

    Handel's third opera for London, a very good opera with fine performance from cast. If it was not for the fact that I know not many people can afford the time to listen to an obscene amount of opera, I would question why this opera is not heard more often.

  10. #3625
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Handel: Teseo HWV 9
    Franco Fagioli (Teseo), Helene Schneiderman (Medea), Jutta Böhnert (Agilea), Kai Wessel (Egeo), Matthias Rexroth (Arcane), Olga Polyakova (Clizia)
    Staatsorchester Stuttgart
    Konrad Junghänel
    Live production, Stattsoper Stuttgart, May 2009

    Name:  Teseo - Konrad Junghänel 2009, Staatsoper Stuttgart.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  40.4 KB

    Handel's third opera for London, a very good opera with fine performance from cast. If it was not for the fact that I know not many people can afford the time to listen to an obscene amount of opera, I would question why this opera is not heard more often.
    OH NO. I didn't know about this version. Franco Fagioli! I can feel my finger dragging me to Presto!
    Natalie

  11. #3626
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Provenzale: La Stellidaura vendicante


    Jennifer Rivera, Carlo Allemano, Adrian Strooper, Enzo Capuano & Hagen Matzbit
    Academia Montis Regalis, Alessandro de Marchi
    Natalie

  12. #3627
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Provenzale: La Stellidaura vendicante


    Jennifer Rivera, Carlo Allemano, Adrian Strooper, Enzo Capuano & Hagen Matzbit
    Academia Montis Regalis, Alessandro de Marchi
    Oh do tell more...

  13. #3628
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Oh do tell more...
    Isn't Provenzale: La Stellidaura vindicate a sandwich?

  14. #3629
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Yesterdays listening began with:

    Name:  VierLetzteLieder.jpg
Views: 111
Size:  19.9 KB

    in the afternoon:

    Name:  WmTell.jpg
Views: 77
Size:  16.6 KB

    Many lovely moments in Guillaume Tell, but it is a little difficult to acclimate oneself after listening to his earlier, flashier compositions.

  15. #3630
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Isn't Provenzale: La Stellidaura vindicate a sandwich?
    may be but I still want to know more

    What's innit? Does it work?

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