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

          
   
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  1. #4981
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Friday's listen:


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    This proves, over and over, to be spectacularly good walking accompaniment. Very uplifting and constantly interesting.



    and, yesterday:

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    I love this opera. I hadn't listened to this version in a while, so chose it for the day's listen. It's very frustrating. I love both Elina Garanca and, of course, Anna Netrebko's singing, but, as I listened, thought the dramatic effect was stiff. I liked Joseph Calleja's Tebaldo, but really thought the deeper voices were weak. As I thought about it, it also occurred to me that conductor Fabio Luisi's pace was really off. The opera just didn't 'pop'.

    So, when I got home, I decided to listen to it again, but this time, selected:


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    What a contrast! Riccardo Muti's reading of the overture was night and day compared to Luisi's. Agnes Baltsa, who's voice isn't as even and lush as Garanca's is far more emphatic in her singing of Romeo. Gruberova's Juliet is terrific - certainly the equal of Netrebko but, again, more dramatic in her singing. Dano Raffanti's Tebaldo also is more successful dramatically, but has some strain in his top notes that Calleja doesn't seem to suffer. John Tomlinson's also delivers a more rewarding contrast than on the Luisi/Garanca/Netrebko set. The dramatic impact of the singing might well be the result of Muti's far stronger conducting, which really shines.

  2. #4982
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I've been sitting and pondering today's walk, but not very enthusiastic about it for some reason. So, in the meantime, listening to


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    I bought this secondhand sometime ago and forgot I had it. Someone recently (MAuer, maybe?) said they had listened to it, so when I saw it in my library this morning, it clicked. And clicked, and popped and skipped and...

    It does have lovely music, once I got to disc #2, which doesn't seem as damaged as the first. Very disappointed with this purchase, but I guess that's the risk of buying used.

  3. #4983
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I finally managed to go out for my walk and decided on something different:


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    A great cast on this recording with Hilde Gueden, Fritz Wunderlich and James King. Then, because Daphne is somewhat short - or, at least not 10 miles worth - I needed a followup:


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    I really like Bluebeard's Castle. It start's off a little innocent and builds in intensity as it moves along.

  4. #4984
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I've been sitting and pondering today's walk, but not very enthusiastic about it for some reason. So, in the meantime, listening to


    Name:  Giovannad'Arco.jpg
Views: 130
Size:  18.1 KB


    I bought this secondhand sometime ago and forgot I had it. Someone recently (MAuer, maybe?) said they had listened to it, so when I saw it in my library this morning, it clicked. And clicked, and popped and skipped and...

    It does have lovely music, once I got to disc #2, which doesn't seem as damaged as the first. Very disappointed with this purchase, but I guess that's the risk of buying used.
    It's too bad you were stuck with damaged goods (things like this should be discarded, not sold to some unsuspecting person). This really is a wonderful recording, with all of the principal singers in their prime.

  5. #4985
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    I know it was his birthday yesterday so I'm late but listened to this today to celebrate Bellini's birthday.

    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

  6. #4986
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Festat's Avatar
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    Hmm, Bellini a Scorpio... Suddenly Norma makes a lot of sense...

  7. #4987
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I'm almost finished with my initial listen to Auber's La Muette de Portici and I like it! Considering that the opera dates to 1828, it's not surprising that it seems to bear some resemblance to Donizetti in style.

    According to Wikipedia, it is considered important as the earliest French Grand Opera.


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  8. #4988
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    After fourteen and a half days of listening to the cricket on the radio...

    I needed something with power to match but not too dark (the results were bad enough) and ended up here:

    Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    Thomas Stewart (Hans Sachs), Sandor Konya (Walther von Stolzing), Gundula Janowitz (Eva), Thomas Hemsley (Beckmesser), Gerhard Unger (David), Brigitte Fassbaender (Magdalene), Franz Crass (Pogner), Keith Engen (Kothner), Raimund Grumbach (Nachtwächter)
    Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
    Rafael Kubelik
    1967

    Name:  Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Rafael Kubelik 1967, Thomas Stewart, Sandór Kónya, Gundula Jano.jpg
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    fantastic

  9. #4989
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    After fourteen and a half days of listening to the cricket on the radio...

    I needed something with power to match but not too dark (the results were bad enough) and ended up here:

    Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    Thomas Stewart (Hans Sachs), Sandor Konya (Walther von Stolzing), Gundula Janowitz (Eva), Thomas Hemsley (Beckmesser), Gerhard Unger (David), Brigitte Fassbaender (Magdalene), Franz Crass (Pogner), Keith Engen (Kothner), Raimund Grumbach (Nachtwächter)
    Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
    Rafael Kubelik
    1967

    Name:  Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Rafael Kubelik 1967, Thomas Stewart, Sandór Kónya, Gundula Jano.jpg
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    fantastic
    Ooooooh, that is a wonderful set with Gundula Janowitz! I would buy a copy of it but can't find a reasonable price.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  10. #4990
    Junior Member Recent member Lellobeetle's Avatar
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    NORMA with Montserrat Caballé and Jon Vickers from Orange 1974. Sublime.

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  11. #4991
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lellobeetle View Post
    NORMA with Montserrat Caballé and Jon Vickers from Orange 1974. Sublime.

    That must be a live recording. Jon Vickers singing Pollione sounds like a winner. I've only heard Caballe's studio recording of Norma with Fiorenza Cossotto and Placido Domingo.

  12. #4992
    Junior Member Recent member Lellobeetle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    That must be a live recording. Jon Vickers singing Pollione sounds like a winner. I've only heard Caballe's studio recording of Norma with Fiorenza Cossotto and Placido Domingo.
    You can get the full dvd from Amazon and some of the tracks are available on iTunes. I believe the full LIVE recording is also available on Amazon.

    On YouTube there's the full video from the Antique Theatre in Orange. When I post the link it doesn't work, but you can just look up Caballe Vickers Norma 1974 and it pops right up. It is so worth the 2:40:xx of your time.

    It's the best Casta Diva I've ever heard.

    Regards,
    Laura

  13. #4993
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    That must be a live recording. Jon Vickers singing Pollione sounds like a winner. I've only heard Caballe's studio recording of Norma with Fiorenza Cossotto and Placido Domingo.
    Somewhere in an interview that Luiz did (I think with Alagna) the latter said that the DVD had a studio version dubbed over the live performance.
    Natalie

  14. #4994
    Junior Member Recent member Lellobeetle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Somewhere in an interview that Luiz did (I think with Alagna) the latter said that the DVD had a studio version dubbed over the live performance.
    That is a huge letdown if so. I want the live version from Orange.

  15. #4995
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lellobeetle View Post
    That is a huge letdown if so. I want the live version from Orange.
    Yes, here it is:

    RA: You were talking about Norma with Caballé and Vickers, which is wonderful. Did you know that when they made this video, everything was from a backing track? They were not actually singing live.

    OL – Oh!

    RA – Yes really! Because there was so much wind!

    OL – Unbelievable!

    RA - Pierre Jourdan directed the film. Everything was pre-recorded. Neither Vickers nor Caballé are singing live in this performance.

    OL - That’s disappointing, because for me this "Casta Diva" is the best live version, but if it’s a studio version, that's easier!

    RA - [laughs] Yes. It is a studio version! [laughs] But the images are beautiful, because there is wind, it floats and it is superb. This is why I say that what we’ve been doing there for years, singing live, is a major challenge.
    Natalie

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