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

          
   
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  1. #1006
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Definitely the best-conducted Mikado ever recorded. Faris keeps things moving and light as air. Singers are quite good, and don't overdo the hammy stage bits that can be tiresome on repeated hearings. The only real blot is Marion Studholme, whose rather shrill and piercing Yum-Yum makes me long for Valerie Masterson and Elizabeth Harwood. Everyone else is excellent, especially the young Patricia Kern(recording was made in 1962)as Pitti-Sing and John Holmes in the title role.

  2. #1007
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    In honour of our new member, I'm getting to know this (the library didn't have the Harnoncourt version, but this is lovely):



    I'm so glad I bought Knussen's Lucretia (although it was the words Ian Bostridge that provoked the automatic "add to cart" reflex). Excellent singing and exciting conducting:



    My latest Clemenza - really too camp for words, all mad wigs and sweeping movements (what WAS Tito on? Whatever it is I don't want any). But it did remind me why I love Tatiana Troyanos:



    Member Jephtha would have been proud of my platinum level weeping at the ROH Eugene Onegin which I saw on Youtube (now, alas, removed). Perhaps not the most exciting conducting, but LOVED the production and the singer/actors are outstanding. Stoyanova conveys every shade of emotion that Tatiana experiences. Keenlyside as Onegin grows visibly older and wiser throughout. Breslik is definitely my Lensky of choice. "Kuda Kuda" was just heart wrenching. Elena Maximova is a cheerful but slightly heartless Olga. The atmosphere of regret and sadness at lost opportunities was heart-wrenching. Can't wait for a DVD.
    Natalie

  3. #1008
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    In honour of our new member, I'm getting to know this (the library didn't have the Harnoncourt version, but this is lovely):

    May I say, SF, that while I am happy that you've decided to acquaint yourself with Handel's greatest oratorio, the Harnoncourt set really does put this one in the shade. Gardiner's singers sing more beautifully, and his orchestra is excellent, but the other set shows you what a masterpiece this is. Harnoncourt brings out the drama like no one else, and he produces phrasings and colors with his instrumentalists that will raise the hair on your head. In my review on Amazon UK I called it a baroque Wozzeck, and that is just how Harnoncourt plays it. You owe it to yourself to hear that recording; it will spoil you for any other version. With Gardiner, Jephtha is a relaxing three hours of beautiful music; with Harnoncourt, it is a cathartic experience akin to watching King Lear.

  4. #1009
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    May I say, SF, that while I am happy that you've decided to acquaint yourself with Handel's greatest oratorio, the Harnoncourt set really does put this one in the shade. Gardiner's singers sing more beautifully, and his orchestra is excellent, but the other set shows you what a masterpiece this is. Harnoncourt brings out the drama like no one else, and he produces phrasings and colors with his instrumentalists that will raise the hair on your head. In my review on Amazon UK I called it a baroque Wozzeck, and that is just how Harnoncourt plays it. You owe it to yourself to hear that recording; it will spoil you for any other version. With Gardiner, Jephtha is a relaxing three hours of beautiful music; with Harnoncourt, it is a cathartic experience akin to watching King Lear.
    It's in my Presto cart ready for the next "proceed to checkout" occasion.
    Natalie

  5. #1010
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    It's in my Presto cart ready for the next "proceed to checkout" occasion.
    Super! I think you will really enjoy it.

    Years ago, one of my friends was a big fan of Anne Sofie von Otter, and he asked me to recommend a recording of her singing Handel, since he loved that composer's music. I lent him my copy of the Gardiner Jephtha set as A-S v O sings the role of Jephtha's wife there. When he was finished he returned the set, thanking me for the recommendation but stating that the piece itself was 'so boring and dull'. I immediately lent him the Harnoncourt Jephtha to listen to. He told me it was like hearing a completely different work, and he became a Jephtha fan for life.

  6. #1011
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post

    Member Jephtha would have been proud of my platinum level weeping at the ROH Eugene Onegin which I saw on Youtube (now, alas, removed). Perhaps not the most exciting conducting, but LOVED the production and the singer/actors are outstanding. Stoyanova conveys every shade of emotion that Tatiana experiences. Keenlyside as Onegin grows visibly older and wiser throughout. Breslik is definitely my Lensky of choice. "Kuda Kuda" was just heart wrenching. Elena Maximova is a cheerful but slightly heartless Olga. The atmosphere of regret and sadness at lost opportunities was heart-wrenching. Can't wait for a DVD.
    Yes. This. It was amazing in house as well. If I'm not mistaken, I was at the performance that was taped. At least I sat right behind a camera. And I felt like I loved Maximova's voice too much to really be concerned with her performance. And Pavol Breslik won.

  7. #1012
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    Yes. This. It was amazing in house as well. If I'm not mistaken, I was at the performance that was taped. At least I sat right behind a camera. And I felt like I loved Maximova's voice too much to really be concerned with her performance. And Pavol Breslik won.
    This sounds fantastic! I will get the DVD as soon as it comes out. I am a sucker for this opera. (And yes, SF, it does make me cry!)

  8. #1013
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jephtha View Post
    This sounds fantastic! I will get the DVD as soon as it comes out. I am a sucker for this opera. (And yes, SF, it does make me cry!)
    It is a gorgeous opera, I agree. Especially when sung so gorgeously as it was in that production. Pity about the conductor, though. Not a fan. At all.

  9. #1014
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    Yes. This. It was amazing in house as well. If I'm not mistaken, I was at the performance that was taped. At least I sat right behind a camera.
    Lucky you!

    And I felt like I loved Maximova's voice too much to really be concerned with her performance.
    Maximova has some killer low notes. I thought her Olga was spot-on acting wise - I know the character moves on pretty quickly after Lensky dies.

    And Pavol Breslik won.
    He appeared on my radar about 18 months ago - I'm glad he's getting some good parts. He's wonderful.
    Natalie

  10. #1015
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Just recieved and have been listening to the Kubelik Meistersiger.
    I think this is the one folks.
    No weak links, 24 bit remastered sound.
    just the right tempi imho, which means on the slow side.
    Konya, Janowitz, Stewart are all fantastic. Finally a great Sachs!!!
    I've only gone through it once so far, but it is absolutely wonderful.
    if you love Meistersinger, like i do, you must have this recording.
    please buy it. soon.

  11. #1016
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Just recieved and have been listening to the Kubelik Meistersiger.
    I think this is the one folks.
    No weak links, 24 bit remastered sound.
    just the right tempi imho, which means on the slow side.
    Konya, Janowitz, Srewart are all fantastic. Finally a great Sachs!!!
    I've only gone through it once so far, but it is absolutely wonderful.
    if you love Meistersinger, like i do, you must have this recording.
    please buy it. soon.
    How much did that Meister cost.......
    I just can't bring myself to pay the asking price, just a matter of principle I have to hold the line

    When it sells for reduced price re-issue (if ever) I will be buyer, in the meantime we can listen to Wagner tales by the faithful who make the ultimate painful financial sacrifice

  12. #1017
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Angel View Post
    How much did that Meister cost.......
    I just can't bring myself to pay the asking price, just a matter of principle I have to hold the line

    When it sells for reduced price re-issue (if ever) I will be buyer, in the meantime we can listen to Wagner tales by the faithful who make the ultimate painful financial sacrifice
    46 USDollars DA. And worth every penny.
    less than 12dollars a disc for this masterpiece.
    trade in one of your Don Giovanni's
    and you'll have it.

  13. #1018
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    DA, I am with Itullian on this one. This is the Meistersinger to have, for sure. Once you have heard it, you will weep that you waited so long before acquiring it. I understand your principle about the cost, but there is also a principle of trying to hear the finest possible performance of works you love.

  14. #1019
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Itullian and Jeptha
    You guys are badddddd, I have little will power as is to resist and now you two are ganging up on my wallet

  15. #1020
    Senior Member Involved Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Angel View Post
    Itullian and Jeptha
    You guys are badddddd, I have little will power as is to resist and now you two are ganging up on my wallet
    You gotta buy it DA. It's a truly wonderful recording. I've been listening to it all day and it just gets better. It's really a joy from beginning to end.

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