Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Erich Kleiber, Birgit Nilsson|
Beethoven - Fidelio / Brigit Nilsson · Erich Kleiber
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The young Nilsson is very impressive, but Kleiber is off kil
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 05/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I a not a fan of Erich Kleiber in Beethoven, which needs to be said up front because I found his conducting of this 1956 Fidelio form Cologne unacceptable. He takes restlessly fast speeds in the Prisoners' Chors and the finale, and rushes the opening duet mercilessly. It really is as if he is indifferent to the emotional proceedings, although Kleiber manages to turn very slow at other times, as in the sublime Act 1 quartet.
Having eliminated half the reason I was attracted to this performance, there's still Birgit Nilsoon at the start of her career. She is as impressive here as she was in a contemporary Lohengrin (how rare for an Elsa to blossom into a Brunnhilde in a few short years). Every note is completley secure, and there's a more feminine, less steely tone in her voice. Nilsson never cared much for characterixation, and here she tries very little. This Leonore is storng-minded and direct, but never poignant or tragic. You have to listen purely for vocal glory.
The rest of the cast is fiarly standard for a second-tier German opera house, although Gottlob Frick was the premier Rocco of the time. As Florestan, Han Hopf is crude and loud, but in his blullish way he rings out all the notes, which says something. The sound is good AM-radio mono. In sum, the proceedings aren't dramatic enough by half, but at least we get to hear a great singer in a signature role."