Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Victor Godfrey, Ludwig van Beethoven, Otto Klemperer|
This live-from-Covent Garden performance, taped in February of 1961, challenges Klemperer's 1962 studio recording on EMI, also with Vickers and Frick, but with otherwise different soloists, for the supreme position among r... more »
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This live-from-Covent Garden performance, taped in February of 1961, challenges Klemperer's 1962 studio recording on EMI, also with Vickers and Frick, but with otherwise different soloists, for the supreme position among recorded versions of Fidelio. As usual with Klemperer, tempi are broad, but there's no lack of tension, and his singers, all in superb voice (except for the somewhat wobbly bass Hans Hotter as Pizarro, who nonetheless is frightening and a major force in the role), are as involved in the message of the work as they are in their individual notes. Vickers is riveting, offering a sad, resigned, noble and, at the same time, heroic Florestan, and soprano Sena Jurinac is the picture of strength, compassion, and dignity as Leonore. Dobson and Morison are a fine pair of youngsters, and Gottlob Frick makes Rocco come vividly to life: a good man, doing a bad job. After an exciting performance of the Leonore Overture No. 3 (which should be skipped for maximum dramatic impact) between the dungeon scene and finale, the opera's last moments are as thrilling and uplifting as the Ninth Symphony can be. The broadcast sound is as good as it can be. Highly recommended, whether you already own the EMI or not. --Robert Levine
Long-awaited legendary performances
hilde_h_hamilton | New York | 01/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The world has long known of this legendary performance, unavailable to the public. I've read that some recordings from dubious sources existed. Now, finally, the official release from the original tapes itself from BBC. Listening to it, I am struck by Klemperer's total command of the score. If you've heard his EMI performance, you may think "it's doctored in the studio". But here is a 'live' performance totally undoctored, thrilling in its intensity, just like the EMI performance. In fact, Klemperer moves faster in this 'live' recording. His finale march and the final chorus for instance, moves at a much faster pace, the effect is quite similar to Solti's Fidelio with Behrens and the Chicago forces, but more intense. Klemperer also makes astute use of the timpani to stunning effect. Hans Hotter was in great voice that night although the voice is a bit woofy. Gottlob Frick is superb as Rocco, his dark bass making him sound authoritative as a father. Jon Vickers is unsurpassed as Florestan. I don't care what people say, nobody does THIS like Vickers. Jurinac is excellent as Leonore. Her high B at the end of her Act 1 aria is slightly messed up but that dpesn't really spoil the overall performance which is beautifully and intensely sung. She has a kind of vibrato which is very pleasing to hear.The ensemble is not always perfect. There are instances of the singers running ahead of the orchestra. After the trio, at the start of the Act 1 march, the audience clapped hysterically until someone shouted "Quiet! Sssssh!!" because Klemperer did not stop for the applause but continued with the performance even though he was drowned out by clapping. So there are all these warts in the performance, undoctored. But the performance is so moving and intense that it just doesn't matter.A truly great performance. BTW, I just saw the video from the Met starring Mattila, that is also a great performance. Since Klemperer's EMI Fidelio in 1962, there has not been any truly great recordings of Fidelio coming out. Now suddenly we have 2 together. The 2000 Met production is the greatest Fidelio since Klemperer 1962."
I join in the praise
paul_johnsonn | Texas, Austin | 01/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I join in the chorus of praise. Having owned the EMI Klemperer Fidelio for so long, I rushed out to buy this as soon as it was released. It didn't disappoint. The fantastically intense Otto Klemperer is just that in the theatre - fantastically intense. This is a Fidelio to set beside the legends!!"
I waited for a lifetime
paul_johnsonn | 01/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, the legendary broadcast is out on CD!! I'm so excited. Klemperer was truly a great Beethoven conductor in the opera house. This is taken from one evening and is totally uncut. Marvellous!!"