Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz Lehar, Richard Bonynge, National Philharmonic Orchestra|
Lehár: The Merry Widow (Highlights) (Sung In English)
Listen to Samples
Performances better than the recording
Ralph Paulsen | Los Angeles, Ca United States | 01/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately this CD was made from the Australian TV tapeing of The Merry Widow, a shame that the microphones are not of high enough quality to capture the really fine performances, it is hard enough to understand what is being sung when properly recorded let alone when the equipment stinks, however if you enjoy Joan Southerland as much as I do you can overlook the flaws in the recording and just get carried away with the voice, it would be nice if a libretto had been included, a rarity today, that used to be common in the era of the LP"
Joan Sutherland under the baton of Richard Bonynge
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 02/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE MERRY WIDOW, Franz Lehar's dizzying and delightful operetta chestnut, is given the grand treatment in this highlights album featuring Joan Sutherland.There have been many widows (including June Bronhill, Anna Moffo, Beverly Sills), though Joan Sutherland's WIDOW has always been especially grand. The supporting cast on this recording features Werner Krenn as Count Danilo with Valerie Masterson as Valencienne, Regina Resnik as Zo-Zo and John Brecknock as Camille, with Francis Egerton, John Fryatt, Graeme Ewer and the Ambrosian Singers.Sutherland's performance as Hanna Glawari is full of masterful strokes and she approaches the score with a twinkle in her eye, aware of the comedy in the piece. Richard Bonynge conducts the National Philharmonic Orchestra and they are especially chill-inducing with the Overture.All-in-all a superlative recording at a bargain price."
This One Is Good---But Not "The Best"
John Boland | USA | 09/12/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Type the following into the search on Amazon to find the best English version of The Merry Widow: Léhar: The Land of Smiles; The Merry Widow; The Count of Luxembourg (Highlights)
Arguably "The Best" English "Merry Widow ", September 11, 2006
The "best version" of the "Merry Widow" is NOT this one. The best version is the one with English translation by Christopher Hassel sung by June Bronhill. I loved that rendition ever since I first heard it in about 1960. What's to love? First the translation is the best I've heard. The language doesn't sound "stilted" as some others. And, you can understand almost every word sung. Plus, the famous song, "Vilja" has some wording that moves me every time I hear it: The soprano sings, "Love me and I'll DIE for you!" with "die" somewhat emphasized. I don't know, there's just something "powerful" about someone saying they'd "die" for love! AND, at the end of "Vilja" the chorus and soprano raise to a crescendo hitting a high note together. In many renditions the chorus is heard but not the soprano on the final high note. In THIS version, the soprano, June Bronhill, can be heard rising to the final high note LOUDER than the chorus---which gives a very thrilling effect as she holds that final note, I assure you!
The "problem" is that this June Bronhill, Reid, and Hassel version is hard to find on CD. For example, the Bronhill CD is made in Holland and "there is one left", so it says on Amazon. But, if you can find it, I think it would be very much worth a listen. Then, after hearing it, if you think there's a "better" Merry Widow, please let ME know! Thanks. Email:boland7214@aol.