Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gian Carlo Menotti, Thomas Schippers, NBC Symphony Orchestra|
Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Genres: Special Interest, Soundtracks, Classical
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: MENOTTI,G.C. Title: AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS-COM Street Release Date: 07/16/1999
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No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS-COM
Street Release Date: 07/16/1999
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Member CD Reviews
Erik T. (Spikesmusic) from BELLINGHAM, WA
Reviewed on 7/27/2016...
I've not seen the broadcast* but I became familiar with Amahl growing up. My mother played the role of The Mother in a stage production, so I'm sure she played the record while practicing the part. Having recently found a copy of this version, I put it in the CD player to test out. Just like that, the hour flew by as I became engaged in the story.
Although I hadn't thought of it in those terms, I agree with an earlier reviewer who notes that Menotti doesn't waste words on his characters, so the singing and recitatives all tell the story without showboating arias, etc. (Wagner it ain't, and that's ok here.)
Each of the singers brings character to their characters. Amahl, his mother, the three kings (one of whom definitely has a sense of humor) and the other shepherds of the village. That's all that is needed to tell the story.
I haven't heard other versions yet, so I won't comment on those. Although it's not "high fidelity," this ensemble interacts very well with each other, so that is part of why this is still so classic. That and a universal storyline.
*I just discovered this online site with the original broadcast, including an introduction by Menotti
An Oldie,but a goodie!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Christmastime and watching the HallMark Hall of Fame production of Amahl were never a separate thing for us when we grew up... Imagine a time when real art was on TV? When quality was paramount? There was a time,and we waited for it like waiting for Santa: First came Amahl on Christmas Eve,then we went to bed trying very hard to hear whether or not we,too would be able to hear the 3 kings in the distance....... I own both this recording,and the new one that came out a couple of years ago by the gang at the Royal Opera. While the most recent recording may be technically a better recording, for me there will never be another person singing that mother's part except for that lady on the live recording....her voice is so light,yet strong. Perhaps what someone trying to scrape by on nothing would have to be. I love the first recording, and I like it even better digitally remastered. It's never going to sound as "perfect" as the newer digital one,but that's probably one of its most endearing qualities. None of live music is ever completely perfect.Like humanity. The newer one sounds too much like a recital: Too perfect(for me). This one,for me was spontaneous,like life: Full of real emotion. Spend the money,go for it...you won't be sorry. Allow yourself to believe,just as that little boy believed........and if you have a chance, go in person to one of the many performances presented this christmas in your area. You'll appreciate this live recording even more. You won't be sorry."
AN OLD FRIEND
MOVIE MAVEN | New York, NY USA | 12/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How wonderful to re-visit an old friend after many years and find that he or she has not only survived, but has grown more interesting and beautiful with time. This is exactly how I feel about Gian Carlo Menotti's lovely opera AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS.As a child, I not only watched it on television, but saw it on the stage in various venues, including Hunter College, even as recently as about one dozen years ago when a friend played Amahl's mother in a semi-staged concert version in New York's Avery Fisher Hall.Written originally as an opera for children, it certainly also speaks to adults. As to why children, even children who are totally uninterested in opera, appreciate AMAHL..., it is pretty easy to figure out that no character in the opera ever sings just for the sake of singing. All of the music comes naturally out of the simple characters, so that the beautiful music can be listened to without thinking that the characters are "putting on airs" or "showing off their vocal skills." The libretto, also, is simplicity itself: all of the words seem totally fitting for the five characters: a mother, her crippled son and their three royal visitors. Even the dance music does not overstay its welcome. One wishes that other opera composers would take a lesson from Menotti: say what you want to say and don't repeat it ad infinitum. This "original cast" 1952 recording can be enjoyed thoroughly even though the sound is not as sharp as a newer recording might have. The entire cast is terrific and Chet Allen as "Amahl" is completely believable, sweet and absolutely touching when he asks his mother if he may visit Christ in the manger. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR BOTH ADULTS AND CHILDREN."