Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|R. Strauss, Karl BÃ¶hm, Vienna State Opera Orchestra|
R. Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten
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Dream Cast in Superb Stereo
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The dream cast of Die Frau Schatten in the late 1970's recorded in superb stereo!! The Dyer's Wife was the last role that Birgit Nilsson added to her repertoire - that was in 1975. I suppose that Karl Bohm asked her to sing the Dyer's Wife because Christa Ludwig decided to give up the role aftr the Salzburg performance in 1974. This is a live performance from the Vienna State Opera. The electricity of the occasion comes across consistently throughout the recording. What a Dyer's Wife we have in Birgit Nilsson!! Her bright and powerful voice is electrifying! Birgit Nilsson proves that she is one of the greatest dramatic sopranos of all time. In the Ring, her voice is heroic and metallic like what a warrior should sound like. Here, she imbues her voice with an elasticity and warmth which is not heard in her Brunnhilde. If you like Birgit Nilsson, you must get this recording. For the remainder of the cast, we have Bohm's peerless "Frau" team - the team that he trained specially for Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Leonie Rysanek is the Empress, thrillingly intense above the stave. She is glorious in the role, a role she owned for over 20 years!! James King, the most sought after Emperor in the world at the time, is the Emperor. Walter Berry is in top form as Barak. Ruth Hesse negotiates the difficult role of the Nurse with consummate artistry. And of course, we have Karl Bohm himself, the most ardent advocate of Richard Strauss' operas. The reason that Strauss' works are in the standard reportoire today is largely because of the advocacy of Karl Bohm.Yes, the dream cast of the late 1970's of Die Frau Ohne Schatten. I only wish that Karajan's 1964 Die Frau with Christa Ludwig had been done in stereo as well or Karl Bohm's Die Frau with Christa Ludwig in 1974 at the Salzburg Festival. If you want to hear Birgit Nilsson in even more electrifying form, get the 'live' 1976 Die Frau Ohne Schatten conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch in 1976 at Munich on Golden Melodram. There Birgit Nilsson is in even bettrer vocal form, her outbursts hitting you like a ton of bricks. James King is also even more thrilling in the 1976 Die Frau Ohne Schatten. I find it impossible to choose. I have to have both. But the sound here is better so I suppose that this should be the first recommendation. But seriously, the 1976 has its own unique electricity that makes it worthwhile owning both."
The beauty of NIlsson's voice
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nilsson's voice sounds absolutely ravishing in this performance. Nilsson is a high dramatic soprano and in this recording, the part of the Dyer's wife lies in the very best part of her voice - the upper register. Her exciting and thrilling interpretation is all that one can ask for. Rounding up the cast is the Bohm "Frosch" team - Rysanek incomparable as the Empress, King the greatest Emperor of his time (who still has no successor), Berry the most heart warming Barak ever and Hesse the malevolent Nurse. Plus the incandescent conducting of Karl Bohm and the virtuoistic playing of the Vienna Philharmonic who has played the score more than anyone else.Highly recommended."
A famous dream cast
Jay Dickson | Portland, OR | 03/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Various great opera singers have "owned" great roles over the years, but almost none have quite the way Leonie Rysanek owned the Empress. DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN sounds difficult and abstruse if you describe the opera's plot to someone, but Rysanek and James King make the Emperor and Empress so deeply felt that they quickly reveal this as one of the most oddly moving operas ever written. At the opera's great climax, Rysanek gives full vent to the Empress's humanity at her famous "Ich will nicht!"--which she utters as if her heart were utterly breaking--that she fully justifies the glorious transformation in the music that announces her and her husband's salvation. And Nilsson was a great Dyer's Wife--her laserlike intensity, so terrifying in roles like Salomé and Elektra, is here used to great effect for her character's dislikability but also her fundamental decency and depth of character. Böhm was the ideal conductor for this cast--no one can humanize Strauss (or Wagner, for that matter) quite the way he could."