Aida in German? With this cast, oh yes!
RENS | Dover, NH USA | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rafael Kubelik, a master conductor not well known enough in the United States, conducts the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and draws from them a rich and lush but well articulated sound. Italian, it isn't. Beautiful, it is. Even singing in German (which is, after all, as beautiful a language as any) the cast does full justice to Verdi's flowing melodic lines. And what a cast it is! These great singers work together as colleagues who know one another and who complement and compliment one another rather than stand out or compete against one another. Yes, I wish we had a recording of this cast singing in the original Italian, but we are fortunate to have this recording as it is at all. The sound is what one would expect from the recording of a live performance for radio broadcast: it is not great but it is good enough. Above all, anyone who delights in the art of Leonie Rysanek will want to hear this performance. She sings a heavenly yet earthy and sensuous Aida. Hopf's voice cuts through the air like a trumpet call, although he tends to pinch when he finishes off a high note. Madeira's dusky voice provides a fine contrast to both Hopf and Rysanek. As for Frick and London, they are in their prime. Every time I listen to this performance I find some more minor flaws, but every time I also enjoy and appreciate it all the more for its musical and dramatic integrity."