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Beethoven: Fidelio
Ludwig van Beethoven, Lorin Maazel, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Beethoven: Fidelio
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #2


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CD Reviews

A wonderful Bargain
Sheng-chi Shu | Singapore | 04/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Maazel performance crackles with the excitement of a live performance and the singers live out the drama in a way that few others achieve. Birgit Nilsson is perhaps the most urgent reason for acquiring this set: she is a magnificent Leonore and encompasses nearly all the facets of the heroine's plights andemotions. Leonore's scena is superbly done. Her cry of 'Abscheulicher!' arises from deep loathing and horror of Pizzaro. 'Komm Hoffnung', tenderly and affectionately phrased, expresses Leonore's hope. Then she rises resplendently to the high B, which stretched many sopranos. The fast section tingles with both womanly vulnerability and heroic resolve and Nilsson crowned this wonderful performance with a full-throated high E. All said, this is an interpretation not to be missed. With the general excellence of the cast, the Vienna Philharmonic on thrilling top form for its conductor and the price, you are in for an exceptional performance of Beethoven's only opera."
A Wonderful Recording
Sheng-chi Shu | 05/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a thoroughly top notch recording! Birgit Nilsson makes, I feel, a great Leonora/Fidelio. The woman was a female Caruso!! As for McCracken's Florestan, WOW!! What a sound! McCracken and Vickers have to go down as my all time favorite Florestans. The other singers on this recording are also top calibre. Maazel's conducting is so passionate, so utterly Beethoven. One simply MUST have this recording in their collection. This recording is so good, it would be worth it at twice the price. If you don't have a recording of Fidelio, this would be an excellent one to own. If you already have a recording of Fidelio, this is still a good one to get. The one drawback is that there is no libretto, only synopsis notes, but at this price, who cares?"
Very solid recording!
Sean | Antioch CA | 04/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm a diehard Beethoven fan, and I'm naturally very very critical of any recording of his work. That said, I really enjoyed Lorin Maazel's handling of Beethoven's only opera.
Beethoven's main weakness was definitely lyrical music, and even in Fidelio, the main strength was the score itself, not the singing. Maazel and the Vienna Philharmoniker perform the music with power, loudness, and passion, and the musicians exemplify the strength of the opera. Not to discount the singing though. The whole cast is exceptional, with clear, rich voices. The talent was chosen well for this performance.
After listening to the big names such as Bernstein and Solti handle this work, I had a harsh basis on which to grade this Maazel recording, and so the simple fact that this CD wasn't dissapointing is high praise already.
However, it does not matter how good a performance is if the actual recording is awful (*ahem* Solti's Beethoven Piano Concertos *cough*). Thankfully, London Decca does a great job with such an old recording (1964), and the sound is clear and rich, with a minimun amount of crackling or fuzziness, and a low amount of static.
Overall, this is a very solid performance and an exceptional recording!"