Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ferenc Fricsay, Leonie Rysanek, Irmgard Seefried|
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is a classic that has been highly praised by Grammophon and the Collector's Guide. It is puzzling that it is so difficult to find this recording. I think that the performance is superb. I disagree with the reviewer that the recording 'injured' the performance. The sound quality is excellent. But as can be expected with any stereo recording from 1950's, minor allowances has to be made. The sound quality here is in fact, far better than many of the classic 'live' recordings of Trovatore, Die Frau Schatten, Salome, Fidelio, Elektra made in the 1960s and 1970s. It is, in fact, excellent. It is of course, not digital 2002 quality. But does that really matter when the performance is so good? I doubt so. I buy Karajan's 1962 Trovatore for the superb quality of the performance even though it is mono. I buy Furtwagler's 1951 Beethoven 9th for the superb performance even though it is mono. Likewise, I would buy this Fidelio and this Fidelio is in true full stereo. It is DG's first stereo recording!!! Obviously, it will not be 2002 digital quality standard. But the transfer has been excellently done so you have no cause for worry. The most urgent reason to acquire this set is the incomparable Leonore of Leonie Rysanek, one of the greatest dramatic sopranos in the 20th century. In fact, Leonie Rysanek is among the very few who can rival Birgit Nilsson in terms of vocal prowess. Leonie Rysanek was the only dramatic soprano who tackled all 3 leading parts in Elektra - Elektra, Chrysothemis and Klytamnestra, all with outstanding success. She formed a fabled partnership with Birgit Nilsson in Elektra (Birgit as Elektra and Leonie as Chrysothemis) and in Die Frau Schatten (Birgit as Dyer's wife and Leonie as the Empress). Her interpretation of Leonore in Fidelio is legendary and this recording proves it! It is the only available recording of Leonie Rysanek as Fidelio (actually there are a few private recordings but they are extremely difficult to find, in fact, impossible - I couldn't find any at all though I know one exists). Her top register in particular is glorious, stunning and beautiful. Her reading is highly dramatic. As for her Florestan, even though he is more lyric tenor, you don't really feel it because the recording balance is close so that the full impact comes through. Fricsay's conducting is brisk and exciting. I wouldn't do without this recording just like I wouldn't do without the Klemperer."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find it amazing that this Fidelio should be out of stock in the US in general. This DG Fidelio is one of the best available.Leonie Rysanek is one of the extremely rare super high dramatic soprano. The radiance and power of her top note are glorious. They ring out gloriously and thrillingly in a way than stuns you into submission. The voice is super powerful at the extreme top. Her drawback is her lower register. Her lower register, as might be expected, is weaker and some consider it unattractive although I don't. That's why Leonie Rysanek excels in super high roles like the Empress in Richard Strauss' Die Frau Schatten.Coming back to this Fidelio. This is one of the rare Fidelios where Leonore's aria rings out thrillingly at the climaxes. Rysanek hits the top B flats and top Bs dead on, her voice ringing out wonderfully. Her portrayal is also very dramatic, much in the mould of Christa Ludwig. Such performances are rare these days. I look forward to the release of the Met 2000 season with Karita Matila. That Fidelio is also one of the great Fidelio performances.As far as the rest of the cast is concerned, they are legendary. Seefried was Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's rival in the 1950s and 1960s, much like Pavarotti and Domingo. The rest of the cast is outstanding. Fricsay conducts with a sense of urgency and drama so hard to find these days.A fitting tribute to the late Leonie Rysanek, Fricsay and Beethoven. An urgent recommendation - you must buy this if you like Fidelio. This is a "must buy" set for all opera lovers together with Klemperer's Fidelio."
I enjoyed this disc immensely
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The principal singer in Fidelio is Leonore. Leonore is on stage almost continuously from the first canon quartet. She starts of singing the quartet. Rocco comes in for his "gold" aria. Then she sings a trio with Rocco and Marzelline. Pizarro comes in with an aria. And then the duet between Pizarro and Rocco. Leonore comes in again to sing the taxing aria "Abscheulischer!". And after that the prisoners chorus. Then Leonore comes in again to sing in the final ensemble in Act 1. Act 2 begins. First Florestan sings his aria. Then, Leonore comes in again and from then, it's non-stop for her. First she sings the Melodrama duet with Rocco, then the trio with Florestan and Rocco. Then she has to sing the taxing Dungeon quartet. And then the duet with Florestan. This is followed by the confrontation between the minister and the rest. And finally, Leonore has to sing in the final ensemble. No wonder that Leonore is considered one of the most taxing soprano roles ever. And in every recording, the castin gof Leonore is absolutely critical to the success of the recording. If Leonore is poorly cast, the recording fails no matter how good the other parts are, whether Florestan or Pizzaro or Rocco.The glory amd strength of this set is Leonie Rysanek's Leonore, few better. A legendary Leonore together with Christa Ludwig and Birgit Nilsson. Leonie Rysanek alone is worth the price of this set. She is supported by an excellent cast. Fricsay conducts very briskly somewhat like Gardiner, not quite exactly - perhaps more like Solti. Sonics is excellent stereo. Enjoy!!"