Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|R. Strauss, Domingo, Bernstein|
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The Definitive Rosenkavalier
hartright | San Francisco | 06/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is among the finest of any opera recordings, and stands the test of time as well as any of its era. Bernstein captures the Straussian dream-state better than any other conductor, including Clemens Krauss and even Strauss himself. The performance is plenty muscular yet never far from an intense awareness of the dream's fragility--Bernstein captures so well Strauss' and Hofmannsthal's intuition that the turn-of-the-century Viennese world they adored was already in its death throes. The assembled cast--notably Christa Ludwig's Marschallin--obviously share Bernstein's vision, because they sing like a dream. And the final duet of Gwyneth Jones' Octavian and Lucia Popp's Sophie? You just have to hear it. Hardened hearts may be able to resist its charms, but I invariably find myself deeply moved.The CD remastering job is excellent, especially given the, er, experimental nature of some of Columbia's early CD efforts. The sound does full justice to the efforts of producer John Culshaw, well-known for his production of the Solti Ring cycle (recorded with the same orchestra and in the same hall).If you're looking for a recording of Rosenkavalier, buy this one. It's definitive. And note that the one detracting review on this site gives no justification for its "judgment" of "fiasco." Liner notes hardly qualify. Listen and judge for yourself."
Beautiful, Dramatically Compelling Rosenkavalier
hartright | 11/24/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite Rosenkavalier. Bernstein milks this emotionally supercharged score for all it's worth, from the horns whooping it up in the overture to the gorgeous final trio. The singing is glorious, especially Christa Ludwig as the Marschallin. The recorded sound is excellent."
Scott Jelsey | Houston, TX United States | 07/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is hard to find currently, but hunt it down if you can. I found an excellent copy on Ebay recently. Bernstein's is the most expressive account of the score on disc, with Christa Ludwig giving one of her very finest recorded perfomances as the Marschallin. She's at her absolute peak, both vocally and dramatically, and perfectly captures both the humor and sadness of this multi-faceted character. Gwyneth Jones is an ideal Octavian, sounding somehow slightly masculine, yet vulnerable, as a teenager in love certainly is. As Sophie, we get Lucia Popp, in ravishing voice - the most sumptuous recording of this exquisite role. The Act II duet and Act III trio are meltingly beautiful with these three gorgeous voices blending perfectly, yet each sounding individual enough in timbre to stand out as individual characters.
Walter Berry is my favorite Ochs on record. He manages to bring some depth to this boorish character, while still finding the humor in the role. Also, he sings the role beautifully, which is not always the case. As luxury casting, we get the young Placido Domingo in the smallish role of the Italian singer, providing just the right sort of ring and personality for this scene.
The sound on this recording is also quite exceptional - you would never guess it is from 1971. It is excellently engineered, with a perfect balance between singer and orchestra, and a bloom on the voices which is ideal. Also, I should mention that the Vienna Philharmonic play magnificently under Bernstein - they basically "own" this opera, and it shows. Highest praise to producer John Culshaw for pulling off this magical recording of one of my favorite operas, under some difficult circumstances. The liner notes are fascinating regarding the making of the recording, but bring a magnifying glass because the print is microscopic.
Most highly recommended..."