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Goetz: Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung
Marcel Cordes, Hermann Goetz, Joseph Keilberth
Goetz: Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2


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Excellent recording
Philip A. Kraus | Chicago, IL United States | 11/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Goetz's charnming version of The Taming of the Shrew held the stage in Germany for much of the 19th century. It is a tuneful, engaging score similar in style to Nicolai's singspiel version of The Merry Wives of Windsor.

This opera used to be only available in a 1944 radio broadcast issued on Urania records and recently available on CD from Preiser. This version on Gala is a 1955 broadcast in much better sound with superior conducting from Keilberth and a superior cast headed by the great basso Gottlob Frick who was also featured on the the 1944 recording.

At Gala's bargain price, it is a steal. No libretto unfortunately, but decent notes and synopsis."
Charming if lightweight opera, excellently performed, OK sou
G.D. | Norway | 01/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Goetz's take on Taming of the Shrew resulted in a fine, charming and thoroughly enjoyable work, if perhaps not a masterpiece. The overture (also available in modern recordings) is a truly memorable showstopper that as an opener would grace any concert. Now, I wouldn't say that the rest of the opera is a letdown, but it never becomes quite as memorable as that infectious overture, not even when the themes presented in the overture are heard. There is no doubt about Goetz's skill, in particular his handling of the orchestra, but it would be going to far to agree with Shaw that he should really rank among the great (though his masterly piano concertos and piano quartet and quintet might suggest otherwise). The opera here is full of ideas, and displays that kind of brilliant wit that one might miss in the more substantial operas from some of his contemporaries - in terms of melodic and harmonic style there is not a trace of Wagner (formally, though, Wagner's influence is undeniable - Goetz's use and handling of leitmotifs, for instance), but on the other hand a clear link to the tradition of Weber and Mendelssohn. But despite the wit and melodic skill, there is a certain lack of substance to the work, a lack of tension and profundity (and there is no doubt that Shakespeare's play exhibits those virtues), so that when the whole thing is over, you certainly have the feeling of having had a pleasant experience, but not a moving one and not one that invites contemplation or immediate repetition - it's all, in the end, a somewhat superficial take on Shakespeare' and one-dimensional musical illustrations of his three-dimensional characters. Yet there is much to savor here as well.

The performance, though, is excellent, both in terms of singing (in particular - obviously, perhaps - Frick) and in terms of the orchestral contributions. In fact, it's hard to imagine a better performance - and it seems unlikely that the opera will receive many alternative performances either, so we should be thankful that this one is available. The recording shows its age, but is by no means unacceptable. In the end, this is a very recommendable release of a pleasant but not very profound work."