Re-release of Solti's Moses from the '80s...
Sébastien Melmoth | Hôtel d'Alsace, PARIS | 10/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Well. London/Decca finally got around to re-releasing Solti's Schoenberg's Moses und Aron from the late-1980s.
At that time, this studio recording was virtually the only realization of Schoenberg's magnum opus avaliable--in any form. Solti told his confused players: "Just play this Schoenberg as if it were Brahms," and withal, this is a very lush late-Romantic reading of a Modernistic dodecaphonic work.
It's not bad; in fact, this reading may be very attractive to some. For years I liked it well enough--until I was totally blown-away by Boulez's scintillating revelation, which is much closer to the Master's vision: Schoenberg - Moses und Aron / Pittman-Jennings · Merritt · Boulez .
Solti was a great artist, and his work still stands: for example, his Ring holds its own with Karajan's: Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle) / Sir Georg Solti . Der Ring des Nibelungen / Karajan / Berlin Philharmonic .
Decent price; so, Solti's Moses may be worth a peep for enthusiasts.
A Herculean Effort That Pays Off
Music Is Everything | Colorado Springs, CO USA | 07/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In his memoirs, Georg Solti mentions the great challenge posed by Schoenberg's "Moses und Aron:" a large cast of soloists, an enormous orchestra, a chorus that must navigate impossibly difficult harmonic realms fearlessly, and as complex a score as any opera by Wagner or Strauss (and even more complex harmonically). Even with decades of operatic conducting under his belt, Solti found himself humbled by this score and had the greatest challenge of his career preparing.
But not to worry! He had the Chicago Symphony at the height of its powers, the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the direction of Margaret Hillis after more than 150 rehearsals, and artists like Franz Mazura and Philip Langridge, who can tackle this kind of insanely difficult repertoire.
The result is the most effective recorded performance of "Moses und Aron." There is an edge and energy to this recording that is uncanny. Where others might provide an approximation of the score, this is shockingly accurate and the overall effect serves the drama quite well. In other words: If you couldn't imagine sitting through nearly two hours of atonal opera and actually getting something from the plot, this is your best chance to experience something new.
Given the enormous cost of making this recording, my hat is off to London/Decca for reissuing it for another round. If you're brave enough, go for it! You won't be disappointed."