A "Must Have" for any Schubert enthusiast
Dr. Aldona Jones | Melbourne, Australia | 11/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My addiction to this production of "Alfonso & Estrella" began when, as a teenager, I taped it from a radio broadcast. I then spent the next few years listening to it constantly until it fell to pieces. Some time later, as an impoverished medical student, it was broadcast over the radio again and once again I taped it and listened to the tape until it wore out.
As soon as I had an income I bought my own copy (sorry, it was before I discovered Amazon) and am currently in the process of "loving it to death" and will soon be needing to buy another one. I studied for my high school diploma with this music playing in the background. I also studied for my medical finals with the same recording playing. Currently I drive to and from work with it playing, quite regularly.
It's hard to put my finger on exactly what makes this probably my life-long favorite piece of music. All I can say is that it represents Schubert's music at its absolute pinnacle. The first time I heard it, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. It is just so perfect. OK, so the story is lame and the action is slow-moving (and hundreds of other operas aren't?) but you don't notice because you get so caught up in the sublime music. Imagine a couple dozen of Schubert's most melodious and singable Lieder strung together and accompanied by full orchestra, and you start to get the idea.
Add to this the all-star cast (all the voices I grew up loving to hear, such as Fischer-Dieskau, Schreier, Prey and Mathis) and you have a winner.
If you are a Schubert nut like me, buy it! BUY IT NOW!! You will not be disappointed.