Aug 29

Die Zauberflöte WA Mozart by H. von Karajan and Wiener Philharmoniker

The performance was made in 1950, soon after the war, and at the support of Walter Legge from EMI.

The recording was technically the best possible for 1950, and still has a warmth that is appropriate. This recording omits the dialogue, thus shortening the work, but certainly not diminuting the piece. It is a young Karajan, with a touch an warmth that few Magic Flutes’s since have experienced, including Karajan’s later production of the same piece. This is a valuable piece to all Zauberflöte collectors.

 

No Comments »
Aug 29

Lulu, by Alban Berg, with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Andrew Davis????

This opera, written by the Viennese composer Alban Berg, represents the life of a society hostess, in her rise and fall to eventual murder. A tragic tale, the music was most fitting to the piece, though often in a serial or atonal style. The opera was by Mozartian standards a bit strange, yet was completely fitting for expectations of 20th century works. If you are not familiar with 20th century opera and expect standard solos, duets, ensembles, etc., this piece will not fare well with you. Certainly the lead role of Lulu, performed by Christine Schäfer, was impeccably done, with a very demanding and challenging part performed  to perfection and with greatest finesse. Christine herself gets 5 stars. The opera itself gets only 4 stars from me, not because of any performance problems, but only because 20th century serialism is not exactly my favorite cup of tea, while the plot and story line itself focused on the gutter elements in society, not exactly transcending the soul to greater thoughts and loftier ambitions.

 

No Comments »
preload preload preload