Opera Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:55 AM
Disc Title: Der Rosenkavalier Disc catalog: Euroarts 20-56914 Recording Date: 2007 Recorded on tour in Japan Program Length: 212 mins - no bonuses
Video rating : 5/5 Audio type: PCM 5.1 & PCM Stereo (no mention of bit rating) Audio rating: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5
Summary comment: A very very good production without being great
Author: Tassie Devil Date: July 31 2009
Detailed Comment: This opera differs from earlier compositions by Verdi. Puccini etc in that, like Wagnerian works, the music flows without being truncated by spectacular arias. The success of the musical flow depends very much on the artistry and that is very very good in this production without reaching the heights of some others. Anne Schwanewilms performed nicely in the very long first act but was not as convincing to me as others in that role. However Kurt Rydl gave an outstanding performance acting and singing the Baron, injecting great humour into this Strauss work. The other female roles were more successfully filled by Anke Vondung and Maki Mori with some beautiful duets and trios. The orchestra came through strongly, a little too much so relative to the singers making their efforts less impressive. In common with most of the Dresden Staatsopernchor productions the settings have been modernised and this does not seriously detract from the atmosphere although I did miss the more sumptuous costumes usually associated with this work. Having a woman play the role of a man is always challenging to the imagination but this is overcome, to some extent, in this opera when such beautiful music results. However it is not a work that is likely to be appreciated by those first dipping their toes into opera. The waltz is well known but otherwise the music would be unfamiliar and it is only past the long first act that the action and music become more appealing. In summary, a very enjoyable production I would not class this among the greats so recommended with caution.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:01 AM
I love the sumptuous costumes in the Te Kanawa version (and similar ones in the older laserdisc version featuring Felicity Lott , Sophie von Otter & Barbara Bonney) but much as I'm a fan of Kiri I must hand the title of the best Marschallin to Nina Stemme. But none of the other versions equal the brilliant comic singing and acting of Kurt Rydl in the role of the Baron in the Blu Ray version. I note others were enchanted by the singing of Anne Schwanewilms but, for some reason it has not impressed me as much as the others.
But overall I would class this Blu Ray as the best version. I found the video quality of the NTSC Stemme version obviously inferior with the subtitles grossly overstated and distracting. At least they can be turned off once you are familiar with the opera but the compressed DTS surround sound comes nowhere near the Blu Ray in audio quality. I feel the soprano voice really challenges an audio system and ended up choosing 2CH to make the DVD version listenable. As for the old laserdisc set, I'm afraid that is just about unwatchable and unlistenable in comparion. About the only way to tolerate LD is to start off with it in the hope the eyes and eyes will adjust enough to enjoy the artistry.
So, on reflection maybe the rating of 4/5 overall was a little harsh. See what you think.
Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:22 AM
Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:43 AM
I have, on tape, the 1960 film version featuring the famous Elisabeth Schwarzkopf & Karajan - ye gods he looked young!!! It lacks subtitles and the tape is pretty old technology but I'll tackle it on a smaller screen sometime soon.
Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:10 AM
Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:35 AM