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What are you currently listening to?

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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 67438 times)
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« Reply #3225 on: November 24, 2021, 06:07:25 pm »

Yo! It's Schwanda! Smiley

I must admit,I'm not listening to op.....light opera at the moment! Note the,'at the moment'!! However,this opera has all the glorious melodies and colorful orchestration a fan of that genre would enjoy! Such glorious,ricness of invention. One critic reckoned the Overture was too long. It is long,but not too long for me and like the Prelude to Schreker's Die Gezeichneten it sets you up for the drama that is to follow. (Indeed,the gloriously scored Overture is a concert piece,in itself!) I've been saying that I tend to prefer The Bartered Bride in Czech (or whatever it is now?! Huh It all broke up after the fall of the USSR,didn't it?! And,I failed geography! Roll Eyes) but I can't imagine this being better performed and recorded! What a great cast! Lucia Popp,one of my favourite ever sopranos,never sounded so luscious! Siegfried Jerusalem is magnificently heroic*. Hermann Prey is on top for mere. His rich baritone has a lustre to it! It really sounds that good! I sometimes find his voice a little to macho for my taste;but there's no doubt he was very good at what he did. (I have seen his voice described as a "fruity baritone" by someone who didn't like it!) Siegmund Nimsgern's dark bass is an ideal Devil. And Gwendolyn Killebrew (a singer I'm unfamiliar with) as the Ice Queen,could freeze your b******* off! The Munich Radio Orchestra and CBS recording are,unbelievably,sumptuous,and the whole score is teeming with invention. A veritable feast for the old ear 'oles! As if that isn't enough:like Dvorak's Kate and the Devil,the fairy tale storyline is,actually,fun to follow! Oh,and fun artwork. I had the Lp set,back in the day,and I used to prop it up and look at it while I listened to the opera. I've got to say here,that these CBS Masterworks box sets are some of the most nicely presented boxes I have ever seen! I bought the set of Massenet's Cendrillon recently and that's lovely to look at and handle too! What a pity Weinberger's subsequent career didn't live up to the expectations this international hit must have promised! Reading his life story is one of hardship and disappointment! One thought! Isn't it a bit strange that Supraphon never recorded it?!! I'm sure they would have made a good job of it;but then this wonderful recording might never have happened! The CBS Masterworks edition,if you can find it a reasobale price,includes an English libretto. I don't think the recent reissue does. Oh well,never mind (idiots! Roll Eyes Grin) the glorious sounds coming from your speakers,or headphones,will keep you enthralled!

NB! *Siegfried Jerusalem plays the Robber,Babinsky! Hermann Prey is Schwanda,the (ahem!) hero,you fool! This is what comes of listening on wireless headphones while the cd playerr & libretto are downstairs! Roll Eyes Tut,tut! And I haven't listened to it for a while! (Excuses!) Oh well,never mind! Babinsky's a Robin Hood type,who takes from the rich to give the poor and you got the other parts right! Roll Eyes
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