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The Merry Widow on "Building a Library"


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Author Topic: The Merry Widow on "Building a Library"  (Read 53 times)
Albion
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« on: October 09, 2021, 07:38:49 am »

One for cilgwyn I think -

Radio 3 "Record Review" this morning at 9.30am: "Building a Library" – Nigel Simeone on Léhar’s The Merry Widow.

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

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cilgwyn
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2021, 04:54:02 pm »

Thanks for that,Albion!! I'll have a listen on the "Listen again",later! I'm betting they picked one of Schwarzkopf's recordings! Although,I suppose it's possible they might have picked Gardiner? That said,my favourite recording is,probably,the Wallberg with Edda Moser. I find Moser's widow more alluring & it was the first recording I heard (on Lp) and it's got  Helen Donath,one of my favourite sopranos (and singers). That said,for the conducting and casting,the Ackermann and Matačić are,admittedly,unbeatable! And,to be honest,I like all three! Particularly,the latter! (And it's in stereo!). I recently acquired the Stolz recording with Hilde Güden,which is also very good. The operetta is preceded by an overture cobbled together by Stolz,who was the original conductor of the operetta. But Hilde Güden is ideal for the role & I would recommend the recording to Schwarzkopf haters! I'm a bit of a fan,myself! Smiley French emi-pathe did a nice recording,too,with Micheline Dax,as a very cute sounding widow! The Merry Widow sounds allot sexier in sexy sounding French and it is set in Paris! I haven't heard Stolz's later recording,with Rudolf Schock & Margit Schramm! The Karajan has Elizabeth Harwood;but some wag delivered a body blow to the recording by describing Karajan's recording as The Merry Widow set to the music of Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem (I can't remember his exact words!). Albeit,some say Karajan's slow tempi brings out the sumptuousness of the orchestration! And,to be fair,he did record two,very good,recordings of Die Fledermaus. The second one including the infamous Gala Scene with famous opera stars of the day singing show tunes! (including,Birgit Nilsson singing,"I could have danced all Night"). It is fun,now and again!

I would dearly,love to hear the 1905 'complete' recording,with dialogue (see below) but I'm not really happy about parting with all that money for a download! Shocked I was hoping a recording would be released on cd. The advantage,that you can usually get hold of a secondhand cd for much less! Alas! Sad

https://www.truesoundtransfers.de/Titellisten/TT4014.htm

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Chriskh
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2021, 07:28:11 am »

Moser and Matacic can be heard together in a RAI Milan concert performance from the conductor's last years. However, if you like his bright and breezy EMI recording, this couldn't be more different, a slow, nostalgic, valedictory reading, with a Vilja-Lied that demands all of Moser's breath control. Moving, if you're in the mood.
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2021, 07:32:15 am »

Rather oddly, Gueden can be seen and heard singing "Anna Glàvari" in Italian in a RAI TV film with Bruno Maderna conducting. Gorgeous singing, even in the wrong language, and wonderful conducting, too, but ghastly sound, at least in the version I've heard.
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