Notes and Editorial Reviews
Carlos Kleiber, cond; Claire Watson (
); Brigitte Fassbaender (
); Karl Ridderbusch (
); Hilda de Groote (
); Benno Kusche (
); et al; Bavarian St Op O & Ch
OPERA D’ORO 1466
(3 CDs: 176:17) Live: Monaco 7/20/1974
Carlos Kleiber never recorded
commercially, and that remains a pity. But fortunately a number of live performances Kleiber made throughout the years have survived. The present release on Opera d’Oro may have been one of the best. Taken from a memorable night in Monaco in 1974, this release has a lot to marvel at.
Kleiber’s magnificent conducting and the orchestra’s exquisite playing are the main reasons for acquiring this release. Kleiber was a magician, and what he does here is once again outstanding. There’s a kind of confidence and humor in the way the music flows. The Bavarian Opera Orchestra plays with great commitment and technical excellence. The strings glow like old gold, and the winds are richly colorful.
The cast is fine, too. Claire Watson as the Marschallin may not have the purity of Schwarzkopf on her legendary EMI recording with Karajan, but she certainly has many qualities. She and the brilliant Brigitte Fassbaender as Octavian form a fantastic pair of lovers. Karl Ridderbusch is a fine Ochs, and Hilda de Groote is equally admirable as Sophie. The rest of the cast is never less than very good.
The only weakness of this release is the sound. The orchestra and singers remain fuzzy and out of focus throughout. Everyone seems to be positioned at least a hundred meters away from the microphones. And the singers are regularly overpowered by the orchestra.
This is a great artistic performance with many enjoyable moments. If you don’t mind the mediocre, blurry sound, you should get this one.
FANFARE: Bart Verhaeghe
Works on This Recording
Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59 by Richard Strauss
Karl Ridderbusch (),
Brigitte Fassbaender (),
Claire Watson ()
Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,
Bavarian State Opera Chorus
Written: 1909-1910; Germany
Date of Recording: 1974
Venue: Live Monaco
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