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Festspieldokumente- Beethoven: Fidelio / Furtwangler, Et Al

Release Date: 03/06/2001 
Label:  Emi Classics Special Import Catalog #: 64901   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Elisabeth SchwarzkopfHans BraunPaul SchöfflerJosef Greindl,   ... 
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera ChorusVienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 30 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Listening to Kirsten Flagstad’s ‘Abscheulicher!’ on this legendary 1950 Salzburg Festival recording, at last issued officially in a decent CD transfer, one can’t help calling to mind the young Richard Wagner’s star-struck admiration for another larger-than-life Leonore, Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient. In both cases personal charisma and a vivid sense of drama were ample compensation for declining vocal powers (though in Flagstad’s case the mature sound of her later years is remarkably free from the persistent wobble affecting today’s superstars).

As with every singer on this recording, dramatic verisimilitude is a by-product of a secure vocal technique, a coaxing-out of what is latent in the music, rather than a distorting
Read more factor applied from without. A striking instance is Paul Schöffler, whose glorious tone turns Pizarro into a tragic, even noble figure. Patzak’s dignified Florestan, too, has yet to be surpassed, heroic, yet tinged with a gentle pathos.

Similar sterling qualities inform Greindl’s benevolent and firmly sung Rocco, as well as Schwarzkopf’s and Dermota’s fresh-sounding Marzelline and Jaquino. And to crown it all we have the incandescent conducting of Wilhelm Furtwängler, a palpable, though silent, presence even under the spoken dialogue. Need one say more?

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 3 (out of 5)

-- Antony Bye, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

Fidelio, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano), Hans Braun (Bass), Paul Schöffler (Baritone),
Josef Greindl (Bass), Anton Dermota (Tenor), Hermann Gallos (Tenor),
Julius Patzak (Tenor), Kirsten Flagstad (Soprano), Ljubomir Pantscheff (Bass)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804/1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/05/1950 
Venue:  Live  Festspielhaus, Salzburg 
Length: 149 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1804).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1806).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1814). 

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