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Prokofiev: The Fiery Angel / Jarvi, Secunde, Lorenz, Terfel

Release Date: 05/20/2010 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 431669   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Marie FagerbergMärta SchéleMartin AnderssonEsa Aapro,   ... 
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony OrchestraGothenburg Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Works on This Recording

Fiery Angel, Op. 37 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Marie Fagerberg (), Märta Schéle (Soprano), Martin Andersson (),
Esa Aapro (), Jonas Landström (), Torbjörn Borg (),
Ingemar Andersson (), Carl-Gustaf Holmgren (Baritone), Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone),
Gösta Zachrisson (Tenor), Kurt Moll (Bass), Petteri Salomaa (Baritone),
Heinz Zednik (Tenor), Ruthild Engert (Mezzo Soprano), Rosemarie Lang (Mezzo Soprano),
Nadine Secunde (Soprano), Siegfried Lorenz (Baritone), Maria Philgrin (),
Carolina Bengtsdotter (), Helena Lidén (), Monica Danielson (),
Eva Marklund (), Rakel Vaggelyr ()
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923/1927; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 05/1990 
Venue:  Concert House, Gothenburg, Sweden 
Length: 7 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Russian 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Intense and beautiful Fiery Angel from Neeme Järvi October 1, 2016 By Jeffrey S. (Delavan, IL) See All My Reviews "This recording is now25 years old and it has not just held up over the years it has gained in stature and I appreciate it more at every hearing. It isn't an opera I listen to often, maybe every 5 years or so, but I still consider it one of my favorites, go figure. Prokofiev was a great master of composition, he had an unusually fine knack at creating the most unusual and haunting melodies in the midst of a spiky and ruthless musical landscape. If you didn't "take" to his music the first time you heard it you probably never will. He requires the listener to listen closely. If you do that you may become hooked, hypnotized, otherwise stick with Puccini. The Fiery Angel is a deeply ironic story about sexual repression in during the period of history when Inquisitors were roaming the European continent burning 'heretics' at the stake. Fear gave birth to deep neurosis and Renata, the 'heroine' of this opera, embodies twisted results of religious hysteria getting mixed up with physical desire. Then there is the interesting question who exactly is Renata. The Inquisitor, magnificently sung by Kurt Moll, condemns her to burn at the stake because he thinks, or has been conditioned to believe, that she is a succubus of the devil, a Kundry-like serpent that victimizes the men she lusts after. If she were alive now no one would bat an eye at her obsessive stalking of men she has set her sights upon. And there are always men who will play the knight in shining armor and try to rescue her from whatever straitened circumstances she may have created for herself. Renata is a tough role to sing. It isn't exactly a role for a Wagnerian soprano as it requires a fair amount of vocal flexibility, but a good Salome would be a good Renata. Nadine Secunde is a superb Renata. This fine singer made an excellent career not only in Wagner (Sieglinde, Brunnhilde) but specialized in more difficult 'modern' pieces that require higher than normal intelligence and dramatic abilities, not just a bright high voice with a strong middle register with power to cut through a fairly heavy and loud orchestration, but clear diction, perfect rhythmic sense and, on stage, stamina. Galina Gorchakova, a favortie singer of mine, has recorded this role with Valery Gergiev (Philips), also hard to find. (This DGG set is not available except in Arkiv's reproduction issue). I am reviewing from the original DG release and the sound is spectacular, natural, clear and spacious without being in the least echoey. The recording venus for this set was the Goteborg, Konserthus (Gothenburg Concert Hall). It is one of those magnificent wooden Scandinavian concert halls where many fine recordings have been made over the years. There is no knob-twiddling necessary. Neeme Järvi was a greatly admired conductor when he first began recording in Gothenburg, first on the BIS label and later on DGG. He seems to prefer guest conducting positions with the greatest orchestras, and spending intervals of time in a particular place. After he left Gothenberg he moved on to the Detroit Symphony and his recording career slacked off. He is a conductor of such stature as to deserve a major orchestral position, but that requires a lot of unpleasant administrative hassle that may not be his cuppa tea. The Goteborg Symfoniker plays magnificently throughout, relishing the tough, beautiful and moving score Prokofiev composed for this hard-hitting and ultra-dramatic psychological drama. Siegfried Vogel is a fine Ruprecht. Gergiev may have the real thing with his all Russian cast live at the Mariinsky in St Petersburg, but Järvi has an equally fine cast and better sound than Philips managed in the difficult Russian venue. The Russian cast will have the more idiomatic language abilities but I noticed nothing particularly egregious about the pronunciation by Järvi's German, English and Swedish speaking cast. Heinz Zednik sings the two satanic roles, Agrippa and Mephisofeles with his usual panache, vocal beauty and vivid vocal acting. The two mezzo-sopranos, Rosemary Lang (Landlady) and Ruthild Engert-Ely (Fortune-Teller) and firm-voiced and characterful. This set should never be out of the catalogue and Arkiv does a great service by reproducing these excellent out of print recordings, though I wish the original companies had more respect and faith in their finest releases and not just drop them down a hole because they are mega-sellers." Report Abuse
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