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Beethoven: Fidelio / Barenboim, Domingo, Meier, Et Al


Release Date: 01/18/2000 
Label:  Teldec   Catalog #: 25249   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Placido DomingoRené PapeFalk StruckmannKwangchul Youn,   ... 
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper ChorusBerlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 38 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Consistency and coherence are the hallmarks of Barenboim’s traditionalist Fidelio, a slap in the face to authenticists and their kind, but a triumphant vindication of Beethoven’s oft-maligned musico-dramatic vision. Originating in semi-staged performances in Chicago, shorn of dialogue but provided with a newly minted narration devised by Edward Said (reprinted in the booklet but not included on the recording), this Fidelio unfolds as a symphonic array of sharply etched musical snapshots, diverse in character but unified by a singular intensity of purpose.

The co-ordinates of this Fidelio are well mapped out from the outset by the preference for the brooding second Leonore Overture and the (Beethoven-sanctioned) reversal of
Read more the first two vocal numbers: Marzelline’s plainte d’amour is presented here as no mere stage pathos, but symptomatic of the deeper malaise pervading the entire opera, thereby subordinating the problematic Singspiel qualities of the first scene to the weightier overview. The Marzelline and Jaquino – the excellently paired Soile Isokoski and Werner Güra – are ideally cast here, darker of voice than usual and, in the Quartet, perfectly integrated with the genial Rocco of René Pape and the remarkable Leonore of Waltraud Meier.

Meier must indeed be the most accomplished Leonore for many years, finding no apparent rupture between the proto-Wagnerian rhetoric of ‘Abscheulicher!’ and the almost Gluckian severity of the succeeding ‘Komm, Hoffnung’. As with Domingo’s similarly peerless, aristocratic Florestan – effortlessly despatched – technique and interpretation are indistinguishable. With the addition of Falk Struckmann’s irascible Pizarro, robust contributions from the Chorus of Berlin’s German State Opera and first-class playing from the Berlin Staatskapelle, this absorbing Fidelio must surely replace the ubiquitous Klemperer as the current benchmark – and not before time.

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

-- BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fidelio, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Placido Domingo (Tenor), René Pape (Bass), Falk Struckmann (Bass Baritone),
Kwangchul Youn (Bass), Waltraud Meier (Soprano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano),
Werner Güra (Tenor), Klaus Häger (Baritone)
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804/1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1999 
Venue:  Broadcasting Hall, East German Radio 
Length: 124 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: The overture used for this performance is the Leonore Overture no 2, Op. 72.
Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1804).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1806).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1814). 
2.
Leonore Overture no 1 in C major, Op. 138 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1999 
Venue:  Broadcasting Hall, East German Radio 
Length: 11 Minutes 27 Secs. 
3.
Leonore Overture no 3 in C major, Op. 72a by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1999 
Venue:  Broadcasting Hall, East German Radio 
Length: 15 Minutes 26 Secs. 
4.
Fidelio, Op. 72: Overture in E major by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1999 
Venue:  Broadcasting Hall, East German Radio 
Length: 6 Minutes 54 Secs. 

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