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Berg: Lulu, Wozzeck / Karl Böhm, Lear, Fischer-dieskau

Release Date: 04/08/2003 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 435705   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Alban Berg
Performer:  Martin VantinRobert KoffmaneKurt BöhmeKarl [bass baritone] Kohn,   ... 
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper ChorusBerlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 36 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

BERG Wozzeck. Lulu: acts I & II Karl Böhm, cond; Evelyn Lear ( Marie/Lulu ); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau ( Wozzeck/Dr. Schön ); Helmut Melchert ( Drum Major ); Fritz Wunderlich ( Andres ); Gerhard Stolze ( Hauptmann ); Karl Christian Kohn ( Read more class="ARIAL12i">Doctor ); Patricia Johnson ( Geschwitz ); Barbara Scherler ( Gymnasiast ); Josef Griendl ( Schigolch ); Loren Driscoll ( Painter ); Donald Grobe ( Alwa ) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 435705 (3 CDs: 216:36 Text and Translation)

Karl Böhm was the conducting world’s tortoise to his contemporaries’ hares. Soft-spoken yet forceful, methodical and not given to telling people things twice, he was a “quiet martinet,” the flip side to such volatile talents as Toscanini, Rodzinski, and Solti. Yet he resented them less than he resented those conductors who, he felt, put public image and ego ahead of interpretation, particularly Karajan, whose performances of Strauss and Wagner he intensely disliked, and Bernstein, whose performances of almost everything irked him. Ironically, he was particularly noted in America and England as a Mozart conductor, yet Mozart was the one composer whose music he conducted a bit too much on the slow side.

As time wore on, however, Böhm’s recordings of other music made it to our shores, and so little by little we came to admire his combination of fastidiousness and excitement in such music as that of Schubert, Beethoven, Strauss, and this surprising recording of Berg’s operas. Like many of his generation, Böhm respected Berg’s widow’s demands to perform Lulu incomplete, but no matter. This performance has an edge, an excitement, and a sense of instrumental precision that in my view eclipses the celebrated Boulez recording of the complete opera. More importantly, no one, not even the redoubtable Leif Segerstam on Naxos, has managed to eclipse this Wozzeck. It is so perfectly performed in every respect that one comes away from it in awe. No matter that one may prefer a certain individual voice in certain roles, particularly that of Marie; everyone is so committed to Böhm’s vision of the music, and his overall sweep, that one is carried away with it. Perfection is always rare, more so in music of this complexity. I hope this recording will remain in the catalog forever.

FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

Wozzeck, Op. 7 by Alban Berg
Performer:  Martin Vantin (Tenor), Robert Koffmane (Tenor), Kurt Böhme (Bass),
Karl [bass baritone] Kohn (Baritone), Gerhard Stolze (Tenor), Helmut Melchert (Tenor),
Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor), Evelyn Lear (Soprano), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone),
Alice Oelke (Mezzo Soprano), Walter Muggelberg (Baritone)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1922; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Venue:  Ufa-Studio, Berlin 
Length: 89 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: German 
Lulu by Alban Berg
Performer:  Josef Greindl (Bass), Donald Grobe (Tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone),
Ernst Krukowski (Baritone), Leopold Clam (Tenor), Karl-Ernst Mercker (Tenor),
Gerd Feldhoff (Baritone), Patricia Johnson (Mezzo Soprano), Evelyn Lear (Soprano),
Barbara Scherler (Mezzo Soprano), Loren Driscoll (Tenor), Wilhelm Walter Dicks (Baritone),
Alice Oelke (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1935; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Venue:  Live  Deutsche Oper, Berlin 
Length: 126 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: German 

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