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Beethoven: Fidelio / Klemperer, Ludwig, Vickers, Frick

Release Date: 08/15/2000 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 67361   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Christa LudwigWalter BerryJon VickersGottlob Frick,   ... 
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraPhilharmonia Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 23 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Even if you have the earlier transfer of this colossus-like performance, try to sample EMI's newest remastering. It's quite something. The orchestral and choral detail were always proportioned and focused, but now boast greater definition and thrust, with more air around the notes. There's little I can add to all the critical huzzahs that have greeted Klemperer's Fidelio since its release in 1962. The Philharmonia Orchestra's unvarnished dynamism matches its conductor's symphonic breadth and carefully worked out transitions, and the smartly trained Philharmonia Chorus doesn't obscure a single word. Jon Vickers is more straightforward and fresh of voice as Florestan than in his more studied, self-concious
Read more remake under Karajan. As Leonore, Christa Ludwig's dark, flawlessly equalized soprano easily surmounts the part's cruel demands. Walter Berry's snarling Don Pizarro has plenty of villainous bile, while Gottlob Frick gives Rocco's witless character more dignity than usual. And there's enough spoken dialogue to keep the story clear. Full texts and translations, plus excellent notes help clinch this recording's long-held benchmark status. Walter Legge's uncompromising production values easily stand the test of time. In sum, a recording that clearly deserves EMI's Great Recordings of the Century banner. [10/23/2000]

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Fidelio, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Christa Ludwig (Mezzo Soprano), Walter Berry (Bass Baritone), Jon Vickers (Tenor),
Gottlob Frick (Bass), Ingeborg Hallstein (Soprano), Gerhard Unger (Tenor),
Franz Crass (Bass Baritone), Kurt Wehofschitz (Tenor), Raymond Wolansky (Baritone)
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804/1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1962 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 128 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection was recorded in Kingsway Hall and EMI Abbey Road Studio
no 1.
Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1804).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1806).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1814). 
Leonore Overture no 3 in C major, Op. 72a by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1963 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 38 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Fabulous Classic Recording January 11, 2014 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "What a great recording this is! Forget Beethoven's implausible story line and just sit back and enjoy the artistry of Otto Klemperer's direction and the brilliance of the entire cast. In the leading roles, Christa Ludwig, John Vickers, Gottlob Frick, and Walter Berry deliver sensational performances to bring Beethoven's sense of humanity to life in a stirringly dramatic way. The Philharmonia Orchestra's sound is deep and luxurious, and the Philharmonia Chorus adds a powerful factor throughout the entire work. EMI's re-mastering of this early 1960's recording results in sonic qualities which completely belie its 50 years. Absolutely standing the test of time, Otto Klemperer's Fidelio is surely one of the crown jewels in his distinguished career. If you are looking for a Fidelio with orchestral grandeur, superb singing, and demonstrable artistic integrity, look no further. Highest recommendations!!" Report Abuse
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