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J. Strauss Jr.: Die Fledermaus / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Gedda


Release Date: 09/21/1999 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 67153   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Luise MartiniElisabeth SchwarzkopfNicolai GeddaRita Streich,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraPhilharmonia Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 40 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

One is struck by the animation of the production. The musical performance is both polished and exuberant. It is astonishing what precision Karajan achieves, not only from his singers but from the Philharmonia players.

So soon after reviewing Karajan's live Vienna State Opera recording of Fledermaus from RCA (7/99) - lively but with acres of dialogue and inevitably flawed - it has been a special joy to return to this classic set, the aptest of candidates for EMI's Great Recordings of the Century. The contrasts between the new CD transfer and EMI's previous one may be relatively subtle, but they make a great difference, so that one completely forgets that this is in mono, not stereo. Above all, this time the extra sense
Read more of presence and space makes for a clearer separation of the voices, well-forward in the manner of EMI's recordings in the mid-1950s.

In his note, RO quotes Schwarzkopf on what Karajan (and her husband, Walter Legge, as producer) were seeking to bring out: 'grit, dash, pep'. That may sound as though the result is serious rather than comic, but not at all so. What above all has struck me afresh at this latest hearing is the animation of the production. The dialogue is so strongly characterized and so brilliantly acted, with each character so sharply defined, that even the most determined non-German-speaker will not only follow but be charmed by it.

Legge's editing down of the dialogue was very much part of his concept, alongside the immaculate, inspired casting of soloists. The very first confrontation between Streich as the parlourmaid, Adele, and Schwarzkopf as Rosalinde, her mistress, is delicious, with the characters so vividly heightened. So it is throughout the set. One may question the choice of a tenor Orlofsky, but Karajan and Legge were following the example of Max Reinhardt in his famous Berlin production of 1929, and Rudolf Christ in cabaret style presents a wonderfully convincing portrait of an effete, slightly tipsy nobleman. As for the others, it would be hard to imagine more compelling portraits than these, consistently reflecting Legge's genius in assembling his team.

The musical performance, like the deft speaking of the dialogue, is both polished and exuberant. It is astonishing what precision Karajan achieves in his moulding of Viennese rubato, not only from his singers but from the Philharmonia players. Unlike the previous CD incarnation this one offers a complete libretto and translation. The dialogue is tracked separately, but I cannot imagine anyone wanting to omit it when it adds so much - very economically in time - to the total joy of the experience.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [10/1999]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Luise Martini (Spoken Vocals), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor),
Rita Streich (Soprano), Erich Kunz (Baritone), Helmut Krebs (Tenor),
Rudolf Christ (Tenor), Karl Dönch (Baritone), Franz Böheim (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1955 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 110 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster): Ouvertüre
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Täubchen, das entflattert ist (Alfred)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Ha-ha-ha-ha! Da schreibt meine Schwester Ida (Adele)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Ich muß mir für heute Abend Ausgang erschwindein!.... Adele, ist mein Mann schon nach Haus gekommen? (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Ach, ich darf nicht hin zu dir!...Du darfst heut' nicht zu ihr (Adele/Rosalinde)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Wie glücklich die alte Tante ist...(Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Nein, mit solchen Advokaten
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Beruh'ge endlich diese Wut
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Rekurrieren - Appellieren (Eisenstein/Rosalinde/Blind)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Also, noch verschärft die Strafe? (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Komm mit mir zum Souper (Falke/Eisenstein)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Ja, was ist denn los? Ihr tanzt und singt (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: So muß ich allein bleiben (Rosalinde/Eisenstein/Adele)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Er weint und tanzt zugleich (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Trinke, Liechen, trinke schnell
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Mein Herr, was dächten Sie von mir
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act One: Nein, nein, ich zweifle gar nicht mehr (Alfred/Rosalinde/Franck)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Ein Souper heut'uns winkt (Chor/4 Diener/5 Gäste)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Amüsement! Amüsement! (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Ich lade gem mir Gäste ein (Orlofsky/Eisenstein)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Das sind allerdings...Aber heute möchte ich herzlich lachen... (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Ach, meine Herren und Damen, hier gibt es einen Spaß! (Orlofsky/Falke/Chor/Adele/Eisenstein)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Mein Herr Marquis, ein Mann wie Sie... (Adele/Chor)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Na, Herr Marquis (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Es ist also wirklich wahr....(Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Dieser Anstand, so manierlich (Eisenstein/Rosalinde)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Haha, lieber Marquis (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Klänge der Heimat (Rosalinde)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Ausgezeichnet, bravo! (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Im Feuerstrom der Reben (Orlofsky/Chor/Adele/Eisenstein)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Herr Chevalier, ich grüße Sie!....Brüderlein, Bruderlein und Schwesterlein (Eisenstein/Franck/Falke/Rosalinde/Adele/Chor/Orlofsky)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Two: Genug, damit, genug!...Ja, ja ein Tanz ein wirbelnder Tanz (Orlofsky/Chor/Eisenstein/Frank/Rosalinde/Falke/Adele/Ida
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Entreakt
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Hallo, also das ist ein fideles Gefängnis (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Hahaha, da bin ich wieder in meinem Palais (Frank)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Ah, der Herr Direktor ist schon da! (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Spiel'ich die Unschuld vom Lande (Adele)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Bravo, ganz entzückend! (Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Ich stehe voll Zagen...Um Rar ihn zu fragen...Pack'ich ihn beirn Kragen
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Da Sie alles wissen nun (Rosalinde/Alfred/Eisenstein)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: Du wagst es mir...(Dialogue)
Die Fledermaus (1999 Digital Remaster), Act Three: O Fledermaus! O Fledermaus! (Eisenstein/Falke/Orlofsky/Adele/Alfred/Rosalinde/Frank/Chor)

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