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Beethoven: Fidelio / Furtwängler, Mödl, Windgassen, Frick


Release Date: 01/19/1993 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 64496   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Sena JurinacAlfred PoellOtto EdelmannWolfgang Windgassen,   ... 
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic OrchestraVienna Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 13 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Recorded in Vienna in 1953, while Furtwängler was conducting a new production with this cast at the Theater an der Wien, this performance is suffused with a glorious sense of unity and rapport between the singers which adds an extra dimension to the ensemble singing. Overall, this version may lack something of the magnitude of the brilliant Klemperer set with Christa Ludwig and Jon Vickers, but it is an outstanding recording nonetheless and is marked by a sublime translucence and spiritual quality.

Almost all the dialogue has been cut (only the Melodram as Leonore and Rocco descend to the dungeon at the start of the second act and Jaquino’s ‘Vater Rocco!’ remain) but it does include the overture Leonore No. 3, as was
Read more customary in Vienna at the time, between the two scenes of Act II. Whatever the arguments against this insertion – that it fits neither dramatically nor harmonically – the Vienna Philharmonic gives a performance (as it does throughout) of such majesty, impeccably balanced and finely detailed, that it is hard to resist.

As far as individual performances are concerned, each member of the cast excels. There is an intensity about Martha Mödl’s style, particularly the way she accentuates the text, that is not to all tastes, but given the impassioned and ecstatic nature of Leonore’s role, it is hardly a fault.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 4 (out of 5)

-- Claire Wrathall, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fidelio, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Sena Jurinac (Soprano), Alfred Poell (Baritone), Otto Edelmann (Bass),
Wolfgang Windgassen (Tenor), Martha Mödl (Soprano), Gottlob Frick (Bass),
Franz Bierbach (Bass), Alwin Hendricks (Tenor)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804/1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1953 
Venue:  Musikvereinssaal, Vienna 
Length: 133 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1804).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1806).
Composition revised: Vienna, Austria (1814). 

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