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Waldbuhne 2010 - An Evening With Renee Fleming

Flemin,Renee / Marin / Bpo
Release Date: 10/26/2010 
Label:  Euroarts   Catalog #: 2058078  
Composer:  Antonín DvorákRuggero LeoncavalloRichard StraussGiacomo Puccini,   ... 
Performer:  Renée Fleming
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available on Blu-ray

The Waldbühne Concert given by the Berliner Philharmoniker marks the end of the 2009/10 season. More recently visitors to the orchestra’s Waldbühne concerts have been regaled by some of the greatest opera singers of our age, including such operatic legends as Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, the Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón and the wonderful Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. A further high point in the history of the Waldbühne concerts was undoubtedly the appearance of the charismatic American
Read more soprano Renée Fleming, who brought to this “Night of Love” her soft-toned but richly coloured voice. “It’s such a beautiful place,” she told the Berliner Zeitung. “When you’re standing there on the stage, you have the feeling that you can sing into the sky.” Concert-goers must have been able to share this feeling when a singer described by the Daily Telegraph as the “queen of the Metropolitan Opera” sang the highly poetical Song to the Moon from Dvorák’s opera Rusalka and gazed lovingly at the orbiting moon, which had just become visible in the night sky.

Recorded live at the Waldbühne Berlin, 27 June 2010.

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM 2.0 / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: German, English, French
Running time: 125 mins
No. of DVDs: 1

R E V I E W:

In excellent vocal form, in a stunning visual and acoustic location, Renée Fleming enthusiasts, as well as opera lovers in general, should not hesitate.

Originally designed for the infamous 1936 Olympics, the Waldbühne arena in Berlin is built into the Murellen Gorge and steeply raked seats were cut into the rock-face. With the less formal seated on the grass in front of the bandstand there are over twenty two thousand spectators at these concerts. The use of the arena for concerts was discovered by the pop world and now often involves famous opera singers with the likes of Domingo, Pavarotti, and Villazón appearing. The venue has come to mark the end of season festivities of the Berlin Philharmonic.
 
For this end of season concert the conductor was the Romanian-born Ion Marin, now a naturalised Austrian, whilst the guest artist was the American lyric soprano Renée Fleming. Looking stunningly glamorous and seemingly ageless in her series of couture gowns by Angel Sanchez, the fifty-year-old diva did not stint on her contribution in either timing, quality of singing or interpretive insight. Following Marin’s brisk reading of Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain (CH 2) Fleming started with her signature Song to the Moon from Dvo?ák’s water sprite opera, Rusalka (CH 3). Her smooth legato followed the immaculate harp and woodwind introduction as Marin drew soft gentle phrases from the orchestra. Fleming was as secure as ever as was the power of the voice at the conclusion. There’s no sign of spread or beat. This speaks of an artist who has cared for her instrument and what she has asked of it since her professional debut way back in 1986.
 
If the Dvo?ák aria gave one of many titles to this concert, Miss Fleming’s varied programme matched that of the orchestra who were in top form; are they ever anything else? Marin’s choice of repertoire ranging, among others, across Wagner, Elgar and Tchaikovsky. The coverage was as eclectic as that of his singer. Renée Fleming took on the long scene from Richard Strauss’ Capriccio (CH 5) where, after the dramatic start, her singing in tonal beauty, strength and characterisation showed just why certain of the composer’s works are favourites of hers. In this she follows her illustrious predecessor, Kiri Te Kanawa, whose vocal type, strengths and longevity of tonal lustre she mirrors. The difference with Korngold’s Gl ùck, das mir verbieb from his iconoclastic Die tote Stadt was as interesting as it was arresting (CH 7). But for me a most interesting aria was Donde lieta uscì from Puccini’s La Bohème. Mimi is a role she first sang in 1989 for her debut at New York’s City Opera. Whilst she has undertaken Puccini’s consumptive fairly regularly in recent years I have not noticed Mimi featured. A pity, as like the older Mirella Freni she brings many an insight to Mimi’s plight in that heart-rending aria (CH 10). It was an inspiration of casting to include the two extracts from Leoncavallo’s opera of the same name (CHs 11-12). Needless to say, Miss Fleming brought real feeling to Liu’s plea to the emotionally glacial Princess Turandot in Tu che di gel sei cinta (CH 13) from Puccini’s last opera. Her final contribution to a great evening was a gentle and heartfelt rending of the same composer’s ever-popular O mio babbino caro (CH 16) from Gianni Schicchi.
 
Renée Fleming was the visiting star, but she did not overshadow the home orchestra whose Romeo and Juliet (CH 14) was their answer to her Capriccio extract which they had accompanied with such taste. The camera-work between soloist, members of the orchestra in lounge suits and the rapt audience in various parts of the arena was first rate. With singer and orchestra on top form this night, when the weather behaved immaculately and followed Germany beating England in the football World Cup earlier in the day, was as appropriate a celebration as any in the audience could have wished for. Congratulations to Euroarts for bringing the concert out on DVD so soon after the event. It should feature in many a Christmas stocking.
 
– Robert J Farr, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Rusalka, Op. 114/B 203: O moon high up "Song to the moon" by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Bohemia 
2.
La Bohème: Excerpt(s) by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: romantic 
Written: 1897; Italy 
3.
Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 1, Zueignung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
4.
La Bohème: Donde lieta uscì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
5.
Die tote Stadt, Op. 12: Glück, das mir verblieb "Mariettalied" by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Capriccio, Op. 85: Morgenmittag um elf! by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940-1941; Germany 
7.
Hora staccato by Grigoras Dinicu
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; Romania 
8.
Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 
9.
Salut d'amour, Op. 12 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1889; England 
10.
Spartacus: Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia by Aram Khachaturian
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Modern 
Written: 1955 
11.
Night on the Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Ion Marin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; Russia 

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