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Ariadne Auf Naxos (Staatskapelle Dresden, Sinopoli)

Ben Heppner Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden
  • Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (15 Oct 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00005ND47
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - Orchestral IntroductionStaatskapelle Dresden 2:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - "Mein Herr Haushofmeister!"Albert Dohmen 5:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - "Du allmächtiger Gott!"Anne Sofie von Otter 6:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - Hast ein Stückerl Notenpapier?Jürgen Commichau 3:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - Ist schon geschehn. Wir sind bereitRomuald Pekny 8:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - Nein, Herr, so kommt es nichtNatalie Dessay 5:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - "Ein Augenblick ist wenig"Natalie Dessay 5:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Prologue - "Sein wir wieder gut" - "Musik ist eine heilige Kunst"Anne Sofie von Otter 3:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - OvertureStaatskapelle Dresden 3:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Schläft sie?"Eva Kirchner 3:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - Wo war ich? Tot?Deborah Voigt 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - Ein Schönes war: hiess Theseus - AriadneDeborah Voigt 7:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen, Zagen"Eva Kirchner 2:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Es gibt ein Reich"Deborah Voigt 6:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Die Dame gibt mit trüben Sinn" - "Wie sie sich schwingen"Christoph Genz 5:00£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Großmächtige Prinzessin"Natalie Dessay11:10Album Only
Listen  2. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Hübsch gepredigt! Aber tauben Ohren!" - "Eine Stör- rische zu trösten"Natalie Dessay 8:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Ein schönes Wunder!"Eva Kirchner 3:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Circe, kannst du mich hören?"Deborah Voigt 6:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - Theseus! Nein, nein!Deborah Voigt10:35Album Only
Listen  6. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - Das waren Zauberworte!Deborah Voigt 3:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Op.60 / Opera - "Gibt es kein Hinüber?"Deborah Voigt 7:49£0.79  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a recording 10 Jun 2008
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Some of the previous Amazon.com reviews of this set are pretty sour and begrudging - I think you have to be rather spoiled not to appreciate the standard of singing, playing and interpretation in this, Sinopoli's operatic recording swansong. I am not saying that you should endorse it simply because it was the final opera recording of a great conductor; I think it can stand on its own without sentimentality. The "Gramophone" reviewer was similarly snooty about the supposed "coldness" of this interpretation, (even though he admitted that that the cast was as spectacular as you could assemble today) but I don't hear it that way. I love the old Kempe recording of this entrancing opera, with Janowitz, Zylis-Gara and Sylvia Geszty, but not even the divine Gundula can sing the highest notes with the ease and purity that Voigt brings to this majestic role. The orchestra is the same in both recordings and the Staatskapelle is wonderful in both - but the extra clarity and depth of sound in the newer recording really permits the listener to hear the nuances and detail of Sinopoli's direction - and they make such a full, rich sound in those magical closing pages, for a mere thirty players.

As much as I admire James King, he does not bring Ben Heppner's refulgence of tone to the killer tenor role of Bacchus. Heppner and Dessay, like Voigt, almost make it sound easy - and perhaps that is why some reviewers accuse them of being "faceless" in their characterisation. I don't find it so; it's such a pleasure to hear three great voices in top form. Perhaps Dessay is too gentle and seductive as Zerbinetta - a tad more acid would not go amiss - but she is witty and knowing, as she should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an honorable effort 8 Nov 2013
By Stanley Crowe TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Singing is an effortful business, and with good singers, in the ambience of the theatre, the audience is not conscious of the effort but only of the result -- the accurate pitching, the clean line, the attention to phrasing. On record, the producer needs to be careful to handle the microphone positioning so that what the listener hears is something close to what one might hear in the opera house. When singers usually as reliably steady as Anne Sofie Von Otter and Deborah Voigt sound stressed, then there are problems with equipment placing, and that is a problem in this otherwise fine recording. It's a credit to Ben Heppner and Stephan Genz that they remain steady under the close scrutiny of the recording -- Heppner's Bacchus is, in fact, astoundingly good in very forceful music at the end of the opera, and Voigt is effective there too, though the microphones don't flatter the high hard notes. Earlier in the "Oper" section, in "Es gibt ein Reich," Voigt is very good indeed. The biggest drawback in the "Oper" is Dessay's Zerbinetta -- she makes very heavy weather of "Grossmachtige Prinzessin" and sounds unsteady and shrill for too much of it. Rita Streich's account on the old mono Karajan from 1954 is in a different league. In general, though, the whole Vorspiel business is charmingly done, with Dohmen a fine Music Master and Von Otter an ardent Composer, even when both suffer a bit from the recording. Sinopoli, in his last recording before his untimely death, conducts warmly, and the orchestral sound is fine.

What to make of the opera as a whole? It certainly has its moments, and the Vorspiel is clever and engaging, as is the beginning of the "Oper," but I find the ending a bit anticlimactic. For all Heppner's great singing, his music isn't interesting. If you want transformation in Strauss, go to the beginning of Act Two of "Rosenkavalier." That's magic. This strains to be magic, and that's not the performers' fault.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift horse - don't look it in the mouth! 5 Jan 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Dedicated Strauss lovers, or those for whom Ariadne is a favourite opera, will naturally have preferences for this or that recording. They will, indeed, presumably have several recordings, each for a different reason. In France, Karajan's EMI version with Schwarzkopf is considered the absolute benchmark ; but many in the UK, for example, find Schwarzkopf mannered and will always remind you that she couldn't sing the role on stage; and there are those (unaccountably perhaps) who believe Seefried couldn't sing a single note right. You might buy Bohm's live for the pleasure of hearing Hilde Guden as Zerbinetta, but have the distinct feeling that it was an off night for the usually peerless Lisa della Casa, whose lower range on this live is disconcertingly reminiscent of Anna Russell parodying Wagner (though I should immediately add that her upper register is as glorious as ever). Jessye Norman's Ariadne, impressive to say the least, is probably one of her best recordings, but as we see elsewhere on this page, Edita Gruberova is not to everyone's taste. There's no satisfying everyone, it seems.
These same Strauss specialists will naturally compare Sinopoli's new version with the others and find good points and bad, depending largely on their taste in conductors and singers. Has Ben Heppner left it a little late to record the role? How well would he, or Von Otter, project in the opera house rather than in front of a microphone? Those who have heard Natalie Dessay live know that recording somehow doesn't do her voice and acting skills justice (although this recording is the best of hers I've yet heard). But let's not look a gift horse in the mouth! In an age of constant complaints that there are no competent singers left and when new versions of operas frequently add nothing whatsoever to the existing catalogue, this set should be welcomed as an outstanding achievement. For the specialists, it will not replace other versions of an opera which, as is often the case with the Strauss "majors," is well served on disc, but it must surely join them for bringing together an exceptional contemporary cast, for the superb achievement (almost an understatement!) of the Dresden players, and for the beautifully detailed recording: listening on headphones, I for one discovered a wealth of detail in the score I'd never heard before.
Presumably many people searching through this web site, rather than being specialists out to compare versions, are looking to buy and get to know Ariadne for the first time, and reading the reviews to see if this is a version they might purchase. The answer, without hesitation, is yes, with this set you cannot go far wrong.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a recording 10 Jun 2008
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Some of the previous Amazon.com reviews of this set are pretty sour and begrudging - I think you have to be rather spoiled not to appreciate the standard of singing, playing and interpretation in this, Sinopoli's operatic recording swansong. I am not saying that you should endorse it simply because it was the final opera recording of a great conductor; I think it can stand on its own without sentimentality. The "Gramophone" reviewer was similarly snooty about the supposed "coldness" of this interpretation, (even though he admitted that that the cast was as spectacular as you could assemble today) but I don't hear it that way. I love the old Kempe recording of this entrancing opera, with Janowitz, Zylis-Gara and Sylvia Geszty, but not even the divine Gundula can sing the highest notes with the ease and purity that Voigt brings to this majestic role. The orchestra is the same in both recordings and the Staatskapelle is wonderful in both - but the extra clarity and depth of sound in the newer recording really permits the listener to hear the nuances and detail of Sinopoli's direction - and they make such a full, rich sound in those magical closing pages, for a mere thirty players.

As much as I admire James King, he does not bring Ben Heppner's refulgence of tone to the killer tenor role of Bacchus. Heppner and Dessay, like Voigt, almost make it sound easy - and perhaps that is why some reviewers accuse them of being "faceless" in their characterisation. I don't find it so; it's such a pleasure to hear three great voices in top form. Perhaps Dessay is too gentle and seductive as Zerbinetta - a tad more acid would not go amiss - but she is witty and knowing, as she should be. The supporting roles are beautifully taken, too; Von Otter sounds more vivid than I have heard her elsewhere; there is an artist whom I admit to finding bland, sometimes - but not here. Particularly fine are Stefan Genz's pointed, elegant singing as Harlekin and Albert Dohmen's rich tones as the Music Master.

I am no fan of Schwarzkopf's mannered, overpointed style and the old Karajan recording is mono, so you cannot enjoy the orchestra colours as fully as in this atmospheric DG set. I love the 1968 Kempe account, mainly for the creamy, soaring purity of Janowitz and Zylis-Gara's adorable Composer, and would not be without it - but this is the best recommendation if you want one set only.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Luxurious, Perfect Ariadne 12 April 2007
By The Cultural Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't understand why some reviewers would give this magnificent recording less than five stars, because the cast, the conductor, and the orchestra are caught at the top of their game! Even if Giuseppe Sinopoli were replaced by a lesser conductor and the orchestra had been the Bavarian Radio or the RAI Symphony, the vocal forces assembled around this Ariadne are simply sensational! Best of the lot is Deborah Voigt's Ariadne, who is in my opinion the best soprano to have ever sung the part. It lacks the self-conscious, academic interpretation of Schwarzkopf and the indulgent jazz swoops of Jessye Norman, but that is all for the better considering how Voigt gets into the part of the character. Her luscious, silvery, creamy voice works wonders for the part of the prima donna, and her Ariadne is sung with a sense of Grecian abandon unheard in sopranos before her. I would say that this perhaps is the best recording of her discography, and brava to Deborah Voigt for making a specialty out of this role!

Voigt is partnered by the likes of Ben Heppner, Dessay, Von Otter, and Dohmen, artists of a prime calibre who are able to bring an interpretive grain to their music. Ben Heppner's large, heroic timbre fits Bacchus' high-lying, difficult music perfectly, and it is wonderful to know that he has finally overcome that vocal crisis of his so that he can once again share that voice of his with us. I don't think I've ever heard Bacchus sung better by any tenor except James King. Natalie Dessay is a three-dimensional Zerbinetta with sexiness, naughtiness, and warmth, and she is also equipped with all the coloratura in the world to perform the part's difficult pyrotechnics. Her transformation in the opera is a portrayal of this great artist's skill in turning this essentially cardboard role into a character full of life, wisdom, and compassion. I would take her Zerbinetta any day over Gruberova! Von Otter is sensational as the Composer, her chiaroscuro timbre portraying the polar temperament of this character. Although she would never erase the memories of Tatiana Troyanos, von Otter is nonetheless a prime interpreter of the part with a knack for uncovering the dramatic nuances of the part. Albert Dohmen is a vocally endowed music-master, better than the dry-voiced Fischer-Dieskau in his recording with Masur.

Of course, this recording would not achieve its legendary status without Sinopoli and the Dresden forces, perhaps the greatest Straussian orchestra in the world. Sinopoli conducts the score with outstanding clarity, movement, and verve, every instrument speaking out of the pages with an Italianate passion that only he could bring to the score. Oh that we would hope that he had lived longer to conduct Die Liebe der Danae with this team!

In short, this recording is highly recommended!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All that glitters is not gold. 11 Jun 2009
By Angus W. Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When this was first released I thought all my Christmases had come at once. One of my favourite operas with my favourite conductor with a ripsnorter of an orchestra and the best singers for the roles you could possibly find ( I had been dying to hear Von Otter sing the Composer)all recorded with DG sonic splendour.

So what went wrong? It is very hard to put your finger on because all the ingredients seem to be there. There is so much fine singing. Deborah Voight is a marvel, as always. Heppner makes the daunting role of Bacchus sound like a walk in the park as does Dessay with Zerbinetta. Maybe that is the problem. There is definately a lack of involvement with the performance from all concerned to the extent that it is difficult to emotionally connect to the drama. Listen to the little love duet with Zerbinetta and the Composer "Ein Augenblick". One of the most tender and magical moments of the opera, is flat. It is not just the singing, the orchestral accompaniment, while precise, is uninspiring. It is the total opposite from your normal Sinopoli recording where listeners are split over there being too much emotion.

The three great arias are also underwhelming which is puzzling considering the singing is of such a high quality. I am afraid the quality must lie with Sinopoli, and you don't know how much it hurts me to say that.

I return to this recording frequently, if only to hear these voices in the role and I do often find more to like, but it is in fits and starts. There are several great recordings available if you are new to this work and want to discover its weird but wonderful magic. Try Kempe, Karajan, Masur or Davis (DVD) or Solti (if you can put up with Price's swooping, worth it for Troyanos) .
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which Ariadne is the best on CD? 18 Sep 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Strauss's chamber opera, preceded by a theatrical spoof as a first act, has had devoted -- even besotted -- admirers since it first appeared. There have been half a dozen notable recordings in the modern era, but I think only four are serious rivals for top place. Let me give the pluses and minuses of each as fairly as I can.

1954 Karajan (EMI) - The Karajan set hasn't been out of print for over fifty years, and its two biggest pluses are unarguable: a dream cast of hand-picked singers and the young Karajan's superb conducting. Schwarzkopf gives one of her greatest performances in the title role, a miracle of technique and characterization. All the other roles match hers in theatricalaity and freshness. Rita Streich amazes with her accuracy and briliance in the coloratura role of Zerbinetta. The weak link (this will become a familiar theme) is the tenor who must engage the voice-killing role of Bacchus. Rudolf Schock sounds tight and strained, but overall he's doing as good a job as all but the very best.
The minues are few, consisting mainly of the boxy, dry mono sound that remastering can't disguise. At least EMI has managed to remove some shirlliness from the high frequencies, and one can say that the final product is quite listenable.

1987 Levine (DG) - I am skipping ovver a Sixties recording under Kempe (EMI) that some critics rate very high. I much prefer James Levine, who made the first recording of Ariadne on CD. He leads members of the Vienna Phil. in a sweet-toned, deliberately paced reading that is quite sumptuous. His cast mirrors a very good night at either the Met or the Vienna State Opera. Tomova-Sintov gives her all dramatically as Ariadne, and despite some vocal strain, she triumphs in the role of the vulnerable stranded heroine. Even better is Kathleen Battle as the most coquettish and sweet-voiced of Zerbinettas. Levine had picked Gary Lakes as his Siegmund in Walkure, but the Texas heldentenor was never a star. Here he's quite good, however, as Bacchus, despite some tightness in the upper range.
There are no serious minuses. The unremastered digital sound tends to be a bit metallic and shrill in the upper ranges, but not seriously so.

1988 Masur (Philips) -- Coming so soon after Levine's set, Masur's is equally impressive overall, even if it's not the last word in theatricality. The conducting is solid Kapellmeister work without being brilliant, yet Masur has an ace in the hole with the recorded sound, which is airy, detailed, and delicious -- no rival comes close. His Leipzig Gewandhaus musicians play with refinement and delicacy, making up for Masur's occasional lack of dramatic thrust. The cast is dominated by the stellar Ariadne of Jesseye Norman, the only modern soprano to give Schwarzkopf a run for her money. As always, Norman doesn't bother to offer much in the way of character -- she lets her sumptous, effortless singing carry the day, and it does. Her Bacchus is the effective but hardly great Canadian heldentenor Paul Frey, who otherwise never had much of a recorded career. Edita Gruberova was an authoritative Zerbinetta on stage; I find her a bit edgy and shrill, however. Special mention should be made of the famous husband-and-wife team, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Julia Varady, who are outstanding as the Music Master and Composer (Varady is surprisingly successful at bringing a sosprano voice to a role usual taken by mezzos).
The minuses are negligible. For me the pacing is a bit staid, and I wish Norman were more than a glorious voice.

2001 Sinopoli (DG) - This set was released just after Sinopoli's premature death while conducting Aida in Berlin, and it's a fitting tribute to his vivid, imaginative way with Strauss. Acclaimed for his Salome with Cheryl Studer (DG), Sinopoli is jsut as good with Ariadne. His singers are the second 'dream cast' that this fortunate opera has received over the years. As a pair, the Ariadne and Bacchus have never been bettered. Deborah Voigt has a perfect Strauss voice, and Ben Heppner delivers a thrilling Bacchus that is far ahead of the competition for ease, sweetness, and musicality. Voigt can't match Schwarzkopf in dramatic authority, but the sheer sound that these two singers make is ravishing. The supporting cast is nearly flawless, and althoiugh I don't respond especially to Natalie Dessay's Zerbinetta, finding it more a technical feat than a lovable coquette, she is exemplary in the role.
In my view there are no minuses to this set. One can nitpick that certain singers aren't the very best in their roles, yet they all come close.

The final result, then, is that any lover of this unique opera should try to own two versions, the classic 1954 Karajan, particularly for Schwarzkopf's matchless contribution, and the 2001 Sinopoli, the closest modern equivalent to the Karajan. I can't narrow the competition down to just one winner, because some listeners won't be able to tolerate the boxy mono sound of the Karajan, while others may be set against Sinopoli on principle because he is too individual and willful. In any case, Ariadne has been amazingly well srved on CD. Few if any other Strauss operas have received four recordings of such high quality.
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