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  • Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle
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Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle

12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2011)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Import Music Services
  • ASIN: B00001IVQX
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,768 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 100 REVIEWER on 17 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
Like so many devotees of this spectacular recording, I am no fan of Bartok in general, but this piece transcends any general opinion I might have of his idiom; it is one of the most complete and involving performances in the whole operatic catalogue. Unlike some operas, whereby you simply resign yourself to sitting back and enjoying the music in spite of the risible plot or lumbering libretto ("Ernani" and "Le Villi" come to mind), or whereby the words seems to take precedence over the music (some of Hofmannsthal's more abstruse efforts for Strauss?), this opera embodies the perfect fusion between words and music, between drama and beauty of form, much as Debussy's "Pelleas et Melisande" - a clear influence on Bartok - does. No problem here with "prima la musica, dopo le parole" - or vice versa!

First, as so many have already noted, the Decca sound engineers triumphed; you would never guess that this recording is well over forty years old, so full and atmospheric is the sound. The unearthly, otherworldly groans accompanying the opening of Bluebeard's doors to his secret chambers are enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck prickle and the major chord sequence accompanying the flinging wide of the door onto Bluebeard's kingdom is one of the great moments in recording history.

The performances are also superlative; Berry has just the right combination of power and mystery in his voice and Ludwig manages to make Judith shrewish and importunate without dehumanising her or making ugly sounds - quite the reverse; her voice is in prime condition. I have to smile at other English speakers passing judgement on the authenticity of their Hungarian; I speak some other languages but have absolutely no idea whether their accents are good.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have just had my first deep, start to finish communion with the glorious music of this short but immense opera. In earlier listenings I have warmed to the obvious highlights in the music. I have learned to relish the inherent passion of the Hungarian language in which it is sung. I have come to marvel at the psychoanalytic perspicacity of Béla Balázs unfathomably enigmatic poem which provides its libretto, observing how seldom libretto and music are so closely intertwined as in this masterpiece of operatic form. But this time I put the libretto down and let myself luxuriate in the grandeur of the music. The hugely expressive artistry of the two singers, Ludwig and particularly Berry. Then there's Kertész reading of the score that maintains a knife-edge balance between two threads of opposing tension, without let up, from start to end. On the one hand there is the gathering momentum towards the ineffable terror of the inevitable climax. Against this is pitched the dragging reluctance with which he tries to protect his young and too curious bride from the hidden forces of his soul, over which he has no more control than she, and whose consequences he dreads but which he cannot resist. In broad architecture this work is as close to the Romantic tradition as Bartok comes. However, careful inspection of the details shows it to be full of the characteristic devices that mark him out as the arch modernist, which he surely was. Moreover, a modernist not so much by virtue of iconoclasm, as say were Schoenberg and Stravinsky, but more because his musical spirit came from another place that only grazed the arc of Western musical evolution tangentially.

The synopsis and significance of the plot line I leave for the prospective listener to draw their own conclusions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crinkle Crags on 18 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Back in the late 1960's a Bartok boffin friend advised me to buy the LP of this version. He told me he could not imagine anyone doing it better. Decca must have thought so too because they have now reissued it on the "LEGENDARY PERFORMANCES" series, 1965 Legends.
Decca have done the transfer to CD in their exemplary fashion and the result is just stunning. The full libretto is included in the booklet in both Hungarian and English, with additional introductory notes of a discussion between the singers and the conductor, all of which is so helpful to new listeners.
I don't expect I shall see the opera on stage, but this performance with its three dimensional sound, the hertfelt singing of Walter Berry and his then wife Christa Ludwig, lead one through each step perfectly well. And of course Bartok's music, virtually one tone poem after another, is so descriptive that as each door opens, if I close my eyes, I see it all.
It just doesn't get any better.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2004
Format: Audio CD
For 1965 the sound-quality on this disc is quite extraordinarily good - it would be that in 2004 - and Decca have every right to be proud of it. Everyone concerned has a right to be proud of the performance too. Ludwig and Berry are not only in superb voice, they seem to me to have penetrated to the heart of this dark and wonderful allegory. In the discussion that forms part of the liner-note Ludwig interrupts at one point to disagree with a certain view of Judith that she hears being expressed. No harm in that - this particular story is full of mystery. Only so much certainty is possible, and the ambiguity is essential to its power and magic.
For any music-lover struggling with Bartok - say with the quartets or the first piano concerto - this, or maybe the better-known violin concerto, would be the doors through which I would suggest approaching him. Purely at the musical level the idiom is modern without being forbidding or particularly challenging. Indeed the orchestration in Bluebeard is among the most thrilling I have ever heard, and Kertesz and the LSO (then at its very peak) do it proud. This is a short drama - a story like this can only be stretched out for a finite length - and the dark and sinister sense of fear and foreboding must never relax in performance, nor do they in this performance. The story is a powerfully convincing one to me, and I do not know how many of my own sex I can speak for, although I suspect it's most of us. In my view, which is a totally impressionistic and unscientific one as far as this is concerned, a man has a mental and emotional hinterland that nobody should try to trespass on. `Nobody' means not wife, not parent, not child, not the closest friend.
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