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Beethoven : Fidelio
 
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Beethoven : Fidelio

12 Sep 2011 | Format: MP3

£5.49 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 12 Sep 2011
  • Release Date: 12 Sep 2011
  • Label: Warner Classics International
  • Copyright: 2009 Warner Classics & Jazz, Warner Music UK Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:58:24
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B005KGGQOS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,533 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr Gordon Martin on 13 Sep 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording exceeded my expectations. It is very dramatic and vivid without a weak link in cast. Jones is wonderful and perfectly cast as Beethoven's heroine. Excellent sound too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 6 Aug 2012
Format: Audio CD
This famous recording derives from broadcasts of an Act on each of two successive Saturdays. It is compromised by the absence of dialogue, an abridgement made in order to fit each Act into the hour's transmission time available and must as such be regarded as a concert performance, but it is propelled from start to finish by an overwhelming sense of drama and urgency. Toscanini's drive is the very embodiment of Beethoven's burning outrage at the oppression of liberty by a totalitarian regime. Remember, this broadcast took place in 1944 and seems to be Toscanini's daring and deliberate assertion that the integrity of this German opera, sung not in translation but in the language of the "enemy", transcends that current state of enmity. Yet he is not all fire and dynamism; he is equally capable of relaxing to express the composer's idealisation of a conjugal love he himself never enjoyed.

The mono sound is clean and clear. It's fine in this issue but you can also buy it in the Pristine label, considerably enhanced by Pristine's XR remastering which has, as always, reduced hiss, equalised pitch variations and in particular created more "air and space" around the voices which were always prominent. The instrumental detail was always good and can only sound better in that remastering: just listen to the menace of the growling bassoons and double basses in the duet "Nur hurtig fort" in the grave-digging scene.

Toscanini immediately creates a special sense of tension and expectation in the Overture as the strings intone a crescendo on the pulsing two-note figure on a sixth before the entry of the Big Tune on the horns. Similarly the orchestral introduction to Act 2 is electric with its depiction Florestan's desperate suffering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Sep 2010
Format: Audio CD
Already before it appeared this recording had the look of a winning combination: Haitink had successfully conducted "Fidelio" at the Met and in 1989 Jessye Norman was still in possession of the grandest voice since Flagstad in her prime. But in the event, despite its promise and the desirability of a new interpretation in digital sound, this set turned out to be a disappointment. In Norman's case, a noble voice proved inadequate if it was not to be paired with the sense of drama and acute facility with the text evinced by rival interpreters such as Ludwig or Nilsson, and Haitink seems to have jettisoned the excitement which apparently characterised his live performances in favour of a literalism which borders on the inert. It is not so much the case that his speeds are slow, as that he fails to phrase and rhythms remain slack.

This melancholy conclusion holds good throughout a side-by-side comparison of the main features of this recording with those of the earlier sets conducted by Klemperer and Maazel. Take the famous Prisoners' Chorus; Klemperer generates spiritual intensity, Maazel a searing desperation, and Haitink...well, virtually nothing other than a serviceable run through the score. As Florestan and Pizarro, Vickers and Berry for Klemperer and McCracken and Krause for Maazel respectively have twice the voice of the generally light-voiced or simply inadequate singers available to Haitink. The tenor First Prisoner is dreadful. Andreas Schmidt has an attractive baritone with a fast vibrato, but can in no wise emulate the frisson that Franz Crass's noble baritone creates for Klemperer when Don Fernando arrives to punish evildoers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Sep 2010
Format: Audio CD
Already before it appeared this recording had the look of a winning combination: Haitink had successfully conducted "Fidelio" at the Met and in 1989 Jessye Norman was still in possession of the grandest voice since Flagstad in her prime. But in the event, despite its promise and the desirability of a new interpretation in digital sound, this set turned out to be a disappointment. In Norman's case, a noble voice proved inadequate if it was not to be paired with the sense of drama and acute facility with the text evinced by rival interpreters such as Ludwig or Nilsson, and Haitink seems to have jettisoned the excitement which apparently characterised his live performances in favour of a literalism which borders on the inert. It is not so much the case that his speeds are slow, as that he fails to phrase and rhythms remain slack.

This melancholy conclusion holds good throughout a side-by-side comparison of the main features of this recording with those of the earlier sets conducted by Klemperer and Maazel. Take the famous Prisoners' Chorus; Klemperer generates spiritual intensity, Maazel a searing desperation, and Haitink...well, virtually nothing other than a serviceable run through the score. As Florestan and Pizarro, Vickers and Berry for Klemperer and McCracken and Krause for Maazel respectively have twice the voice of the generally light-voiced or simply inadequate singers available to Haitink. The tenor First Prisoner is dreadful. Andreas Schmidt has an attractive baritone with a fast vibrato, but can in no wise emulate the frisson that Franz Crass's noble baritone creates for Klemperer when Don Fernando arrives to punish evildoers.
Read more ›
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