Includes FREE MP3
version
of this album.
or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Available to Download Now
 
Buy the MP3 album for 14.98
 
 
 
 
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 

Berg - Wozzeck [Opera in English] [Double CD]

Andrew Shore , Josephine Barstow , Paul Daniel , Philharmonia Orchestra , Alban Berg , et al. Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 15.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Tuesday, 22 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details
Complete your purchase to add the MP3 version to your Cloud Player. Provided by Amazon EU S. r.l.
Buy the MP3 album for 14.98 at the Amazon MP3 Downloads store.



Product details

  • Performer: Andrew Shore, Josephine Barstow, Clive Bayley, Stuart Kale, Jean Rigby, et al.
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Paul Daniel
  • Composer: Alban Berg
  • Audio CD (14 April 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Chandos Opera in English
  • ASIN: B00008WQB9
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 194,272 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. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 1: Slowly, Wozzeck, slowly! (Captain, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 3:580.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 1: Wozzeck, you are a decent man, and yet ? (Captain, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 4:440.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 2: Andres! This place is accursed! (Wozzeck, Andres)Paul Daniel 3:120.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 2: Listen. There's something moving there below us! (Wozzeck, Andres)Paul Daniel 3:070.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 3: Military music off-stage - Tschin, Bum, Tschin, Bum, Bum, Bum, Bum! (Marie, Margret)Paul Daniel 2:010.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 3: What will you do now, poor lamb? ? (Marie)Paul Daniel 2:020.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 3: Marie sunk in thought - Knocking at the window - Who's there? (Marie, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 4:020.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 4: This is monstrous, Wozzeck! (Doctor, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 4:470.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 4: Wozzeck - Just like a lunatic! (Doctor, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 2:580.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act I Scene 5: Show me how you parade! (Marie, Drum Major)Paul Daniel 3:030.59  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 1: How they glisten brightly! (Marie)Paul Daniel 3:020.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 1: Wozzeck enters, unseen - What's that, there? (Wozzeck, Marie)Paul Daniel 2:360.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 2: Why are you rushing, my dearest friend (Captain, Doctor)Paul Daniel 4:340.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 2: Hey, Wozzeck! (Doctor, Captain)Paul Daniel 2:160.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 2: But what are you trying to tell me, Herr Doktor (Wozzeck, Captain, Doctor)Paul Daniel 3:050.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 3: God morning, Franz (Marie, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 3:310.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 3: Scene change (Slow Landler) - Tavern music onstage -Paul Daniel 2:500.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 4: I've got a shirt on, though it is not mine ? (First Apprentice, Second Apprentice) - Tavern music onstage - Him! Her! Damn!Paul Daniel 1:480.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 4: A hunter from the Rhine (Youths, Soldiers, Andres, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 1:420.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 4: And yet, if a traveller pauses (First Apprentice, Soldiers, Youths, Andres, The Idiot, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 4:540.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 5: Mmmmmm (Soldiers, Wozzeck, Andres)Paul Daniel 2:040.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act II Scene 5: I am a man! (Drum Major, Andres, A Soldier, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 2:420.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 1: And out of his mouth (Marie)Paul Daniel 1:480.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 1: And once there was a lonely child (Marie)Paul Daniel 1:090.59  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 1: And falling on her knees before Him (Marie)Paul Daniel 1:550.59  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 2: The town is over there (Marie, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 2:530.59  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 2: The moon rises - How the moon rises red! (Marie, Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 1:540.59  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 3: Dance, damn you! (Wozzeck, Margret, A Youth, Wenches, Youths)Paul Daniel 2:550.59  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 4: The dagger? Where is the dagger? (Wozzeck)Paul Daniel 2:250.59  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 4: I ought to wash myself clean (Wozzeck, Captain, Doctor)Paul Daniel 2:150.59  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 4: Scene change (Invention on a Key)Paul Daniel 3:180.59  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Wozzeck, Op. 7 (sung in English): Act III Scene 5: Ring-a-ring-a-roses, all fall down! (Children, First Child, Second Child, Third Child, Marie's Boy)Paul Daniel 1:570.59  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Opéra en 3 actes / Susan Singh Choristers - Geoffrey Mitchell Choir - Philharmonia Orchestra - Paul Daniel, direction

Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Unless you are a speaker of German there is no way you can get the full impact of Berg's wrenchingly dramatic 'Wozzeck' in a German-language recording. Even following along with libretto in hand is a diluted experience. This 2-CD recording, part of the Chandos's laudable 'Opera in English' series, underwritten by the equally laudable Moores Foundation who have now underwritten more than 30 English-language opera recordings including the wonderful 'English Ring' conducted by Reginald Goodall, meets the need for a recording that has an immediate, visceral impact for opera-lovers who don't understand German.
I have loved 'Wozzeck' ever since the Mitropoulos recording made in the early 1950s with Mack Harrell and Eileen Farrell and have owned recordings conducted by Abbado, von Dohnanyi and Böhm. I had never heard it before in English and I have to admit that in this recording I heard and understood things I simply had missed before [and my German is passable]. The diction in this recording is clear and understandable, but Chandos also includes an English libretto to help you understand any of the occasional misheard words.
The rising young English conductor, Paul Daniel, does a remarkable job; he keeps things moving along but also tightens the tension appropriately as we move towards the shattering final scenes. The Philharmonia play the complex score brilliantly. The singers--Andrew Shore as Wozzeck, Josephine Barstow as Marie, Alan Woodrow as the Drum Major, Peter Bronder as Andres, Stuart Kyle as the Doctor, Jean Rigby as Margret--are first-rate and generally the equals of singers on earlier recordings. I had worried that Barstow, who is no longer young, wouldn't sound right as Marie, but indeed she does. For instance, the lullaby ['What will you do now, poor lamb?
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning musicianship 4 Aug 2011
By maximus TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great translation, works very well on CD and an altogether convincing performance. The only reason for withholding a star from a possible 5, is that while Andrew Shore is great in the more lyrical passage, he does lack a certain edge in the more brutal anguished scenes.

The Orchestra and conductor are stunning

This is an excellent CD set which I will come back to over the years.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 19 May 2013
By M. Joyce TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I studied Georg Büchner's play at university and it made a great impact on me; in particular, I found it quite astonishing that it was written in the early years of the nineteenth century. In truth, I'd always been a bit scared of the opera, even though I knew that its libretto was virtually a verbatim transcription of the play text.

Well, after all these years, I've eventually got round to listening to it and although it is a fragmentary piece and not an easy listen, there are many beautiful musical moments and the vocal characterization is quite striking.
There is substantial use of Sprechstimme in the piece and from what I gather, many singers pay scant regard to the vocal line and the actual notes! I'm not an expert, but my impression is that this is not the case here and even the grotesque roles of the Captain and the Doctor are musically sung.

All of the singers are superb and it is evident that most of them have actually sung their roles on stage, many in an Opera North production conducted by the estimable Paul Daniel, who oversees matters here. The title role is taken by Andrew Shore. Shore is one of the great buffo basses of his generation and on the evidence of this recording, it is a shame that he has not undertaken more "serious" roles; his Wozzeck is both harrowing and beautifully sung. I was a little apprehensive that Josephine Barstow recorded the role of Marie so late in her career (the recording was made in 2002), but she sounds appropriately young and fresh and she is, of course, one of the greatest singing actresses of recent vintage. The supporting cast is superb. Stuart Kale and Clive Bayley sing and act brilliantly as the Captain and Doctor, while Peter Bronder is a lyrical Andres.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW MANY IDIOTS? 5 Feb 2008
By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For collectors who have no problem with Wozzeck, music lovers for whom the status and quality of the work are established rather than questionable, this set ought in my own opinion to be a very safe recommendation. Does anyone have a problem with its being sung in English? Part of Wagner's prospectus for his new music-dramas, and an important reason for the type of vocal lines he used, was precisely to enable them to be sung in the vernacular wherever they were performed. Demands to hear opera in its original language struck him as snobbish and irrational, and one can sympathise. However the traditional type of opera with arias made translations problematical - it would never be easy to get audiences to accept much-loved favourites like Mozart's Voi che sapete or Verdi's Di quella pira in some sort of translation, and it was not unreasonable either to counter Wagner's position by arguing that if we would not tolerate the Requiems of these masters in anything but Latin why should we be more accommodating in the case of opera? To attain the emancipation that Wagner wanted, arias had to go, and Berg was not exactly likely to bring them back. That really settles the issue so far as I and Berg are concerned: I cannot even imagine why I would want to struggle with the work in German when I can hear it without effort in my own native tongue.

The performance, the recording and the production in general are admirable. The cast is a large one but I detected no weaknesses. Few of the names were familiar to me, but in the cases where their dates of birth are given I saw that the artists were the age of my own children, so that will be the reason for that.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new standard in Wozzeck performance 29 Aug 2003
By Dennis M. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First of all, I don't think any recording of Alban Berg's Wozzeck has ever sounded this good, regardless of language. Under Paul Daniel's inspired and meticulous conducting, the Philharmonia Orchestra plays beautifully, and the sound is more luscious than I ever imagined possible for this opera. I first saw and heard this magnificent opera many (too many) years ago in Munich, at which time I was completely astonished by it, but ever since then, recorded performances have seemed to be a mere suggestion of the opera's potential. This recorded performance very nicely addresses that gap, with a very powerful and convincing interpretation. Hearing the excellently articulated English allows the listener to be both totally absorbed in the drama, as well as to be able to relax and appreciate the sensational music, without being completely absorbed in following the German text with translation in a printed libretto. Wonderful singing, perfect conducting, crystal clear orchestral playing -- a splendid package, and a superb rendering of a very intriguing opera.
So why would anyone want to listen to an opera about a poor deranged soldier who has gone crazy from a mad doctor's experiments and who ultimately murders his girl friend and stumbles into his own death, leaving behind a pathetic little child? The answer is in the extraordinary details of the libretto, which demonstrate extraordinary insights into human nature, as well as some of the most original music ever written. Yes, it's very disturbing, but at the end of the opera one is left with a seriously renewed empathy for the human condition.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Wozzeck' for People Who Thought They Didn't Like It 20 Sep 2003
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Unless you are a speaker of German there is no way you can get the full impact of Berg's wrenchingly dramatic 'Wozzeck' in a German-language recording. Even following along with libretto in hand is a diluted experience. This 2-CD recording, part of the Chandos's laudable 'Opera in English' series, underwritten by the equally laudable Moores Foundation who have now underwritten more than 30 English-language opera recordings including the wonderful 'English Ring' conducted by Reginald Goodall, meets the need for a recording that has an immediate, visceral impact for opera-lovers who don't understand German.
I have loved 'Wozzeck' ever since the Mitropoulos recording made in the early 1950s with Mack Harrell and Eileen Farrell and have owned recordings conducted by Abbado, von Dohnanyi and Böhm. I had never heard it before in English and I have to admit that in this recording I heard and understood things I simply had missed before [and my German is passable]. The diction in this recording is clear and understandable, but Chandos also includes an English libretto to help you understand any of the occasional misheard words.
The rising young English conductor, Paul Daniel, does a remarkable job; he keeps things moving along but also tightens the tension appropriately as we move towards the shattering final scenes. The Philharmonia play the complex score brilliantly. The singers--Andrew Shore as Wozzeck, Josephine Barstow as Marie, Alan Woodrow as the Drum Major, Peter Bronder as Andres, Stuart Kyle as the Doctor, Jean Rigby as Margret--are first-rate and generally the equals of singers on earlier recordings. I had worried that Barstow, who is no longer young, wouldn't sound right as Marie, but indeed she does. For instance, the lullaby ['What will you do now, poor lamb?'] is a perfect combination of gentleness and mounting anxiety. Later, as the drama progresses her tone becomes more harried and harrying. She has always been a good actress and that is in evidence here.
Andrew Shore, as Wozzeck, is as good as I've ever heard. He catches the simple humanity of the man as I've never heard it. He tries so hard to be good and one sees him slipping into insanity in spite of his efforts. In Act III, especially, his singing and acting are riveting.
The marvelous new English translation is by Richard Stokes. It not only preserves the meaning of the German original, but faithfully follows the flow of the music in much the same way the German words--by Berg, after Büchner--do. The recorded sound is state-of-of-the-art.
I suspect this will the recording of 'Wozzeck' I reach for most often.
Recommended.
CD I, Act I, 34:00
CD II, Acts II & III, 57:43
TT=91:43
(There appears to be a small price break on account of the short timing for two CDs.)
Scott Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars This Wozzeck before all others!. 4 May 2012
By Ron Elguera - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When searching for the available recordings of Wozzeck I was more than surprised at how many different ones are available! I am writing reviews for the five other recordings I've heard thus far and all of them are excellent. It is astonishing that after listening to this work over fifty times I am never bored and discover new messages and subtleties every time I hear it.
Why so many times and so many different recordings? Well, I have been an opera enthusiast since the age of six and in an effort to promote the understanding and appreciation of opera, I spent several years illustrating three full length operas in graphic novel form which are available exclusively at the Metropolitan Opera Gift Shop and here on Amazon. One very popular and conventional work, The Fully Illustrated Libretto of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, One for children: The Fully Illustrated Libretto of Ravel's L'Enfant et Les Sortileges (Librettos), and a darker ghost story for the adolescent crowd:The Fully Illustrated Libretto of Gian Carlo Menotti's the Medium. These fully illustrated librettos were so work intensive and expensive to publish I decided to discontinue working in this genre. But the Met expressed enthusiasm at the possibility of an illustrated Wozzeck, pointing out that this is James Levine's favorite opera. Most opera aficionados dislike Wozzeck on first hearing and I was no exception. I realized that Wozzeck is the most important, advanced work in the entire operatic repertory, but how could I illustrate a work I didn't even like? I decided to buy every recording available on Amazon that I could afford and get over my dislike. I am soooo glad I did and initial drawings for the storyboard are now under way!
I enthusiastically recommend this English recording above all the others for any listener new to this opera. The lyrics in this translation flow as naturally as can be which, in my opinion, is a godsend for anyone unfamiliar with German. Wozzeck is so deep and complex it is impossible for the novice to grasp any of it as he struggles to read the German while simultaneously following in English. Throughout the entire score, Berg musically describes the script.

To wit: The Captain says:
"...it frightens me, when I consider that the world revolves in just one day! Whenever I see millwheels go round, I am laid low with melancholia!" (at this point, the music whirls round and round and round)

"...Such a wind sets my teeth on edge...just like a mouse" (the music now describes a mouse viciously gnawing and clawing)

"...See how the mist is trailing over the grass there where the toadstools are springing up. ...The earth is opening!! Listen, There's something moving there below us!..." (again, the music describes it all)

The opera is jamb packed with musical descriptions, one after the other...juggling the German and all the dissonance will leave the listener quite perplexed. Hearing this work in English removes a huge obstacle as the novice tries to absorb the complexity of it all.

As for interpretation, Paul Daniel's conducting is flawless, each one of the singers acts superbly with his/her voice... even the small roles. Another great advantage to this recording: it is one of the few recorded in a sound studio (most other recordings were made during a live performance) so the sound is evenly distributed and the artists have the advantage of being able to record several takes to insure the best possible outcome.

All in all, one of the best recordings ever made and for the Wozzeck novice, indispensable.
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, it's in English, but ... 21 Feb 2012
By the unamusicologist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
While I was initially enthusiastic about this recording, over time my enthusiasm has waned. Unlike one of the other reviewers, I don't find Daniel's conducting "inspired." To the contrary, I find it rather dull, especially when considered next to classic recordings such as Böhm's. As is not atypical of so many recordings in recent years, the articulations are too smooth, the attacks too soft. Consequently, Daniel's reading seems to me to lack energy.

That said, I don't want to drive listeners away from this recording, especially English-speaking ones who are as yet unfamiliar with the opera. Understanding the text will help carry one through this performance, and I can imagine many such listeners finding it rewarding. Yet if you're already familiar with the opera from a German-language recording, this is hardly a must-have (unless you are a Wozzeck completist). And if you're not familiar with the opera, once you are, you'd do well to seek out one of the classic readings by the likes Böhm or Boulez.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW MANY IDIOTS? 5 Feb 2008
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For collectors who have no problem with Wozzeck, music lovers for whom the status and quality of the work are established rather than questionable, this set ought in my own opinion to be a very safe recommendation. Does anyone have a problem with its being sung in English? Part of Wagner's prospectus for his new music-dramas, and an important reason for the type of vocal lines he used, was precisely to enable them to be sung in the vernacular wherever they were performed. Demands to hear opera in its original language struck him as snobbish and irrational, and one can sympathise. However the traditional type of opera with arias made translations problematical - it would never be easy to get audiences to accept much-loved favourites like Mozart's Voi che sapete or Verdi's Di quella pira in some sort of translation, and it was not unreasonable either to counter Wagner's position by arguing that if we would not tolerate the Requiems of these masters in anything but Latin why should we be more accommodating in the case of opera? To attain the emancipation that Wagner wanted, arias had to go, and Berg was not exactly likely to bring them back. That really settles the issue so far as I and Berg are concerned: I cannot even imagine why I would want to struggle with the work in German when I can hear it without effort in my own native tongue.

The performance, the recording and the production in general are admirable. The cast is a large one but I detected no weaknesses. Few of the names were familiar to me, but in the cases where their dates of birth are given I saw that the artists were the age of my own children, so that will be the reason for that. Berg himself gushed that Wozzeck should be sung as if it were Trovatore, and the performers here are careful to keep a sustained musical line, lyric as far as the idiom permits, even in the semi-spoken passages. Paul Daniel directs the great Philharmonia to fine effect, keeping light and air in the orchestral textures and never letting the onward movement sag, and I experienced no problems with the short choral contributions. The sound-quality is admirable, and the liner-note is from the distinguished pen of Lord Harewood, civilised and dignified as we might expect. Now read no further if you have no problems with the work itself.

Berg is regarded, I suppose rightly, as the most approachable exponent of the second Viennese school led by Schoenberg. My own collection of his work also contains the violin concerto, the lyric suite and the piano sonata. All of these compositions leave the same impression on me - not really very demanding in idiom but conveying a great sense that the composer is less than 100% convinced of what he is doing. In life Berg was not one to stand up to the powerful intellect and dominating personality of Schoenberg. I suspect that his purely musical gift was greater than Schoenberg's, but that does not seem any great claim to me, and I feel a tension in him between his timid desire for recognition and his dread of offending the leader of the cerebral and artificial musical movement that he had, for better or for worse, embraced.

There is also the matter of the libretto. This is based on the chaotic manuscript of a play really called `Woyzeck' by one Georg Buechner, a `revolutionary' his lordship tells us, who died at the age of 23. Is the picture just a trifle familiar? I suspect so, and I'm rather less bowled over by it all than the noble Earl is. What is the theme really? Revolutionary manifestations, then and for quite a time later, were focused on the economic exploitation of the working class in line with Marx's analysis. There is certainly exploitation in this script, but of a much more basic and standard kind. Wozzeck himself seems mentally unstable and easy meat for his tormentor the Drum Major, whether the latter's insinuations that he had seduced Wozzeck's woman are true or just drunken braggadoccio. It was Berg himself who mentioned the name of Verdi, and it takes very little effort to spot the real Verdian association, which is not with Trovatore but with Otello - in the final scene above all but conspicuously also in the cry of `Blood blood blood'. In other respects poor Wozzeck is toyed with by Marie and dictated to by an eccentric doctor and a brainless-sounding commanding officer. It is all a reasonable enough opera libretto I do not deny, but I might be able to share Lord Harewood's enthusiasm more fully if I felt that either Buechner or Berg were fully clear in their minds what their message for us is.

It would be a pity if our exploration of musical or any other form of artistic creation limited itself to safe bets and AAA-rated masterpieces, a criterion that from my point of view would exclude a fair amount of Beethoven for one. I like Berg's Wozzeck, I am wholly open to the suggestion that a certain confusion that I associate with it is at least partly my own, and I recommend it strongly in this particular performance. One detail that intrigued me in the story was the short appearance of The Idiot, whose remarks in fact seemed more significant for the plot than those of, say, the Doctor or the Captain. These personages seem more than slightly futile, I believe that is consciously intended by the author whether or not for sound reasons, and it may be that I shall someday come belatedly to the view that Buechner, Berg, Wozzeck and the rest of them are having the last laugh over various other idiots if only we realised.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xb055cc0c)

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback