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Hans Werner Henze: Boulevard Solitude [DVD] [2007]

Nikolaus Lehnhoff    Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 24.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Hans Werner Henze: Boulevard Solitude [DVD] [2007] + Schoenberg: Moses Und Aron [DVD] [2007]
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Product details

  • Directors: Nikolaus Lehnhoff
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Colour, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Sep 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,963 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Boulevard Solitude

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation 1 Jan 2010
After 60 years of devouring all music, & opera in particular, I have only just discovered Henze via this DVD of his first opera.
It was a revelation - the highlight of a year's opera viewing.
The opera itself, based on the Manon Lescaut story, is quite outstanding in every respect.
It's construction, in seven swift scenes interspersed by orchestral interludes, is perfect in telling the same story as Massenet & Puccini, but in half the time.
The music, sounding like a cross between Berg and Gershwin, is immediately attractive and constantly tickles the ear with swooning strings one minute, violently percussive jazz the next.
This production, set in a busy railway station which can change during an interlude into an apartment, a university library or a drug den, is one of the most inventive I have ever seen of any opera.
And the cast is marvellous - Laura Aikin in particular is the perfect femme fatale, but everybody sings and acts their hearts out.
Likewise the orchestra, and the icing on the cake is the appearance of the frail composer at the end, to receive a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from audience, cast & orchestra.
Very highly recommended, and I can't wait to see more Henze operas.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boulevard is superb opera 22 Jun 2009
Henze's Boulevard Solitude has found itself at Barcelona. Incredibly beautiful production with outstanding use of set and supers. The acting is
convincing and provocative. I loved this opera when I saw in Munich, but this production tells the story beautifully.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henze the magician 22 Dec 2007
By J. Anderson - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A magnificent score by Hans Werner Henze, and a mesmerizing production of it. The ingenious stage design is narcotic: '50s deco-inspired, lean-and-gleam Hopperesque economy treated with gorgeous colors, displaying an intimate relationship to the score itself. Henze's atmospheric colors are embodied in stage and set design, even in the subtly charged costuming. A decayed eroticism lurks, suggests, but never shows its full face. The piece progresses to warm deep colors as if by sadness. I find in Henze's wondrous scores an heir more of Stravinsky than Schoenberg. His unique fusion of serialism and tonality finds new ground in Boulevard Solitude. The singers are excellent. An heroic job by Swedish tenor Par Lindskog as Armand, his sturdy musicianship and beautifully polished tone never flag. Laura Aikin, a great Lulu in European houses, sings Manon wrenchingly, with seductive pianissimos and a terrific sense of the stage. Henze plies their relationship with erotic and terrifying music, and beautiful silences. Like Stravinsky, Henze's every musical gesture is scrupulously orchestrated to make dazzling musical beauty. Manon's character ends unsorry, and Henze gives her much of his amazing diaphanous music. His scores are never cloying or dismissive; attuned to theatricality like an alchemist, Henze's art is intense, profound and moving. Big recommendation for a really fine night at the theatre. The 80 year old composer, present for the performance, is cheered effusively at the end by a thrilled Liceu Theatre audience in Barcelona. You won't be disappointed.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing is believing 9 Oct 2007
By Richard - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought and listened to the old Cascavelle recording of this work and was not impressed or won over. It just shows how important it is for at least some operas to be seen. I am VERY impressed by the present DVD. The musical side of things is wonderful. But now to see the old story of Manon and her DesGrieux acted out in the present brings out the sheer power of this work. This production won the Olivier prize and certainly deserves it. Don't be afraid of serialism. The opera is actually closer to Stravinsky than Schoenberg. Henze only uses serial methods for the lovers as they fall deeper and deeper into their delusion. For an exhilirating evening of theater check this out.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars inventive, intriguing 23 Mar 2008
By RALPH P. GRAY - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is my first exposure to Henze. I was skeptical at first, but I was won over - less by the music itself than by the whole package. The fit between music and production seems fine to me. Yes, there are no memorable tunes - so what else is new with modern music? But the whole thing works nicely. The cast is good too although closeups don't exactly help make the 2 lovers look as young as they are supposed to be. Not all that big a quibble.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Like Henze's Later Work! 27 Oct 2010
By Giordano Bruno - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love modern opera. I prefer it to the Puccinis and Verdis. I sometimes travel just to hear Berg, Janacek, Prokofiev, Sallinen, Saariaho, Ades, Adams .... and most avidly the Henzes, wherever they're staged. But this production of Henze's early effort at resuscitating the story of Manon Lescaut bores me to tears. It's as musically vapid as Puccini's Manon Lescaut, or so it sounds on this DVD. Would a different conductor wring more from the score? The singing is not at fault, though the recording quality is rather thin. And the staging is dire without being intellectually disturbing, like a reproduction of a German Expressionist painting in black-and-white. I usually like to take my Depravity with a fillip of Insight.

But... I WILL watch&hear this DVD again in a few weeks, and if my second impression is different, I'll revise this review.
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