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Richard Strauss: Die Liebe der Danae [Box set]

Katharina Peetz , Franz Grundheber , Richard Strauss , Ulrich Windfuhr , Gro Bente Kjellevold , et al. Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Ulrich Windfuhr
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (1 Mar 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B000174LPM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Die Liebe Der Danae - Richard Strauss

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 'Liebe' without Danae... 23 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase
What a shame that such an otherwise beautiful recording is flawed but the absence of a proper Danae. Ms Uhl has a voice suitable for Arabella (perhaps!). In any case, her voice sounds shaky and feeble here. Did anyone have the chance to hear Plowright or Saunders in this role? Those beautiful and 'round' voices? Well: forget about them. You are in for quite another thing. Uhl is not what the role would call for.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation! 16 Sep 2009
Verified Purchase
This is the only recording of Die Liebe der Danae worth considering. It is the first to present the score complete. Krauss's performance while excellent was spoiled by poor sound-engineering. Franz Grundheber in the role of Jupiter is magnificent. Manuela Uhl's Danae is ravishing, complete with exquisite high pianissimos. This is now my favourite opera of Richard Strauss.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent recording 4 Jan 2005
By Mr. Thomas E. Walton - Published on Amazon.com
Don't pay any attention to the review below. This is an excellent recording - taken live from concert performances, there is practically no stage noise and the voices are forwardly recorded. Grundheber is superb - singing the entire role at the original high pitch (Strauss had to transpose a few sections of the more heroic baritone writing down a tone), Chafin as Midas copes very well indeed with a horribly hard tenor role (some strain on his opening phrase, but considering how high it is for the first utterance of an character, this is hardly unlikely). The smaller roles are well cast, the 4 queens in particular, though Pollux and Mercury could have been given to more elegant tenors. Manuela Uhl in the title role seems to cause a bit of controversy - it is true she has a very bright, clear, penetrating tone that is not entirely easy on the ear, but it is at core a beautiful sound (I imagine the recording catches an edge that would not be so obvious live) and she is a stylish Straussian. Her opening duet with Xanthe is not the most comfortable section for either soprano, but this also is understandable - it is very high and exposed and there is no time for either to warm up. Her pitching is excellent. Uhl's tone settles down as the opera progresses and her singing in the tird Act in particular is beautiful. The recorded sound is superb, and does full justice to Strauss' opulent score. Lovers of Strauss and romantic opera should not hesitate.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation! 16 Sep 2009
By Donnie Darko - Published on Amazon.com
This is the only recording of Die Liebe der Danae worth considering. It is the first to present the score complete. Krauss's performance while excellent was spoiled by poor sound-engineering. Franz Grundheber in the role of Jupiter is magnificent. Manuela Uhl's Danae is ravishing, complete with exquisite high pianissimos. This is now my favourite opera of Richard Strauss.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best performance of the greatest opera ever written 20 Dec 2008
By Eric Zuesse - Published on Amazon.com
Not only is this the best performance, but unlike the Krauss its dynamics aren't compressed, and so the effect is what the conductor wanted, and not what some engineer did.

As a result, this superbly conducted performance carries the listener along the huge structural arcs which Strauss built into this his greatest work, up the highest of Alpine peaks, and higher, into the stratosphere, and finally out into ethereal space, looking back upon our speck in the universe.

This symphonic opera is best listened to without paying attention to the words sung by singers, as simply a symphony for huge orchestra, with accompanying vocal soloists. No greater symphony exists, not even Bruckner's.

This orchestral/vocal symphony is wise, ecstatic, and transcendent, a goodbye to life, from a man whose inner world was not just indescribably beautiful but was remarkably independent from the tumultuous circumstances through which he lived. It cements Richard Strauss's status as the greatest of all composers, irrespective of his humble joke that he was the world's best second-rate opera composer -- a joke which the many foolish and insensitive musical commentators still take seriously.

This work, even more than Capriccio, Elektra, the Four Last Songs, the late second sinfonietta for winds, and his other sublime peaks, establishes Strauss's unsurpassed stature: the most essential of all composers.

We must therefore be grateful to cpo and Ulrich Windfuhr for finally introducing this work to the public in a way that's adequate to its immense challenges. After hearing this set, and being stunned by it, I bought a second copy, so that I'll still have this performance even if the first copy wears out or if this recording is tragically remaindered.
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent recording 18 Sep 2013
By a reader - Published on Amazon.com
Surprised by the quality of sound from a lesser known company. I did not know this work until hearing this recording and it is real surprise. Much richer than the other late Strauss operas and more melodious as well. While the conflation of Greek mythologies is a bit strained , the music is magnificent. I had no problems with the singers although I would have to agree that Uhl has a very very bright tone.
7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful work, unforgivable singing 15 Aug 2004
By Finnamon - Published on Amazon.com
This is a masterpiece that deserves better. Of all the singers, Grundheber is the only one who comes close. Manuela Uhl should be forever banned from the operatic stage. Her singing is curdled, foul and distinctly unradiant. The duet with Xanthe in the first act, just to cite one example, sounds like two alley cats in heat. And what a pity, since this work is THE neglected gem in Strauss' operatic oeuvre. Do yourself a favor and scare up the old Clemens Krauss live recording from 1952. Annelies Kupper is positively radiant in the title role and Paul Schoeffler is magisterial as Jupiter and every member of the supporting cast sings with conviction and taste and in tune, none of which is true of any of the supporting cast here. And Krauss serves Strauss like very few conductors before or since. The only reason to get this performance would be for the sound, and even in that regard, the fidelity in the 1952 recording is suprisingly high. So skip this and anytime you see the name Manuela Uhl, run screaming as if from a burning building. (Please see my update on Ms. Uhl in the attached comment.
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