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Strauss: Arabella [DVD] [2001]

Kiri Te Kanawa , Wolfgang Brendel , Brian Large    Exempt   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £14.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Strauss: Arabella [DVD] [2001] + Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Royal Opera House 1985 [DVD] [2001] [NTSC]
Price For Both: £30.26

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Product details

  • Actors: Kiri Te Kanawa, Wolfgang Brendel, Marie McLaughlin, David Kuebler, Helga Dernesch
  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Writers: Hugo von Hofmannsthal
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: 16 April 2001
  • Run Time: 166 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005A78O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,962 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Like most of his later operas, Richard Strauss' Arabella ends with a meltingly lovely duet. But then criticising Strauss for composing melodically enduring operas is as pointless as lambasting Vermeer for painting only exquisite interior scenes. Those who say Strauss never improved on Rosenkavalier may be right but when such beguiling sounds kept coming from his music for the next 30 years of his life, there shouldn't be any quibbles. Arabella is, in a nutshell, the story of a woman who cannot make up her mind about a suitor. Taped at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1994 under the baton of conductor Christian Thielemann, this production features Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role; her acting is mediocre but vocally she never forces anything and at least sounds like the perfect Arabella. Wolfgang Brendel does well with Mandryka, who finally ends up with Arabella and Marie McLaughlin makes a sympathetic younger sister to the heroine as Zdenka. Otto Schenk's production is sturdily conservative, the video transfer is acceptable if unspectacular and the sound mix is CD-quality. --Kevin Filipski,

Product Description

Richard Strauss's operatic comedy in three acts is performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Christian Thielmann conducts.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Mhr
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a 1994 production of the "lyric comedy" made at The Metropolitan Opera House. The stage direction is by Otto Schenk. It is a sumptuous production in traditional settings and costumes.

Kiri Te Kanawa sings the title role in a ravishing voice. Her portrayal of the title role brings out the serene and loving character of Arabella very well indeed. Wolfgang Brendel - in an honourable but vulnerable role of Mandryka - is convincing as a rich provincial land owner and sings with a firm voice. Marie McLaughlin (Zdenka) is excellent in singing as well as acting as Arabella's younger sister who loves Matteo who in turn is in love with Arabella.

The role of the parents are taken by Donald McIntyre and Helga Dernesch: they are both very good in characterisation. In the ball scene in Act 2, the young Nathalie Dessay (Fiakermilli) is full of character and sings brilliantly.

Christian Thielemann draws a beautiful sound from the orchestra and his direction is exemplary. The recorded sound is rich and clear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wunderbar 1 Mar 2011
By kettlecharlie VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I read some of the reviews before ordering this DVD
and yes, I must agree with some of them. ANY soprano singing the title-role will probably be older than Arabella should be and once or twice Te Kanawa seems to be a much older sister to Zdenka. Others have criticised her acting ability, but she seems absolutely right for the part-- calm without being placid, sure, honest and wonderfully alert -- and there is quiet humour in her characterization also. This Mandryka will have a marvellous wife. Te Kanawa sings the part marvellously-- this is the first Strauss role I have heard her sing. Her voice is beautiful-- warm, sweet and she floats notes exquisitely-- wonderful all the way through, but more than just wonderful for the Der Richtige, the duet in Act 2 and the Water giving in Act 3.
She is surrounded by others who are fully integrated into the whole production. You can believe in them as characters that Strauss and Hofmannstahl created-- Marie McLaughlin, also in sweet voice, creates a spunky, desparate young girl, Wolfgang Brendl a foreigner, slightly desparate for love and the possibility of rejection, and as the desparate parents, Helga Dernesch and Donald McIntyre are wonderful. All make marvellous foils to Te Kanawa. This comedy of desparation resolved is played in lovely sets and marvellous costumes with an orchestra sensitive to the demands of the sound of a rich Strauss score.
A wonderful treat-- the only reason I do not give it 5 stars is that I reserve the last star for the della Casa, Rothenberger, Fischer-Dieskau performance. I have that on CD but oh, I would give my eye-teeth to have seen that!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Arabella. 9 May 2014
By huw
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Kiri de Kanawa delivers a classic Arabella. For me this is the best, although i am sure that there are excellent modern performances. The Characters are all well played and sung: the card playing father, the fussy mother, the suitors etc. A classic story of love, misunderstandings which keep the poor father away from his card table (of course, Strauss would have known this character well, being such a keen card player himself). No one gets killed (although there is almost a duel!). Great fun. The music is Strauss light: think Rosenkavalier rather than Salome or Elektra. First put on in 1933 when Strauss was almost 70, this looks back to the Belle Epoque before 1914: no reference at all to anything contemporary. Kiri de Kanawa is at her very best here and at the height of her singing career. I know a lot of opera lovers go for death and catharsis (Tosca, Butterfly, Tristan etc.), but this is a real gem for those that love Mozart and Rossini (Strauss himself loved Mozart as much as Wagner). And no one is a better at creating characters than Strauss.
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By H. A. Weedon VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Arabella was first performed in Dresden in 1933 and it is Richard Strauss' last opera for which the libretto was written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal who died shortly after completing it. This work was, in some sense, an attempt to recapture the outstanding success of the operatic style presented in Strauss' earlier work, Der Rosenkavalier (1911). Although well received it has never gained as much popularity as this earlier work. All that aside, this brilliant 1995 Metropolitan Opera production is a joy to own.

From the start this production benefits from near perfect synchronisation between orchestra, singing, acting and staging. There's no distracting out-of-period costuming or inappropriate staging, which is just right with neither elaborate intrusions nor soul-sinking sparsity. Here we have at least one production in which the Met has done us all proud. The well portrayed characters endear themselves to the viewer in inspiring fashion.

I would say that no composer understood the human voice better than Richard Strauss. It's so inspiring the way in which his music interprets the natural nuances of everyday speech. An example of this is right at the beginning of the work when the Countess Adelaide is consulting a fortune teller. You don't even need to know what they're saying to realise the type of emotions involved.

The voice of Kiri te Kanawa is perfectly suited for the lead role of Arabella and it's an inspiration to own this recording of this great soprano singing at her best, and Marie McLaughlin gives us a convincing Zdenka, who spends most of the time dressed as a young man, because it has been predicted that, should the Waldners have two daughters, it will cause problems.
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