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Weber: Oberon CD

4 customer reviews

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£11.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Feb. 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B006IOOXIM
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Overture - Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
2. Narration: In a garden full of beautiful flowers - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
3. Trio: Light as fairy foot can fall - Charlotte Mobbs, Lindsay Wagstaff, Mark Dobell, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
4. Narration: Watching over Oberon, his sleeping master - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
5. Aria: Fatal vow! - Steve Davislim, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
6. Narration: Puck, searching high and low - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
7. Vision: O why art thou sleeping, Sir Huon the brave? - Hillevi Martinpelto, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
8. Narration: The vision is gone - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
9. Ensemble: Honour and Joy - Steve Davislim, Jonas Kaufmann, William Dazeley, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
10. Narration: Huon is sure that his vision... - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Narration: On a barren island - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
2. Ruler of this awful hour - Jonas Kaufmann, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
3. Narration: Huon has lost the magic horn - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
4. Scene & Arie: Ocean thou mighty monster - Hillevi Martinpelto, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
5. Narration: What Reiza has seen... - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
6. Narration: Alas poor mortal - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
7. Narration: Oberon orders Puck - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
8. Finale: And hark, the mermaids...Oh is pleasant - Frances Bourne, Steve Davislim, Roger Allam, Katherine Fuge, Charlotte Mobbs, The Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
9. Narration: Rescued by corsairs - Roger Allam, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
10. Lied: O Araby dear - Marina Comparato, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
See all 24 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 100 REVIEWER on 2 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This was one of the first recordings I reviewed when I first started postings on Amazon over seven years ago so I thought I should revisit this re-issue to see if anything about my reaction had changed. The most striking thing about it remains Jonas Kaufmann's peerless Huon. I had not previously heard his tenor either live or recorded but it was immediately apparent that he was very special and so it has since proved, as we await his first recorded Siegmund. His co-singers are good enough, but re-acquaintance with the Birgit Nilsson and Leonie Rysanek singing Reiza confirms my original observation that Hillevi Martinpelto is merely pleasant compared with those goddesses. In this instance, it seems that Gardiner need not fear comparison with previous conductors such as Keilberth and Kubelik, although his leaner HIP band is hardly as apt in such hyper-Romantic music.

The bulk of my first review I reprint here, as I find nothing much to revise:

The excellent German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, whom I heard in Puccini's "Rondine" last year and found very impressive, sings Huon with a baritonal quality that does not impede the projection of a ringing top. Steve Davislim sings Oberon - very well, but his is a smaller, lighter, neater voice, As in his otherwise very informative and intelligent review, Mr Bryson does not consider the singers, I would add that while he is right that the English even from non-native speakers is excellent (both Kaufmann's and Martinpelto's being virtually impeccable), the exception is the attractively voiced Marina Comparato as Fatima - but her accent matters little as she is playing an "exotic" role: an Arabian maid.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Renan Campestrini on 4 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent version of the beautiful opera of Weber: Oberon. The interpreters are perfect. Jonas Kaufamann is perfect for the role of Huon of Bordeaux. The orchestra conducted by Gardiner is perfect. Wonderful!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael on 26 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Brilliant
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By golfer stan on 29 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
loved it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Just hear the young Kaufmann in his early prime! 24 Sept. 2013
By Abert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Oberon, despite Weber's magical score, has failed to gain a place in the standard repertoire largely because of the innumerable inadequacies of its completely dotty libretto.
Even so, Gardiner claims that he has conducted more productions of it than any other opera. He has opted for the original English text, which has not been previously recorded. In order to avoid Planché's dreadful spoken dialogue, he has linked the musical numbers with a narration, read by Roger Allam. In this way you can easily miss out the narration if you want to. It has taken three years for Philips to release this studio-made version (the first with period instruments) of Weber's "romantic and fairy opera". The score is one of Weber's finest. Even though that text is delivered in a rather old-fashioned style, it works and never gets in the way of the music.
In Hillevi Martinpelto and Jonas Kaufmann, Gardiner has found ideal singers for roles that look back to the Mozart of Die Zauberflöte quite as much as they anticipate Wagner. The set is worth buying for Kaufmann, who easily negotiates the heroic roulades of From boyhood trained (the preposterous Sir Huon of Bordeaux's opening number). There are no disappointments at all among the supporting cast, and Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir contributes vividly as mermaids, slaves, genii and elves. The role of Oberon is by no means the most important, though Steve Davislim does what he can with it; Hillevi Martinpelto as Reiza, the daughter of the caliph of Baghdad, has the best numbers, while Jonas Kaufmann cuts a suitable dash as Sir Huon de Bordeaux. The Weber tenor role of Huon is supposed to possess the heft of a Tannhäuser while performing graceful flourishes in the manner of Rossini's Count Almaviva. Francisco Araiza in 1991 as Max under Colin Davis's `Der Freischütz' demonstrated how to sing such a Weberian role. In 2002 when this was recorded, Jonas Kaufman brings forth the lyrical sweetness and technical skill for that part of it, and can still produce extra power and ring for the heroics. The voice is far more flexible than a decade later. The heroine Rezia, however, is sung with some what less distinction by Hillevi Martinpelto. Ideally the part calls for a voice of melting beauty for the 'vision' solo and the cavatina, and the strength and nobility of a Brünnhilde in the 'Ocean' aria, but this Rezia falls rather ineffectually between. The rest of the cast do well, with the Fatima (Comparato) taking full advantage of her two attractive solos and the Oberon (Davilism) keeping his voice light and distinct from Huon. The Monteverdi Choir make a point of singing in character and with attention to the dramatic situation.

The period instrument ORR, fresh from a run of performances at the Châtelet, play beautifully for Gardiner, and the recording, made in the wide open spaces of the Watford Colosseum, is atmospheric and imaginatively directed.

For fans of Kaufmann, this recording is a virtual `must'.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Still Jonas Kaufmann's show 2 Jan. 2013
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This was one of the first recordings I reviewed when I first started postings on Amazon over seven years ago so I thought I should revisit this re-issue to see if anything about my reaction had changed. The most striking thing about it remains Jonas Kaufmann's peerless Huon. I had not previously heard his tenor either live or recorded but it was immediately apparent that he was very special and so it has since proved, as we await his first recorded Siegmund. His co-singers are good enough, but re-acquaintance with the Birgit Nilsson and Leonie Rysanek singing Reiza confirms my original observation that Hillevi Martinpelto is merely pleasant compared with those goddesses. In this instance, it seems that Gardiner need not fear comparison with previous conductors such as Keilberth and Kubelik, although his leaner HIP band is hardly as apt in such hyper-Romantic music.

The bulk of my first review I reprint here, as I find nothing much to revise:

The excellent German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, whom I heard in Puccini's "Rondine" last year and found very impressive, sings Huon with a baritonal quality that does not impede the projection of a ringing top. Steve Davislim sings Oberon - very well, but his is a smaller, lighter, neater voice, As in his otherwise very informative and intelligent review, Mr Bryson does not consider the singers, I would add that while he is right that the English even from non-native speakers is excellent (both Kaufmann's and Martinpelto's being virtually impeccable), the exception is the attractively voiced Marina Comparato as Fatima - but her accent matters little as she is playing an "exotic" role: an Arabian maid. Orchestral playing, sound, production, the narrator's delivery of Gardiner's link narrative: everything works to make this work not a hodge-podge but a coherent, entertaining whole, show-casing some delightful music - albeit bewilderingly disparate in its synthesis of different styles. The only slight disappointment comes in Martinpelto's rendering of the showpiece aria "Ocean, thou mighty monster"; she simply hasn't the heft of voice to do it full justice but it is nonetheless an attractive performance.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Opera in English requires good diction -- here sadly lacking! 19 Oct. 2012
By Steven Keller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
To put my two cents in...I agree with other reviewers as to Gardiner's reading of the score - crisp, clean, decisive and exciting. Jonas Kaufmann's vocalism is incredible - he breezes through the "From boyhood trained" aria (a real killer) and really sounds heroic. Steve Davislim as Oberon also shows remarkable vocal skills. I sense a "but" coming... well, the "but" is that Oberon is sung in English and I couldn't understand one word! I was so disappointed that I could not enjoy this performance. Opera in English poses some problems; a cast has to work on diction and make an effort to bring across the story to the audience. Unfortunately, in this case, the soloists and chorus fail miserably! Despite the fine singing and exquisite orchestral playing, I cannot in good conscience recommend this recording because one cannot understand what soloists or chorus are singing!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An Immensely Satisfying OBERON 2 Aug. 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Lest the criticism of the `recording technicalities' prevent the listener from what amounts to be one of the more exhilarating recordings of Carl Maria von Weber's enchanting opera OBERON, the following should be noted as another opinion. Philips has assembled international forces conducted by period instrument and historically informed performance specialist Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique. The Swedish soprano Hillevi Martinpelto, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann and Australian tenor Steve Davislim were all engaged to lead a distinguished cast in this enigmatic mythical drama. The studio recording was made at the Watford Colosseum following critically acclaimed concert performances and is said to be the first to be recorded in an English language version.

In 1824 London Weber gained a commission from Covent Garden to write a new opera. Billed at its Covent Garden première in 1826 as, `A Grand Romantic and Fairy Opera', Oberon, is a spectacle in twenty-one scenes and lavish sets with a large cast. The libretto, in an English text from James Robinson Planchéis, is based on a translation of Oberon by the German poet Christoph Wieland, itself based on a medieval French chanson, with the addition of Shakespeare's Fairy King Oberon and the mischievous Puck. The ridiculous plot follows the well-used fictional world of the heroic Christian Knight against the shadowy Muslim Caliph of Baghdad. The action jumps uncomfortably from Oberon's bower in fairyland to France, to Baghdad, a ship, a rocky Mediterranean island, and to Tunis. The opera ends triumphantly in the court of Charlemagne.

The cast for this performance is as follows:
Hillevi Martinpelto - Reiza (soprano)
Steve Davislim - Oberon (tenor)
Jonas Kaufmann - Sir Huon of Bordeaux, Duke of Guienne (tenor)
Marina Comparato - Fatima (mezzo)
William Dazeley - Sherasmin (baritone)
Frances Bourne - Puck (mezzo-soprano)
Katherine Fuge - first Mermaid (soprano)
Charlotte Mobbs - second Mermaid (soprano)
Roger Allam (narrator)
All members of the cast are superb, but the highlight of the performance is the noble Knight, Sir Huon of Bordeaux, the tenor Jonas Kaufmann in fine voice in his romantic Aria, scene no. 5, `From boyhood trained' which he delivers with strong, direct and expressive singing and an appealing timbre to his voice. Another highlight is Reiza's wonderful set piece Aria, scene no. 13, the famous `Ocean! thou Mighty Monster'. Soprano Hillevi Martinpelto, as Reiza soars beautifully to the heavens and the rich and smoky timbre of her voice is most attractive.

This is a successful performance on all accounts and John Eliot Gardiner has achieved one of the finest recordings of this too neglected opera. Grady Harp, August 12
The Only Oberon in the Original English 19 Aug. 2014
By New Yorker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Weber composed his last opera, this one, to an English text. He even learned English
especially for the commission. So why do we always get Oberon in German? Luckily,
this performance cares about historical accuracy. It is also, arguably, the best
musical performance. The conducting is really good, though the orchestra at times
swamps the voices. And there is the young Jonas Kaufmann, his voice ringing out
in this very heroic lead. His lady love, the Reiza of Hillevi Martinpelto, is notat all
the dramatic soprano we usually get in this role, and she's a little overparted in the
famous "Ocean" aria, especially in those four very, very low notes in the recitative.
Still, the singing is generally at least good or better, and the inevitable narration is,
luckily, kept to a minimum. The only problem is that this reissue does not have the text
and historical essay in the booklet (as the original release did), just a track listing and
some notes.
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