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Reviews Written by
Dag Kyndel "Kottebo" (Stockholm, Sweden)
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Birgit Nilsson at St Jacob and Gustaf Vasa Churches
Birgit Nilsson at St Jacob and Gustaf Vasa Churches
Price: £14.87

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for Nilsson, 1 July 2010
Birgit Nilsson is together with Maria Callas my greatest opera icons. It is therefore difficult for me to wright about this recording in an honest way. Church music wasn't La Nilsson's domain. She sings out of tune all through and it is painful listening. I give this record two, not one star because of some very, very beautiful songs which are included: Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod), Panis Angelicus, Oh, Holy Night and Silent Night. All with Åke Levén at the organ and recorded when Miss Nilsson was in her very prime. Here we recognize her voice of an angel. And with perfect pitch. Most of the other recordings were made in 1977. If you want to hear 'an angel' sing thee sacred songs incuded here as the early recordings, buy the Nilsson disc in the series "The singers"!!


TRISTAN & ISOLDE (2)-ABRIDGED
TRISTAN & ISOLDE (2)-ABRIDGED
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £128.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Great fire from Lindholm!, 21 Oct 2009
This set contains 4 records with two abridged live performances. I have as yet only listened to the performance from 1974. This is one of the first pirated records to appear with the Swedish dramatic soprano Berit Lindholm. Let us hope that recordings from The Ring conducted by Sir Colin Davis at Covent Garden during the 70's, will appear soon! Meanwhile this Tristan from Amsterdam 1974 fills the gap with its truly amazing dramatic force. You can feel the amazement and tension among the public, crying out their "bravos" at the end of the first act. This is Lindholm's evening and a great one. Totally involved in her part she becomes Isolde and everything catch fire... No Wagnerian or other opera lover can be without these records. The first two CD's concentrates on the part of Isolde (1974). The performance from 1979 (not with Lindholm, the Isolde here is Roberta Knie) concentrates on the tenor, Spas Wenkoff (Lindholms Tristan was Pekka Nuotio). I must confess that I have not listened to it as yet. For the moment, the 5 stars are for the 1974 recording. At last some words from the small textbook, written by Paul Korenhof: "Wagner's score was fully released in the performance of the Swedish soprano Berit Lindholm. Her Isolde combined a surprising youthfulness with a slimline radiant voice that was far-removed from the monumental Wagner sopranos of the past, buth which nonetheless provided a performance of remarkable musicality. The rest of the cast was universally impressive...."


Great Swedish Singers: Rolf Björling
Great Swedish Singers: Rolf Björling

4.0 out of 5 stars Jussi Björling's son - a great Manrico in Trovatore, 15 Sep 2009
The late Rolf Björling was the son of one of the most famous tenors there has ever been. As such he was often compared with his father. I don't think that was quite fair to him - Rolf Björling was indeed for very many years a leading tenor of the Royal Opera in Stockholm. He was a bit uneven, but a very good "house tenor". The last time I saw him was as Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly, and I thought him superb. His greatest success - and a very great one it was - came in a new production of Il Trovatore 1972, Carlo Felice Cillario conducting, sung in Italian. In this recording from Bluebell is included more than half an hour from the first night. The famous stretta is crowned with such an amazingly high C that the public, and later, all the critics hailed him as one of the really great Swedish tenors. Don't miss it!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2009 5:55 PM BST


Elisabeth Schwarzkopf from Flower Maiden to Marschallin (Opera Biography)
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf from Flower Maiden to Marschallin (Opera Biography)
by Kirsten Liese
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the real fans, 5 Sep 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book was a small dissapointment. It has very, very little text and many photos, but also many empty spaces. Half a page with a rather small photo - and then emptiness. I suppose this is a try to expose the often most beautiful pictures in the best way possible. Many photos are similiar, you can contemplate Dame Elisabeth's great beauty, but it is the same face on side after side. All in black and white. And with no comments. One can compare this book to two other picture books: Birgit Nilsson's "My memoirs in pictures" and the more recently Vittoria Crespi Morbio's "Maria Callas. The La Scala years". Nilsson's book is filled with pictures, no empty spaces here, and most important, she herself makes very interesting comments to every single picture! The book about "La Divina" also has very little text and very many pictures. But the pictures are large, mostly in colour, and shows all the costumes from her great roles at La Scala. The two latter books really have "five stars status".


A Life Behind Curtains: A Singer's Silent Sounds
A Life Behind Curtains: A Singer's Silent Sounds
by Linda Esther Gray
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A book that all singers should study carefully, 5 Sep 2009
This is a hearthgripping book about a promising career that came to a very sudden end. I have read it twice. I shall read it again.
Alas, it could also be titled: How to destroy your voice. Miss Gray sung a promising Isolde on DECCA. Goodall then more or less forced her to take om Kundry against her teacher's wishes. (Dame Eva Turner, no less!). The result was a swollen cord and she needed rest. But not so, she was booked 10 years ahead on all the greatest opera houses and immediately took on Brünnhilde - and her throat problems got still worser. How about a rest now? No, now Turandot, the real voice killer. She only came to rehearsals, she could not sing it on stage, and she could not sing anymore at all. An opera friend reading about this might very well put the book together crying. Miss Gray is telling her story in a very personal way. I love her for that, and it's quite possible you will do the same.


Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Milan '50)
Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Milan '50)
Price: £40.17

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good alternative!, 17 July 2009
Among the different editions of Furtwängler's La Scala Ring this is one of the best. The sound is fair and - the packaging is very, very handsome, in fact the nicest presentation I have seen from these evenings at La Scala 1950. A peculiar detail: Birgit Nilsson is listed - first of all! - on the box as if she was participating. I think that must have been wishful thinking: Nilsson and Flagstad in the same recording - a sensation! But Miss Nilsson first appearance abroad was as Elettra in Mozart's Idomeneo, Glyndebourne 1951. La Scala had to wait for her Brünnhilde until 1958. If you want this famous La Scala Ring, do not hesitate to buy this version!


Mussorgsky: Songs and Opera Arias
Mussorgsky: Songs and Opera Arias
Offered by shakedownrecords
Price: £15.92

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not be bettered, 13 July 2009
I own this as a much treasured LP. Quite frankly, it is one of the best vocal records I have ever heard. What a voice, what music! The crown of this jewel among recordings surely is "Songs and dances of death". Terrifying, wonderful, amazing, unforgettable!


Maria Callas: Toujours Paris 1958 [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Maria Callas: Toujours Paris 1958 [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Maria Callas
Price: £8.46

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impression for a lifetime, 12 July 2009
I was eight years old and our family had just bought our first TV-set. I had never been to any opera house. Maria Callas's opera concert from Paris 1958 was televised all over Europe. I, the little child, was shocked. I instantly knew that this was art in its highest form. Opera as music theatre.
I immediately removed pictures of Swedish pop artists in my room and put up a large poster - from a weekly magazine - of Maria on the wall. From this time on Opera was my life. But - as I did not live in Stockholm and my parents were reluctant to travel with me to the Stockholm Opera - my first visit there was in 1972 when Wagner's Ring was given complete, with Birgit Nilsson. What a start! She too, became one of my greatest idols, and for some time we exchanged letters. I was shocked once more and understood that I loved Wagner, too.
I never expected to see the 1958 performance again. How happy I was when it suddenly appeared on this DVD.
Callas gives a very good performance, at first a little nervous in Casta Diva, but therafter she completely wins the public over. And she most certainly deserved it. Buy it and you will - I am sure! - understand what I mean!


Famous Swedish Opera Singers
Famous Swedish Opera Singers
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £15.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great opera artists, 23 Jun 2009
Many great opera singers come from Sweden and here we get the best from a lot of them: Birgit Nilsson, Berit Lindholm, Kerstin Meyer, Elisabeth Söderström, Nicolai Gedda, Ingvar Wixell, Set Svanholm, Jussi Björling, Kerstin Thorborg to name a few. All recordings except three are live recordings from the Royal Opera House in Stockholm, not available anywhere else. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed!


Mozart: Così fan tutte
Mozart: Così fan tutte

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best!, 23 Jun 2009
This review is from: Mozart: Così fan tutte (Audio CD)
Just a few words from an experienced operagoer and record collector: This is definitly the best recording of this opera ever made!


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