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Floyd: Susannah

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Floyd - Susannah
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Audio CD, 26 Sep 1994
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Product details

  • Performer: Cheryl Studer, Jerry Hadley, Samuel Ramey, Kenn Chester
  • Orchestra: Lyon Opera Chorus, Lyon Opera Orchestra
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Composer: Carlisle Floyd
  • Audio CD (26 Sept. 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Classics
  • ASIN: B000002SQB
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,616 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautifully done. The end of first tape broke up but other than that all was well.
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Format: Audio CD
The musical style is entirely familiar from Copland's music of the American West and from Samuel Barber. For example, the beautiful aria 'Aint it a chilly night' famous in the U.S., is so similar to Barber's 'Knoxville' that many people could easily mistake one for the other. Knoxville and its tall buildings and mail order catalogues are even mentioned in the words making it a sort of rural response to that other American song to the night. In my book that is a good thing . If one of something is good, then two is better. It takes the strain off the first one that stands less chance of being played to death.
A first opera written by the 28 year old composer and performed in 1955, this work could be said to be an attempt to do for poor Appalachian whites of the period (the late 40's), what 'Porgy and Bess' did for poor blacks. But perhaps the closer parallel is 'Peter Grimes' as both operas are about non-conformist outsiders who are ostracised and morally condemned by the conventional local townsfolk.
The music sounds so comfortable that I can't imagine anyone not liking this opera which is based on the 'biblical' story of Susannah and the elders. There is only one problem, and that is the over broad folk accents of some of this American cast which verges on parody. One could understand an English cast sounding like this in their over-enthusiasm to sound authentic but it is surprising that a U.S. cast should overdo it to this extent. I have to admit there is the obvious parallel with 'Porgy' which is a precise ethnic equivalent and might appear to justify it, and there is also a basis for it in the text which was written by Floyd. But did Nagano have to abide by this? Nagano very probably did because Floyd seems to have supervised this recording to make it the definitive one.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very beautiful opera. Well sung by all the cast, especially the great Cherly Studer. The sound and the playing are all first rate. If you want to try an opera that may be new to you I can thoroughly recommend it. It is full of beautiful melodies and not at all hard to listen to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best recording of a front-runner in American opera 23 Feb. 2015
By Birdman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It is unconscionable that one of the most-performed American operas has such a paltry appearance on mainstream recordings. Forget about it, and download amazon's ready-to-go recording of Kent Nagano's interpretation of this accessible, beautiful work. It is the best available, and the conductor's interpretations, the performances and sonics are all marvelous. No, Cheryl Studer wasn't the ideal singer for the lead. She is far too strident and "forward" in her interpretation. It doesn't matter, though, because the late Jerry Hadley lifts the performance to artistic and interpretive satisfaction.

If you're unfamiliar with this opera, take the leap, and if you know it, own it for the audacity and authenticity of this recording. Those who love Copland, Ives, Bernstein and Barber will adore this recording. It feeds the soul and claims a necessary place in the history of American opera and vocal performance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 27 May 2013
By Rimsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is supposed to be the most performed American opera after Porgy and Bess(unfortunately NOT in the UK!!) No wonder: it is powerful, melodious, well constructed and very approachable. This recording does it full justice - so buy it and spread the word!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting modern opera 12 Jan. 2012
By Pedro Maria Tapia Andres - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This opera is in fact one of the easyest to hear about modern operas.
The hystory itself it is real and very interesting, and could happened in different villages of different countries.
The folk tunes are really impresive, and the elenco are very proffesional.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 Jan. 2014
By Heather Bronecke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thanks!
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Susannah 3 Jun. 2010
By Joan - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I love this opera and I am delighted to listen to it, but this recording does not have Renee Flemming. I saw the Chicago production with Sam Ramey and Renee Flemming. I can't think of a better cast. My biggest complaint is the there is no DVD. When I listen to the CD, I have to visualize what I had seen years ago. Susannah is one of the most beautiful, haunting,and tragic operas that I have had the priviledge to see.
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