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Comment: Ships from the US. Expected delivery 9-15 business days. Serving Millions of Book Lovers since 1980. Like New condition. Audio CD. Case Very Good. Booklet Very Good. 2 disc set. Quality guaranteed! In original artwork/packaging unless otherwise noted.
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Korngold:Die Tote Stadt

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Performer: Carol Neblett, René Kollo, Hermann Prey, Benjamin Luxon, Bavarian Radio Chorus
  • Orchestra: Munich Radio Orchestra
  • Conductor: Erich Leinsdorf
  • Composer: Erich Korngold
  • Audio CD (2 July 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000003ER4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 494,027 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

LEINSDORF ERICH / BAVARIAN R.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Korngold's expressionist masterpiece is given the full works in this reissue of what is still its finest recording. The recording was made in 1975 and the quality of the production (by Charles Gerhardt) is outstanding. You are certainly unlikely to be conscious of it's age. The casting is pretty much ideal. Carol Neblett might be considered a little too "efficient" in the role of Marietta but this suits the character's emotional brutality well and the comparative directness is what is needed dramatically. Kollo (about whom I sometimes have reservations) seems very fine in the lead role and the famous; "Gluck, das mir verblieb", is wonderful in the context of the drama. This piece is sometimes described as "Marietta's Lied" and is more often heard as a soprano party piece but it is much more satisfying in its original form as an almost-duet with the tenor. The supporting cast is marvellous too, especially Benjamin Luxon in the crucial role of Frank.
The other famously excerpted aria - Fritz's "Mein Sehnen, mein wahnen" - is given an unnecessarily glutinous performance by Hermann Prey. It's such a ravishing piece that it works best if sung straight, in my opinion. However, if you have a sweet tooth, you might like it like this.
Korngold was at the height of his fame when this opera was given simultaneous opening nights in Hamburg and Cologne on December 4th 1920. The plot is a post-Freudian expressionist nightmare but, in as fine a performance as this one, it's hard to understand why it has taken so long to re-enter the repertoire. This is the ultimate neo-romantic wallow and, as well as the sheer tunefulness, there is enough drama to make this a deeply satisfying experience. The cost of the current reissue means that you really ought to own it.
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Format: Audio CD
Probably the best recording of 'Die tote Stadt' and wears amazingly well for being 35 years old. Especially welcome at mid/low price.
HOWEVER: try and find a copy of the original issue on RCA instead of this re-issue on Sony. Why? the original has a good booklet and the libretto in English and German. This re-issue has cheapskated on that which is pathetic. But, if you know the opera, or if you don't care that there's no libretto, go ahead. Note that all the rival versions have no libretto either. And this version is better.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With the possible exception of the tenor role, this is a most appealing recording - hauntingly so in places. The analogue sound is very acceptable and the combination of soloists is enduring and difficult to displace. The tenor role tends to be a little coarse and stocatto , but Rene Kollo otherwise handles the part as well as any (as he does in Solti's recording of "Tannhauser" for Decca). Carol Neblett is a soprano who captures the imagination as well as the ear. The acoustic bonus of this recording is the supporting singers, Luxon and Prey, and that of the choirs - very effective in beautifully and hauntingly conveying the 'other-worldliness' of the respective sections of this opera's narrative. A welcome return to the catalogue.
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This is one of the works whose place in my affections is way above its intrinsic merits, and it is a guilty pleasure in the same way as a slice of Sacher Torte and whipped cream-over rich, over indulgent but so enjoyable! We all know the jibes about " More Korn than Gold" but this work contains a great weight of high carat gold, as does the performance and recording. The plot , such as it is, is steeped in Freudian psychobabble and portrays Bruges as a city obsessed with and permeated by thoughts of death. When I've been there I've found it obsessed more with chocolate and strong beer, but perhaps those don't make strong enough dramatic elements. The reviewer who styles himself "Entartete Musik" is in my view grossly unfair in his review, and ungenerous with his rating. There is an issue that may deter some potential buyers, but overall this is a very accomplished and beautifully presented set, the 4th of the stereo era on CD. The default recording is the 1975 Leinsdorf, now at bargain price and sounding splendid still. It is the only recording that does not apply cuts to the score, and is undoubtedly a firm recommendation, but Kollo is an uningratiating Paul, often resorting to near shouting and reaches his rather harsh top notes in a clumsy manner. The Segerstam is a bargain also, and Katarina Dalayman dazzles as the finest Marie/Marietta yet-however Sunnegardh struggles with Paul and the best that can be said is that he gets through the role. 2003-4 was the year of the Korngold revival, with Vienna staging this work in a new production which I saw at that time. In Vienna the cast was Simon Gould and Angela Denoke-she was superb, he was stentorian.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first listened to this recording when it was newly issued and dismissed it as too modern but recently I was listening to Korngold's Violanta and was amazed how beautiful it was and so my thoughts turned to this opera as I remembered this recording and duly ordered a copy. In the intervening years my musical tastes have matured and when I heard this glorious wall of sound I was bowled over by it's sheer beauty and equally the singers performances. So much so that I played it over and over again. The big disappointment is the lack of an english translation. I would gladly have paid an extra fiver for a copy of the original booklet. Research on the internet has only come up with a weird translation which is vey hard to follow however if you want to give it a go look at "archive.org/stream". However with music and singing this fine I am happy to just lean back and close my eyes and drift off into another world.
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