- Performer: Marek Janowski
- Audio CD (4 Jan. 2010)
- SPARS Code: ADD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Sony Music Classical
- ASIN: B002V988OS
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,790 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Korngold: Violanta - The Sony Opera House CD
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Top Customer Reviews
This recording does the work full justice in every way, with soloists in superb voice, and first-class orchestral playing -and the current price makes this a bargain (though there is only a synopsis leaflet, not a full translation of the libretto).
The passionate emotion and brilliant sense of theatre in this work are the equal of Puccini. On first hearing 'Violanta', Bruno Walter said, "this is the eruption of a musical-dramatic volcano!" It is astonishing that this opera was composed when Korngold was only 17.
The opera is set in Venice. Violanta's sister was seduced by Alfonso, Prince of Naples, and she committed suicide. When Alfonso turns up in Venice for the carnival, Violanta plots revenge for her sister, and persuades her husband Simone to kill him. But when Alfonso is lured to her house, the unforeseen happens......
(There are aspects of the charismatic Violanta as a role which would have suited Maria Callas -and the opera's story has surprising resonances to the legend of Callas. It would be fun to see a production of this opera set in the year 1957:- Venice plays itself in the party season, the elegant 'Violanta' resembles Callas (dressed, of course by Biki), the priapic 'Prince of Naples' is Aristotle Onassis, and Violanta's ageing husband 'Simone' is -naturally- Meneghini.)
The negative? No libretto. This is pathetic - the original box set issue came with a multi-language libretto, so why re-issue it without one? The cover is hideous, but then that applies to everything in this SONY re-issue series.
Answer: they were written within four years of each other and form a good example of how within certain, specific artistic genres, artistic sensibilities may converge to reflect a Zeitgeist. All are sordid domestic claustrophobic melodramas of strange love, doomed passion and furtive betrayal with a homicidal outcome and all, despite moments of melodic sweep, place dramatic effect over lyrical appeal.
Korngold's second opera was written when he was, unbelievably, only seventeen and yet emerges as a fully coherent and expertly scored work with three meaty roles for big-voiced singers. This 1980 recording remains, as far as I know, the only studio recording and is in no need of being superseded: it is recorded in superb analogue sound and stars two singers at their peak in the mighty-voiced Eva Marton and Siegfried Jerusalem singing more beautifully and heroically than I have ever heard him. Walter Berry, here in his early fifties, shows some slight signs of strain but is still a really commanding presence as the jealous, unloved husband and the supporting cast is strong, especially Ruth Hesse as Violanta's servant, Barbara, tenor Horst Laubenthal as the foppish sybarite Bice and another tenor, Manfred Schmidt, of whom I have not heard, as another of Violanta's admirers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was my first dip into Korngold. Having loved Richard Strauss for years, I was expecting to love this too and in almost every way, I did! Read morePublished on 17 Oct. 2013 by Iain C. Davidson
As a newcomer to Korngold I was extremely impressed with the textures and quality of his music. It washes over you in abundance, with the obvious influence of Richard Strauss. Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 2013 by Viva Verdi
I purchased the CD recently on the promise there would be a free autorip download. No such thing! I am still waiting.Published on 12 July 2013 by jadey