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Christa Ludwig: The Birthday Edition
Christa Ludwig The Birthday Edition
Actors: Schubert, Mahler, Wolf, Ludwig, Spencer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2008     3hr 47min


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Movie Details

Actors: Schubert, Mahler, Wolf, Ludwig, Spencer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Arthaus Musik
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/25/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1999
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 3hr 47min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Dutch, German, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

One ot the 20th Century's Greatest Artists
David D. Dollinger | Pasadena, CA | 04/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the last decade of the last century Ludwig retired one year short of fifty years on the stage. RCA recorded a "farewell" recital and an autobiography appeared. Now Arthaus has released a two DVD set that included Die Wintereisse and a lieder recital and two sessions of masterclasses that Ludwig held in Vienna in 2007. The lieder recitals date from 1994.

The recitals would appear to have been filmed in Greece; all the technical people involved are Greek, but there is no documentation.A pity that it was not performed in front of a live audience. The only thing that is missing is that frisson that exists in that situation. Other than that there is little to criticize. What is indisputable is that Ludwig was one of the greatest singers who appeared for nearly fifty years and maintained a high level of vocalism and artistry. One could argue that the vibrations are somewhat looser that discs emanating from the seventies, but the emmision of tone is secure and firm. There ia no wobble and her ability to shade nuances and dynamics remain constant. It is extraordinary that she was singing Carmen (in German) when she was in her early twenties. Her versatility was extraordinary: Mozart, Strauss, BArtok, BRahms, Wagner. Her essays into the soprano repertoire appeared to have had no effect on instrument although she has said that she paid a price when she was singing the Dyer's Wife and Fidelio. But those roles were in her repertoire for a short time, but lucky those who saw her in them.

For those who onlh have a minimal interest in lieder I suppose that this set will have little interest. Pity.

The added attractions are the Masterclasses that were held in Vienna. Three young singers were allowed to sings two arias each and then Ludwig goes through the aria tounching on interpretation, style, etc. Sometimes they rarely are able to get a note or two out when she stops them. Schwarzkopf is accused of being a sadist when she does this, but her rationale names sense: at the point she detects an error is the time to interject her opinion and comment, not later. She thinks she was a very difficult teacher but apparently the responses she has received from her students were essentially positive. This is especially true of the Ediburgh sessions in the early eighties. Lugwig is no less tough. She may exude charm and she is very witty but she is not without strong opinions.
A teaser at the end of the the Wintereisse disc is Dorabella's aria sung by a very young Ludwig. It is in color and is technically beyond cavil. Does a complete Cosi with Ludwig exist? If it does bring it on."