Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Classic Archive Great Voices of the Golden Age|
Actors: Christa Ludwig, Gundula Janowitz, Irmgard Seefried, Galina Vishnevskaya, Gre Brouwenstijn
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
It was a Golden Age, but.....
David D. Dollinger | Pasadena, CA | 02/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The format of the DVD is similar to the one that Medici Arts released previously with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. I would hate to think that the company was already reaching the bottom of the barrel but in spite of some questionable items this DVD is well worth the investment. Early Christa Ludwig is pure enchantment. Three items is simply not enough. For some reason Rita Streich is alloted thirteen. The diva was an enchanting Zerbinetta, a great Queen of the NIght and other operatic roles that called for a voice with a great upper extension. Lieder, however has different requirement: the notes as such pose no problem, but light sopranos rarely make a career of lieder; one has only to listen to any of the selections of Schwarzkopf to realize that we are in another country. Streich simply is unable to color the vowels and covey the inner quality that is the essense of great lieder singing. To her credit she chooses songs that don't ask for much more that pretty singing. Unwisely she chooses to sing Seligkeit, one of Schwarzkopf's favorite songs--she sang it early in her career and it was featured in her final recital. It's a bright sunny, melodic song and Streich sings it well, but try ES on YouTube and you get the idea. Janowitz is featured in a performance of Ah Perfido. Alas the sonics are poor; this fortunately an isolated instance. But Janowitz needs the score and the effect is like a first reading. This artist deserves a better memorial of her art. Seefried is represented by four songs by Werner Egk, Quattro Canzoni. Egk is relatively consservative when compared to Henze, Boulez, etc., but I found them muscially to be without interest--just my opinion even though there are those who might feel differently. The last artist represented is the great Dutch Soprano, Gre Brouwenstlin, a sorely underrepresented singer on LP, CD and DVD. Two of the Wessendonk Lieder and the Liesbestod are included. Oh yes, I nearly for get the great Vishnevskaya (with Slava at the piano) is there for two songs--Tchaikovsky.
Decidedly a mixed bag but theh price is reasonable and there is far too little of this genre available on DVD so I will return to it for its virtues and be thankful that Medici Arts is mining the archives of European television station."