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blind-blake

Knock Your Socks Off Opera Recordings - Got Any?

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Just started listening to a little opera, and wanted to know if anybody has any recommendations. Anything that just flat-out kills you when you hear it? Thanks in advance.

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Basic stuff - classic recordings, one each composer and this is just what popped into my mind. No consideration for "HIP" performances, just good singing and conducting. Listed by composer, title, conductor and label.

Beethoven - Fidelio - Klemperer - EMI

Berg - Wozzeck - Abbado - DG

Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande - Abbado - DG

Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro - Kleiber - Decca

Puccini - Tosca - De Sabata - EMI or La Boheme - Beecham - EMI

Ravel - L'Enfant et les Sortileges/L'Heure Espagnole - (a 2fer) - Maazel - DG

Strauss - Salome - Karajan - EMI

Verdi - Otello - Serafin - RCA Living Stereo

Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg - Karajan - EMI

Weber - Der Freischutz - Kleiber - DG

and I will add one "highlights" disc:

Strauss - scenes from Elektra and Salome - Reiner - RCA Living Stereo

I'm sure I'll think of omissions later.

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Basic stuff - classic recordings, one each composer and this is just what popped into my mind. No consideration for "HIP" performances, just good singing and conducting. Listed by composer, title, conductor and label.

Beethoven - Fidelio - Klemperer - EMI

Berg - Wozzeck - Abbado - DG

Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande - Abbado - DG

Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro - Kleiber - Decca

Puccini - Tosca - De Sabata - EMI or La Boheme - Beecham - EMI

Ravel - L'Enfant et les Sortileges/L'Heure Espagnole - (a 2fer) - Maazel - DG

Strauss - Salome - Karajan - EMI

Verdi - Otello - Serafin - RCA Living Stereo

Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg - Karajan - EMI

Weber - Der Freischutz - Kleiber - DG

and I will add one "highlights" disc:

Strauss - scenes from Elektra and Salome - Reiner - RCA Living Stereo

I'm sure I'll think of omissions later.

As always, Chuck, you da man!

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Basic stuff - classic recordings, one each composer and this is just what popped into my mind. No consideration for "HIP" performances, just good singing and conducting. Listed by composer, title, conductor and label.

Beethoven - Fidelio - Klemperer - EMI

Berg - Wozzeck - Abbado - DG

Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande - Abbado - DG

Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro - Kleiber - Decca

Puccini - Tosca - De Sabata - EMI or La Boheme - Beecham - EMI

Ravel - L'Enfant et les Sortileges/L'Heure Espagnole - (a 2fer) - Maazel - DG

Strauss - Salome - Karajan - EMI

Verdi - Otello - Serafin - RCA Living Stereo

Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg - Karajan - EMI

Weber - Der Freischutz - Kleiber - DG

and I will add one "highlights" disc:

Strauss - scenes from Elektra and Salome - Reiner - RCA Living Stereo

I'm sure I'll think of omissions later.

Any thoughts on Furtwangler's versions of Fidelio? I'm really getting into Furtwangler's war years stuff.

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Furtwangler is a really interesting conductor and I used to have both a live and studio recordings - still have the lps of the studio version, but have not listened to them in 20 years. This is only because my priorities have drifted, not a critique.

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Furtwangler is a really interesting conductor and I used to have both a live and studio recordings - still have the lps of the studio version, but have not listened to them in 20 years. This is only because my priorities have drifted, not a critique.

You ever see the below site about Furtwangler? Really interesting stuff. As a result of my reading this, I got a couple of his recordings (a couple of Beethovens and Bruckners) and they just blew me away. Extremely powerful stuff.

http://www.classicalnotes.net/features/furtwangler.html

Edited by blind-blake

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Furtwangler was a really interesting conductor/philosopher but many performances suffered from his "waywardness". When he "hit" he was unbeatable but that was only about 25% of the time IMHO. You have to be careful when buying his surviving recordings.

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Some additions and alternatives:

Puccini: Madama Butterfly, Callas, Gedda, Von Karajan

Wagner: The Ring, Clemens Krauss, Bayreuth 1953

Wagner: Tristan, G. Treptow, H. Braun, H. Knappertsbusch

Wagner: Parsifal, C. Krauss, Bayreuth 1953

Wagner: Meistersinger, Stewart, Konya, Janowitz, R. Kubelik

Verdi: Rigoletto, Callas, Gobbi, T. Serafin

Debussy: Pelleas, D.E. Inghelbrecht (Disques Montaigne)

Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutti, Seefried, E. Jochum (DGG)

Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutti, Price, E. Leinsdorf (RCA)

Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier, Crespin, Donath, Minton, G. Solti (London)

Mozart, Der Zauberflote, K. Bohm (DGG)

Beethoven: Fidelio, Bohm (DGG)

I know -- Leinsdorf and Solti! Forgive me, but they're great casts, and Solti was having a very good week (or however long it took).

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Some additions and alternatives:

Puccini: Madama Butterfly, Callas, Gedda, Von Karajan

Wagner: The Ring, Clemens Krauss, Bayreuth 1953

Wagner: Tristan, G. Treptow, H. Braun, H. Knappertsbusch

Wagner: Parsifal, C. Krauss, Bayreuth 1953

Wagner: Meistersinger, Stewart, Konya, Janowitz, R. Kubelik

Verdi: Rigoletto, Callas, Gobbi, T. Serafin

Debussy: Pelleas, D.E. Inghelbrecht (Disques Montaigne)

Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutti, Seefried, E. Jochum (DGG)

Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutti, Price, E. Leinsdorf (RCA)

Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier, Crespin, Donath, Minton, G. Solti (London)

Mozart, Der Zauberflote, K. Bohm (DGG)

Beethoven: Fidelio, Bohm (DGG)

I know -- Leinsdorf and Solti! Forgive me, but they're great casts, and Solti was having a very good week (or however long it took).

Thanks Larry. This is awesome!

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Any thoughts on Furtwangler's versions of Fidelio? I'm really getting into Furtwangler's war years stuff.

I really love Furtwangler's slow and tortured approach to Tristan (EMI version). For Parsifal, the live version with Knappertsbusch on Phillips is also a killer.

If you haven't yet, you might also try some classic Maria Callas operas on EMI, for example Tosca (Sabata 1953), Lucia di Lammmermoor (Von Karajan 1955), Norma (1955 Serafin), Ana Bolena (1957 Gavazzzeni), La Sonnambula (1955 Bernstein), La Traviata (Giulini 1955), La Gioconda (Votto, 1959).

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The Callas Tosca is in my first post.

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Let me add Puccini's La Boheme conducted by Karajan with Pavarotti and Freni. And two from the 20th century, if you're interested in exploring beyond the standard repertoire:

Stravinsky conducting his own The Rake's Progress (Columbia);

X by Anthony Davis - there's only one recording available, on Gramavision.

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