Sunday, June 10, 2007

Busy Weekend

It's been a productive weekend listening-wise. Back on Thursday, we watched one of the masterclasses from Barenboim's new DVD set of all the Beethoven sonatas. In it, Barenboim sat with a young pianist as he played the first movement from the Waldstein sonata. Barenboim is a great teacher and his comments produced immediate, audible improvements. A lot of time was spent on the second subject and the transition to it. "Tempo comes last, not first. Content determines tempo."

Also started on yet another project on Friday. All 200 of Bach's church cantatas are going to be mowed down like so much grass. I listened to BWV 167, Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe, conducted by Rilling and the version from Gardiner's Bach Pilgrimage. I hadn't decided whether to get more of the Gardiner set, but after hearing that performance (and especially the central duet for soprano and alto), I'm thinking it's a good idea.

Recorded and listened to two operas from Sirius' Met Opera channel: the US premiere of Britten's Death in Venice from 1974 and a great performance of La bohème from 1958 with Schippers conducting and Licia Albanese and Carlo Bergonzi starring. For now, I'll say that I prefer La bohème's TB to Venice's chorlera. Today, an Aida from 1967 (Schippers again) was recorded. Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry, Carlo Bergonzi, Robert Merrill and Jerome Hines are the stars. Should be a barn-burner.

And Monday and Tuesday are going to be Richard Strauss Mania on the Met Opera channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. I'm planning to record the whole thing so there's lots of listening ahead. Check out the schedule:

Monday, June 11, 2007

  • Ariadne auf Naxos (3/20/1976) Levine; Caballé, Remedios, Welting, Troyanos
  • Der Rosenkavalier (1/29/2000) Levine; Graham, Fleming, Hawlata, Grant Murphy
  • Salome (1/5/1974) Levine; Bumbry, Ulfung, Resnik
  • Die Frau Ohne Schatten (12/17/1966) Böhm; Rysanek, King, Ludwig, Berry, Dalis
  • Elektra (1/22/1994) -Behrens, Voight, Fassbaender, McIntyre, King
  • Arabella 3/5/1983) -Leinsdorf; Te Kanawa, Weikl, Battle

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

  • Elektra (3/25/1961) Rosenstock; Borkh, Rysanek, Madeira, Uhde, Vinay
  • Capriccio (1/31/1998) Davis; Te Kanawa, Harries, Kuebler, Fitch
  • Arabella (12/15/2001) Eschenbach; Fleming, Ketelsen, Bonney
  • Der Rosenkavalier (3/19/1983) Levine; Troyanos, Te Kanawa, Haugland
  • Ariadne auf Naxos (4/14/2001) Levine; Voigt, Margison, Petrova
  • Salome (3/13/1965) Böhm; Nilsson, Liebl, Dalis, Cassel, Shirley

The performance of Frau is famous -- one of the best broadcasts from the Met ever. The two Arabellas should be great: never mind Kiri and Renée Fleming: Kathleen Battle and

Barbara Bonney as Zdenka

is too much to ask for. And the 1965 Salome with Nilsson... I'm guessing there'll be a lightning storm tonight and we won't have power for those two days.

Oh yeah - I listened to Bruckner's Sixth today (Haitink). It's a pretty concise symphony by Bruckner standards and more approachable, I think, than the Fifth. Anyway, gotta go set up for tomorrow's recording....

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