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Beethoven:Fidelio

9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 11, 1997
"Please retry"
$39.62 $10.94

Disc: 1
1. Fidelio: Overture
2. Fidelio: Act I: Jetz, Schaetzchen, Jetzt Sind Wir Allein
3. Fidelio: Act I: Owaer Ich Schon Mit Dir Vereint
4. Fidelio: Act I: Mir Ist So Wunderbar
5. Fidelio: Act I: Hat Man Nicht Auch Gold Beineben (Rocco)
6. Fidelio: Act I: Gut, Soehnchen, Gut (Rocco)
7. Fidelio: Act I: Marsch
8. Fidelio: Act I: Ha! Welch Ein Augenblick! (Pizarro)
9. Fidelio: Act I: Jetzt, Alter! Jetzt Hat Es Eile! (Pizarro)
10. Fidelio: Act I: Abscheulicher! Wo Eilst Du Hin? (Leonore)
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Fidelio: Act II: Gott! Welch Drunkel Hier! (Florestan)
2. Fidelio: Act II: In Des Lebens Fruehlingstagen (Florestan)
3. Fidelio: Act II: Wie Kalt Ist Es In Diesem Unterirdischen Gewoelbe! (Leonore)
4. Fidelio: Act II: Nur Hurtig Fort, Nur Frisch Gegraben (Rocco)
5. Fidelio: Act II: Euch Werde Lohn In Bessern Welten (Florestan)
6. Fidelio: Act II: Er Sterbe! (Pizarro)
7. Fidelio: Act II: O Namenlose Freude (Leonore,Florestan)
8. Fidelio: Act II: Heil Sei Den Tag!
9. Fidelio: Act II: Des Besten Koenigs Wink Und Wille
10. Fidelio: Act II: Wer Ein Holdes Weib Errungen

Product Details

  • Performer: L.V. Beethoven
  • Audio CD (November 11, 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Polygram Classics
  • ASIN: B0000042G9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,717 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I think this recording is under-rated. It shows how influential reviewers from Grammophone and Penguin can be. I think this is a fabulous performance. Behrens may not be the best of Leonores - she is definitely not in the league of Christa Ludwig, Birgit Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek or Jessye Norman - but hey, we are comparing her with the best of the best Leonores. In fact, she sings with keen dramatic sense and involvement, and her top notes are superb. Pizzaro is outstanding in this set, sung with biting malevolence. Florestan here may not be Jon Vickers but i think his performance is very good nonetheless.I like Solti's reading which is brisk and urgent - more in the Fricsay mould. In addition, the Chicago players and Chicago chorus surpass the orchestras and choruses in the other recordings, although vocally, the other recordings are superior.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Solti is reputedly one of the the greatest conductor in the world, in the class of superconductors league with Bernstein and Karajan.
This Fidelio is excellently prepared and excellently recorded. behrens is a very involved Fidelio and she sings her parts fabulously. The cast is excellent and so is the orchestral playing.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is arguably the best orchestra in the world and the CHicago Symphony Chorus has won more Grammys than any other Symphony Choruses.
The Celebrated Solti-CSO partnership presenting Beethoven's one and only celebrated opera. A performance not to be missed. Buy it!!! Recommended without any reservations.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edward R. O'Neill on February 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Opera, that is.

This was my first recording of a complete opera, not just excerpts. I'd heard scenes from Fidelio with Patzak, and when I found this CD for a great price, I bought it and listened to it endlessly. (We're talking 20-plus years ago now.)

Lately, I've been shopping for another recording of Fidelio. I've overcome my allergy to poor sound, my fetishization of digital clarity, and become a fan of live, historical recordings.

But I must say: the live recordings I've heard excerpts of thus far--Furtwangler, for instance--have left me cold.

They sound so dry and lightweight and pedantic--Mozart without charm.

So this recording, which was my first, may be bad in some people's minds, but it still rates with me.

Yes Hoffman became wrecked his voice and became a joke by croaking 'Nights in White Satin' over a studio orchestra.

Yes, Behrens is not Flagstad or Nilsson. But this recording is both driving and lyrical. The balance and integration of voices with orchestra is excellent. And Solti conducts with his typical musicality and oomph.

Not owning lots of recordings of this opera, I still like the one I have.

And I add these comments NOT to justify my preferences but rather to underline how irrational some of these attachments are.

Once, shopping for a Four Seasons, I listened to excerpts from some 20 recordings and found the one I had before was still my favorite. We imprint on these things!

So my advice is: ignore everyone's advice and buy what you enjoy!

--E. R. O'Neill
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Abert TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I give it 5 stars for two reasons - first, Theo Adam's Pizarro; second, Behrens' Leonora.

Theo Adam is simply electrifying as the verminous Don Pizarro. He is really hard to beat in this role.

Too many people compared Hildegard's portrayal of Fidelio with Ludwig, Jurinac, and lately, Mattila.

Well, Behrens offers a more lyrical rendition, so does her partner Peter Hofmann as Don Florestan.

If one tends to look at this couple as superhumans, I have nothing more to say.

But they aren't, though their bond and 'fidelity'(hence the title of the opera) to each other is noble and uplifting.

To cast them as superhumans would miss all the frailty and struggles that this couple has to go through in the main storyline. Hence I do not buy in the casting of 'big voices' in Florestan's role. Peter Hofmann, being chosen by Solti even before he did his recordings of Parsifal for Karajan and Tristan for Bernstein, is fully convincing as a dying prisoner savagely treated by a monster-like Pizarro. He evokes successfully the image of a severely wronged upright gentleman, being beaten to the point of near-death.
Behrens, as his wife, effectively brings out the feminity and astounding inner strength of Leonora, a noblewoman nonetheless, even though garbed
as a young man.
I don't have to tell you how much I detest the much more recent DVD on the same opera who put Karita Mattila in a more than masculine look as the heroine.
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By Bacchus on May 29, 2015
Format: Audio CD
This recording has proved to be an exciting discovery. I already had three other complete recordings (conducted by Fricsay, Bernstein and Karajan) as well as highlights of Klemperer's famous recording and critics have always panned this one by Solti. Having just listened to it, I can say that it is as as enjoyable and even inspired as any of the ones referred to above.

I will start with Solti's conducting. I have always got the impression that with Wagnerian sopranos and tenors usually being chosen to sing the main parts, that Fidelio is seen as a kind of precursor to Wagner. Fricsay showed that treating the score as an extension of Mozart and Haydn is equally valid. It is instructive to learn that as Leonora, Beethoven wrote this work in 1805 and that material that he had used when he was 20 in the Cantata for the Death of Joseph II was reused in this opera. Knowing of Solti's reputation in Wagner, Verdi and Richard Strauss let me to assume that he would approach it as a ripe Romantic grand opera. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that this is a fleet athletic and classically proportioned rendition of the score and one that I enjoyed immensely. It was also interesting that Solti did not artificially spotlight solo instruments but treated them as part of a warmer texture. The substance of the orchestration impressed rather than the soloistic writing.

The pacing is interesting. Solti was often faster than others and would be happy to up the tempi towards the ends of scenes, often to virtuosic effect with the singers he had on the recording.

I like the singing of most of the principals on this recording. Hildegard Behrens gives a lovely very personal sincere performance as Leonora.
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