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  • Gods, Kings & Demons (Opera Arias)
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Gods, Kings & Demons (Opera Arias)

11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 11, 2008
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Gods, Kings & Demons (Opera Arias) + René Pape: Wagner
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

"René Pape is an artist who thrills his audiences with charisma, intelligence and a one-in-a-million voice." -- Opera News (New York)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Sebastian Weigle
  • Composer: Charles Gounod, Arrigo Boito, Hector Berlioz, Giuseppe Verdi, Jacques Offenbach, et al.
  • Audio CD (November 11, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0017SETTM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,001 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Annilow on November 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Rene Pape is gorgeous to look at and to listen to. I've crossed the ocean twice to hear him sing. After years of buying collections and operas so that I could hear one measly aria from him, it's a great treat to have a whole CD of Rene. Many of his iconic arias, like Ella Giamai M'amo from Don Carlo and the great King Marke monologue from Tristan and Isolde are here. But the one I listen to over and over is Act II, Romance: "Na vozdusnom okeane" RUBENSTEIN: Demon. The music is as melodic as Schubert, and the singer as lyrical as the finest tenor. Great emotion pours out through his disciplined voice. If there are any sins in this CD they are ones of omission -- for example, there is no In diesen heil'gen Hallen or O Isis und Osiris, from Magic Flute -- I guess Sarastro isn't a God, King, or Demon. You must own at least one copy of this CD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Bass-baritones with voices as deep and plush as Rene Pape's rarely become superstars, but he's on the verge, I think. Diehard fans already exist in plenty, and every time his name appears on the bill at the Met for a performance of Tristan, Parsifal, the Magic Flute, or Fidelio, you know that the A-list cast is on. It's nice to see this native Dresdener, now 44, paired with the great Dresden Sttaatskapelle (even if Weigle's conducting is no better than satisfactory).

In keeping with the theme, we start off with three flavors of Mephistopheles by Gounod, Boito, and Berlioz, all of which Pape handles with stylish panache. His voice is so velvety and smoothly produced that he never resorts to barking or melodramatic hamminess. On stage I imagine he would add a few more teeth to his bite, however, and quite a lot more snarl. King Philip's soliloquy from Don Carlo is beautifully sung and touchingly acted.

The one snippet of Pape's noble Wotan taken from Das Rheingold is tantalizing (too bad the conducting is particularly draggy here), but then we get a signature role, King Marke singing the entire Act II monologue. As pure singing and vocal acting, this couldn't be improved on, but once again I msut point out the sagging Weigle, who lets down the orchestral side. The last lengthy extract is Boris's death scene, which Pape keeps on the restrained side -- but how can one complain when such artistry is at work?

Here's the full program:
Berlioz:
Voice des roses (Air de Méphistophélès)

Devant la maison from La Damnation de Faust

Boito:
Ecco il mondo, vuoto e tondo from Mefistofele

Dvorak:
Beda! Beda!
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew M. Calandriello on November 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At long last a CD of one of the great voices of our time. I was so thrilled to learn he was finally coming out with this CD and I have been listening to it over and over again since receiving it. I hope he records a Flying Dutchman and Guernamanz in Parsifal. Of course we all eagerly await his Wotan. Thank you Rene for giving us this wonderful recording. We want more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosomax on January 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After seeing many excellent performances of Rene Pape, it was a surprise that we had to wait so long to get his first recital CD. Notice, I am not saying "debut", for he is far too known to be considered a newcomer.
And a great first CD it is.
Conductor Sebastian Weigle has uneven tempos, sometimes way too slow, and it did take away some from the overall enjoyment.
Mr. Pape appears to be a very strong singing actor, never over-emoting, but able to infuse his characters with a healthy doze of passion and style. In particular, his Wotan and King Marke are absolutely wonderful.
As for the voice itself, while smaller and less awe-inspiring than Christoff's, Ghiaurov's, or London's, it's still a capable robust instrument that has a unique ability to soften when needed, producing quite a mesmerizing effect. When playing this CD, I first switch to Wagner, then Verdi, then to Rubinstein and Mussorgsky. Speaking of the latter, the CD does offer a "morsel" - a 1869 version of Boris's Death scene "Proschay, moy syn, umirayu". It's quite a bit different from the well-known Rimsky-Korsakov version both musically and poetically. Alas, whoever sings Fyodor is so awful, she almost ruins it.
An aria from Rusalka is another treat not commonly recorded by bassos and is given a spine-tingling treatment by Pape.
Pape is a young artist, so I look forward to his future releases and performances. But I am also keeping my Ghiaurov and Christoff CD's within easy reach.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By pohaku on November 30, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can only add a little story to the other glowing reviews. I haven't become a great Verdi fan so far, though I've heard and watched quite a bit of his work. I love all sorts of other opera, from Monteverdi to Janacek and beyond, but not Verdi...until I heard the Don Carlo track from this new CD. When I first heard it, this singer and this orchestra somehow revealed the music of Verdi to me. I think it's because there's no bombast, no overacting, no wailing or shouting. Pape's power and skill allow him to simply sing, though I'm sure actually doing so is not so simple. I hope I can use the insight provided by Rene Pape to help me unlock more Verdi now.
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