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R. Strauss: Die Liebe der Danae [Blu-ray] (2011)

Manuela Uhl , Mark Delavan , Kirsten Harms  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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R. Strauss: Die Liebe der Danae [Blu-ray] + Richard Strauss: Capriccio [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Manuela Uhl, Mark Delavan, Matthias Klink, Thomas Blondelle, Andrew Litton
  • Directors: Kirsten Harms
  • Writers: Richard Strauss, Joseph Gregor
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound, Color
  • Language: German (DTS HD 5.0)
  • Subtitles: German, English, Italian, French, Spanish, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005OV1MRK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,282 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Manuela Uhl, Mark Delavan, Matthias Klink, Thomas Blondelle, and Burkhard Ulrich star in this Deutsche Oper Berlin production of the Strauss opera conducted by Andrew Litton and directed by Kirsten Harms.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovered masterpiece December 13, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Die Liebe der Danae was completed by Strauss in 1940 and had five Librettists-Hofmannsthal,Zweig,Gregor,Krauss and himself.The offical first performance of the opera was at the 1952 Salzburg festival,three years after Strauss's death.Since then there have only been 20 performances.Possibly the libretto was seen as out of touch with the times. Also,Strauss stated about the opera" that he sought not lyricism,not poetry,not sentimentality,but a theatre of reason,full of brains and dry wit"The music is mainly light in texture ,but in the last act Strauss regains the warmth and richness of his last works, Capriccio and the Last four songs,and throughout the opera, looks back at Daphne.Jupiters Renunciation stands alongside his most beautiful pieces he ever wrote.

This opera is right in tune with today. For example, Act one, Scene 1: The throne room of King Pollux. A state crisis:there is no money in the coffers.To soothe his creditors, King Pollux sends his four nephews to King Midas,in the hope of being able to interest Midas in a marriage with his daughter Danae. Throughout her trials Jupiter falls in love with her,but Danae decides against him and decides in favour of Midas, even when he is turned into a poor donkey driver. She herself is turned from a vain, self loving girl into a woman who bravely defies poverty and hardship. Even Jupiter is touched and becomes a fatherly friend and then leaves the world.

The scenery is set in an undefined period and hung from the ceiling is an upturned piano which can symbolize that Art is as important as life itself. Also, that the period in which the opera is set is in chaos. This point is made clear when pages of the score drop upon Danae's head instead of gold.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD DVD December 10, 2011
Format:DVD
I partially agree in some points with the previous two reviewers.In a nutshell,this is not a bad DVD and perhaps the only one we're gonna come across of this forgotten opera by a long shot,that is in the commercial market,of course.
Granted,the production is silly,score sheets instead of gold rain,Midas in trenchcoat and shirt and so on. But basically regisseur Kristin Harms respected the main elements of Gregor's libretto and transported the action from mythological times to an undetermined timeframe.That doesn't bother me that much. Even the suspended piano represents for her the state in which art found itself in the time of the composer. This last detail is completely unnecessary,yet not quite frugal.

In terms of the singers: Regarding german soprano Manuela Uhl,I beg to disagree with the previous reviewer.She navigates through the tough role with easiness,and she seems to have learnt from having sung it for many years,i.e. the previous CPO
audio set where she also stars. Strong singing from american baritone Mark Delavan in the beautiful role of Jupiter.
Only tenor Matthias Klink sounds uneven. He does pretty good in the first two acts,specially singing the high C that culminates his duo with Danae in the second act.But in his arioso at the beginning of the third act he seems to crack and he
almost drowns two notes.

The only downside of this version is the stupid cut that was imposed in the last scene of the third act,a long duet for Danae and Jupiter of extreme melodic beauty,written by a composer who was saying farewell to this life and had the hope of meeting his dear close ones in a better world (verbatim). All this is wonderfully expressed also in the symphonic interlude that precedes the scene,which some people call STRAUSSENS ABSCHIED.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lyrically luscious, visually vacuous December 3, 2011
Format:DVD
Richard Strauss's rarely performed penultimate opera here makes its commercial DVD debut. The true star of this release is Strauss's seamless, rhapsodic score, thrillingly conducted by Andrew Litton with an assist from the sonics, heavily balanced in favor of the orchestra though never drowning out the soloists. Of the 3 principals, Mark Delavan excels as the Wotanesque Jupiter, Matthias Klink's Midas is pleasant to look at & listen to, while Manuela Uhl, who was also the Danae in the opera's 1st commercial CD release (on cpo), is often troubled by a pronounced wobble, even more noticeable in this 2011 performance than on the CD set recorded in 2003.

But it's the staging that makes viewing this CD so disconcerting, the mythical characters in ugly modern dress, principals moving this way & that with no dramatic logic, pages of music score somehow representing both golden rain & a gold hair-clip, other objects referred to in the text but nowhere in sight &, above all (in every sense), an inverted piano inexplicably suspended over the stage throughout the opera (see box photo). I kept waiting for it to come crashing down, a la the chandelier in Phantom of the Opera. It didn't.

The "bonus" material consists of brief excerpts from a public rehearsal & narrated "program notes" that add nothing to the information contained in the printed booklet. I'd hoped that among her comments, stage director Kirsten Harms would say something about the dangling piano. She didn't, leaving both the piano, & me, dangling.
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