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Rusalka


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Audio CD, June 20, 2006
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Editorial Reviews


Disc: 1
1. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 1. Nixenszene
2. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 1. Lied an den Mond
3. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 1. Weinen, Klagen...
4. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 1. Ritt einst...
5. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 1. Hode Erscheinung
Disc: 2
1. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 2. Szene Heger
2. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 2. Seit Tagen weilst du
3. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 2. Wehe, wehe
4. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 2. Szene Rusalka/Wassermann
5. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 2. Szene Wassermann/Prinz
6. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 3. Szene Rusalka/Jezibaba
7. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 3. Wie du zitterst
8. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 3. Szene der Feen
9. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 3. Szene Rusalka/Prinz
10. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 3. Gib mit den Frieden

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 20, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Profil
  • ASIN: B000F6YWZI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,607 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This German-language production of Dvorák's fairy-tale opera 'Rusalka' comes from post-war Dresden and marks one of the first recordings and broadcasts following the fire-storm destruction of the heart of Dresden by Allied bombers in early 1945. It stars singers of the Dresden Semperoper who had survived the war. Most familiar of them is basso Gottlob Frick as Rusalka's father and soprano Efriede Trötschel in the title role. The conductor is Joseph Keilberth, leading the Staatskapelle Dresden who also had functioned as the pit orchestra of the Semper Opera before the war. Since all the suitable auditoria in Dresden had been destroyed, this performance -- first broadcast live over Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk and then recorded, again live, a few days later -- took place in an improvised 'studio' in the reception area of the German Hygiene Museum. Most of the included booklet describes how the audio was set up in this improvised setting and how the master tapes were recovered and renovated by modern sound engineers. Very little is said about the opera itself, except for a brief synopsis. There is no included libretto. Further, the Czech original had been altered considerably for its German-language production, bringing it more in line with Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Little Mermaid.' All this leads one to conclude that this production, whatever its musical values, is more for the historically minded than for the average opera lover.

As for the musical performance itself, it has much to recommend it. First, the sound is amazingly good considering the state of the master tapes when they were found and restored in the early 1990s after German reunification.
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By Dabí Sánchez on August 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Some years ago, Mr. Morrison, one of the very best of the Amazon customer reviewers, gave a superb account of this recording and its interest. It's fair to add that the conductor, Keilberth, was a "man for all seasons" of the podium. Indeed, as director of Prague's "German Philharmonic" during the Nazi occupation, he clearly acquired some expertise in Czech music. He might also have acquired a morally dubious line in his dossier, but that's a complex matter and a discussion for another day. Keilberth's love of the music and his beautiful handling of it are beyond question. As for the sound, it is simply amazing. What the engineers took down in the Dresden Hygiene Museum has been given brilliant re-mastering. What you have, then, from the ruins of postwar Germany, is something not far from the fine studio performances of the early stereo era. For proximity to the spirit of the music, I think nothing can beat it. Mr. Morrison is quite correct, I think, in saying that one would want to have another recording as one's "primary" Rusalka; but for that I would recommend the recording led by Chalabala, from 1961, with Czech soloists and the ensemble forces of the Prague National Theatre. The sound is clear, lovely stereo. With the possible exception of Neumann's later recording, none is more authentic. See these two links, the second a DVD with the Chalabala recording as its sound-track. Rusalka - Complete Opera Dvorak - Rusalka / Subrtova, Zidek, Haken, Ovcacikova, Hlobilova, Wysoczanska, Mixova, Chalabala To my ear, no one, not even Neumann, can touch Chalabala in this repertoire.Read more ›
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