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  • Schoenberg - Moses und Aron / Pittman-Jennings · Merritt · Boulez
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Schoenberg - Moses und Aron / Pittman-Jennings · Merritt · Boulez

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 15, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

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In every respect, this Netherlands Opera production of Schoenberg's problematic yet most personal stage work outclasses Pierre Boulez's 1974 BBC recording on Sony. The conductor elicits staggeringly precise yet supple and flexible playing from the Concertgebouw, quite different from the stentorian sheen of Sir Georg Solti/Chicago, even though the all-important chorus is heard to better advantage in the latter. As Moses, David Pittman-Jennings's eloquent Sprechtstimme emphasizes the intensity of his character's inner vision rather than his outward frustration. Chris Merritt's Aron, though, is marred by a wobbly high tessitura. While the perfect Moses und Aron still eludes our grasp, DG's superb engineering allows more of the uncompromising score to be heard than ever before. --Jed Distler

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

Product Details

  • Performer: David Pittman-Jennings, Chris Merritt, John Graham Hall, Laszlo Polgar, Siegfried Lorenz, et al.
  • Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
  • Audio CD (October 15, 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GRQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,693 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sungu Okan on November 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best operas written in 20th century.
And the best 12-tone work of Schoenberg (with his Variations for Orchestra)
What a performance. Pierre Boulez's this recording is better than his early Sony recording (made in 60's). This is a 4D recording, so the sound quality is excellent. This box set was won many awards: Orphee d'Or, Tokyo Best Recording of Year, Le Choc du Monde de la Musique etc.
And there are two booklets, the first includes reportage with Boulez, synopses, some photographs from live recording, and in second booklet there is a full libretto and these are in four languages.
Highly recommended.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
You may find problems with Boulez's conducting. His Mahler you might think impossible,two men of widely different temperments. You can claim the same for Schoenberg and you need to either place Schoenberg in this century as Boulez does or throw him back as the late Sir Georg Solti did to Brahms. Whatever the choice what remains is the pure excitement and energy of performance. Solti's reading of this work with Chicago some 12 years ago was spellbinding with Brahmsian roundness of orchestral sound and full bodied singing. Even Solti's Moses(the name escapes me) sang with a compelling sprechstimme. I'd follow him anywhere. Boulez in choosing Pittman-Jennings finds a more intellectual Moses and a formidable foe to Merritt's obnoxious Aron. You need to decide for yourself what this work means to you and where Schoenberg ultimately belongs, here or thrown backwards. Still the enormous clarity Boulez elicits from the Netherlandering forces is impressive. He gets real sharp ear-splitting sonorities.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By scarecrow VINE VOICE on May 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Schoenberg had not completed this work,his life with the rise of racism/fascism in Europa had magnetized culture and its creation,aside from that Schoenberg was a bit ambivalent on the very concept of opera.He had a grphic imagination for the theatre,as his earlier:Survivor from Warsaw" and "Erwartung" attests, also his setting of various texts, "Hanging Gardens",but for an opera dealing with the Jewish faith had more a problematical element, the idea of not representing, the use of icons, all items opera thrives upon, imagery that "represents". The stage performances of this work have proved to be equally successful as the earlier stage productions and even a film. The alternate of Moses a sprechstimme role(half-speaking,half-singing) and Aron a singing role against the chorus is ample materials for this work. Boulez has lived with this work conducting it many times prior to this recording.And his usuall affinity for clarity is here, separating countrapuntal lines in the dense textures.The roles here are well portrayed the powerful authoritative earthy basso Moses to the more pedantic intellectual high strung tenor voice of Aron. Boulez makes this work modern as opposed to other interpretations.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
'Moses und Aron', the opera by Arnold Schoenberg is, to my inexperienced ears, the most distinctively 20th Century Opera I have heard (with the understanding that I have certainly not heard every one, especially not Berg's famous 'Lulu'). Not only is it relatively free of 19th century Wagnerian influences, it has some distinct family resemblences to 20th century popular German musical drama, especially that of Kurt Weill. One very noteworthy fact is that Schoenberg wrote both the music and the libretto, and the result seems, to my ear, to be one of the few German operatic pieces which did not sound as if the artists were trying to imitate Italian opera buffo (Even Mozart did that!).

The directions for singing the libretto is so modern it almost sounds like the sound track to a Robert Altman flick, where several voices are speaking at the same time. I certainly recommend this work over roughly contemporary operatic works by Stravinsky such as 'The Rake's Progress' and 'Oedipus Rex' from his 'neo-classical' period.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Media Professor on May 25, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My son got this from his Dad as a birthday present. My son is very much into music and was thrilled to get it. It arrived in plenty of time.
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