Other Sellers on Amazon
Alban Berg - Wozzeck / Adolf Dresen · Claudio Abbado - F. Grundheber · H. Behrens · Vienna State Opera
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Claudio Abbado conducts the chorus and orchestra of the Vienna State Opera in a powerful recording of Alban Berg's influential opera, Wozzeck, a terrifyingly great portrayal of a soldier who is tormented and mocked by his superiors until he loses reason. Peter Mussbach's highly stylized production heightens the emotional intensity of this searing work and becomes an agonizing lament over lost innocence. Aage Haugland, Franz Grundheber, Heinz Zednik, Hildegard Behrens, Philip Langridge, Walter Raffeiner. 97 minutes.
Alban Berg's scalpel-like dissection of human baseness is compellingly captured in a 1987 Vienna State Opera production that emphasizes its often- overlooked lyricism. Based on George Buchner's play about a soldier's mad descent into murder, Berg fashioned a fast-moving exploration of both his protagonist's life and his own 12-tone music, utilized expressively throughout. As conducted by Claudio Abbado, the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus make Berg's usually difficult music utterly accessible. Franz Grundheber vividly conveys Wozzeck's descent into insanity, and Hildegard Behrens embodies his girlfriend Marie's mixture of innocence and sluttishness. Adolf Dresen's staging, thrillingly visualizing Berg's tense score, works its hair- raising magic best during the opera's climactic explosion of fatal violence. This performance of Wozzeck--sung in German with optional English subtitles, and with the Dolby 5.1 sound capably conveying the sheer aural creepiness permeating Berg's music--does justice to one of the true masterworks of 20th century opera. --Kevin Filipski
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Abbado is certainly quite successful in his performance from the orchertral side of things, but Franz Grundheber is not quite as convincing as Wozzeck as he might be. He seems better in the Barenboim production on Teldec, more unhinged. It seems that the music is still so difficult to sing that it's doubly difficult to present such an ambiguous, strange character as Wozzeck. Take the scene with Andres, for example. Wozzeck here certainly seems to have strange obsessive ideas bodering on psychosis, but you can also see him as fairly logical in the previous scene with the captain, so how does one present this role? Grundheber doesn't quite rise to the challange. It's just a question of comparing him to others who have done the part as well to compare him to himself in his later performance for Barenboim and then decide who seems to be the most convincing as a character in this drama. Of course, there's the question of taste, as well as the fact that some may be merely supporting the DVD they spent money one and had hoped would be good. It's hard to be objective in those situations. I know.
In summary, you can purchase this DVD in the knowledge that this is one of the best productions of this great opera--the small stage and sets and costumes certainly give us Berg's work as it was probably first seen in the 20s. It's just that there is probably no definitive "Wozzeck" either on cd or dvd, and there may never be. So, get this one and the Bohm (or Boulez) on cd, and wait for the new Levine.
In an era where directors are encouraged to trample all over composers' directions (even in the most ludicrous ways imaginable!), this film is a salutary shot in the arm and a joy to see for those more traditionally minded like myself!! Only one set I could criticise as being somewhat too stark (Act I Scene 2 could have been a bit more elaborate with its background depiction of the town...); also, there are a few cases where the composers' directions could have been followed even more stringently - however, although it's not perfect, it's very good indeed!!!
While I could wish for a few things likewise to be different with the conducting (personal taste - also, am I right in my growing suspicion that, somehow, DVD audio isn't quite completely as good as that of a real CD?!??), I think everybody does a superb job!! Top kudos for me go to Hildegard Behrens as Marie as well as to both Aage Haugland as the quack "Doktor" and Heinz Zednik (in spite of a few wrong notes that want to go tonal...) as the Captain, though nobody is a slouch here in the least. Perhaps one could have wished for a little more poetry in the title rôle (something Fischer-Dieskau gives us with Böhm); however, Grundheber does a fine job, nothing to complain about. Most certainly I'm most favourably impressed by Frau Behrens!! I not only love her voice and musicianship (also a superb actress - she's more than totally believable in her rôle!), also most appealing is the way she handles the Sprechstimme portions in Act III Scene 1 - better in my opinion than Evelyn Lear for Karl Böhm (it's better to err on the side of singing when handling that ferociously-difficult kind of declamation than on the side of speaking, and Behrens' feeling for it is so classy!!!!). Bravissima, wirklich Prächtig!!!
Most recent customer reviews
Yes Hildegard Behrens is wonderful, and Grundheber is more than adequate in the title role, but the ones to watch closely are "Hauptmann" Heinz...Read more
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Arts & Entertainment
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Performing Arts
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Special Interests
- Movies & TV > Indie & Art House
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Musicals & Performing Arts > Classical
- Movies & TV > Musicals & Performing Arts > Opera