Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel Enhanced, Original recording remastered
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Top Customer Reviews
Cotrubas and Von Stade are just wonderful as Gretel and Hansel; so, for that matter is everyone, especially Soderstom as the Witch. The music is so beautiful that I get tears from just the introduction alone.
However, when I opened the package I was thunderstruck! Some bonehead at Sony Masterworks decided not to include a libretto and booklet with notes about the artist and the work. Instead, s/he or them decided to put the libretto on as a cd-rom. Great! For those who don't have a libretto and are not familiar with the opera and don't have a computer, bad news. For those who do have a computer and for some reason you cannot access the cd-rom, there is a note that your computer might not be compatible with the cd-rom.
This is the very first opera on cd that this has happened with and I am amazed that a company like Sony would send out a cd without a printed libretto. For me there is no problem since I know this opera completely. But for those who don't and want their child/children to hear it, there is no synopsis or libretto or anything there. And no track numbers, either.
But it is a fabulous recording!
The children's choruses at the end are lovely, and they sound more like "real" children than in other recordings, which frequently use more academically-trained choirs.
There are other good recordings of this work. Jennifer Larmore's version on Teldec is beautifully sung, but is not recorded as richly. Sir Colin Davis on Philips brings out much the same orchestral beauty, but his version simply isn't as sweetly sung. For nearly everything in balance for a performance of this opera, the Pritchard version is the one to have.
This recording is excellent. It has the wonderful voices of Frederica von Stade and Ileana Cotrubas as Hansel and Gretel respectively. Christa Ludwig is the mother and Siegmund Nimsgren sings the jovial role of the father. The recording also features the voices of Kiri Te Kanawa and Ruth Welting. The female voices alone make it worthwhile. Thomas Pritchard conducts the Gurzenich Orchestra. The sound of the orchestra is lavish and the ensemble seems familiar with the work. While this ensemble does not seem to have too many recordings, the strength of the orchestra in this recording would make a listener wonder why.
Though there are many wonderful historic recordings of this work from the golden age of German opera singing, this is certainly a recording that will appeal to the modern listener.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the musik of Humperdinck. He incorporated children songs that once you learn them will stay with you. It is dramatic, entertaining, represents children's feelings and fears. Read morePublished on October 17, 2010 by Viviane
Hansel and Gretel is such a great opera, definitely Humperdink's best work. This is an older recording in the original German with a soprano witch. Read morePublished on August 23, 2010 by Holly A. Lenz
This is a wonderful recording of the opera. Frederica von Stade is the best Hansel, and Ileana Cotrubus' Gretel is perfect! Read morePublished on March 25, 2007 by Barbara A. Powell
Regrettably Hansel and Gretel has acquired a reputation as an opera for children. Yes, the title characters are children (sung by adult sopranos) and children often find this opera... Read morePublished on October 5, 2006 by D. R. Schryer