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Strauss: Rosenkavalier [Blu-ray]

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Nov 18, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Anne Schwanewilms, Kurt Rydl, Anke Vondung, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, Maki Mori, Sabine Brohmn, Oliver Ringelhahn, Elisabeth Wilke, and Juergen Commichau star in this live 2007 Dresden State Opera production of the Strauss opera performed at the NHK Hall, To

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Schwanewilms, Mori, Sachisiche Staatskapelle Dresden, Luisi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (PCM2 .0), German (PCM 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 212 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HBX8PK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,897 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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When the Americans interviewed Richard Strauss in 1945, about his Nazi affliations, he stated" I am the composer of Der Rosenkavalier".He knew that this work was truely great and surely everyone knew this to be so.Also,he thought, surely art was above politics? Most of the American troops in Germany probably prefered Bing Crosby.This recording is nearly as great as the Traditional Carlos Kleiber version, starring the soprano Gwyneth Jones.The scenery is modern and set in the period after the Second World war.It is faithful in its own manner to the usual stage settings. No doubt the traditionalists where opera is concerned, will find something to moan about. Without what they term " Eurotrash", opera would be a dying art. It is very much alive and causes arguments. That is what art is about, asking you to question, not be lazy and sit in an arm chair and not think.

The conductor Fabio Luisi, is the general music director of both the Semper opera and the Staatskapelle, Dresden. It was in the city that der Rosenkavalier was premiered in 1911. He is passionate and faithful to the now restored parts first used in 1911. He is Dresdens best kept secret. His DVDs of Verdi's Rigoletto and Beethoven Missa Solemnis, with Dresdens orchestras are among the best. His tempos in these two operas are often quick and passionate. The singers Anne Schwanewilms, who has a distinctive voice, right for this opera.She is probably, the best singer today able to truely bring alive this difficult role. I refuse to go down the road of comparing singers of yesteryear, like Lotte Lehmann et al,infering that there are no great singers today. The opera singers now, are as good as those in the past, even better, they can act.
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This opera is defined as "Komedie fur Musik", but it is far away from being a comedy, at least not in this production. The plot is a farce and Baron Ochs is a very annoying character and certainly not a funny one. But that is secondary, the two most important characters are Marschallin and Octavian, and in this production they are fabulous. Their development through the plot is what makes this opera great together with great music. The best of all is the last scene with Marschallin, Octavian and Sophie reflecting their souls into music. Far away from a comic situation, it is wonderfully realized with an almost static staging. Simply great!!
The singers are good and act their roles well, but Anne Schwanewilms stands-up from the crowd, a real treat to listen to her and see her act in this introspective role (Marschallin).
The staging is very well done and pleasing to watch. It is supposed to be set after WWII which makes some parts of the libretto seem awkward, but it does not distract from the plot and the music. This Blu-Ray disc is a joy to watch and to listen, although it appears that the sound is weak and you need to increase the volume much more than other similar discs. Strongly recommended.
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This recording of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, recorded in 2007 in Tokyo is, to my mind, a valuable addition to the range of choice now available for this major opera. For me personally, it is the one which gives me the greatest musical pleasure even though there are issues around the setting that have caused some negative comment elsewhere.

I have settled on this recording by way of rejection of others which ought also to be considered. I therefore feel that I should briefly explain why the others have proven to be unacceptable for me before commenting on this current disc.

The most obvious candidate for consideration is the Schwarzkopf / Karajan filmed in 1961 and now well restored on Blu-ray. This expert and very sympathetic version is close to definitive for many people but has one impossible flaw for me and that is the out-of sync sound and vision inevitable when a soundtrack is added in a studio post filming. The Kleiber DVD also brings together a quality cast but I personally found the sound to be lacking in the depth and sumptuousness so necessary for this opera. The square format also lacks the spaciousness that we are now so accustomed too. Sadly this recording for me now belongs to the historical interest category. Welser-Most's Zurich's offering has far better sound and vision but suffers from rather a strange production which does not do anything for me - a pity as the technical and musical values are good. I have also seen the Thielemann/Fleming recording which also fields a stellar cast and recording but I personally found Fleming's characterisation to lack the depth of understanding to her situation that others like Schwarzkopf have brought to the part.
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