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Entries by Topic
All topics  «
001) Martha, 1969
002) Hoffmann 1960
003) Rigoletto, 1967
004) Faust, Colon 1971
005) Evening bells, 1963
006) Prophete, live 1970
007) Grafin Mariza, 1973
008) Wiener Blut, 1970
009) Rahmaninov, 1970
010) Cellini, live 1966
011) Russian arias, 1969
012) Sonnambula, Met 1963
013) Elisir, 1966
014) I vespri, Met 1974
015) Prodana nevesta, Met1978
016) Recital Salzburg, 1961
017) Swedish duets 1983
018) Recital Leningrad, 1980
018) Recital Moscow 1, 1980
020) Les pecheurs, 1960
021) Faust, Paris 1975
022) Liederabend Hannover 1964
023)Entfuhrung, Aix-en-Provence
024) Fra Diavolo, 1984
025) La Boheme 1962
026) Graf von Luxemburg 1968
027) Boris Godunov 1976
028) Carmen 1959
029) Orphee... Aix 1955
030) Manon 1970
031) Huguenots, Vienna 1970
032) Guillaume Tell 1972
033) Early arias
034) Great moments
035) Donizetti, Bellini duets
036) First 10 years
037) I Capuleti e i Montecchi 19
038) Dame blanche, Hilversum 196
039) Gedda sings Lehar
040) Zigeunerbaron 1969
041) Don Giovanni 1965
042) Lady Macbeth from..., 1978
043) Werther Carnegie Hall 1965
044) Barbier von Bagdad 1956
045) Carmen 1964
046) Favorite encores 1964
047) Palestrina 1973
048) Oedipus Rex, Rome 1952
049) Pikovaja dama, Met 1972
050) Capriccio 1957
051) Idomeneo 1971
052) Turco in Italia 1954
053) Don Giovanni, Met 1967
054) Der Zarewitsch 1968
055) Land das Lachelns 1952
056) Barbiere di Siviglia 1974
057) Messiah 1964
058) Tosca, Boston 1971
059) Pelleas et. Mel. Met 1962
060) Cosi fan tutte 1974
061) Verdi Requiem 1963
062) Lakme Carnegie Hall 1981
063) I puritani 1971
064) Puritani Philadelphia 1963
065) Puritani Florence 1970
066) Vanessa 1958
067) Die Fledermaus 1955
068) Carmen 1964
069) Don Giovanni, Aix 1956
070) Faure 1982
071) Life for the Tsar 1957
072) Zauberflote 1964
073) Lucia, Met 1977
074) Iphigenie en Tauride 1961
075) Alceste 1982
076) Paganini 1977
077) Csardasfurstin 1973
078) Szenen aus Faust 1981
079) Boris Godunov 1953
080) Cendrillon 1978
081) North.&Russ. songs 1971
082) Platee Aix-en-P. 1956
083) Bettelstudent 1973
084) Giuditta 1984
085) Bach Mass 1967
086) Betrogene Kadi 1975
087) First recital 1953
088) Zar & Zimmermann 1966
089) La damnation, Rome 1969
090) Rosenkavalier 1956
091) Wunder der Heliane 1992
092) La traviata 1971
093) Padmavati 1983
094) Ballo, Vienna 1975
095) Thais 1976
096) Oedipe 1989
097) Devin du village 1956
098) Lohengrin Stockholm 1966
099) Gustav Wasa 1992
100) Satie 1969
101) Kalanus 1986
102) Undine 1966
103) Traviata Covent Garden 1972
104) Traviata, Vienna 1971
105) Christus am Olberge 1970
106) Tell, Florence 1972
107) Carmen, La Scala 1974
108) Orfeo ed E., Edinburgh 1067
109) Sonnambula, Met 1972
110) Gedda&Slovenski oktet
111) Onegin, Met 1977
112) Entfuhrung 1966
113) Euryanthe 1974
114) Gerontius 1975
115) Lustige Witwe 1967
116) Lustige Witwe 1962
117) Lustige Witwe 1952
118) Louise 1977
119) Iolanta, Paris 1984
120) Faust 1958
121) Recital Zurich 1998
122) Nacht in Venedig 1854
123) Candide 1989
124) Opernprobe 1975
125) Elisir, Met 1965
126) La damnation 1973
127) Werther 1968
128) Mireille, Aix 1954
129) Verdi Requiem Vienna 1954
130) Verdi Requiem, NY 1972
131) Benvenuto Cellini 1972
132) Recital Vienna 1984
133) Last savage Met 1964
134) Cantata BWV Rome 1969
135) Recital Leningrad 1980
136) Zauberflote video 1970
137) Elijah 1968
138) Recital 1970
139) Zauberflote, Rome 1953
140) Ballo video Stockholm 1985
141) Les introuvables
142) War and Peace 1986
143) Don Giovanni, Met 1971
144) Lady Macbeth video 1992
145) La damnation 1969
146) Rigoletto, Stockholm 1959
147) Onegin, Met 1979
148) Onegin, Florence 1980
149) Moscow 1980 video
150) Budapest 1984 video
151) Faust 1953
152) Monte Carlo 1984 video
153) Les Troyens, Rome 1971
154) Recital with Moore video
155) Ballo, Covent Garden 1977
156) Manon San Francisco 1971
157) Oeduipus Rex Stockholm 1991
158) Elisir, Vienna 1973
159) Manon, Met 1959
160) Recital Amsterdam 1982
161) Beethoven's songs 1969
161a) Beethoven's songs
162) Arias and songs
163) Ciboulette 1982
164) Zigeunerbaron, Met 1959
165) Interview Da capo 1989
166) Matthaus Passion 1961
167) Pecheurs Carnegie Hall 1974
168) Documentary video 1968
169) Persephone 1955
170) Lelio 1974
171) Lehar and Kalman
172) Oberon Carnegie Hall 1978
173) Met 25. anniversary 1982
174) Pushkin's poems 1987
175) Wiener Blut 1954
176) La Boheme Munich 1975
177) Alceste, Met 1961
178) Faust, Met 1969
179) Zauberflote, Met 1970
180) Rosenkavalier Met 1969
181) Cellini Carnegie Hall 1983
182) Orfeo ed. E., Aix 1955
183) Manon, Met 1963
184) Boris Godunov Met 1963
185) Lucia, Met1969
186) Hoffmann, Met 1959
187) Traviata, Met 1964
188) Man who disappeared 1984
189) Forza del destino 1964
190) Postillon 1965
191) Don Carlos 1973
192) Freischutz 1969
193) Matthaus Passion 1969
194) Dalibor Carnegie Hall 1977
195) Gedda Icon-85th bithday
196) Rinaldo, Milan 1983
197) P. m. solenelle 1984
198) Schule Salzburg 1957
199) Lakme 1961
200) Evocations 1986
201) Missa solemnis 1958
202) Recital Vienna 2001
203) Concert Munich 1969
204) Fra Diavolo, SF 1968
205) La clemenza di Tito 1955
206) La damnation 1959
207) Alceste 1962
208) Champagner operette
209) Budapest concert 1984
210) Liszt's songs 1986
211) Faust, Met 1966
212) Paradies und Peri 1973
213) Tosca 1988
214) Cosi fan tutte Aix 1955
215) Recital 1999
216) Idomeneo, Rome 1971
217) Romeo et Juliette 1964
218) La damnation Montreux 1959
219) Abu Hassan 1973
220) Romeo&Juliette Met 1968
221) Carmen, Vienna 1954
222) Tosca, Stockholm 1975
223) Ein Walzertraum 1970
224) Puritani Naples 1971
225) Faust Met 1958
226) Puritani Carnegie Hall 63
227) Mozart Requiem 1971
228) Faust Met 72
229) Berlioz Grande messe
230) Recit. Salzburg 1959
231) Recit. Memphis 1972
231) The very best
232) The very best
233) Rigoletto Met 1967
234) Onegin Boston 1976
235) Three Requiems
236) Die Schone Helena
237) Onegin English 1992
238) Russian lith. chant
239) Orthodox chants
240) Russian songs 1980
241) Candide video 1989
242) Gala concert Munich
243) Butterfly 1955
244) Zigeunerbaron 1954
245) Onegin 1988
246) Swedish songs 1980
247) Fledermaus 1972
248) Beethoven's 9. Symph
249) B. Godunov 87 audio
250) B. Godunov 87 video
251) Hoffmann Met 1970
252) Recital London 1973
253) Bach Magnificat
254) Land des Lächeln 67
255) Schauspieldirector
256) Mesplé& Gedda duos
257) Hugo Wolf
258) Robert Stolz
259) Zwillingsbrüder 1975
260) French connection
261) Beethoven 9th, 1973
262) Kienzl Evangelimann
263) Berlioz Romeo et J.
264) Strauss Venedig 1967
265) Cellini live 1964
266) Salzburg 1971
267) Onegin Met 1978 live
268) Operetta duets 1972
269) Hoffmann live 1971
270) Russian romances '60
271) Mozart Krönungsmesse
272) Bach B minor Mass
273) Entführung Met 1979
274) Beethoven Missa 1959
275) Mozart Requiem live
276) Poulenc Melodies
277) Pelléas et Mélis. 71
278) Don Giovanni live 62
279) Schubert rec. Rome74
280) Russian hymns&chants
281) Arias&songs
284) Manon, Colon 1970
285) Viennese delights
286) Orphée Gluck live 75
287) L'enfance du Christ
288) Zauberflöte Met 1958
289) Iphigenie Taur. 1956
290) Cosi fan tutte 1959
291) Zauberflote Scala55
292) Butterfly German
293) Bruckner 9th symph.
293) G. Tell highlights
294) Sjögren songs
295) Verdi Requiem 1979
296) Entführung 1968
Music Links - operas and recitals of Nicolai Gedda
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Friday, 12 June 2009
45) Giacomo Puccini Madama Butterfly
Mood:  sad


Recording from 1955


Butterfly - Maria Callas

Pinkerton - Nicolai Gedda

Sharpless - Mario Boriello

Suzuki - Lucia Danieli


La Scala Theater Orchestra, conductor Herbert von Karajan





Posted by nf/amenemhat at 10:19 PM MEST
Updated: Friday, 7 August 2015 9:43 AM MEST
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44) Peter Cornelius Der Barbier von Bagdad
Topic: 044) Barbier von Bagdad 1956




Posted by nf/amenemhat at 8:31 PM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:06 AM MEST
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43) Jules Massenet Werther - live performance
Topic: 043) Werther Carnegie Hall 1965


Live concert performance from Carnegie Hall, 14 November, 1965

Werther - Nicolai Gedda

Charlotte -  Rita Gorr

Albert -  Theodor Uppman

Sophie -  Ann Elgar

Bailiff -  Joseph Tair

Johann - Daniel Ferro

Schmidt -  Charles May


Conductor Robert Lawrence



Posted by nf/amenemhat at 7:36 PM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:04 AM MEST
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42) Dimitri Sostakovic Lady Macbeth from Mtsensk
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: 042) Lady Macbeth from..., 1978



Prejudice. That is why this work does not appear on the shelves of some opera lovers. The composer’s name conjures dissonance; thus are great works and performances ignored. That is a sad mistake for one should really sit and listen. Then if you fall into the ‘hate it’ rather than ‘love it’ camp your decision will be based on reason.


Further it is unlikely that there will be a better recording. I was tempted to add the word ‘ever’ but that is presumptuous. Here is a recording that drips with emotion and power. Rostropovich conducts, cajoles, creates and controls a performance of outstanding fluidity. Of course that is what Shostakovich intended with the orchestral interludes between scenes creating seamless sound in each Act. And what overwhelmingly powerful sounds there are: from quiet haunting accompaniment through wonderfully deep vibrato via sharp tonal contrasts and into brass and full orchestral violence. Here is musical tension second to none.


With Galina Vishnevshaya singing Katerina it is hardly surprising that there is an outstanding reciprocity of musical understanding: musical husband and wife teams are frequently so and this is no exception. Of course Shostakovich made Katerina a more sympathetic character that she was in the original work where cruelty predominated and no sympathy could be aroused. Here we see another side of Katerina. Whilst she is venomous to, and about, her father in law (listen to sam ty krýsa and shudder) she arouses sympathy in her lonely bedtime ‘lament’ Zherebýonok k kobýlke torópitsa; sympathy she herself feigns so well upon her father in law’s death. This is a performance of many parts: from warm cream toned richness to awesome aggression.


Her father in law, sung by Dimiter Petkov, has a simple character: thoroughly unpleasant. A mean, moaning hypocritical role (keen to protect his son’s wife until the early hours of the morning when foiled only by her lover’s presence) Petkov sings it so well he is believably dreadful. My only reservation is a slight lack of variation in dynamics until he returns as ‘his’ ghost when there are dynamics and deep coloured variation aplenty. The ever-reliable Nicolai Gedda sings the sexually duplicitous Sergey. His distinctive timbre brings more that a hint of Wagner. This is a towering performance moving through raw animal passion to obsequiousness. There is a crudity in the music which Vishnevskaya and Gedda capture faultlessly. The cuckolded husband, sung by Werner Krenn has a comparatively small and somewhat unattractive role. There is little for Krenn to build characterisation upon until his return to his home and one of the infrequent duets. He and Vishnevskaya provoke strong vocal contrasts in each other before violence erupts and ends in his death.


At this point I cannot refrain from wondering why we have not seen a production on film or television ‘loosely based’ on the story. Two deaths so far, one more to come, with a mob-handed sexual assault scene (probably updated to a gang rape) and consensual coupling off stage rather than the earlier on stage aggressive sexual passion.


So first to an assault. Taru Valjakka as Aksinya is a totally convincing victim manhandled with crudity. Here is frenetic singing and accompaniment demonstrating serious unpleasantness. Valjakka leaves us in no doubt about that with some heart-rending tones and ear piercing cries. Birgit Finnlä, as Sonyetka, seducer of, and by, Sergey has a voluptuous tone judged to perfection. There is some light relief but not lightweight singing. Robert Tear is the ‘shabby peasant’ a role he obviously relishes both in its sober and almost drunken state. Leonard Mróz as the priest produces a vocal priestly parody with his deep strong intonation. All this and yet more with distinctive and particularly clear singing from Aage Haugland, Martyn Hill and Alexander Malta. Finally there is what we have come to expect in this series by way of accompanying booklet. There is the usual full libretto which follows Richard Osborne’s synopsis of each scene and thoroughly interesting history of the opera and comments on this recording.


With such a cast it is not surprising that this was an outstanding recording. Now digitally remastered it is nothing short of a stunning recording fully justifying its place in this series. So if you do not have it, overcome your prejudice and buy it. You might not ‘like’ it or even ‘enjoy, it but you will appreciate the power of the performance.

Robert McKechnie



Posted by nf/amenemhat at 11:55 AM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:01 AM MEST
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Thursday, 11 June 2009
41) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni - recording
Mood:  flirty
Topic: 041) Don Giovanni 1965






You must join the three files with HJsplit  (




Posted by nf/amenemhat at 11:48 PM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 10:57 AM MEST
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40) Johann Strauss II Der Zigeunerbaron - recording
Topic: 040) Zigeunerbaron 1969


Graf Peter Homonay - Hermann Prey

Conte Carnero - Wolfgang Anheisser

Sandor Barinkay - Nicolai Gedda

Kalman Szupan - Kurt Böhme

Arsena - Rita Streich

Mirabella - Gizela Litz

Ottokar - Willi Brokmeier

Czipra - Biserka Cvejiæ

Saffi - Grace Bumbry


Recording from 1969.  Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper.

Conductor Franz Allers.





Posted by nf/amenemhat at 8:06 PM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 September 2013 10:45 AM MEST
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39) Nicolai Gedda Sings Franz Lehar
Mood:  bright
Topic: 039) Gedda sings Lehar


      1. Das Land des Lächelns, operetta Dein ist mein ganzes Herz
      2. Friederike, operetta O Mädchen, mein Mädchen
      3. Frasquita, operetta Hab' ein blaues Himmelbett
      4. Das Land des Lächelns, operetta Von Apfelblüten einen Kranz
      5. Der Zarewitsch, operetta Wolga-Lied
      6. Giuditta, operetta Du bist meine Sonne
      7. Schön ist die Welt, operetta Schön ist die Welt
        (Bruder Leichtsinn so
      8. Paganini, operetta Gern hab' ich die Frau'n geküßt
      9. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta O Vaterland -
         Da geh' ich zu Maxim
      10. Giuditta, operetta Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert
      11. Schön ist die Welt, operetta Liebste glaub' an mich
      12. Das Land des Lächelns, operetta Immer nur Lächeln
      13. Der Graf von Luxemburg, operetta
          Mein Ahnherr war der Luxemburg

       Graunke Symphony Orchestra, conductor Willy Mattes


Posted by nf/amenemhat at 6:35 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 9 January 2011 4:25 PM CET
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38) Francois-Adrien Boieldieu La Dame Blanche - live performance
Mood:  bright
Topic: 038) Dame blanche, Hilversum 196


Opera comique in 3 acts. Libretto by Eugène Scribe. First performance: Opéra-Comique, Paris, December 10, 1825.

George Brown Tenor ........ Nicolai Gedda
Jenny Soprano ............. Sofia Van Sante
Gaveston Bass ............. Guus Hoekman
Anna Soprano .............. Erna Spoorenberg
Dickson Tenor ............. Frans Vroons
Marguerite ................ Mimì Aarden
McIrton ................... Henk Driessen

Chorus & Orchestra of Radio Hilversum
Jean Fournet, conductor

Live performance, Hilversum, 25 November 1964


Boieldieu was, for want of a better description, a bel-cantist; his vocal lines are decorated and at times virtuosic--particularly in his writing for tenor. But at the same time he is quintessentially French in melodic and harmonic temperament and tone; his music is graceful and has a certain regality and delicacy that is immensely appealing. This opera is based on a couple of stories by Sir Walter Scott involving a disguised Earl, a castle, and a ghost (the "white lady" of the title) believed to be haunting the castle. It's silly, but the music is definitely worth hearing, and this performance, taped live in 1964 (and in very good sound--it must have been broadcast) is excellent. The production's star is the in-his-prime Nicolai Gedda, who sings the difficult music of George Brown (who turns out to be Julius, Earl of Avenell)--full of coloratura, octave leaps, high Cs, and much soft, sweet singing--as if it were easy. As Anna, whom the Earl eventually winds up marrying (and who has been roaming the castle as the ghost), Mimi Aarden exhibits a lovely soprano; her music often is accompanied by harp and has great charm. The conniving Gaveston, who wants the castle to himself, is baritone Henk Dreissen--perhaps not menacing, but a good singer. The rest of the cast is fine. This is a treat for certain tastes; light and delightful.--Robert Levine




Posted by nf/amenemhat at 5:04 PM MEST
Updated: Saturday, 15 October 2011 9:14 PM MEST
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37) Vincenzo Bellini I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Mood:  sad
Topic: 037) I Capuleti e i Montecchi 19





Recorded in London, September 1975

Posted by nf/amenemhat at 3:27 PM MEST
Updated: Wednesday, 28 December 2011 5:10 PM CET
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36) Nicolai Gedda: The First Ten Years
Mood:  cool
Topic: 036) First 10 years





Posted by nf/amenemhat at 2:07 PM MEST
Updated: Monday, 10 October 2011 10:56 PM MEST
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35) Mirela Freni and Nicolai Gedda in Donizetti and Bellini Duets
Mood:  amorous
Topic: 035) Donizetti, Bellini duets


1. Ah talor...Verrano a te sull'aura

2. Povero Ernesto...Cercero lontana terra

3. Prendi, l'anel ti dono

4. Prendi, prendi, per me sei libero

5. Son geloso del zefiro errante

6. Tornami a dir che m'ami





Posted by nf/amenemhat at 1:31 PM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2011 6:57 PM CET
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34) Great Moments of Nicolai Gedda
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: 034) Great moments


Disc 1
      1. Eugen Onegin: Kuda, Kuda, Kuda VI Udallis
      2. Werther: Pourqui Me Réveller
      3. Les Pécheurs des Perles: Je Crois Entrendre Encore
      4. Manon: Instand Charmant-En Fermant Les Yeux
      5. La Muette De Portici: Du Pauvre Seul Ami Fidèle
      6. Roméo et Juliette: L'amour, L'amour!
      7. La Gioconda: Cielo E Mar!
      8. Rigoletto: Ella mi Fu Rapita
      9. Martha: Ach so fromm, Ach so Traut
      10. L'elisier D'amore: Una Furtiva Lagrima
      11. La Favorita: Favorita Del Re!
      12. L'arlesiiana: E La Solita Storia
      13. Boris Gudonow: Dimitri Tsaryévivh! Dimitri!
      14. Tebyá, Tebyá Odnú, Marina
      15. O, Tsaryévich, Imolyáyu - Vivát! Vivát!
      16. Boris Gudunow: Lezuit Lukávy Krépko Zhal Menyá
      17. Die Mainacht: Kak Tikho, Kak Prokhladno
     18. Le Postillon De Longjumeau: Vänner, Jag Sjunga..
Disc 2
     19. Le Devine du Village: Je Vals Revoir ma Charmante
      20. Orphée et Eurydice: Quel Nouveau Ciel
      21. J'ai Perdu Mon Eurydice
     22. Don Giovanni: Dalla Sua Pace
     23. Il Mio Tesoro Intanto
     24. Die Zauberflöte: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön
      25. The Abduction From The Seraglio: Love, Only Love..
      26. Oberon: Von Jugend auf schon im Kampfgefild
      27. Vater! Hör' mich Fleh'n zu dir
      28. Alessandro Stradella: Jungfrau Maria
      29. Lohengrin: In fernem Land
      30. Mein lieber Schwan
      31. Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Horch, die Lerche
      32. Die Königin von Saba: Magische Töne.. .

 Disc 3   
      33. Benvenuto Cellini: Une Heure Encore.. .
      34. Lakmé: Lakmé! Lakmé! Ah! Viens Dans La..
      35. Werther: Un Autre Est Son Épouy!
      36. Le Roi D'ys: Puisqu'on ne Peut Pas Fléchir.. .
      37. Les Hugenots: Beauté Divine Enchanteresse
      38. Guillaume Tell: Asile Héréditaire - Amis, Amis..
      39. La Sonnambula: Prendi! L'anel Fi Dono
      40. Son Geloso Del Zefiro Errante
      41. Lucia Di Lammermoor: Ah! Talor Del Tuo Pensiero..
      42. Tombe Degl'avi Miel - Fr Poco a Me Ricovero
      43. Don Pasquale: Povero Ernestol - Cercherò Lontana..
      44. Tornami a dir Che M'ami
      45. Granada
      46. La Danza
      47. Berceuse
      48. Gute Nacht, mein Holdes, süßes Mädchen



Posted by nf/amenemhat at 1:05 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 9 January 2011 4:36 PM CET
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33) Nicolai Gedda in Early Arias
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: 033) Early arias





Posted by nf/amenemhat at 8:54 AM MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2011 4:01 PM CET
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Wednesday, 10 June 2009
32) Gioachino Rossini Guillaume Tell - recording
Mood:  on fire
Topic: 032) Guillaume Tell 1972



Place: Switzerland
Time: fourteenth century

Prior to the start of the opera, Arnold, son of the Swiss leader Melcthal, has rescued Mathilde, an Austrian princess, from drowning. In spite of the political situation, Arnold and Mathilde have fallen in love.

 Act 1

It is the day of the Shepherd Festival, in May, near Lake Lucerne. Per tradition, Melchtal blesses the couples at the celebration. However, Arnold excludes himself from this privilege, as he is torn between his love for his country and his love for Mathilde. Horn fanfares interrupt the festival, and herald the arrival of Gesler, the Austrian Governor, whom the Swiss detest. Leuthold then enters, pursued by Gesler's forces. One of Gesler's soldiers has attempted to assault Leuthold's daughter, and Leuthold killed the soldier to defend her. He wishes to escape, and the lake is the only route. William Tell offers his assistance. Gesler’s guards arrive, led by Rodolphe. Leuthold manages to escape with the help of Tell, but as reprisal, Gesler's guards take Melchtal prisoner.

Act 2

In a valley by a lake, Arnold and Mathilde meet and again pledge their love. Tell and Walter arrive, and inform Arnold that Gesler has ordered the execution of Melcthal. Arnold vows vengeance. Arnold, Tell and Walter swear an oath to liberate Switzerland. They inspire the cantons to unite in this quest.

 Act 3

At the market-place in Altdorf, the day is the hundredth anniversary of Austrian rule in Switzerland. In commemoration, Gesler has had his hat placed on top of a pole and the Swiss are ordered to pay homage to the hat. Tell arrives with his son Jemmy. Tell refuses to honour the hat. Gesler recognises Tell as the man who saved Leuthold, and wants to punish him somehow. He orders Tell to shoot an apple from Jemmy’s head, in the hope that Tell will harm his son. Tell is successful in piercing the apple, and tells Gesler that had the shot failed, he would have used his next arrow against him. Gesler orders Tell to be arrested.

Act 4

A Swiss rebel army arrives, and battle ensues. Tell kills Gesler with an arrow through the heart. The Swiss emerge victorious. Mathilde and Arnold, secure in their love, reunite at the close.

Recorded in London, 1972









Posted by nf/amenemhat at 10:36 PM MEST
Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2013 3:33 PM CET
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31) Giacomo Meyerbeer Les Huguenots - live performance
Mood:  energetic
Topic: 031) Huguenots, Vienna 1970



LES HUGUENOTS Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864)

Marguerite de Valois Rita Shane
Comte de Saint-Bris Dimitri Petkov
Valentine Enriqueta Tarres
Comte de Nevers Pedro Farres
Urbain Jeanette Scovotti
Cossé Kurt Equiluz
Tavannes Harald Neukirch
Thoré Ewald Aichberger
de Retz Jaroslav Stanjnc
Méru Ladislav Ilavsky
Maurevert Manfred Schenk
Raoul de Nangis Nicolai Gedda
Marcel Justino Diaz
Bois-Rosé Ewald Aichberger
Deux Demoiselles Waltrud Haas/Unni Rugtvedt
Archer Manfred Schenk
Premier moine Jaroslav Stanjc
Second moine Ladislav Ilavsky
Troisième moine Manfred Schenk

Orchestra & Chorus of the Austrian Radio
Ernst Märzendorfer Conductor
Gottfried Preinfalk Chorus Master

Broadcast February 17, 1971* Grosser Konzerthaussaal, Vienna


There are three available recordings of this opera: A complete performance on Decca with Sutherland and a weak tenor; a cut Italian version live from Scala with Sutherland, Corelli, and Simionato that is thrilling but lacks any sense of French style; and this version, from an Austrian Radio performance in 1971 that cuts about 75 minutes of the opera and has some very weak casting. (Another complete one on the MusiFrance label disappeared long ago.) The good things about this Opera d'Oro set, besides the price, are Nicolai Gedda, who sings Raoul with style, elegance, ringing top notes, and absolute commitment, the leadership of Ernst Märzendorfer, who holds the show together and conducts with a dramatic throb that almost makes sense of the work (and is certainly better than Bonynge), and the Marguerite of Rita Shane, a high coloratura who, while more interested in vocal fireworks than anything else, nonetheless delivers great excitement with lots of interpolated high Ds, Es, Fs and the occasional squeaky G. Jeanette Scovotti is a pert Urbain, also with uninviting, mouse-like high notes, Enriqueta Tarres is a shrill Valentine, and Justino Diaz is terrible as Marcel. The sound is very good. This is for the curious and for fans of Nicolai Gedda, who will not be disappointed.

--Robert Levine,



Posted by nf/amenemhat at 2:27 PM MEST
Updated: Thursday, 12 February 2015 9:00 AM CET
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Tuesday, 9 June 2009
30) Jules Massenet Manon - recording
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: 030) Manon 1970



This belongs in the pantheon of great opera recordings. In 1970 when the performance was taped, Beverly Sills had only sung the role that eventually hurt her voice--Elisabetta in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux--a handful of times, and so she was at the peak of her powers. The voice never was opulent or grand, but it was all the other things we hope for in a great vocal instrument: beautiful, expressive, agile, thoroughly even from very top (E-flats and Es) to bottom, with a flawless technique, extraordinary breath control, and a capability in any dynamic range, from the quietist pianissimo to an impressive forte. These traits, coupled with a lively, curious, intelligent mind and a commitment to drama, made her the finest dramatic coloratura of the late-'60s and very early '70s (Caballé could be emotionally and vocally lazy; Sutherland's interest in drama was ancillary).

There are other very good recordings of Manon on the market: Victoria de los Angeles is glorious, Gheorghiu and Alagna on EMI are excellent, and an odd, live performance on Myto, with Giacomo Aragall and Jeanette Pilou, is a wonderful surprise, full of passion. But this one is a desert-island set: Sills is girlish and demure at first, later alluring and sure of herself, then cajoling and outright lusty in the St. Sulpice Scene, and truly tragic at the end. Her coloratura is glittering, her "Adieu" heartrending. Nicolai Gedda is a very extroverted Des Grieux, singing with big, forward tone, but also (as usual) with great sensitivity and attention to dynamics. Gérard Souzay sounds a bit long-in-the-tooth for Lescaut, but he's a very classy singer and he does get the character's smarminess across. Gabriel Bacquier is a fine, authoritative Count, and the rest of the cast is superb. All sing in excellent French. Julius Rudel leads a more-than-complete score, with an additional aria for Manon in the Cours de la Reine scene that Massenet added for another soprano, and the orchestral playing is all you'd want it to be. The sound, once glaring, is now close to perfect. This is it. [06/22/2004]

--Robert Levine,




Manon - Beverly Sills

De Grieux - Nicolai Gedda

Comte de Grieux - Gabriel Bacquier

Lescaut - Gerard Suzay


Conductor - Julius Rudel, 1970





Posted by nf/amenemhat at 10:04 PM MEST
Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2011 7:53 AM MEST
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29) Christoph Willibald Gluck Orphee et Eurydice - live performance
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: 029) Orphee... Aix 1955


1774 Paris version (with tenor Orpheus)

Orphée - Nicolai Gedda
Eurydice - Janine Micheau
L'Amour - Liliane Berton

Louis de Froment
Aix-en-Provence, 1957


The first lines of arias, choruses, etc., are given in Italian (1762 version) and French (1774 version).

Act 1

A chorus of nymphs and shepherds join Orfeo around the tomb of his wife Euridice in a solemn chorus of mourning; Orfeo is only able to utter Euridice's name (Chorus and Orfeo: “Ah, se intorno”/“Ah! Dans ce bois”). Orfeo sends the others away and sings of his grief in the aria "Chiamo il mio ben"/“Objet de mon amour”, the three verses of which are preceded by expressive recitatives. This technique was extremely radical at the time and indeed proved overly so for those who came after Gluck: Mozart chose to retain the unity of the aria. Amore (Cupid) appears, telling Orfeo that he may go to the Underworld and return with his wife on the condition that he not look at her until they are back on earth (1774 only: aria by Amour, “Si les doux accords”). As encouragement, Amore informs Orfeo that his present suffering shall be short-lived with the aria "Gli sguardi trattieni"/“Soumis au silence”. Orfeo resolves to take on the quest. In the 1774 version only he delivers an ariette ("L'espoir renaît dans mon âme") in the older, showier, Italian style, originally composed for an occasional entertainment, Il Parnaso confuso (1765), and subsequently re-used in another one, Le feste d'Apollo (1769).[1]

Act 2

In a rocky landscape, the Furies refuse to admit Orfeo to the Underworld, and sing of Cerberus, its canine guardian (“Chi mai dell’Erebo”/“Quel est l’audacieux”). When Orfeo, accompanied by his lyre (represented in the opera by a harp), begs for pity in the aria "Deh placatevi con me"/“Laissez-vous toucher”, he is at first interrupted by cries of "No!" from the Furies, but they are eventually softened by the sweetness of his singing in the arias "Mille pene"/“Ah! La flamme and "Men tiranne"/“La tendresse”, and let him in (“Ah, quale incognito affetto”/“Quels chants doux”). In the 1774 version, the scene ends with the "Dance of the Furies" (No. 28).[12]

The second scene opens in Elysium. The brief ballet of 1762 became the four-movement "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" (with a prominent part for solo flute) in 1774. This is followed (1774 only) by a solo which celebrates happiness in eternal bliss (“Cet asile”), sung by either an unnamed Spirit or Euridice, and repeated by the chorus. Orfeo arrives and marvels at the purity of the air in an arioso ("Che puro ciel"/“Quel nouveau ciel”). But he finds no solace in the beauty of the surroundings, for Euridice is not yet with him. He implores the spirits to bring her to him, which they do (Chorus: “Torna, o bella”/“Près du tendre objet”).

Act 3

On the way out of Hades, Euridice is delighted to be returning to earth, but Orfeo, remembering the condition related by Amore in Act I, lets go of her hand and refuses to look at her, does not explain anything to her. She does not understand his action and reproaches him, but he must suffer in silence (Duet: “Vieni, appaga il tuo consorte”/“Viens, suis un époux”). Euridice takes this to be a sign that he no longer loves her, and refuses to continue, concluding that death would be preferable. She sings of her grief at Orfeo's supposed infidelity in the aria "Che fiero momento"/“Fortune ennemie” (in 1774, there is a brief duet before the reprise). Unable to take any more, Orfeo turns and looks at Euridice; again, she dies. Orfeo sings of his grief in the famous aria "Che farò senza Euridice?”/“J’ai perdu mon Eurydice” (“What I will do without Euridice?”/"I have lost my Euridice")

Orfeo decides he will kill himself to join Euridice in Hades, but Amore returns to stop him (1774 only: Trio: “Tendre Amour”). In reward for Orfeo's continued love, Amore returns Euridice to life, and she and Orfeo are reunited. After a four-movement ballet, all sing in praise of Amore (“Trionfi Amore”). In the 1774 version, the chorus (“L’Amour triomphe”) precedes the ballet, to which Gluck had added three extra movements.




Posted by nf/amenemhat at 7:35 PM MEST
Updated: Friday, 15 March 2013 11:42 AM MEST
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28) Georges Bizet Carmen - recording from 1959
Mood:  on fire
Topic: 028) Carmen 1959


Magic on all fronts is this excellent-value reissue, where Beecham’s sensuous way with the orchestra is well matched by the soloists.

As Richard Osborne points out in his brilliant, informative note, this classic Beecham set was originally welcomed in Gramophone with a glowing review from Philip Hope Wallace: ‘I send up a loud “Ole”.’ It certainly stands the test of time, sparkling, swaggering and seducing in a way that is uniquely Beecham’s. It now comes in the EMI Great Recordings of the Century series, with brightened, freshened and clarified sound. As RO points out, there were serious problems at the sessions – a second series was organised 15 months after the first (hence the two Mercedes) – but you would never realise there had been difficulties, either from the performance or the firmly focused, spacious recording in which the atmospheric off-stage effects are vividly caught.

What is so individual is the way that Beecham points rhythms to captivate the ear, as well as his persuasive moulding of phrases. I think, for example, of the sensuous way he coaxes the string phrase leading into the second half of the Don Jose/Micaela duet in Act 2, ‘Parle-moi de ma mere!’ (disc 1, track 9, 3'47''). In those qualities Beecham is delectably matched by Victoria de los Angeles in the title-role.

Richard Osborne reveals that Beecham’s original choice of heroine was the Swedish mezzo Kerstin Meyer. After all, de los Angeles – Mimi in Beecham’s Boheme recording – is hardly an obvious candidate for such a fire-eating role. But as RO points out, there is far more to Carmen than is conveyed in that conventional approach, and de los Angeles instantly establishes her as a seductive, provocative character with wickedly sparkling eyes. In her opening solo, the Habanera, her delicious downward portamento on ‘Je t’aime’ is irresistible.

The Carmen quality which de los Angeles does not have in her regular armoury, though, is a snarl. Instead she consistently uses her golden tone to tantalise and provoke, as in the magically sultry moment leading into ‘La-bas dans la montagne’ in her Act 2 duet with Jose just after the Flower song (disc 2, track 13). At that point Beecham, too, subtly pressing the music forward, is a fellow magician. Then at the very end, in Act 4, de los Angeles does finally muster a snarl in the culminating phrase ‘laisse-moi passer’ (‘Well stab me then, or let me pass’).

In a way, Nicolai Gedda’s portrait of Don Jose is just as remarkable. He was at his peak, and sings not just with refinement and imagination but with deep passion, leading one on in the widest expressive range in the Flower song. Janine Micheau makes a bright, clear Micaela, very French in tone, and Ernst Blanc, if not the most characterful Escamillo, makes the bullfighter a forthright, heroic character, singing throughout with firm, clear tone. The rest of the cast, all French, make an excellent team, as is clear in ensembles: the sparkling account of the Act 2 Quintet or the opening of the Card scene, or the swaggering march ensemble as the smugglers depart in Act 3 (disc 3, track 6). A magic set now made all the more enticing in this mid-price reissue.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [10/2000]


Recorded in Paris, September 1959






Posted by nf/amenemhat at 4:48 PM MEST
Updated: Sunday, 21 November 2021 5:03 PM CET
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27) Modest Musorgski Boris Godunov (original version)
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: 027) Boris Godunov 1976


This Boris Godunov was recorded in 1976, and released the following year. It is best described as the 1872 version, conflated with 1869 material that had later been removed. Thus, the Polish act dates from 1872, but the section of Pimen and Grigory’s scene that had been cut from that version is restored here. The forest scene near Kromny concludes the opera, with the Fool lamenting Russia and her people, but the scene between the Fool and the children has been repositioned earlier, before the Council of Boyars meets.





Posted by nf/amenemhat at 12:58 PM MEST
Updated: Thursday, 6 October 2011 11:51 AM MEST
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Monday, 8 June 2009
26) Franz Lehar Der Graf Von Luxemburg - recording
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: 026) Graf von Luxemburg 1968




Posted by nf/amenemhat at 10:29 PM MEST
Updated: Saturday, 11 December 2010 4:25 PM CET
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