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Kurt Weill - The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny / Peter Zadek · Denis Russell Davies - G. Jones · C. Malfitano · J. Hadley - Salzburg Festival 1997 [Import USA Zone 1]
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Description du produit
Description du produit
Weill Kurt (1900-1950)
Brian Large's cameras keep us closer than the real spectators could have got and the sound engineering is likewise unreallistically good. --Gramophone,Feb'12 --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
All the performances in this recording are fantastic. Above all, Teresa Stratas and Astrid Varnay (the two vocal queens who reigned in the film version of Strauss' Salome) star as Jenny the Prostitute and the Fugitive Leocadia Begbick respectively. These ladies are lead by the fantastic Maestro Levine, and it's quite something to watch. Their voices are strong, and bring out the dark qualities of Weill's score.
The production is quite dark, and something to adjust to, but it starkly contrasts the actors so the attention is immediately on them. I suggest getting this version, as well as another version from LA Opera (Patti LuPone, Audra MacDonald).
I am a die hard Kurt Weill fan, both the European and American works. If any of his work belongs in an opera house, Mahagonny does. Street Scene is also a good candidate for companies that can handle works with a fair amount of spoken dialogue. This is a fascinating work, with text by Berthold Brecht, it is one of the strongest pieces showing his distaste for Capitalism. Not everyone is going to warm to the story of the 7 deadly sins gone crazy in a supposedly Utopian world, but for those receptive to Brecht's point of view, the work has a powerful dramatic arc.
The production by John Dexter who established a wonderful working relationship with Levine and the Met is just about perfect, spare and dramatically detailed. Highlights include the arrival of Bigbeck, Fatty and Trinity Moses in Florida, the boxing scene in Act II and the storm sequence where the town is decimated. Levine shows that he understands the Weill idiom, too bad he never conducted any more of his work.
And, finally the cast! Teresa Stratus is a perfect Jenny, and in fact after this production she explored more of Weill's work which was so brilliantly done that Weill recordings break down into before Stratus and after Stratus, so completely did she impact performances of Weill's music. Astrid Varnay was a perfect Leocadia Bigbeck with Ragnar Ulfung and Cornell MacNeill as her sidekicks. Richard Cassilly is in superb late career form as JImmy Mahonney. He was past singing most of his mainstream roles such as Don Jose and his Wagner repertory but the voice is still in good shape and never has a tenor of his stature sung this part. His sidekicks from Alaska are Vern Shinall and Paul Plishka. It is kind of sad to note the presence of Nico Castel as the announcer because he passed away this week and will be missed. Cumulatively this cast completely outclasses any other cast who has recorded or performed this piece on DVD. I personally love Audra MacDonald as Jenny (although she doesn't inhabit the part the way Stratus does) and Patti Lupone as Bigbeck from Los Angeles Opera, but the rest of the cast is not in the same league as the Met cast.
Direction for TV by Brian Lodge is brilliant, it looks as good on screen as it did in person, but there are differences. I know because I worked on the production as Assistant Conductor, one of the greatest productions I ever worked on.
For anyone inclined toward this work, this is a 7 or 8 star version and a great example of opera on film.