MOZART: The Magic Flute
VERDI:La forza del Destino
WAGNER: The Flying Dutchman
Pristine Audio continues to resurrect operatic treasures. This is a Royal Opera House Covent Garden performance of The Magic Flute broadcast January 4, 1962. It was quite specia as it features Joan Sutherland, at the height of he early career, is in spectacular form as the Queen of he Night, and Hotter's equally impressive Orator of the Temple. The remainder of the cast is excellent if not up to their level, and everyone seems to be having a great time. Klemperer surely captures the majesty as well as the humor of Mozart' masterpiece, and two years latre would make his legendary EMI recording. The 1962 recording has been issued before, but XR remastering from quality sources makes it sound like new. To fill out the third disk, we have Klemperer's first recording (mono) of Mozart's Symphony No. 41, never before issued on CD. This is a quality issue of great appeal.
I have the greatest respect for Dutch soprano Gre Brouwenstijn, whose artistry is evident on numerous recordings, particularly in Wagner. There are several solo disks as well including one on Preiser (REVIEW), another on NEWTON CLASSICS (REVIEW). However, this recoding of La forza del destino made August 8, 1960 in Teatro Buenos Aires surely does not show her at her best. Hersinging is tentative and often slightly off-pitch. The most interesting part of this issue is the opportunity to hear a superb performance by Richard Tucker as Alvaro, a role he had recorded in the studio 6 years earlier with Maria Callas.
German soprano Anja Silja (born 1940) had a long, remarkable and rocky career. She started in coloratura roles.. At 16 she made her stage debut as Rosina in The Barber of Seville; her early repertory also included Queen of the Night. She soon went on to heavier roles and was acclaimed for her Senta in The Flying Dutchman at the 1960-61 Bayreuth Festival. Silja also sang many other Wagnerian roles and soon began appearing in most major opera houses including Vienna, Hamburg and Paris with great success. Later in her career she specialized in operas by Berg and Janacek.in role ranging from Verdi to Berg. She was very busy on the international scene doubtless more for her acting ability than for the quality of her voice.She san 5 erformances of Fidelio and 2 of Salome at the Met in 1972 returning in 1980 for Wozzeck and some years later was a success in Jenufa. Silja continued to perform at Bayreuth until 1966. During hat time she had a love affair with Wieland Wagner which doubtless helped her career Upon his death, Silja had an affair with André Cluyens, and when he died, she married Chrisoph von Dohnanyi with whom she had three children. One can hear her in top form in this Bayeuth Dutchman—all of the control is there, and this is an exciting performance. George London can be heard in a number of recordings of Dutchman (check our CD index) including sever others from bayreuth —the great American singe in one of hi best roles. Excellent, well-balanced audio, and budget price. An important issue!
R.E.B. (Januaryary 2015)