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Leinsdorf: Korngold – Die Tote Stadt (2 CD, APE)

Leinsdorf: Korngold - Die Tote Stadt (2 CD, APE)
Leinsdorf: Korngold - Die Tote Stadt (2 CD, APE)

Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Sony, RCA
Size: 639 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01 Act I : Behutsam! Hier ist alles alt
02 Frank! Freund!
03 Nur deiner harr ich, niemals Verlorne!
04 Rosen – so ists recht!
05 Wunderbar! – Ja, wunderbar!
06 Gluck, das mir verblieb (Marietta’s Lied)
07 Marietta! – Paul… Paul…
08 Act II : Prelude
09 As ward aus mir?
10 Wohin? Frank – du?
11 Schaume, schaume

01 Da ihr befehlet, Konigin (Pierrot Lied)
02 Du machst mir eine Szene?
03 Act III : Prelude
04 Dich such ich, Bild!
05 Du hier? – Als ich erwachte
06 Die Tote – wo – lag sie nicht hier

Erich Wolfgang Korngold / Die Tote Stadt
Opera in Three Acts
Libretto by Paul Schott
freely adapted from Georges Rodenbach’s novel Bruges-la-Morte
Rene Kollo – Paul
Carol Neblett – Marietta, The apparition of Marie
Benjamin Luxon – Frank
Rose Wagemann – Brigitta
Hermann Prey – Fritz
Gabrielle Fuchs – Juliette
Patricia Clark – Lucienne
Anton de Ridder – Gaston, Victorin
Willi Brokmeier – Graf / Count Albert

Chor der Bayeriscen Rundfunks
Tolzer Knabenchor
Munchner Rundfunkorchester
Erich Leinsdorf

Why, oh why…..

Hearing this recording leads me to ask why this opera is performed so infrequently. I saw a production years ago in Los Angeles, but had really forgotten how incredibly beautiful the score is. In that performance, the leads were James King and Anna Silja (as I remember), both sounding, to be kind, a little “strained”. The production was from Deutsche Opera of Berlin, and the stage effect of the appearance of real water in the canals was spectacular. Of course everyone knows the “big” aria (which is really a duet – done as a solo, the soprano just sings both her and the tenor’s lines), but the rest of the score is equally breathtaking. And the performances on this recording are truly wonderful. Carol Neblett never sounded better than on this recording – her voice is full and rich, seemingly without any expressive limit. Rene Kollo gives a truly moving performance, and his voice sounds fresh and vibrant (in some recordings he can be a little “blatty”, but that is not at all the case here). Hermann Prey is, of course, his usual perfection, and Leinsdorf’s conducting is both powerful and sensitive, drawing out the full beauty and emotional richness of the score. This has quickly become one of my favorite recordings.

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