Jon Vickers

Tenor

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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen


Das Rheingold

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Wotan), Zoltán Kelemen (Alberich), Josephine Veasey (Fricka), Gerhard Stolze (Loge), Erwin Wohlfahrt (Mime), Martti Talvela (Fasolt), Karl Ridderbusch (Fafner), Donald Grobe (Froh), Simone Mangelsdorff (Freia), Helen Donath (Woglinde), Edda Moser (Wellgunde), Anna Reynolds (Flosshilde)

Die Walküre

Régine Crespin (Brünnhilde), Thomas Stewart (Wotan), Gundula Janowitz (Sieglinde), Jon Vickers (Siegmund), Martti Talvela (Hunding), Josephine Veasey (Fricka), Danica Mastilovic (Helmwige), Carlotta Ordassy (Ortlinde), Liselotte Rebmann (Gerhilde), Ingrid Steger (Waltraute), Barbro Ericson (Siegrune), Helga Jenckel (Rossweisse), Cvetka Ahlin (Grimgerde), Lilo Brockhaus (Schwertleite)

Siegfried

Jess Thomas (Siegfried), Thomas Stewart (Der Wanderer), Gerhard Stolze (Mime), Helga Dernesch (Brünnhilde), Karl Ridderbusch (Fafner), Oralia Dominguez (Erda), Catherine Gayer (Waldvogel)

Götterdämmerung

Helga Dernesch (Brünnhilde), Helge Brilioth (Siegfried), Karl Ridderbusch (Hagen), Zoltán Kelemen (Alberich), Thomas Stewart (Gunther), Gundula Janowitz (Gutrune), Christa Ludwig (Waltraute), Liselotte Rebmann (Woglinde), Edda Moser (Wellgunde), Anna Reynolds (Flosshilde), Lili Chookasian (First Norn), Christa Ludwig (Second Norn), Catarina Ligendza (Third Norn)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

The entire Karajan Ring in lossless 24-bit / 96kHz HD Audio on one Blu-ray Audio disc. The new remastering was done by the Emil Berliner Studios in 2016.

Deluxe 400-page hardback book edition in a slipcase, with original cover art

Complete German libretti, full English translations + detailed repertoire notes from the original releases and notes on the recording sessions.

Rare artist photos from the recording sessions and from the rehearsals for the live Salzburg productions.

50 years since Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker stepped inside Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin to record Wagner’s masterpiece, Deutsche Grammophon proudly presents the entire Ring on one single High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray disc with an extensive hardback book containing the full libretti in original German with English translations.

According to Karajan’s own account, it was during the summer of 1965, while he was working on Boris Godunov, that he had a vision of the future: “I suddenly sensed a burning desire to stage and conduct Wagner in Salzburg.” His dream – very much in the spirit of Wagner himself: “My baton shall teach future ages which road they have to take.”

Karajan’s Wagner was concerned with beauty, lyricism and structure, and for his monumental Ring cycle he assembled a world-class cast of singers who possessed instrumental tone and were able to deliver a vivid and clear declamation of the text; and his Berliner Philharmoniker were more than capable of rising to the occasion.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DG - 4797354

(Blu-ray Audio)

$80.25

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Christa Ludwig (Leonore), Jon Vickers (Florestan), Walter Berry (Don Pizarro), Gottlob Frick (Rocco), Ingeborg Hallstein (Marzelline), Gerhard Unger (Jaquino), Franz Crass (Don Fernando), Kurt Wehofschitz (First Prisoner), Raymond Wolansky (Second Prisoner)

Philharmonia Chorus & Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

“One of the glories of recording history,” was how this Fidelio was hailed on its initial release in 1962. The intervening years have repeatedly affirmed its towering status. Otto Klemperer’s readings of Beethoven are proverbial for their grandeur and humanity, while the Leonore of Christa Ludwig and Florestan of Jon Vickers remain unsurpassed.

Warner Classics - The Opera Series - 2564695614

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.00

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In Memoriam Jon Vickers

In Memoriam Jon Vickers

Schubert - Winterreise


Schubert:

Winterreise D911

CD2 53.32

Jon Vickers in conversation with Jon Tolansky

Recorded at Barbican Centre Cinema, London, 25 October 1998

1 The audience welcomes Jon Vickers 0.44

2 Jon Vickers’ career from the beginning in Canada up to early performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden 11.34

3 Fidelio with Otto Klemperer 5.53

4a/ Beethoven – Fidelio. Act 2: Gott! Welch Dunkel hier!... In des Lebens Frühlingstagen*

4b/ Observations on singing technique 7.36

5 Tristan und Isolde 11.13

6 Peter Grimes; Jon Vickers’ philosophy of performance 6.48

7 Presentation of Amici di Verdi medal to Jon Vickers by Sir Edward Downes 9.49

*Philharmonia Orchestra, conductor Otto Klemperer (CD 2564695614 Warner Classics)


Jon Vickers (tenor) & Geoffrey Parsons (piano)

In one of his last recordings, Jon Vickers – the greatest heroic tenor of his era – relives Schubert’s Winterreise with the almost hallucinatory intensity he also brought to such operatic roles as Tristan, Otello and Peter Grimes. He reveals the secrets of his interpretative powers on the companion disc; it contains a public interview given in 1998 at London’s Barbican Centre to broadcaster Jon Tolansky, who describes Vickers as “a titanic singer”.

Jon Vickers, the greatest heroic tenor of his era, died on 10th July 2015 at the age of 88. The Warner Classics catalogue contains recordings of Vickers in several of his most important operatic roles – Otello and Tristan with Karajan and Florestan (Fidelio) with Klemperer, but this Winterreise is his only recording of song for the label and it has not been consistently available: it can legitimately be described as a collector’s item.

It is also one of his last recordings, made in Paris in 1983 – just four years before he retired from the stage. In it, he relives the 24 songs in Schubert’s harrowing cycle with the almost hallucinatory intensity that characterised his performances in opera. He reveals the secrets of his interpretative powers on the companion disc; it contains a public interview given in 1998 at London’s Barbican Centre to broadcaster Jon Tolansky, who describes Vickers as “a titanic singer”. In the interview Vickers’ extraordinary personality becomes apparent: modest and humorous at one moment, exuding missionary zeal at another, sometimes rising to almost visionary heights.

Vickers was born in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1926 and came to international prominence when he sang at Covent Garden in London in 1957, notably taking the title role in Luchino Visconti’s famous production of Verdi’s Don Carlo. He went on to become one of the most important singers of his time and his repertoire also included such roles as Parsifal, Siegmund, Radamès, Canio, Don José (he stars opposite Grace Bumbry in a Warner Classics recording of Carmen), Enée, Samson (Saint-Saëns and Handel) and Peter Grimes. His strong Christian beliefs often influenced his choices, and he famously withdrew from singing Wagner’s Tannhäuser because he considered the role immoral.

The organ-like amplitude of his bronze-toned voice was impressive, but it was also capable of exceptional delicacy, and his interpretations are extraordinary for their power, intensity and insight. As he told Jon Tolansky in an interview published in Opera magazine: “I felt as my responsibility to the composer, librettist and, very importantly, the audience, that I must completely put myself in the situation of the character and try to analyse what that character is experiencing and feeling at every given moment that I am singing that part – and of course it constantly varied with the different characters and situations. That was always the starting point. You have to surrender your own emotions to the emotions of the character you are portraying.”

Winterreise gives Vickers the opportunity to explore the psychology of a man in crisis as Wilhelm Müller’s poems take the song cycle’s lovelorn hero on a sombre winter journey. It is not an interpretation to be directly compared with versions by such lieder specialists as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Ian Bostridge, but it is the work of a towering and compelling artist: Vickers was a singer of deep convictions who functioned on an epic scale.

Warner Classics - 2564603157

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.00

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Wagner Heroes

Wagner Heroes


Wagner:

Morgenlich leuchtend im rosigen Schein 'Prize Song' (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

James McCracken (tenor)

Hör' an, Wolfram! … Inbrunst im Herzen (from Tannhauser)

James McCracken (tenor)

Blick ich umher in diesem edlen Kreise (from Tannhäuser)

Matthias Goerne (baritone)

Wie Todesahnung...O du, mein holder Abendstern (from Tannhäuser)

Tom Krause (bass-baritone)

Die Frist ist um (from Der fliegende Holländer)

Tom Krause (bass-baritone)

Mit Gewitter und Sturm (from Der Fliegende Hollander)

Ernst Haefliger (tenor)

Allmächt'ger Vater, blick herab! (from Rienzi)

James King (tenor)

Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge (from Das Rheingold)

David Ward (bass-baritone)

Nothung! Nothung! Neidliches Schwert! (from Siegfried)

Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor)

Brünnhilde, heilige Braut! (from Götterdammerung)

Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor)

Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (from Die Walküre)

Jon Vickers (tenor)

Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind! (from Die Walküre)

Paul Schoffler (bass)


2013 sees a series of Wagner reissues on Eloquence from complete operas and highlights to Wagner singer portraits and even an audiobook!

This is a 50-year retrospective (1950 – 2000) of great Wagner singing on Decca and Deutsche Grammophon featuring twelve extracts from eight operas (including all four operas of the Ring cycle) with nine great singers. Wagner’s knowledge of heroes derived from two sources: the myths of ancient Greece, and the sagas and poetry of northern Europe. In both traditions, heroes possess god-like attributes which set them apart from non-heroic mortals and reinforce the view that they are superhuman. They often have gods as parents or grandparents. But Wagner humanizes his heroes, most notably Siegmund (sung inimitably by Jon Vickers in the legendary Decca recording of Die Walküre with Erich Leinsdorf), and the naïve Siegfried (with Wolfgang Windgassen singing both the Siegfried and Götterdämmerung Siegfrieds). Other great heldentenors represented on this collection include James King and James McCracken. Celebrated bass-baritones are also represented here: Paul Schöffler (singing Wotan’s Farewell from a rare 1950 recording), Ernst Haefliger (as the Dutchman) and most recently, Matthias Goerne (Wolfram). The insightful notes are provided by Wagner scholar Peter Bassett and a photo gallery of the singers is also included.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4807062

(CD)

$9.25

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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (excerpts)

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (excerpts)


2013 sees a series of Wagner reissues on Eloquence from complete operas and highlights to Wagner singer portraits and even an audiobook!

Reissued for the Wagner Year are highlights from Herbert von Karajan’s mighty ‘Ring’ cycle. The disc includes extended highlights from the four ‘Ring’ operas and allows us to sample Karajan’s choice of different singers for the same character in different operas – Fischer-Dieskau’s Wotan in Das Rheingold and Thomas Stewart’s in Siegfried. There are notes on the music as well as an essay by Karajan expert Richard Osborne on the background to Karajan’s Ring, as well as a photo gallery of many of the key singers. There were and will always be many competitive Ring cycles on the market, but, as Martin Baker sums up ‘[Karajan] creates […] a transparent aural stage where the light and shade in the music has an almost forensic quality. Musically the Karajan Ring cycle has a visceral intensity that, especially in the subterranean scenes, hints at the sinister mythologies that informed Germany’s recent history and is probably closer to the heart of the narrative’s darkness than any other recording.’

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4806977

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

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Beethoven: Fidelio

Beethoven: Fidelio


Beethoven:

Fidelio, Op. 72

recorded 1962

Jon Vickers (Florestan), Christa Ludwig (Leonore), Gottlob Frick (Rocco), Walter Berry (Pizarro), Ingeborg Hallstein (Marzelline), Gerhard Unger (Jaquino), Gerhard Unger (Fernando), Kurt Wehofschitz (Erster Gefangene), Raymond Wolansky (Zweiter Gefangene)

with Philharmonia Choir

Egmont Overture, Op. 84

Bonus Track. rec. 1958


Alto - ALC2020

(CD - 2 discs)

$11.00

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The Essential Wagner

The Essential Wagner


Wagner:

Der fliegende Holländer: Overture

Summ' und brumm', du gutes Rädchen 'Spinning Chorus' (from Der fliegende Holländer)

Johohoe! Traft ihr das Schiff im Meere an 'Senta's Ballad' (from Der fliegende Holländer)

Steuermann, laß die Wacht! (from Der fliegende Holländer)

Tannhäuser: Overture

Dich, teure Halle (from Tannhauser)

O du, mein holder Abendstern (from Tannhäuser)

Begluckt darf nun dich 'Pilgrims' Chorus' (from Tannhauser)

Einsam in trüben Tagen (from Lohengrin)

Entweihte Götter (from Lohengrin)

Bridal Chorus 'Treulich geführt' (from Lohengrin)

In fernem Land (from Lohengrin)

Das Rheingold: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla

Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries

Siegmund heiß ich und Siegmund bin ich! (from Die Walküre)

Hoho! Hoho! Hohei! Schmiede, mein Hammer, ein hartes Schwert! (from Siegfried)

Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Funeral March

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Overture

Morgenlich leuchtend im rosigen Schein 'Prize Song' (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe (from Tristan und Isolde)

Mild und leise 'Isolde's Liebestod' (from Tristan und Isolde)

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 3


The best-loved and most popular works by Richard Wagner, performed by the world’s leading artists, in an accessible format at budget price.

Warner Classics - 9733992

(CD - 2 discs)

$7.50

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Verdi: Otello

Verdi: Otello


Jon Vickers (Otello), Cornell MacNeil (Iago), Renata Scotto (Desdemona), Raymond Gibbs (Cassio), Andrea Velis (Rodrigo), James Morris (Lodovico), Robert Goodloe (Montano), Jean Kraft (Emilia), Arthur Thompson (Un Araldo)

The Metropolitan Opera & Chorus, James Levine

Recorded live on 25th September 1978

“Call it old-fashioned, but there’s a size and style about this 1978 Met performance of Verdi’s opera that you don’t get today. Otello was one of Vickers’s signature roles, and he is partnered by the hugely watchable Renata Scotto and the big-boned Iago of Cornell MacNeil.” Financial Times, 27th August 2011 ***

“Vickers appears as if he's ripping his own heart out. His wounds are so deep that one is tempted to avert one's eyes...Yet 90 per cent of the time he is on top of his vocal game: the sheer heft of his voice...is terrifying...Scotto interprets Desdemona as no other singer...here Desdemona is a woman of strength who can't win...this may be the only Otello video you'll ever need: it's the one that captures the pity and sadness best” International Record Review, January 2012

DVD Video

Region: 0

Sony Met Matinées - 88697910129

(DVD Video)

$17.00

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Birgit Nilsson (Leonore), Jon Vickers (Florestan), Hermann Uhde (Don Pizarro), Oskar Czerwenka (Rocco), Laurel Hurley (Marzellina), Charles Anthony (Jaquino) and Giorgio Tozzi (Don Fernando)

The Metropolitan Opera & Chorus, Karl Böhm

“the focus of interest falls primarily on the conducting...It's a white-knuckle ride of a performance in which he ratchets up the tension to the nth degree, reminding us that this grandest of humanitarian statements is essentially a thriller, and one of the finest ever written...The dialogue here is delivered with tremendous sincerity, at times shockingly intense.” The Guardian, 7th July 2011

“There is much to recommend this performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, recorded in clean mono sound. Karl Böhm was an immensely experienced conductor of this opera, and his account of the Leonore No. 3 Overture is thrilling. Jon Vickers, in one of his first Florestans, is in uneven voice, but committed. Birgit Nilsson makes an exciting Fidelio.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2011 ****

Sony Met Matinées - 88697853092

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.75

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Verdi: Otello

Verdi: Otello


Jon Vickers (Otello), Mirella Freni (Desdemona), Peter Glossop (Iago), José van Dam & Stefania Malagú (Emilia), Aldo Bottion (Cassio), José van Dam (Lodovico), Michel Sénéchal (Rodrigo), Mario Macchi (Montano/Un Araldo)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

“Vickers sings gloriously in the title-role, a heroic tenor who sings cleanly and accurately and with great passion, totally unstrained. Though Mirella Freni's soprano might seem a little lightweight for Desdemona, it is sweetly beautiful...Glossop [is] at his peak as the most sinister Iago” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

DG Unitel - 0734040

(DVD Video)

$18.25

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