Strauss, J, II: Die Fledermaus

Arthaus Musik: 100134

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Strauss, J, II: Die Fledermaus

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(100 134)






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Strauss, J, II: Die Fledermaus

Recording Date: 1990
Place of recording: Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Running Time: 197 min
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Menu Languages PAL: D, GB, F, SP
Subtitle Languages PAL: D, F

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Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“'Oh, what a night!' sings everybody on stage as Prince Orlofsky's ballroom takes leave of its earthly confines and sails for the happy isles borne on a tide of waltzes and a sea of champagne.
It's always a good moment in Die Fledermaus, and this particular night was special.
Most of those present at Covent Garden had seen a few New Year's Eves in their time, but never a one like this on December 31, 1990.
And never, surely, has a prima donna been treated to such a stage party for her farewell.
Dame Joan Sutherland sang that night for the last time in the house where she had made her d├ębut in 1952. Somebody had a brainwave when they thought of this as the occasion for what might otherwise have been a rather tearful event: Joan and two of her most illustrious partners of many performances would themselves be guests at Orlofsky's party in Act 2.
Husband Richard Bonynge would conduct, so the party would therefore be complete. The guests slot in nicely at the moment when the revels are at their height. And there was New Year's Eve to celebrate. If the plan had a drawback it was one that concerned the opera itself.
Act 3 of Fledermaus is always something of an anticlimax, and, with a celebrity recital thrown in, the middle act could seem to end with chords that cried 'Follow that!'. Happily, the production has a good move in store when, for the Finale, the backdrop for the prison scene goes up to reveal Orlofsky's ballroom aglow and once more ready to receive its guests.
Without in the least dominating, the orchestra here are present with a quite remarkable immediacy and naturalness. The outstanding voices among the cast were (in respect of pure tone) those of Judith Howarth and Anthony Michaels- Moore. Among the three celebrities, gallantly as both ladies sang, it was (and is on the film) Pavarotti whose voice had retained its quality.
There's also plenty to watch, and with enjoyment.
All on stage, including the chorus, act well. Humphrey Burton has supervised the filming so that the home viewer has the most privileged seat of all.”

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