Music and Vision homepage Music and Vision welcomes new readers from Queensborough Community College CUNY

DVD Spotlight

Bloodthirsty Tyranny

A historical production
of Beethoven's 'Fidelio' -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... Beethoven is free to tell an unvarnished tale ...'

Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio. © 2007 Arthaus Musik GmbH

Forty years on, and my tears still flow throughout Fidelio. I had a cold while watching this DVD, so I could snuffle into a handkerchief lest my companion imagined all my critical faculties had been wiped away with the tears. The first question to ask of any operatic DVD is when the performance took place. The more recent, the more nonsensical will be the production. So it is cause for relief and gratitude that this Hamburg Fidelio is all but forty years on. The sound is mono, the colour wavers occasionally, and the magnificent cast of singers mimes to the pre-recorded performance. We are deprived of Rocco's 'Gold' aria and the dialogue is sensibly cut; otherwise Beethoven is free to tell an unvarnished tale that moved him to the depths.

Marcellina (Lucia Popp) and Jacquino (Erwin Wohlfahrt). DVD screenshot © 2007 Arthaus Musik GmbH
Marcellina (Lucia Popp) and Jacquino (Erwin Wohlfahrt). DVD screenshot © 2007 Arthaus Musik GmbH

 

Continue >>

Copyright © 31 July 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK

-------

 << Music & Vision home      Classical DVD reviews       Harry Partch >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.

 

Natalie Artemas-Polak - classical CD and book reviews, liner and programme notes, articles and lectures: CLICK TO CONTACT