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As Don Fernando, Hans Sotin has all the authority to unmask Pizarro and organise the unshackling of his friend Florestan. The citizenry has crowded into the handsome castle courtyard, with the liberated prisoners among them. News of Leonora's unfailing courage inspires them to a hymn of praise to womanhood and freedom. The Hamburg chorus has superb attack and diction. But it is of course Leonora herself who must divest Florestan of his chains [watch and listen -- chapter 30, 105:12-106:50]. If it was Furtwängler who seemed to have almost a postwar monopoly of Fidelio, Leopold Ludwig proves himself here an altogether worthy runner-up.

Leonora (Anja Silja) and Florestan (Richard Cassilly), reunited at the end of 'Fidelio'. DVD screenshot © 2007 Arthaus Musik GmbH
Leonora (Anja Silja) and Florestan (Richard Cassilly), reunited at the end of 'Fidelio'. DVD screenshot © 2007 Arthaus Musik GmbH

 

Copyright © 31 July 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK

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Beethoven: Fidelio

101 275 DVD9 NTSC 4:3 Colour All regions Mono NEW RELEASE 115' 1968 Polyphon, 2007 Arthaus Musik GmbH

Hans Sotin, Don Fernando; Theo Adam, Don Pizarro; Richard Cassilly, Florestan; Anja Silja, Leonore; Ernst Wiemann, Rocco; Lucia Popp, Marzelline; Erwin Wohlfahrt, Jacquino; Kurt Marschner, First Prisoner; William Workman, Second Prisoner; Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra; Chorus of the Hamburg State Opera; Leopold Ludwig, conductor; Joachim Hess, TV director; Rolf Liebermann, artistic director; Wilhelm Reinking, set design

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Fidelio (opera in three acts, libretto by Joseph Sonnleithner, Stephan von Breuning and Georg Friedrich Treitschke, after Jean Nicolas Bouilly's 'Léonore ou L'Amour conjugal'). Historical studio production from the Hamburg State Opera, 1968

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