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Gluck;Christoph Willibald Alce [Import]

Catherine Naglestad , Donald Kaasch , Jossi Wieler    NR (Not Rated)   DVD

List Price: CDN$ 35.99
Price: CDN$ 32.45 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found it a captivating production Oct. 8 2007
By Madbeppo - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I cannot speak about the sound quality of this dvd, and the video quality is perhaps so-so, but I found the staging concept and realization to be wonderful, ingenious. How better, visually, to present or accompany music that is stately and, no doubt, for many people, at least some of the time, a bit tedious, than by showing people who are manifestly bored, or, if not bored, making an obvious and failing effort to stay alert...exactly as people do at concerts! This is how we see the subjects of Admetus behaving, during the long temple service, and during a symphonic interlude...Delightful! It actually makes the stateliness of the music easier to...enjoy.
Meanwhile, the intentionally dull, functional set, and even more the dull costumes, somehow (for me at any rate) made the human drama much more affecting. This queen was a very proper, but unexciting, middle-aged modern monarch; in other words, a real person. This is by far the most moving production of a Gluck opera I have seen on video.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving ant ridiculous at the same time July 20 2008
By Vladimiro Rivas Iturralde - Published on Amazon.com
In spite of its "happy ending", Gluck's Alceste is one of the saddest operas of all time. Its subject is death, and the defenselessness of the human being before death. The music has a great nobility and serene beauty.
This Stuttgart production brings for the first time to life the entire Paris version from 1776 score as authorised by Gluck.
The production is very moving, but very ridiculous as well. Catherine Naglestad (Alceste) is an atractive woman, a very good singer and a superb actress, so, our eyes and ears are always focused on her. Donald Kaash (Admete) doesn't have a nice tenor voice, but he manages to make his character credible. Johan Rydh is fearful as the high priest and as the Death.
Wieler and Morabito have adapted the story to the sixties, but the gods and heroes are unpleasant and ridiculous, particularly Apollo and Hercules. The two children look like little monsters, reminding us the twins in the Kubrick's The Shining. The ending, when Alceste and Admete listen to the orchestral suite, is very ambigous. They don't touch each other any more, and they look at each other as saying: "And now, what? We have defeated the death, and now the boring daily life is waiting for us".
The Stuttgart Opera Orchestra performs with period instruments, so the strings are very warm. Constantinos Carydis' conducting is good enough.
I recommend it any way. It's worth because the beautiful music and the superb Naglestad.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it despite modern production April 15 2008
By Gayla McDowell - Published on Amazon.com
It is the only recording currently available of this opera which is complete, including ballet music at end. (I'm not sure it's absolutely complete, as I did not follow with a score.) The singing is very good to acceptable, and the production is in good taste. A valuable addition to the recorded repertory.

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