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Strauss-Ariaden Auf Naxos-Levi


List Price: CDN$ 27.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle, Tatiana Troyanos, James King, Franz Ferdinand Netwig
  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Writers: Hugo von Hofmannsthal
  • Producers: Samuel Paul
  • Format: Classical, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068UXJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,849 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jg on June 7 2004
Format: DVD
First the good news: The female cast in this recording/performance is superb, all three leading voices are mindblowing. I was enchanted by Normans beautiful voice, its scope and perfect control (and excellent German pronunciation also), her phrasing is sometimes mindblowing. The same is true for Battle and Troyanos. But who got the idea to cast a singer whose golden times have past about twenty years ago (James King)? The booklet states that "his experience dates back twenty years (...) and remarkably, he was in his early 60s when this film was made, but it shows him in fine voice...". This statement says everything and is warning enough! Kings high notes are often painfull, his voice strained, destroying (at least for me) a little bit the great finale duett. He is no match for Norman here! The "Buhs" for him at the end show that also some of the audience of the evening agree with me.
Conclusion: Due to Kings appearance this sadly is not an ideal cast (therefore only 4 stars), but for the female voices it comes very close. Norman alone is worth listening to. Image quality/sound is good too, Levine does a fine Job.
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Format: DVD
"Ariadne Auf Naxos" is Richard Strauss' scintillating foray into the world of neo-classicism. The brilliant innovations of "Salome" and "Elektra" were history, and here, Strauss luxuriated in the beauty of sound as an end in itself. Employing a chamber orchestra of 36 pieces with all the fluency of an master, he, and his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, conjure a delightful two-part opera consisting of a Prologue, which is mostly sung in recitative, and a full-scale operetta boasting some of the most delectable melodies and set-pieces to be found in all opera. Jessye Norman is wonderful as the forlorn and abandoned Ariadne. Kathleen Battle is superb as Zerbinetta, tackling "Grossmachtige Prinzessin" - a virtuoso aria that is to the coloratura soprano what Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto is to the pianist - with a deceptively cavalier aplomb and grace. The rest of the MET cast is a delight. The sets are simple and straightforward, as befits this "play within a play." I watched this performance twice at one sitting, and have to admit getting teary-eyed at the end as Bacchus and Ariadne resolutely face the future, secure in their new love. Strauss' glorious music was never more endearing: pair it with the professionals at the MET and you have an exquisite evening's entertainment. Richard Strauss is sometimes criticized as difficult or too modern: "Der Rosenkavalier" aside, this opera, and subsequent masterpieces such as, "Capriccio," belie such accusations. Strauss, as in this opera, could write music of surpassing mellifluousness. This is a wonderful performance of an enchanting opera.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Giles Bernard J. Hall on Feb. 3 2003
Format: DVD
Richard Strauss' operas are not as easy to stage as the conventional opera, and finding a cast to sing them equally as difficult.(A bit like Wagner). However, this production from the Metropolitan Opera has not only managed to pull it off, but have done so with a win, win formular. The cast is as powerful as the music itself, then there are the sets, costumes and direction, all equally mastered like a master craftsman working on a prized sculpture.This production has an extremely strong female cast headed off by Tatiana Troyanos who gives the performance of her life as the Composer. Almost bringing the house down in her final statement in the prologue not to mention her skill as an actor. Her singing of "Seien wir wieder gut.....Musik ist eine kunst" blew me away. What a pitty that's all she has to do. One would like to hear her glorious tones again.Then we have Kathleen Batttle as Zerbinetta. Ah! what warm tones and brilliance of voice and character that Kathleen brings to her role. When I heard Kathleen sing "Großmächtige Prinzessin, wer verstünde nicht" I thought that I had died and gone to heaven, what control. Jessye Norman! what can one say of this veteran performer in the title role. The power, the sheer beauty and elegance of her vocal powers. This woman can not only handle the high notes that Strauss demands but those low chest notes roll off her tongue like wine from a bottle. I have never heard Ariadne sung with such conviction, strength and passion. These three singers aptly cast certainly drive this opera home. Barbara Bonney, Gweneth Bean and Dawn Upshaw as Najade, Dryade and Echo respectfully hold their own exceedingly well and balance off the female ensembles with such precission like a well run military machine and enjoying every minutes of it.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. Williams on Oct. 24 2002
Format: DVD
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. The recording quality of this performance is disappointing for 1989. We really should have been able to get better. Frustratingly, I can't get the DTS on my copy of this disc to work (it works fine on other DVDs). The recorded sound is cramped and the levels are unpredictable.
But Norman is an imposing Ariadne and thrills the senses as usual. James King (that's right, James King) is in surprisingly good voice for a 60 year old Bacchus and holds his part well. Kathleen Battle is Zerbinetta to the life - physically and vocally enchanting throughout. Troyanos makes a fine composer (though has an unhideable bosom!). All up a very enjoyable night at the opera which we should be grateful to have preserved, despite the deficiencies in sound.
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