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Verdi;Giuseppe Falstaff [Import]

DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 35.99
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4.0 out of 5 stars Verdi Falstaff DVD Arthaus Musik 101507 Aug. 16 2010
I thought that the entire cast of singers was superb, with no weak links anywhere. The fact that they sang in German vs. the normal Italian should pose little problem for English-speaking audiences, since the subtitles are easy to read. As a historic performance, it is top-notch. However, the fact that it is in black and white, rather than in color, with less than perfect video quality might be a problem for some.
There are other, more recent, but still vintage, performances in color and good audio quality available at reasonable cost (e.g., the Met recording with Paul Plishka, Mirella Freni, and Marilyn Horne). Personally, I preferred Horne as Mrs. Quickly, but there is nothing wrong with Elisabeth Hongen's portrayal of the character.
It's not often that one gets a cast with all of the singers having such good quality and tightly focused voices. A decision on whether to buy this DVD will therefore probably be decided by how devoted one is to adding to one's collection some great singers of the past, such as Elisabeth Hongen, Otto Edelmann, and Graziella Sciutti.
Ted Wilks
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Falstaff auf Deutsch? Ja! Sept. 2 2010
By Jim D. - Published on Amazon.com
Unless you object on principle to opera performances not sung in their original language, there's a lot to enjoy in this 1963 "Falstaff," made for German television. Otto Edelmann heads an international cast as the fat knight; best known among the other singers are Elisabeth Hongen (Dame Quickly) and Graziella Sciutti (Nanetta), though all are fine. The setting is (happily) traditional, and Hellmuth Matadsiek's direction serves the music, so that in the final fugue all the actors, who have moved off camera, re-enter one by one as they make their musical entrances until the screen is crowded with people, doffing their masks as they repeat "All's a joke." The sound is quite decent mono (Nello Santi conducts the Vienna Symphony), and the black and white film image is mostly very clear. No extras--except for various subtitles--but a detailed booklet. Dare we hope that Arthaus will bring to the U.S. the Mozart scenes from Vienna (filmed in color almost ten years earlier), "Unsterblicher Mozart"?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Verdi Falstaff DVD Arthaus Musik 101507 Aug. 16 2010
By E. S. Wilks - Published on Amazon.com
I thought that the entire cast of singers was superb, with no weak links anywhere. The fact that they sang in German vs. the normal Italian should pose little problem for English-speaking audiences, since the subtitles are easy to read. As a historic performance, it is top-notch. However, the fact that it is in black and white, rather than in color, with less than perfect video quality might be a problem for some.
There are other, more recent, but still vintage, performances in color and good audio quality available at reasonable cost (e.g., the Met recording with Paul Plishka, Mirella Freni, and Marilyn Horne). Personally, I preferred Horne as Mrs. Quickly, but there is nothing wrong with Elisabeth Hongen's portrayal of the character.
It's not often that one gets a cast with all of the singers having such good quality and tightly focused voices. A decision on whether to buy this DVD will therefore probably be decided by how devoted one is to adding to one's collection some great singers of the past, such as Elisabeth Hongen, Otto Edelmann, and Graziella Sciutti.
Ted Wilks
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