Waldbuhne 2010: An Evening With Renee Fleming [Blu-ray] [Import]
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The Waldbühne in Berlin, one of the most appealing outdoor amphitheatres on the European continent, is the home of the Berliner Philharmoniker's summer concerts. With over 20,000 attendances, these are some of the most popular classical music concerts in the world. This year the Berliner Philharmoniker play under the baton of Ion Marin, one of the most exciting conductors on today's musical scene. They welcome ""America's Beautiful Voice"", Grammy Award winning soprano Renée Fleming, who has a devoted international following wherever she appears. Her career has been built on success across a wide range of musical styles, but she is best-known for her excellence in opera worldwide. The device of the evening was Night of Love''- the most beautiful Opera Arias in combination with atmospheric instrumental pieces.
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That being said, there is a limited frequency response here which makes the music sound a bit muted. There are no real deep lows or transparent highs. The DTS 5.1 master audio surround lacks depth and ambiance. For the best Waldbuhne concert from an audio respective get "Berlin Concert: Live From Waldbuhne [Blu-ray] (2008)". It is quite impressive!
Despite some of the audio challenges, I did enjoy this concert as it is a decent live recording. I particularly enjoyed Renee Fleming's interpretation of Dvorak's "Song to the Moon". Even though, it is the slowest and most emphatic version I have ever heard, there is amazing passion and accuracy to Rusalka's story of a water nymph longing to become human to be with the Prince she loves. She sings to the moon, desiring to connect with the Prince and to gain symbolically the Moon's vantage point as to the Prince's location. The moon and its light are her vicarious connection to her love.
This is overall worth purchasing, a good collection of great music and performances.
The performance was recorded live at the Waldbuhne Berlin in June of 2010, and begins with Mussorgsky's Night on Bare Mountain. Right away, you know that the members of the Berlin Philharmonic came to play. Renee Fleming joins them for the second piece of the evening from Dvorak's Rusalka (Song to the Moon) - and she just owns it start to finish. I would have loved to have been there to hear it live. Simply amazing. The program then alternates between symphonic pieces and Ms. Fleming, and her Strauss is particularly noteworthy. Several pieces from La Boheme are also lovingly performed by both the orchestra and Ms. Fleming, and her rendition of "Tu che di gel sei cinta" from Turandot is just simply captivating. The performance ends with Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet and a particularly energetic rendition of the Berliner Luft which definitely brings smiles to the faces of the audience.
This DVD would be worth having just for the Berlin Philharmonic portions of the performance under the baton of Ion Marin (who did a fantastic job with every piece on the program), but with Renee Fleming's stellar performance as well this disc is a definite must have!
In the course of the evening she sings arias by Dvorak, Richard Strauss, Korngold, Leoncavallo and Puccini. These pieces are generally well known and some are especially associated with Renée, such as the opening item by Dvorak - Song to the moon from Rusalka. She concludes with Puccini's `O mio babbino caro' and earns yet another justly deserved ovation from a very enthusiastic crowd of supporters.
The orchestral items start with Mussorgsky's own version of the Night on a Bare Mountain as opposed to the more usual arrangement of his composition by Rimsky Korsakov. The concert concludes with Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture before the traditional end with `Berliner Luft' where the brass players untraditionally play on African vuvuzelas to commemorate the World Cup. In between the orchestra's leader for the night is highlighted during the Hora Staccato, once the preserve of Heifetz but not in this arrangement, and other well-known pieces by Elgar, Khatchaturian and Wagner can be enjoyed. Not surprisingly, all of these items are delivered with the usual skill and musicianship by these fine players and led well by conductor Ion Marin.
All of this is supported by a fine recording with particularly crisp camera work and well defined sound presented in DTS surround and stereo. This is a very successful concert and one of the best of a fine series. I can see no reason to withhold the full 5 stars.