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Subject: Favorite Ariadne recording?
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 7 Feb 2018 16:09:17 +0000
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One of the operas I can never tire of is Ariadne auf Naxos--I don't 
think I have ever heard a dull or routine performance of the work 
(although I may just be blessed in this respect). It has been 
well-served on disk with both studio and live performances. My go-to 
conductor for Strauss is Bohm, and I find his Ariadne performances a cut 
above most others. One of my favorite recordings is the live 1944 Bohm 
from Vienna, part of Strauss's 80th birthday celebrations (a celebration 
only reluctantly sanctioned, given the Nazis' difficult relationship 
with Strauss), with a wonderful cast: Maria Reining as Ariadne, Max 
Lorenz as Bacchus, Alda Noni as Zerbinetta and Seefried as the Composer 
(I am ever torn between Seefried and Jurinac in that role.) The recent 
remasters are in surprisingly good sound given the age of the recording. 
(I do admit to having some trouble listening to it, knowing the 
circumstances of the performance.)

For more recent recordings my favorites are the Karajan with Schwarzkopf 
and Schock and the live Bohm with Janowitz and a young Gruberova--but 
with the caveat that I have never enjoyed the timbre of James King's 
voice, and far prefer Gary Lakes on the Levine recording, even though 
Lakes makes a rather bland Bacchus. There is much to recommend in the 
Sinopoli set--his last opera recording--although as was sometimes the 
case with that conductor, the tempos are often too extreme.

What other recordings do listers recommend?

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