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Subject: Ariadne auf Naxos - Recordings
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 7 Feb 2018 17:48:49 +0000
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Like Rich, I never tire of Ariadne, but I think it has
not been very well served on recording.

My overall favorite is the early EMI with Schwarzkopf,
Seefried, Streich, Schock, conducted by Von Karajan.
It's really pretty good fom top to bottom.

The only slightly weak link is Schock, and, truth to
tell, he is more or less as good as any recorded Bacchus,
an impossible role. I disagree with Rich about James King,
who is my favorite. It is not magic, but it is very secure.

I saw Jurinac as the Composer, and she is both emotionally
and in fact, the most complete of all. The rest of her cast
on record, Rysanek, Peters and Peerce under Leinsdorf,
is variable, at best, and awful at worst, Leonie being, as
was so often the case, a thrill at one moment and just
about unlistenable at others. Her top register never fails,
but it's not enough.

Gruberova, who I saw as an absolutely jaw dropping
Zerbinetta in Vienna about 1976, had already lost a great
deal by the time she recorded the role, especially in
accuracy of intonation.

Della Casa's solo scenes are superb as are Janowitz's.
Janowitz is also fine on her complete with Geszty, Zylis
Gara and King under Kempe's direction. An overall good,
not great performance.

My fondness for Della Casa in this music (as in most music) leads
me to say that to know her recording of the great scenes is to
know greatness unmatched in that music. I'm told that a later
live complete performance is available, but I have not heard it.
I think it's from Salzburg.

A mixed bag but there is some very good stuff to be heard!

Bob

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