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Adam Fischer, Orchester der Oper Zurich, Nina Stemme, Luciana D'Intino, Salvatore Licitra - Verdi: Aida (2007)

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Adam Fischer, Orchester der Oper Zurich, Nina Stemme, Luciana D'Intino, Salvatore Licitra - Verdi: Aida (2007)

Adam Fischer, Orchester der Oper Zürich, Nina Stemme, Luciana D'Intino, Salvatore Licitra - Verdi: Aida (2007)
NTSC 16:9 (720x480) | Italiano | LinearPCM, 2 ch | Dolby AC3, 6 ch | DTS, 6 ch | 5.83 Gb+6.75 Gb (2xDVD9) | 217 min
Classical | BelAir | Sub: Italiano, Francais, English, Deutsch, Espanol

This 2006 production from the Zurich Opera is a traditional one by Nicolas Joël in veteran Ezio Frigerio's wonderfully evocative, highly coloured sets. Then Adám Fischer in the pit leads a remarkably strong yet subtle account of the score, which – when played and sung like this – is once more revealed as one of Verdi's greatest masterpieces. Four of the principals easily surpass their DVD rivals. Stemme offers a deeply considered, expressive and superbly sung Aida, one for whom the work's vocal perils do not seem to exist. Add to that acting that goes to the heart of the matter, and one is left breathless in admiration after so many sopranos not truly fitted to the part. Licitra has done nothing better than his Radames here. At last fulfilling his potential, he sings the role with an open-hearted sincerity and a heroic voice up to the part's exigent demands.

Zubin Mehta, Wiener Staatsoper - Verdi: La Forza del Destino (2011/2008)

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Zubin Mehta, Wiener Staatsoper - Verdi: La Forza del Destino (2011/2008)

Zubin Mehta, Wiener Staatsoper - Verdi: La Forza del Destino (2011/2008)
NTSC 16:9 (720x480) | Italiano | LinearPCM, 2 ch | DTS, 5 ch | 5.35+5.60 Gb (2xDVD9) | 161 min
Classical | C Major | Sub.: Italiano, English, Deutsch, Francais, Espanol, Korean, Chinese

The cast is a dream team', wrote the Financial Times after the premiere of this production of Verdis La forza del destino at the Wiener Staatsoper. Powerful performances by Nina Stemme, who gives a fullblooded portrayal of Leonora, Alastair Miles as her father, Salvatore Licitra as Alvaro, Carlos Álvarez as Don Carlo and Nadia Krasteva as Preziosilla resulted in one of the Viennese ensembles most celebrated achievements of recent years. Zubin Mehta leads the Staatsoper Orchestra with agility, subtleness and relaxed mastery, and right from the start David Pountney establishes an atmosphere of entrapment by fate. 'A perfect utopia' (Süddeutsche Zeitung).

Daniel Barenboim, Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala - Wagner: Siegfried (2013) [Blu-ray]

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Daniel Barenboim, Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala - Wagner: Siegfried (2013) [Blu-ray]

Daniel Barenboim, Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala - Wagner: Siegfried (2013) [Blu-ray]
BluRay | BDMV | MPEG-4 AVC Video / 14925 kbps / 1080i / 29,970 fps | 253 min | 41,6 Gb
Audio1: Deutsch / LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 24-bit | Audio2: DTS-HD MA / 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4103 kbps / 24-bit
Classical | Arthaus Musik | Sub: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean

In Siegfried, the “Second Day” or third evening of the Ring Cycle, we meet the pivotal hero of the epic tale. The energetic drive from Die Walküre is pursued here while Siegfried finally recaptures the mighty ring from Fafner the Dragon and awakens Brünnhilde from her penal sleep on the great rock.

Daniel Barenboim, Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala - Wagner: Die Walküre (2013) [Blu-ray]

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Daniel Barenboim, Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala -  Wagner: Die Walküre (2013) [Blu-ray]

Daniel Barenboim, Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala - Wagner: Die Walküre (2013) [Blu-ray]
BluRay | BDMV | MPEG-4 AVC Video / 16474 kbps / 1080i / 29,970 fps | 238 min | 41,3 Gb
Audio1: Deutsch / LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 24-bit | Audio2: DTS-HD MA / 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3899 kbps / 24-bit
Classical | Arthaus Musik | Sub: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean

Richard Wagner called Die Walküre the “first evening” of the Ring of the Nibelung; he called Das Rheingold the prologue or Vorabend. Musically and dramatically, we are introduced to a radically new and different world when the opening bars of Die Walküre resound. A fully developed orchestral palette of Leitmotivs paints a wild storm scene, and the curtain rises on a modest dwelling: a fully human scene that has nothing to do with the gods, dwarves and nymphs of Das Rheingold. At the same time, however, the way Die Walküre portrays radical beginnings reveals some telling reminiscences of the unfolding of Das Rheingold. Die Walküre is exciting and deeply feeling drama.