Friday, November 16, 2007

Apocryphal or not?

"For three and a half hours you sing and sing your heart out, and then it turns out the opera is about Maria Jeritza."

Somewhere, a million years ago, I read that Lehmann said this about Frau but I don't know where and can't find any reference to it. Did she say it? I've always found it a hilarious+poignant expression of second fiddledom.

If by any chance you are reading this RIGHT NOW, go log on to WFMT's streaming broadcast of Frau with Voigt, Brewer, Grove, Hawlata. I had high expectations and still am shocked at how good it sounds. Travel-plan-inducingly good. I am off the fence about Brewer.

10 comments:

StellaKrazelberg said...

Brewer is nailing that sucker to the wall. I expect her to come off stage, give birth to all of Strauss's unborn children then come back on for a half hour of audience hysteria accompanied by many floral tributes and showers of program confetti.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I think that Lehmann, Ludwig, and Brewer are the only three singers to take on the Dyer's Wife who actually had beautiful voices. The rest of 'em can peel paint from the walls, including St. Birgit.

Straussmonster said...

I'm out of town right now so I can't check, but I'm betting I know where (if at all) the Lehmann quote is.

Did someone record this radio broadcast? I want to go now too...but there's no way I think I can...

manprano said...

Maury, have you heard Brewer's Four Last Songs? You WILL be ruined.

alex said...

Straussmonster, my guess was that it's in Lehmann's book about Strauss soprano roles. Is that what you're thinking?

oh shoot oh shoot, I'm missing both this AND DiDonato as Ariodante CRAP

rysanekfreak said...

Having seen the Rysanek-Nilsson combo in "Frau" twice in San Francisco, I feel nothing will ever be able to surpass them. Yes, Brewer and Voigt made some exciting sounds, but the score was so heavily butchered (as it most always is) that it was infuriating. It needed to be performed note-complete so that Jill Grove could have stolen the show. Hawlata was not up to it.

Maury D'annato said...

R-freak: you know, I don't think I'd have liked Nilsson as die Farberin, judging by recorded excerpts. I know it was huge and all but...some of it is so curdled sounding. Anyway I'll never hear Rysanek and Nilsson, like or no like.

I'm also fairly low maintenance about cuts, which comes in handy. Weren't all those Met Fraus heavily cut, I thought I'd heard?

Maury D'annato said...

(the ones in and after the first season at the new house, I mean. I know the run with Thielemann was complete.)

rysanekfreak said...

Yes, any "Frau" involving Karl Boehm, Rysanek, and/or Nilsson was heavily cut. It was a revelation to hear the thing complete on CD. And, yes, the Thielemann was complete and I don't think anyone got bored and said, "We could have been drinking in the lobby a full six minutes earlier if they hadn't performed all that music that Dr. Boehm used to cut from Act 2."

Nilsson was magnificent. The Wife is a loud shrew in Act 2, so she needs to make Elektra noises. She wants the jewels and that young man in the mesh g-string. I'd stand there and scream, too, if I were that frustrated.

Anonymous said...

I was insanely lucky enough to hear Miss Brewer live twice, before she became famous-- first time she did '4 Last' and second time she did 'Wesendonck' and the Cosi sister duets with a fine mezzo.
After her 4 Last, the audience honestly stopped breathing. I know that's such a cliche, but I swear that she made time stop.
She did a master class, and she was a real mensch.


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