This Bartered Bride ’s acting and singing is generally of a high level. Lucia Popp was caught at a perfect time for this role. She’d gradually been developing her voice into a larger, more dramatic instrument, and here displays a lyric’s warmth with the power of a spinto. She clearly enjoys the challenge of the only serious aria in the entire work (in act III; performed in German as “Wie fremd und tot”), providing many fine interpretative points and a great deal of tonal variety. The audience goes wild, as well they might.
This is a live performance from the Bavarian State Opera of Mozart's last great singspiel, DIE ZAUBERFLOTE (THE MAGIC FLUTE) conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. It is my first video of this opera, dating from 1990, and after 15 years of off/on viewing/listening, I am still most impressed with Sawallisch, the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra, singers Araiza, Popp, Brendel, Gruberova, Moll, etc. The sound, even for VHS, is very good, and I've had much pleasure from this video… By Alan Majeska
Funky loungey funky breakbeat disco retro fun. Frank Popp Ensemble needs to be heard and in a better world this music would be all over the place. This whole album kicks, if you don't love "Love Is On Our Side" immediately you have no pulse. Big epic 60s-early-70s sound but still up to date, these guys have the chops…
Albert Lortzing's 'Zar and Zimmermann', written in 1837, is a marvelously constructed comedy of mistaken identities which rises above the usual farcical conventions and provides not only a satisfying plot but some excellent musical characterizations of what otherwise might have been stereotyped roles. In it Czar Peter the Great is working in the shipyards of Saardam (as he actually did in order to learn the shipbuilding trade) under the pseudonym of Peter Michaelov. Another Russian is also working there and also named Peter (Ivanov)… By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE
The close-ups and intimate settings that are part of the staging make visual sense and support the music well. Based on the staging used at the Hamburg Opera, this recording from 1968 is of more than historic interest. Rather, the unique perspective from this television production conveys the appropriate immediacy to the work that sometimes escapes live performances on stage. The ensemble "Mir ist so wunderbar" becomes here an aside for the principals who are able to step out of the action momentarily to reflect on the situation, and their carefully placement on stage anticipates their roles in the drama as it resumes, notably with Leonore/Fidelio in the forefront, and Rocco in the center… James L. Zychowicz
This is, quite simply, one of the most splendid Handel opera recordings ever made. We owe a debt of gratitude to DG/Universal for reissuing this much-admired Westminster recording from 1965. The opera itself is one of Handel's finest; a late work magically integrating farce and pathos, and filled with an abundance of brilliant invention remarkable even for Handel. Priestman does full justice to the kaleidoscopic shifts of mood, affect, idiom and orchestration that makes this work a viable musical entertainment today no less than in 1738. Though Priestman's Viennese forces play modern instruments, the conductor obviously has a solid understanding of Baroque performance practice (according to the musicological priorities of his day)…
Outstanding music by Frank Popp. Several songs also appear on their disc "The Frank Popp Ensemble". I don't know which came first but they are both top notch. Quentin Tarantino is bound to find Business and Pleasure and use it for the theme song if he makes a James Bond type of spy movie. Beautiful jelling of Motown 60's and Groovin 70's.
German poet and musician Oswald von Wolkenstein (circa 1377-1445) made sure his legacy was secure by having his works compiled into collections during his lifetime. While he was certainly the author of the texts, it is less clear how many of the pieces, which number over 130, include his original music, and how many had his texts applied to preexisting works. In any case, it's an intriguing and attractive body of work, and this collection of 18 of his pieces, plus three other works, makes a fine introduction to his legacy.