This is the most beautiful of Mozart playing, his last piano concerto given here by Emil Gilels with total clarity. This is a classic performance, memorably accompanied by the VPO and Böhm. Suffice it to say that Gilels sees everything and exaggerates nothing, that the performance has an Olympian authority and serenity, and that the Larghetto is one of the glories of the gramophone. He's joined by his daughter Elena in the Double Piano Concerto in E flat, and their physical relationship is mirrored in the quality, and the mutual understanding of the playing: both works receive marvellous interpretations. We think Emil plays first, Elena second, but could be quite wrong. The VPO under Karl Böhm is at its best; and so is the quality of recording, with a good stereo separation of the two solo parts, highly desirable in this work.
Böhm's Mozart as experienced in these precious films is marked by youthful vigour and directness, as well as a lack of pathos and sentimentality. Every reading glows with profound love and understanding. "Thanks to Bruno Walter's exemplary performances, I grabbed on to Mozart and fell in love with him so much that I had only one wish: to conduct Mozart, Mozart, Mozart." - Karl Böhm
…[Böhm] may be an octogenarian, but he directs the opera for the most part with a spirit and an urgency that many a young man might envy. Most of the accompanied recitatives are alert and fiery, and in this particular work they carry a great deal of the emotional weight. Here and there I find myself at odds with a choice of tempo. Especially in the closing scenes, some of the orchestral recitative seems to need to go more slowly; it is inclined to lack the proper sense of momentousness. I was a little surprised too at the quickish tempo for the opening aria and, most of all, for the great quartet in Act III, which has more turbulence and urgency than usual, particularly with its sharply contoured dynamics and its incisive accents. Of the choruses ending Act II, "Placido è il mar" is very slow and sticky, indeed positively becalmed (Dr Bain should remember that in ancient times an excessively calm sea did not portend a prosperous voyage— there could be no voyage at all!); the subsequent "Qual nuovo terrore", however, has tremendous power and drama, with superb choral singing and brilliant playing from the fine Dresden violins. And of course BOhm brings true grandeur and a sense of tragic inevitability to the noble music of the Temple Scene; "O voto tremendo" in particular is duly slow and weighty. All praise to him—and to the engineers—for the exceptional clarity of texture in these scenes; Mozart's orchestral writing is often unusually complex, and here every strand of it can be heard without any feeling of unnatural perspectives. – Gramophone
Mozart's greatest symphonies in classic performances by Karl Böhm and the Wiener Philharmoniker.
Böhm’s Mozart as experienced in these precious films is marked by youthful vigour and directness, as well as a lack of pathos and sentimentality. Every reading glows with profound love and understanding.
“Thanks to Bruno Walter’s exemplary performances, I grabbed on to Mozart and fell in love with him so much that I had only one wish: to conduct Mozart, Mozart, Mozart.” – Karl Böhm
The rhythmic, textural and structural clarity of Karl Böhm’s recordings are much admired across the world. This new release includes Böhm’s celebrated recordings of Mozart Serenades and the great orchestral works of Richard Strauss, as well as equally notable performances of Beethoven and Brahms symphonies. This 17 CD box with booklet includes including new liner notes by Berliner Philharmoniker intimus Helge Grünewald and rare Böhm photographs.
This luxuriously cast film of Mozart's beloved opera buffa features a host of legendary interpretations, including Kiri Te Kanawa's exquisite Countess Almaviva, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as her philandering husband, Hermann Prey as the wily title character, Mirella Freni, a delight as his no less savvy bride Susanna, and Maria Ewing, hilarious as the lovesick page Cherubino. Director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's imaginative camera-work tellingly emphasizes character and mood in this immortal story of love, intrigue and class struggle, set against the historical background of ancien regime Europe sliding inexorably towards revolution.
Götz Friedrich’s 1981 Elektra film sets Richard Strauss’ opera in a dark and dingy abandoned 20th-century factory populated by grungy denizens in psuedo-Greek garb. Elektra herself appears like some deranged homeless woman reeking with sweat and slime (in the rain). And the depravity doesn’t stop there. Friedrich plays up the work’s sado-masochistic elements, with bloody whippings and an orgy sequence involving nude lesbians bathing themselves in the blood of a sacrificial ram. Now you might think that all of this detracts from the score, but on the contrary, the production matches image to music so brilliantly that anyone seeing this opera for the first time would think they were created for each other (which allows you to ignore the occasional useless, almost silly gesture, such as the frequent and prolonged shots of Agamemnon’s bloodied visage during Elektra’s opening monologue).
Teresa Stratas has been called the world's greatest living singing actress, and she is seen and heard at the peak of her powers in the title role of director Götz Friedrich's spine-chilling version of Salome. on of the most highly acclaimed opera films ever made - with Strauss's score in the expert hands of his protégé Karl Böhm, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.