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Weber: Euryanthe, A Romantic Opera

NI7969
£14.99

Details

Despite the (mainly traditional) cuts, this 1955 BBC broadcast is treasurable. Not only does it feature Joan Sutherland’s touchingly pure and limpid Euryanthe – a role she only sang this once – but it also extends the small discography of Frans Vroons, in a lyric-heroic role which could have been written for him. Marianne Schech and Otakar Kraus are matchless villains, Kurt Böhme a comfortable King. Yet perhaps the performance’s prime virtue is the candescent conducting of Fritz Stiedry. His visionary readings of the familiar Overture and the desolate Prelude to Act 3 are heightened by unusually good broadcast sound, captured by the late Richard Itter on state-of-the-art equipment. This thrilling Euryanthe fully vindicates Weber’s – and Chézy’s –achievement. Christopher Webber, 2019 0710357796920

Weber: Euryanthe, A Romantic Opera

Reviews

This famous live radio broadcast of Euryanthe, has had a wealth of circulation over the decades solely due to the presence of Joan Sutherland in the title role... Dutch tenor Frans Vroons, woefully under-recorded even in his own country, had a slightly dry but powerful lyric spinto voice, and he is easily the best Adolar on records. Yet the real standout here is German basso Kurt Böhme, a noted Fafner in Wagner’s Ring, as King Ludwig VI. Despite a slight unsteadiness in sustained notes his rich, powerful voice dominates every scene he’s in, as well it should...

The sound opens up and has real sheen, not only in the orchestra’s string section but also with the chorus and singers. Indeed, it particularly helps tenor Frans Vroons, whose voice was warm and powerful but a bit dry in the midrange...

 

There is no question, however, that on balance this is the BEST performance of Euryanthe.

- Lynn René Bayley