Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wagner - Der Fliegende Holländer - Hotter, Krauss, Bayerische Staatsoper

Wagner - Der Fliegende Holländer -
Hotter, Krauss, Bayerische Staatsoper

Opera | single tracks, flac, no cue | no log, scans | 2 CD, 534 MB
released 2005 | Documents | RapidShare

The stellar quality of this recording is well known.

Practically every male in this production is outstanding, Maestro Krauss included. Yet, the name Viorica Ursuleac (pronounced in Romanian [UR soo lyak]) is strong enough to persuade some buyers to choose another production altogether. I did not know until recently how misunderstood this artist of historical importance is.

Ursuleac's voice is large, rich, full, dark and quite powerful from top to bottom. It is trained to maintain a high tessitura. The vowels are based on the sound [oo] as the word "spooky". For those who want a reference, Ursuleac seems to be a fine mixture of Zinka Milanov and Antonietta Stella. In fact, Milanov's later style seems based on Ursuleac's example, they are that similar. Yet, Ursuleac is less slavic and more open toned, and in the top and bottom ranges she is more powerful than Milanov. She does not match Milanov's middle voice but her piano tones are on a par.

There is much to be studied about Ursuleac since she was the original R. Strauss soprano. Ranczak and Grob-Prandl among many others have spoken of her big and easy top register, which persuades me that Schwarzkopf, TeKanawa, and Fleming may be the modern version of the Strauss soprano; lighter voices. It seems that Ursuleac was able to sing ALL of the Strauss operas. It seems now that there are two types of Strauss sopranos: the dramatics and the lyrics.

My own opinion is that I am fond of her voice, if not the way she sings. I don't like that her High C in "In questa reggia" sounds as if it came from another throat or that her tone sags at times. Yet, I love the sound, the heaviness, that molasses like heaviness; sweet, thick, and rich.

Bravo Ursuleac!!!! It's about time!--Amazon

CD Content

Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63
Composed by Richard Wagner
Performed by Bavarian State Opera Orchestra
with Karl Ostertag, Franz Klarwein, Georg Hann, Hans Hotter, Viorica Ursuleac, Luise Willer
Conducted by Clemens Krauss

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