Berg: Lulu

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
The long-awaited complete version of "Lulu," which received its premiere in 1979 with Friedrich Cerha's finished orchestration of the third act, has fared well on disc. The recording of that first production at the Paris Opéra, with Teresa Stratas and conducted by Pierre Boulez, remains a classic. Other outstanding releases include two versions on Chandos, the first with Constance Hauman and conducted by Ulf Schirmer, and the second a performance in English, with Lisa Saffer and conducted by Paul Daniel. This performance from a 1991 production at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, starring Patricia Wise, deserves a place along with the best of them. It's a recording of live ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
The long-awaited complete version of "Lulu," which received its premiere in 1979 with Friedrich Cerha's finished orchestration of the third act, has fared well on disc. The recording of that first production at the Paris Opéra, with Teresa Stratas and conducted by Pierre Boulez, remains a classic. Other outstanding releases include two versions on Chandos, the first with Constance Hauman and conducted by Ulf Schirmer, and the second a performance in English, with Lisa Saffer and conducted by Paul Daniel. This performance from a 1991 production at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, starring Patricia Wise, deserves a place along with the best of them. It's a recording of live performances and has a compellingly dramatic urgency that's hard to reproduce in the studio. The recording quality is excellent -- details are clear, the sound is full and present, and the incidental stage sounds are minimal and add to the sense of theatrical space without being distracting. Jeffrey Tate's conducting emphasizes the ways the score brilliantly illuminates the opera's mercurial shifts in dramatic tone. He also brings out the most expressive, humanistic, post-Romantic qualities of the score. Because of that, this is probably the version most likely to make converts of listeners new to Berg's astringent writing. The singers are immensely engaging, making a strong case for creating empathy with characters who rarely behave sympathetically. The conventional wisdom is that the opera's characters except for the self-sacrificing Countess Geschwitz are so morally bankrupt that audiences tend to regard them more with detached and voyeuristic curiosity than with empathy; they're so dazzlingly nasty that they demand our attention, in spite of feelings of distaste for the way they treat each other. Here, though, the singers invest them with such authentic emotion that they do arouse sympathy, and that makes the tragic desolation of the ending all the more poignant. The singers are consistently first rate. Patricia Wise is a fabulous Lulu; she actually sounds young and fresh, and that's a revelation. Singers with the chops to handle this daunting role tend to be, and sound, more mature. Wise's youthfulness and genuine vulnerability make it more believable that the devastation Lulu wreaks all around her is not entirely calculated, but at least in part the result of her naïveté, and that makes the character far more sympathetic. Peter Straka makes a passionate Alwa, and his voice is always true and pure. Wolfgang Schöne's Dr. Schön is imposing and powerful. In some luxury casting, Brigitte Fassbaender as Countess Geschwitz and Hans Hotter as Schigolch are musically and dramatically compelling, and there are no weak links in the smaller roles. The entire cast sings or declaims Berg's strenuous lines with conversational naturalness, and that adds hugely to the effectiveness of the production. Anyone who loves the opera will discover new dimensions of its humanity in this recording, and it makes an excellent introduction for anyone coming to it for the first time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2008
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • EAN: 5099950940028
  • Catalog Number: 09400
  • Sales rank: 264,510

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–36 Lulu, opera - Alban Berg & Alban Berg (172:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jeffrey Tate Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is a "Lulu" of an performance, and first rate.

    This is a "Lulu" of an performance, and first rate. The "Tate Lulu" is the third complete three-act German language version of Alban Berg's Lulu on CD. This is an EMI reissue from 1992, sadly reissued without the libretto (a sad trend in the opera CD business) but the price is right - three disks for the price of one. The sound is very good indeed for live and adds to the spontinaty of the ensemble (with the minimum of odd stage noises). Patricia Wise is tops as Lulu... flying high with great ease. Listening side-by-side to the Berg-Lulu/Teresa Stratas with Boulez conducting you can feel the enormous pressure on all involved to finish the first 3-act Lulu in 1979. That takes nothing away from Boulez, it's just the everything on the "Tate" with Orchestre National de France sounds easy, fluid, and natural, the music and the voices just float. Jeffrey Tate conducts the Orchestre National de France with great care. He brings a sweetness to Berg's score, the jazz elements appear like fire flies and are gone in an instant... you want to hear them again... very haunting indeed... The singer's make it sound so easy singing in the Singspiel style ("song-play" a form of German-language music drama). I call it song-speak, going back and forth from speaking voice to half song voice interwoven into the music... Berg's style makes this opera... it's very heady stuff. We have a cast of singers to die for, and some over the top casting... all veterans in Opera's Who's Who. Brigitte Fassbaender as Countess Geschwitz... Wolfgang Schone's Dr Schon/Jack the Ripper, Hans Hotter's Schigolch, with Graham Clark, Peter Straka... all are outstanding. Add this one among the other outstanding CD performance's of Berg's Lulu, Boulez/Teresa Stratas and Chandos's "Opera in English" series, Daniel/ENO with Lisa Saffer as Lulu.

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