Die Tote Stadt (Opera National du Rhin)

Overview

One begins to think that we truly live in the age of miracles when Erich Wolfgang Korngold's opera Die Tote Stadt turns up on DVD. It might well be the prettiest opera written in the 20th century, and one of the most compelling, and it put Korngold (who is better-remembered today for his Hollywood film scores) on the map internationally. However, as the century wore on, the prejudices against "modern" (circa 1920) works were such that, back in the 1970s, there was only one recording of the piece, by Erich ...
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Overview

One begins to think that we truly live in the age of miracles when Erich Wolfgang Korngold's opera Die Tote Stadt turns up on DVD. It might well be the prettiest opera written in the 20th century, and one of the most compelling, and it put Korngold (who is better-remembered today for his Hollywood film scores) on the map internationally. However, as the century wore on, the prejudices against "modern" (circa 1920) works were such that, back in the 1970s, there was only one recording of the piece, by Erich Leinsdorf on RCA Victor (when it was still a powerhouse company), and they even had trouble keeping that in print. These days, the Leinsdorf performance is still out there on CD, and has been joined by at least one other, plus this DVD account. Produced by the Opéra National du Rhin, with the Orchestra Philharmonique de Strasbourg, and conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig, under the direction of John Kent, this is a stunning presentation of a hauntingly beautiful, astonishingly bracing work about death and loss. As presented by Arthaus Musik, the disc is a masterpiece of its kind, shot from all the right angles and utilizing very lively, fluid editing. The audio is mastered at a nice, robust volume -- something that wouldn't have been the case early in the DVD era -- and does full justice to Angela Denoke as Marietta and Torsten Kerl as the stricken, haunted Paul, and brings out the glittering textures of Korngold's score in all of its richness. The 145-minute work has been put onto one dual-layer platter with a smooth transition; the chaptering follows the text, and the menu, including subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese, is easy to maneuver around, though the English subtitles can be a bit difficult to activate. The image is mastered at about a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, suitable for 16 x 9 enhancement, and the black bars below the image make a convenient frame for the subtitles. The audio comes in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1, and even the conventional stereo playback impressively conveys the richness of the score. The sound, coupled with the expressionistic set designs of Charles Edwards and the moving performances, makes this whole work a must-own release.
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Special Features

20-page booklet
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/21/2003
  • UPC: 807280034394
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Source: Arthaus Musik
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Alternate Wide Screen (1.78:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / DTS / Stereo
  • Sound: stereo, DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: Deutsche
  • Time: 2:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 26,742

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Akt 1: Introduction [1:16]
2. Akt 1: Behutsam! Hier Ist Alles Alt [6:25]
3. Akt 1: Frank! Freund! [10:26]
4. Akt 1: Nur Deiner Harr Ich! [1:30]
5. Akt 1: Rosen - So Ist's Recht! [1:19]
6. Akt 1: Wunderbar! [4:54]
7. Akt 1: Mariettas Lied [12:05]
8. Akt 1: Marietta! [9:31]
9. Akt 2: Prelude [5:59]
10. Akt 2: Was Ward aus Mir?! [6:52]
11. Akt 2: Wohin-Frank-Du? [3:15]
12. Akt 2: Schäume, Schäume! [8:36]
13. Akt 2: Mein Sehnen, Mein Wähnen [11:13]
14. Akt 2: Du Machst Mir Eine Szene? [13:13]
15. Akt 3: Prelude [2:46]
16. Akt 3: Dich Such Ich, Bild! [5:10]
17. Akt 3: Du Hier? - Als Ich Erwachte [24:33]
18. Akt 3: Die Tote-wo-lag Sie Nicht Hier [15:47]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Start Programme
   Select Title
   Subtitles
      Deutsch
      English
      Français
      Castellano
      Japanese
      Subtitles Off
   Audio Tracks
      PCM Stereo
      Dolby Digital 5.1
      DTS 5.1
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