One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

A Tribute to Hans Knappertsbusch
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Tristan and Isolde - Prelude and Liebestod
Die Walküre; Act I
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, Op.58
Overture Leonore III, Op.72a
Birgit Nilsson (Isolde)
Claire Watson (Sieglinde): Fritz Uhl (Siegmund): Josef Griendl (Hunding)
Wilhelm Backhaus (piano)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Hans Knappertsbusch
rec. 1962, Wiener Festwochen; 1963, Theater an der Wien
Sound Format PCM Mono; Original Language German; Subtitles English, French, German, Spanish, Italian: Region Code 0, Picture format 4:3, DVD9 NTSC
ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 109212 [152:00]

These two black and white filmed performances, given in consecutive years during the Wiener Festwochen of 1962-63 have made the rounds before but are now handily conscripted to do service as a single DVD paying tribute to Hans Knappertsbusch.

Taped at the Theater an der Wien, with the Vienna Philharmonic on hand, occasionally cumbersomely seated, the first performance starts with Leonore III. But before it begins so vociferous is the applause greeting Kna’s appearance that he has to stand again to receive it, aided by the orchestra’s leader, Willi Boskovsky, who deftly motions to the conductor that the applause is all for him. Typically granitic – the tempo, or something, causes the horns problems – the performance is also imbued with a powerful charge. The many audience shots reveal typically Viennese concentration.

It’s a shame that Arthaus has preserved so much inter-performance idling. It seems it’s real time as the piano is urged onstage and before Wilhelm Backhaus strides on to play Beethoven’s G major Concerto. A soloist encourages Kna to reach for his spectacles. Despite the rather metallic treble-focused ring of the audio, which somewhat over balances the piano’s aural perspective and which also rather alters the tone of the (over miked) flute, the performance is a real meeting of minds. This was their natural metier, and Backhaus is still on fine form. Vainly he tries to persuade the orchestra to stand to receive applause. The concert concludes with the Tristan Prelude and Liebestod - with Birgit Nilsson in resonant voice, enunciating the text with great clarity, Kna punching out his hands at climaxes.

The following year’s concert was Act One of Die Walküre. The picture here, oddly, is rather darker than for the previous year though it’s bright enough to note the decoration that Kna wears around his neck. The singers are Claire Watson, Fritz Uhl and Josef Greindl and they make a sympathetic trio, none an especially strident or expressively extroverted artist but responding well to the long-term architectural goals pursued by Knappertsbusch.

Even though the material has seen the rounds before, its new configuration may prove attractive, despite the clarity disparity and the fiddling about in the 1962 performance. There’s a decent booklet note.

Jonathan Woolf


 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger