Böhm: Berg - Wozzeck (2 CD, APE)
Böhm: Berg - Wozzeck (2 CD, APE)

Composer: Alban Berg
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (tracks+cue)
Label: Opera D’oro
Size: 362 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Wozzeck, opera, Op. 7
Composed by Alban Berg

Wozzeck – Geraint Evens
Marie – Anja Silja
Drum Major – Fritz Uhl
Andres – Laurent Driscoll
The Captain – Helmut Melkerr
The Doctor – Hans Kremmer
First Artisan – Zoltan Kelemen
Second Artisan – Klaus Hirte
Idiot – Jan van Ree
Margret – Gertrude Jan

Recorded: Salzburg 08.08.1971

An Astonishing Performance!

Classical music collectors should not be, in the slightest, put off by the fact that this is a live performance of Wozzeck — the sound quality is incredible, all the singers come across with great clarity and there are no distractions (such as audience coughing) during the opera. My feeling is manifest that the fact that it is live surely, in this instance, must have added to the electricity of this particular performance.

Wozzeck is the only atonal (12 tone system) opera which remains in the repertoire and it is fairly well known that even people who don’t care much for atonal music typically enjoy a presentation of Wozzeck — and this presentation is particularly addicting. In fact, this is a great starter CD for those previously unapprised of atonal music.

Just a note about the composer, Alban Berg certainly outdid himself with this particular work. The complexity of composing an opera and conveying it at all in a sensical manner within the parameters of 12-tone “rules” calls for complete genius at the least.

This is a 2 CD set that runs in three acts with brief applause at the end of each. That is the only way that the listener can determine that it is a live recording, short of reading the CD notes. The performance itself was rendered in 1971 by the Vienna Philharmonic, Karl Bohm conducting. It is incredibly difficult to keep the orchestra and singers in sync on this opera and Bohm keeps it nice and tight. Of course, the opera is sung/spoken in German.

The story itself is darkly hilarious and is better read from Buchner’s original play, “Woyzeck,” which was based upon a fascinating but tragic true story. In any case, my favorite performer in this masterpiece is Helmut Melkert (tenor) who plays “The Captain,” but all the players are professionally excellent in their respective roles.

For the price, you will find neither a better buy nor a better performance of Wozzeck. I listen to this 2 CD set with great frequency.

3 Comments

  1. A remerkable performance to add to my Silja Collection.
    I own a private recording that was made with nearly the same cast 1972 in Salzburg. But technically awfull-
    I met Anja Silja 3 weeks ago. She will sing next week in a new
    opera by Wolgang Rihm in Frankfurt. Greetings Trottar

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