- Die tote Stadt (The Dead City), opera, Op. 12
34.99 In Stock
This live recording of a 2009 production of "Die tote Stadt" at the Frankfurt Opera is a strong presentation of the work. The sound is unusually clean, detailed, and well-balanced for a live performance, and the excitement and high energy of the singers and orchestra come across powerfully. Conductor Sebastian Weigle allows the score's ultra-Romantic effusions to surge and blossom naturally; a performance as strong as this one makes a good case for more frequent revivals of "Die tote Stadt" in houses with the capability to mount Richard Strauss and Wagner. The playing of Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester is of the highest order and reaffirms the group's status as one of the very finest international opera orchestras. Tenor Klaus Florian Vogt is outstanding as Paul. His voice is large enough to carry over the immense waves of orchestral sound, but it has a disarming, sweet youthfulness, and he remains strong throughout the course of his grueling role. He is an engaging protagonist and is dramatically convincing in exposing Paul's troubled inner life. Soprano Tatiana Pavlovskaya is mostly effective as Marietta, but her performance is uneven. At her best, she produces a glorious sound and she gains momentum as the evening progresses, but there are some frayed moments when her voice seems pushed beyond its zone of comfort. Baritone Michael Nagy and mezzo-soprano Hedwig Fassbender are completely persuasive as Frank/Fritz and Brigitta. For a relatively obscure opera, "Die tote Stadt" has the benefit of a number of recordings. This one ranks among the best and would make an excellent introduction to the work, and it should also be of interest to fans who already love it.