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January 27, 2008


Lisa Hirsch

I'm looking forward to reading that piece!

An aside on your playlist: I have six or seven recordings of Bluebeard's Castle and that's the one I like the least.


Thanks, Lisa. I own two other versions and there's a specific reason I bought this one, but I agree. So, which is your favorite?

Lisa Hirsch

The two I like best (and think essential) are Ferencsik/Palankay, Szekely and Kertesz/Ludwig, Berry. I also like Sawallisch/DFD, Varady and Boulez/Troyanos, Nimsgern.

Can you say your specific reason?


The Kertész is my favorite, although I have a soft spot for the Sawallisch, which was the first one I heard. I'll have to check out the Ferencsik -- I notice there are two recordings by him in print, so thanks for indicating the soloists.

I bought the Fischer because I'm working my way through all of the recommended recordings in one of the guide books.

Lisa Hirsch

I think Szekely is Bluebeard on both of the Ferecsik recordings. I also knew the Sawallisch first!

There are excerpts from a late 40s/early 50s live recording with Nilsson (!), in German. Her C is not all that impressive at the opening of the fifth door!

Chris McIntyre

Hi Steve,

Lots of Berio in the listening! Someone on my list to get more music to put on my list, if you know what i mean...

Just wanted to suggest the relatively recent release of his trombone concerto SOLO with Christian Lindberg (of course) on BIS. Really stellar writing, and one of his last pieces. Also, the Turnage and Xenakis concertos are killer (yep, Ianni wrote one and exactly 2 people on the planet can play it). Check it out!

Bruce Hodges

Just to weigh in on the "Bluebeard" recordings (since it's my favorite opera), I have not heard several of those above (including the Fischer), but would second Lisa's rec of the Boulez/Troyanos/Nimsgern. When Troyanos opens the fifth door, she holds that climactic note much longer than anyone else--thrilling singing and very effective. I like the Sawallisch with Varady and Fischer-Dieskau, too.

But for all-around excellence, my first choice at the moment is Haitink's with the Berlin Philharmonic, with Anne Sofie von Otter and John Tomlinson. Von Otter is really vulnerable, and Tomlinson is as menacing as you could want.

This version also has the spoken introduction, in Hungarian, which helps to establish the creepy opening mood, and the orchestra's color palette as the doors are opened is superb.

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