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WAGNER, George London, Leonie Rysanek, Sandor Konya, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Karl Bohm

Der Fliegende Hollander

Der Fliegende Hollander image
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  • George London - bass
  • Leonie Rysanek - soprano
  • Sandor Konya - tenor
  • The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus - orchestra
  • Karl Bohm - conductor

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This is a legendary partnership of Bohm with London and Rysanek. Bohm and Rysanek are together for two later broadcasts in 1965 with David Ward, and 1970 with William Dooley. Neither of those have been on Sirius. This 1963 broadcast was swapped with Ariadne 2 weeks earlier when the Hollander cast could not be assembled. That swap denied the broadcast audience the chance to hear Della Casa’s Ariadne. For my money there is no Senta like Rysanek. Read the Opera-L archives for my appreciation (I saw a tour performance from the stage). Rysanek and London are certainly a remarkable pair, and the applause for their Act 2 duet (in the 3 act version) regularly seemed unending. ———- 10/10/11 This performance was originally scheduled 2 weeks earlier when Konya was sick and Ariadne was switched at the last minute (and effectively knocked Della Casa out of an Ariadne broadcast). The Met Hollander premiere 3 years earlier with Rysanek and London was with Schippers. Bohm takes command of 3 broadcasts all with Rysanek, but David Ward is on the second (I would love to hear this again– a fine singer almost forgotten), and the third in 1970 with Dooley. For me, Senta and Kaiserin are Rysanek’s two most singular creations. There is nothing like the finale and as I’ve noted in other Opera-L postings I once saw this creation from the stage with her first husband standing right behind me. Fortunately this performance is on Met Player, and is far more thrilling than the studio performance with much the same cast under Dorati. Alan Montgomery 5.0 out of 5 starsLive Recording well worth the money. November 29, 2013 This cast is quite close to the one on London (formerly an RCA recording) conducted by Dorati. There is a major difference, however, in that this recording captures everyone in full sail and in a storm of music making (all puns intended). George London's brooding voice is captured in thrilling and "live" ambience. His diction is impeccable, and his "Spannung" (German for intensity) with Leonie Rysanek is quite impressively sustained. The final scene will bring you to the edge of your seat no matter what else you may be doing. Giorgio Tozzi is the perfect Daland. This man was severely underrated. Sandor Konya (instead of Karl Liebl on RCA/London) is exactly what the part demands - a large lyric who can give just a little weight when needed. He may not convince you the role is easy to sing, but he rises to impressive heights. So does the Steurman (Steerman) - George Shirley. Along with Lili Chookasian, Shirley helps us realize how important even the small roles are here. The Met chorus is on exemplary behavior. The real Steersman is conductor Karl Bohm. He knew Wagner and Strauss so well, and he propels things forward at just the right tempos. He allows Rysanek a blazing penultimate note (before flinging herself into the waves) and the audience is clearly enjoying things. Too bad the applause is curtailed, but I guess we don't need Milton Cross explaining the end of the opera, do we!