Thursday, February 19, 2015

Michael Powell's Bluebeard's Castle

Actually Herzog Blaubart's Burg, and sung in German, this is a rather odd, and yet oddly appropriate, film made for German television in 1963.  If you have a Chromecast or other setup for watching it on your TV, go to this URL. Otherwise, here it is:

The conducting is uncertain at times, and so is the orchestra. The soprano seems a little light to me, though she is expressive, and, uh, she has no C. In fact the Fifth Door is a visual failure, though I am open to explanations as to why it takes so long for there to be a visual response to the most overwhelming moment in the score.


Tom DePlonty said...

I guess if you don't have it you don't try to sing it but it just ruins that moment. The music before and after the fifth door is opened is some of my favorite Bartok.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yeah - although Klara Palankay bags the C on the set with Ferencsik and Szekeley, and it does not, somehow, ruin it, because Ferencsik is so great.

Agree about that passage! It is amazing. When SFS did a semistaged Bluebeard a couple of years back, I had already seen it 3 times, but 2 were with Berkeley Opera, whose orchestra had all of 30 players, and at ENO in 1993. SFS and the Rufatti organ did, more or less, push everyone up against the back wall of the auditorium. It is awesome when played by such a great orchestra.