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Verdi: Falstaff / Santi/Vienna SO, Edelmann, Muszely, Sciutti, Hongen [DVD]

Album Summary

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Falstaff
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Verdi's musical comedy "Falstaff" in a brilliant studio recording from the early years of television. Otto Edelmann's comic Falstaff is one of the authoritative interpretations of the role in both musical and dramatic terms. The cast of Hellmuth Matiasek's production includes Elisabeth Hongen. Melitta Muszely and Graziella Sciutti, and the Viennese Symphony Orchestra is directed by the legendary conductor Nello Santi. A document of operatic and film history, this restored recording is available for the first time on DVD.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 118 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 4:3, B&W
Sound Format(s): LPCM Mono,
Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian


Verdi Falstaff DVD Arthaus Musik 101507
I thought that the entire cast of singers was superb, with no weak links anywhere. The fact that they sang in German vs. the normal Italian should pose little problem for English-speaking audiences, since the subtitles are easy to read. As a historic performance, it is top-notch. However, the fact that it is in black and white, rather than in color, with less than perfect video quality might be a problem for some. There are other, more recent, but still vintage, performances in color and good audio quality available at reasonable cost (e.g., the Met recording with Paul Plishka, Mirella Freni, and Marilyn Horne). Personally, I preferred Horne as Mrs. Quickly, but there is nothing wrong with Elisabeth Hongen's portrayal of the character. It's not often that one gets a cast with all of the singers having such good quality and tightly focused voices. A decision on whether to buy this DVD will therefore probably be decided by how devoted one is to adding to one's collection some great singers of the past, such as Elisabeth Hongen, Otto Edelmann, and Graziella Sciutti. Ted Wilks
Submitted on 08/16/10 by Ted Wilks 
Falstaff auf Deutsch? Ja!
Unless you object on principle to opera performances not sung in their original language, there's a lot to enjoy in this 1963 "Falstaff," made for German television. Otto Edelmann heads an international cast as the fat knight; best known among the other singers are Elisabeth Hongen (Dame Quickly) and Graziella Sciutti (Nanetta), though all are fine. The setting is (happily) traditional, and Hellmuth Matadsiek's direction serves the music, so that in the final fugue all the actors, who have moved off camera, re-enter one by one as they make their musical entrances until the screen is crowded with people, doffing their masks as they repeat "All's a joke." The sound is quite decent mono (Nello Santi conducts the Vienna Symphony), and the black and white film image is mostly very clear. No extras--except for various subtitles--but a detailed booklet. Dare we hope that Arthaus will bring to the U.S. the Mozart scenes from Vienna (filmed in color almost ten years earlier), "Unsterblicher Mozart"?
Submitted on 09/02/10 by Jim D. 
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Works Details

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Falstaff
  • Performers: Otto Edelmann (Baritone); Eva Gorgen (Mezzo Soprano); Hans Grimm (Baritone); Wolfgang Hackenberg (Bass); Elizabeth Hongen (Contralto); Erich Klaus (Tenor); Melitta Muszely (Soprano); Marshall Raynor (Tenor); Graziella Sciuti (Soprano); Richard Van Vrooman (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Nello Santi
  • Ensemble: Vienna State Opera Chorus
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1893