Renee Fleming in Concert – Salzburg Festival 2011-12 – Strauss/Wolf/Bruckner – Blu-ray – Opus Arte 

A reissue of 2 terrific concerts in a 2 disc set of dazzling video and audio.

Renee Fleming in Concert – Salzburg Festival 2011-12 – Strauss/Wolf/Bruckner – A 2 Blu-ray disc set in 1080i video, DTS 5.1 sound – Opus Arte OA BD7235- TT: 190 minutes (1/26/18) *** 1/2:

This new release is actually a two disc repackaging of a 2012 release of 2 concerts from 2011 and 2012 with Renee Fleming and Christian Thielemann the Vienna Philharmonic and the Staatskapelle Dresden.  There’s a generous amount of music, more than 3 hours worth, and a good portion of the music on offer is bereft of Ms. Fleming. So it’s a bit odd to call this set Renee Fleming in Concert. The purely orchestral works are excellent, both the Strauss Alpine Symphony and the Bruckner Symphony # 7. The vocal programs feature five lieder by the prolific Austrian songsmith Hugo Wolf in addition to four of Strauss’s finest and an opera scene featuring Fleming in one of her career-defining roles, Arabella.

The orchestral works are brilliantly performed and recorded. The 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio is thrilling to experience.

The rest of the disc gives us Ms. Fleming in her usual superb voice aided and abetted by Mr. Thielemann and his cohorts. If you never get a chance to visit the salzburg Festival, this disc will give you a good sample of the talent on offer. Here again, the 5.1 sound is nearly perfect.

The Blu-rays were recorded live at the Salzburg Festival, August 2011 (Strauss) / Semperoper Dresden, September 2012 (Wolf, Strauss*, Bruckner)

The video on these Blu-rays is crisp, and the lighting is rich and warm. The concerts are well directed, something that’s not always the case in concert discs.  So together the discs give you more than 3 hours of impressive performances, brilliant HD video and memorable surround sound.

Disc contents:

Richard Strauss:
5 Lieder, Op. 39, TrV 189: No. 4. Befreit (version for voice and orchestra)*
5 Lieder, Op. 48, TrV 202: No. 5. Winterliebe (version for voice and orchestra)
3 Lieder, Op. 29, TrV 172: No. 1. Traum durch die Dämmerung (arr. for voice and orchestra)
4 Gesänge, Op. 33, TrV 180: No. 2. Gesang der Apollopriesterin
Arabella, Op. 79, TrV 263, Act I: Mein Elemer!
Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233

Hugo Wolf:
Gedichte von Eduard Morike: No. 6. Er ist’s / No. 12. Verbogenheit / No. 16. Elfenlied
Gedichte von J.W. v. Goethe: No. 9. Mignon (second version) / No. 29. Anakreons Grab

Anton Bruckner:
Symphony No. 7 in E Major, WAB 107 (1885 original version, ed. R. Haas)

—Mel Martin

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