Lucerne Festival, Vol. IV – Rafael Kubelik conducts Bartok (2014) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Rafael Kubelik conducts Bartok – Lucerne Festival, Vol. IV – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Irmgard Seefried, Schweizerisches Festspielorchester, Rafael Kubelik (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48kHz  | Time – 01:00:39 minutes | 371 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet | © Audite Musikproduktion
Recorded: Kunsthaus Luzern, 15. August 1962

Gramophone Review by Gripping Bluebeard :: Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle is in essence about the inscrutability of an older man and the burning curiosity of a younger woman, an opera that’s very difficult to cast and even more tricky to pace, given the risk of sinking into a lugubrious tonal quagmire. And yet, given a conductor of Rafael Kubelik’s calibre, there’s scope for a gripping inner narrative – provided the singers fit their roles, which in this case they most certainly do.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau twice recorded Bluebeard commercially, but in concert any sense of propriety is thrown to the winds and he sounds (and sings) the part as never before on disc, commanding, compassionate, occasionally impatient and with a macho swagger to the voice that suits the role to a T. Irmgard Seefried on the other hand is the most girlish, innocent-sounding Judith I’ve ever heard, the opposite of, say, Jessye Norman (the most regal Judith on disc), impressionable rather than vulnerable, though when Bluebeard flings open the door to his vast kingdom she intones a rather shortbreathed top C. Kubelik is magnificent, cueing his Swiss Festival Orchestra players to etch each scene with bold primary colours, even the mournful lake of tears. The climaxes are overwhelming (especially Judith’s internment), even though heard through rather over-resonant sound. Not perfect by any means (and there are no ghostly voices) but wonderful!

Béla Bartók (1841–1904)
Bluebeard’s Castle, op. 11 (Sz 48)
Opera in einem Akt (Libretto: Béla Balázs)
01 | Wir sind am Ziele (Here we are now) 4:32
02 | Dies ist also Blaubarts Feste! (So this is really Bluebeard’s castle!) 5:53
03 | Stumm und verschlossen die Türen (Seven doors all barred and bolted) 4:48
04 | ERSTE TÜRE: Weh! – Was siehst du? 4:03
05 | ZWEITE TÜRE: Was siehst du? – Tausend schaurig scharfe Waffen 4:46
06 | DRITTE TÜRE: Oh, welche Pracht! (Mountains of gold) 2:28
07 | VIERTE TÜRE: Ein Blumenmeer, ein einziger Duft ( Ah! What lovely flowers!) 4:48
08 | FÜNFTE TÜRE: Ah! – Sieh, so weit die Blicke reichen (Ah! – Now behold my spacious kingdom) 6:31
09 | SECHSTE TÜRE: Unbeweglich, weiß und stille (I can see a sheet of water) 6:48
10 | Herzog Blaubart, lass Dich fragen … (Tell me, dearest Bluebeard) 6:25
11 | SIEBENTE TÜRE: Schau, die früher’n Frauen alle (Hearts that I have loved and cherished) 2:34
12 | Früh am Morgen kam die erste (The first I found at daybreak) 6:57

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Bluebeard)
Irmgard Seefried (Judith)
Schweizerisches Festspielorchester (orchestra)
Rafael Kubelík (conductor)