Beethoven: Fidelio / Davidsen, Janowski, Dresden Philharmonic
After their acclaimed recording of Weber’s Freischütz, the Dresdner Philharmonie and its Principal conductor Marek Janowski present yet another German opera classic with Beethoven’s Fidelio. They work together with a stellar cast — well-seasoned in German opera — including Lise Davidsen (Fidelio/Leonore), Christian Elsner (Florestan), Georg Zeppenfeld (Rocco), Christina Landshamer (Marzelline), Cornel Frey (Jaquino), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Don Pizzarro) and Günther Groissböck (Don Fernando). This should have been a live concert recording, but Covid-19 frustrated those plans. Luckily, it turned out possible to record Beethoven’s masterpiece in two studio sessions, with two different, established choirs: the Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, as well as the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir. Katharina Wagner and Daniel Weber have adapted the original dialogues for this recording. Fidelio is the quintessential rescue opera, in which a wife goes to any lengths to free her beloved from the chains of a barbaric, oppressive regime. Beethoven’s opera on the power of love and the enlightening power of humanity still resonates with us today, and its music continues to delight and inspire. Marek Janowski, the Dresdner Philharmonie and the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir have a vast PENTATONE discography, including complete recordings of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Puccini’s Il Tabarro (both released in 2020). Lise Davidsen starred in Weber’s Freischütz (2019), while Christian Elsner, Georg Zeppenfeld and Günther Groissböck contributed to PENTATONE’s complete Wagner operas recording, amongst others. Christina Landshamer, Cornel Frey, Johannes Martin Kränzle and the Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden make their PENTATONE debut.
Any new recording by Davidsen is a major draw, and, as hoped, her portrayal of Leonore is gorgeous, nuanced, and compelling. Davidsen ensures the listener fully knows and feels Leonore’s thoughts and emotions, with a fulsome and richly burnished tone that is passionate and intensely lyrical.
– The Classic Review
Catalog Number: PTC5186880
Number of Discs: 2
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor: Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble: Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Saxon State Opera Chorus, male section Leipzig MDR Radio Choir
Performer: Aaron Pegram, Chao Deng, Christian Elsner, Christina Landshamer, Cornel Frey, Georg Zeppenfeld, Günther Groissböck, Johannes Martin Kränzle, Lise Davidsen