Beethoven: Fidelio


Beethoven Fidelio

Beethoven Fidelio

Sir Colin Davis conductor
Christine Brewer
Leonore / Fidelio
John Mac Master
Kristinn Sigmundsson

Recordings of the Year Opera News
CD of the Week
Sunday Times

Best of 2007 Classical CDs '...Sir Colin excelled himself in the power and nobility of his interpretation, with the LSO in terrific form...First-class recording quality'Sunday Telegraph

Based on a true incident which occurred during the French Revolution, Fidelio is Beethoven's only opera. Depicting the rescue of a political prisoner by his wife, who has disguised herself as a man, its themes of courage, marital loyalty and freedom make it one of the most uplifting and inspirational masterpieces of musical theatre.

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Recordings of the Year Opera News

Best of 2007 Classical CDs 'This thrilling performance was given in the Barbican last May when Sir Colin excelled himself in the power and nobility of his interpretation, with the LSO in terrific form, and the American soprano Christine Brewer sang with gleaming white-hot tone as Leonore. The final paean of joy at liberation is overwhelming. First-class recording quality' Sunday Telegraph

Disc of the Month Opera Magazine

CD of the Week '[Christine Brewer] is a glorious voice, lyrical yet capable of ascending thrillingly to climatic high Bs... The other principals are excellent too... Above all Davis's elemental conducting of his superb LSO makes this an outstanding bargain.' Sunday Times

'Colin Davis's conducting of the London Symphony Orchestra and the vocal forces is so impressive that it ranks with the greatest accounts I have ever heard of this work, or of almost anything... Davis's interpretation is stupendous, weighty but moving forward with immense dramatic force, and with by far the greatest amount of orchestral detail that I have heard... Christine Brewer is a great Fidelio, her big voice under perfect control, electrifying at climaxes.' BBC Music Magazine

***** 'Critical superlatives rained on the concert performances of Fidelio last May; this recording made at the time shows they were not exagerrated... Fidelio is often let down by the Florestan but not in this case where Canadian tenor John Mac Master brings an almost Vickers-like intensity and lyricism. It is at moments like these that Beethoven’s opera is out on its own' Sunday Telegraph

'Smart people have long admired Christine Brewer for her power, clarity and good musical sense… this splendid soprano, who sings here with great beauty. Mr Mac Master removes the role – rescues it, some might say – from Wagnerian thickness. The sound is clear, with the svelteness of a Verdi tenor but steadfast under pressure… Mr Mac Master and Mr Davis ride the music gloriously.' New York Times

'A stellar cast headed by that fine American soprano Christine Brewer… Canadian tenor John Mac Master's Florestan is every stave a match for Brewer's powerful, affecting Leonora, with the LSO chorus in especially fine voice as Davis mines the visionary depths of Beethoven's wondrous score.' The Observer

'First class modern sound and cast to a standard I would of thought unachievable... His [Davis’s] tempos are surprisingly fleet and there is an elemental energy to his conducting that propels the drama inexorably forward... She [Brewer] sings the notes more effortlessly, and with thrilling attack at the top of her range, than any other contemporary Leonore... Vocally, the big surprise is the sensitively and heroically sung Florestan of the Canadian tenor John Mac Master ... unmissable.' International Record Review

'Playing of real bite and character that is caught with startling presence by the recording... Christine Brewer's Leonore is quite exceptional... Mac Master's performance is immensely impressive too.' The Guardian

'Davis seems to view the work as an heroic love story instead of a grand pronouncement on freedom and oppression as so many others do. Hence the incredible lyricism of Davis’s account. The SACD sound here is exactly what we have come to expect from LSO Live - broadly spaced with good clarity and volume… this version sounds fresh and compelling and fully worthy to mount the steps to the temple of the few greats we have.' Audiophile Audition


Sir Colin Davis conductor
Christine Brewer
 Leonore / Fidelio

John Mac Master Florestan

Kristinn Sigmundsson Rocco

Sally Matthews Marzelline

Juha Uusitalo Don Pizarro

Andrew Kennedy Jaquino

Daniel Borowski Don Fernando

Andrew Tortise First prisoner

Darren Jeffery Second prisoner

London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra 

Recording Details

James Mallinson producer
Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd sound engineers

Recorded May 2006, Barbican, London
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording

Notes in English/en français/auf Deutsch
Includes complete libretto with English translation
Sung in German/auf Deutsch

Catalogue number - LSO0593
UPC - 822231159322

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