Beethoven: Fidelio (CONTAINS DISTORTION) - A. Konetzni, Pataky, Berglund, Gutmann; E. Kleiber. Buenos Aires, 1937

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In the interests of full disclosure, I will lead with the fact that this performance is from 1937, when recording from the radio was still in its infancy. Although there are stretches of perfectly listenable music, the biggest flaw is that there is a good deal of distortion at the upper ranges of volume. This particularly effects Anny Konetzni’s colossal soprano voice. So why would I release it, you ask? Well, normally it wouldn’t have made it, but a complete performance of Fidelio conducted by Erich Kleiber, replete with the Leonore #3 overture is such an important document that I didn’t have the heart to withhold it due to some (pretty substantial) flaws in the sound. So I invite you all to view this as you would an ancient Roman Fresco. If you listen carefully you will hear an incredibly spirited performance from Kleiber as well as some astonishing singing from Konetzni. Konetzni, despite having an enormous instrument, sounds as if she would be just as at home singing the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. Additional kudos go to Koloman von Pataky for his lyrical Florestan. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the sound…

OD 11061-2

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