Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites (In German) - Loose, Goltz, Zadek, Höngen, Rothenberger; Klobucar. Wien, 1961
Listen to a Sample:
- As Dialogues des Carmélites made its rounds after the world premiere, opera companies honored Poulenc's wishes and presented it in the vernacular. That directive obviously has benefits for the listener who is hearing it in their native tongues, but it also offers a different perspective, both dramatically and musically, to anyone listening to it in a language that is neither their language nor the original French, similar to how Shakespeare scholars will often study the German translations for new insite.
- Emmy Loose's voice lacks a bit of the purity of Virginia Zeani's, the original Blanche, but she gains steam throughout the evening and in the end brings a touching strength to the role.
- Hilde Zadek as Madame Lidoine and Christel Goltz as Marie make for a very interesting pairing. Although the story highlights the fact that the two were from entirely different socio-economic backgrounds, the fact that there is such a strong vocal similarity between the two goes a long way in underscoring the fact that they were ultimately united by faith and sacrifice.
- Elisabeth Höngen makes much of the relatively brief role of Madame de Croissy and Anneliese Rothenberger brings charm and depth to the role of Sister Constance.
- Although the sound is generally very clear, the master of the second disc was marred by occasional digital hiccups. I have included an example around 1:30 in the sample provided above. The flaws would have normally meant that I would not have listed this performance, but I decided to offer it for its great historical value of an opera that is underrepresented.