To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Beethoven's birth in 1970, German television took Fidelio into the studio and filmed the Deutsche Oper Berlin's production of the composer's only opera. Karl Böhm, well-known as a master conductor of this opera, leads an astonishing performance which emphasizes orchestral clarity and emotional depth. The conductor leads a strong cast headed by the glorious Gwyneth Jones and powerful James King in the starring roles. First time on DVD! "Gwyneth Jones sang a passionate Leonore…James King was a Florestan on the summit of his vocal expression." (Berliner Morgenpost)
Mozart's greatest symphonies in classic performances by Karl Böhm and the Wiener Philharmoniker.
Böhm’s Mozart as experienced in these precious films is marked by youthful vigour and directness, as well as a lack of pathos and sentimentality. Every reading glows with profound love and understanding.
“Thanks to Bruno Walter’s exemplary performances, I grabbed on to Mozart and fell in love with him so much that I had only one wish: to conduct Mozart, Mozart, Mozart.” – Karl Böhm
This luxuriously cast film of Mozart's beloved opera buffa features a host of legendary interpretations, including Kiri Te Kanawa's exquisite Countess Almaviva, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as her philandering husband, Hermann Prey as the wily title character, Mirella Freni, a delight as his no less savvy bride Susanna, and Maria Ewing, hilarious as the lovesick page Cherubino. Director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's imaginative camera-work tellingly emphasizes character and mood in this immortal story of love, intrigue and class struggle, set against the historical background of ancien regime Europe sliding inexorably towards revolution.
Götz Friedrich’s 1981 Elektra film sets Richard Strauss’ opera in a dark and dingy abandoned 20th-century factory populated by grungy denizens in psuedo-Greek garb. Elektra herself appears like some deranged homeless woman reeking with sweat and slime (in the rain). And the depravity doesn’t stop there. Friedrich plays up the work’s sado-masochistic elements, with bloody whippings and an orgy sequence involving nude lesbians bathing themselves in the blood of a sacrificial ram. Now you might think that all of this detracts from the score, but on the contrary, the production matches image to music so brilliantly that anyone seeing this opera for the first time would think they were created for each other (which allows you to ignore the occasional useless, almost silly gesture, such as the frequent and prolonged shots of Agamemnon’s bloodied visage during Elektra’s opening monologue).
Teresa Stratas has been called the world's greatest living singing actress, and she is seen and heard at the peak of her powers in the title role of director Götz Friedrich's spine-chilling version of Salome. on of the most highly acclaimed opera films ever made - with Strauss's score in the expert hands of his protégé Karl Böhm, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.
“One of Böhm's last operatic assignments, he accompanies his fine cast with huge wisdom. Gruberova and Talvela are outstanding. August Everding's production, adventurous for 1980, is now a delight to look at” (BBC Music Magazine). “the performance has a winning glow, with an excellent cast of soloists. Edita Gruberova as Konstanze is at her freshest…[Grist's Blonde] is a charming and characterful assumption, most of all when confronting the powerful Osmin of Martii Tavela” (Penguin Guide).
“A glittering account of the most perfect of all operettas, with an incredibly starry cast, all in peak condition. Karl Böhm's conducting is relaxed but sparkling.” (BBC Music Magazine)
Karl Böhm had a profound, sincere, and abiding love for Mozart's music, and his recordings set new performance standards for these immortal masterpieces. Here his delightful interpretation of three ravishing symphonies and the enchanting Serenata notturna, plus a documentary portrait of this great conductor.
Karl Böhm conducting the Requiem: one of the foremost Mozart conductors of the 20th century in one of Mozart’s most admired works. Singers Gundula Janowitz, Christa Ludwig, Peter Schreier and Walter Berry join forces to form a brilliant cast of soloists. Taped in 1971 at the Piaristenkirche in Vienna, this is a rare document of outstanding artistic quality.