Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (Königsberg , January 24, 1776 – Berlin, June 25, 1822), who changed his third name to Amadeus in honour to Mozart, is one of the best-known representatives of German Romanticism, and a pioneer of the fantasy genre, with a taste for the macabre. He was also a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist.
As a musician, he composed about 80 works, including several operas, among them Aurora (1811-12), after Franz von Holbein, and Undine (1814), after Baron Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's tale, one symphony, sacred and chamber music, as well as instrumental pieces.
Bregenzs Tales of Hoffmann is different from everything you saw before. The New York Times praised the thoughtfulness and creativity of Stefan Herheims new production, devised by the director as a search for ones own self in a sparkling drag show. A shining-toned (NYT) Hoffmann is embodied by tenor Daniel Johansson in the title role. He is supported by a fantastic cast: Rachel Frenkel is positively ideal as Muse and Niklausse (Kurier), Kerstin Avemo as Olympia is endowed with brilliant, cheekily extemporized coloraturas (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Michael Volle sings the parts of Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr. Miracle and Dappertutto, the works four villains, with warmth and intensity (NYT) and Mandy Fredrich is a finelyphrased Antonia (Kurier).
This 1972 studio recording is the ultimate Tales Of Hoffman. The recording was originally an LP on the ABC label in the Westminster Legacy issues, but digitally remastered and edited for cd by Deutsche Grammophon. Deutsche Grammophone cd labels are famous for remastering legendary and classic recordings of classical music and opera and they have outdone themselves again with this one. It features virtuoso singers at the top of their game and the orchestra is directed under the baton of the seasoned conductor Julius Rudel.
Jacques Offenbach was the composer of many operettas that satirized life in 19th century France, many of which are still popular. "Tales of Hoffman" was his last work and his only "serious" opera, and Offenbach died before completing it. This has lead to several "final" versions which is of interest primarily to musicologists.
What should interest a potential buyer of the DVD is the quality of the performance and of the disc. Happily, both are excellent.
"Tales" is a hugely melodic work, with one good melody following another. It is also a work where singing actors have the opportunity to breathe life into what can be rather wooden characters. In the case of this performance, this is exactly what happens.
The complete collection of Achim Reichel’s innovative avant-garde project in the early 1970s. The lavishly designed 10 CD box-set includes all five studio albums and almost five hours of rare and unreleased music, a new remix-album – Virtual Journey – as well as a hardcover book with the artist’s own liner notes. A lucky accident was the catalyst. In Hamburg in the early 70s, while playing with his new Akai X330D tape machine, Achim Reichel discovered he could build soundscapes of guitar echoes and add even more simultaneously. He spent hours in his room with headphones on, growing his orchestra of guitars. A.R. & Machines recorded five studio albums…