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Clive Paget
Limelight, January 2020

GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 751408
GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 751504

Bregenz Festival’s bloodthirsty bucket brings up operatic gold.

Christoph Pohl is a commanding Count Cenci, his powerful baritone and classy acting overcoming his diamante posing pouch. Gal James is seriously impressive as Beatrice, singing with enormous power and insight. Dshamilja Kaiser is equally lush-voiced as her stepmother. Johannes Debus draws sumptuous sound out of the Wiener Symphoniker and it’s well-filmed. A must for lovers of Strauss and Schreker. © 2020 Limelight Read complete review



Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, January 2020

GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 751408
GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 751504

…The cast is fairly large, with nine named characters, plus chorus, the drama revolves around Beatrice and the Count, both of whom are well cast. 

Johannes Debus leads a convincing account of the score. The Vienna Symphony bring life and color to Goldschmidt’s music, a job made easier, no doubt, by the composer’s always idiomatic writing, even for his unusual instrumental combinations.… An impressive production, given a faithful rendering on video, and, provided you can overlook a few Regietheater indulgences, a compelling account of a neglected opera fully worthy of repertory status. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review



Allan Altman
American Record Guide, November 2019

The entire cast is extraordinary, and even the smaller parts are sung magnificently.

The Vienna Symphony, under Johannes Debus, offers a lush and precise reading of the score. Goldschmidt exploits the brass section more than most opera composers (Wagner excepted, of course), and the players here are deserving of high praise. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Opera, October 2019

GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 751408
GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 751504

Seventy years on from its inception, this bold revival, aided by intelligent video direction, does timely justice to his magnum opus. © 2019 Opera



Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, September 2019

Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-96), a German-Jewish composer whose music was banned by the Nazis, has been triumphantly rediscovered, and this opera—composed in 1949-50—is a prime example of his accessible but provocative style. Goldschmidt’s splendidly paced account of a young 17th century Italian woman condemned to death with her mother for poisoning her brutally deranged father is filled with melodious and dramatic music worthy of Puccini. … Still, it’s beautifully performed by a committed cast and orchestra, and the hi-def video and audio are first-rate. © 2019 The Flip Side Read complete review



Anne Ozorio
Opera Today, August 2019

GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 751408
GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 751504

Berthold Goldschmidt’s Beatrice Cenci at last on DVD, from the Bregenzer Festspiele in 2018, with Johannes Debus conducting the Wiener Symphoniker, directed by Johannes Erath, and sung in German translation.

…This DVD—heard together with the often musically superior Lothar Zagrosek recording—should secure Beatrice Cenci its rightful place in modern repertoire. © 2019 Opera Today Read complete review




Andrew Clements
The Guardian, August 2019

GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 751408
GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 751504

The Bregenz cast, led by Gal James as Beatrice, with Dshamilja Kaiser as her stepmother Lucrezia and Christoph Pohl as the swaggering, monstrous Francisco Cenci, complete with diamante codpiece, is a very decent one, and Johannes Debus makes sure that Goldschmidt’s whirling, churning orchestral writing gets the attention it deserves. © 2019 The Guardian Read complete review



Records International, August 2019

GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 751408
GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 751504

Live recording of the first-ever staging (at last year’s Bregenz Festival) of Goldschmidt’s 1949-50 opera about a late Renaissance brute of a character who is murdered by his daughter. The 1995 Sony CD recording introduced most listeners to the late Romantic Puccini cum Mahler sound world of the Jewish composer… © 2019 Records International Read complete review



Tim Ashley
Gramophone

GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 751408
GOLDSCHMIDT, B.: Beatrice Cenci [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 751504

Gal James gives a moving performance as Beatrice, her tone bright and wonderfully secure. Pohl is at once charismatic and horribly malign. Nissen makes a fine, hypocritical Camillo, unctuous and fearful in his initial dealings with Francesco, powerful yet dithering later on when faced with questions over Beatrice’s guilt or innocence. … The Vienna Symphony play beautifully for Johannes Debus, who propels the score forwards with considerable force, all the while mindful of its lyrical beauty and the myriad details of Goldschmidt’s striking orchestration. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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