HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Palestrina.
Catalogue Number: 06L078
Description: Depending on how the subject and the composer strike you, this 1917 opera is either overlong and tedious in its purple-prose libretto (by Pfitzner himself) or it's "a deeply serious and intensely moving opera. Its didactic nature is plain, and if the music, particularly during the long first act, tends to veer towards the devotional (sometimes even dull) rather than the galvanisingly dramatic, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts", as a reviewer for BBC Music Magazine put it. This Munich production from July last year sports a production all in black, white, pink and neon green with ultra-modern looking sets and costumes (the Pope arrives in a white stretch limo) but Ventris, Rose and Struckmann got rave reviews for their performances and, if the story drags, you can always admire the candy apple colors. 2 DVDs. Christopher Ventris, John Daszak (tenors), Peter Rose (bass), Michael Volle, Falk Struckmann (baritones), Bavarian State Opera Chorus, Bavarian State Orchestra; Simone Young. 16:9 widescreen. PCM stereo or Dolby Digital 5.0 or DTS 5.0, NTSC region 0. 197 min.