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  Harmonia Mundi -
  HMC 801802
  Beethoven: Christus am Olberge - Nagano
  Beethoven: Christus am Olberge, Op. 85

Placido Domingo (tenor)
Luba Orgonasova (soprano)
Andreas Schmidt (baritone)
Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin
Kent Nagano (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Review by rrkradio March 12, 2007 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I do not agree about Placido Domingo. I can't say nothing about his "german speaking" (i am italian), but i found the performance very good. I like the voice of Domingo even if he sang the telephone directory and i would like to have every sacd sung by mr. Domingo.

The recording is excellent (ambience very well kept) and the music is fascinating with beautiful choir. A "unknown" Beethoven to buy.


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Review by beardawgs April 4, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Now, this is quite a discovery. Not just the music, but also recording-wise, Harmonia Mundi seems to be getting a grasp of surround. Choral numbers are particularly impressive – in the second part chorus of Soldiers shouts their anger from the front speakers, while the frightened chorus of Disciples is coming from behind – the listener is the middle of the fight and confusion to a stunning effect. Even while the two choruses are singing together in the climax of the number, the sound picture is not crowded, every line is clear and distinguishable.

Unfortunately, the main solo role of Jesus is given to Placido Domingo. For some reason record companies think that his name on the sleeve will (still) sell records, and he is willing to get into the studio whatever’s on offer. His voice sounds dumped and refrained, probably in attempt to sound more dramatic then he’s naturally capable of, and his German leaves a lot to be desired. I couldn’t tell what language he’s singing in during a long opening recitative. Luba Orgonasova kicks off with some sky high coloratura brilliantly, and Andreas Schmidt’s small contribution is appropriately dramatic (and in proper German, what a relief). Nagano produces some great tension and drama with his relatively small forces, helped with spacious and well balanced recording, naturally focused.

My only complaint (and it’s not a small one) is mismatch of the soloists. Domingo is neither dramatic nor lyric, he’s just bland and routine. Orgonasova sounds huge comparing to him in a role of Seraph, IMO she’s having too much “meat” in her voice, but her high register is clear and full bodied, and to hear her coloratura singing is worth the price of the disc alone. But the true hero of this performance is the chorus, homogenous and transparent, dramatic and beautifully recorded.

This is the best sounding Harmonia Mundi SACD I’ve heard so far. Sound image is spacious and wide, dynamic range huge and natural and climaxes are never crowded (in MC). Highly recommended for the recording quality alone, and of course, for discovering some lesser known Beethoven’s music, shifting between Haydn and Mozart. Running time is also on a short side, only 47 minutes.

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Works: 1  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Christus am Olberge, Op. 85