WEBER Der Freischütz / Kleiber 4577362

It's wonderfully virtuosic and he seems to have no hesitation about speeds or how to perform it.

Among a clutch of fine recordings . . . none has quite matched Carlos Kleiber's 1973 version, both for its cast and its brilliant realisation of Weber's wonderfully atmospheric orchestral textures. Ever suspicious of "tradition", Kleiber went back to the composer's manuscript and unearthed countless new details, such as the shimmering haze of muted violins in Agathe's invocation to the moonlit night, "Leise, leise". With the magnificent Dresden orchestra -- not least its baleful battery of horns -- on incandescent form, the infernal Wolf's Glen has a chilling cumulative intensity. Elsewhere Kleiber is equally attentive to the opera's rustic charm and its louring or glittering diablerie, with Theo Adam relishing the cruelty and gleeful cynicism of the evil Kaspar. The celestial-toned Gundula Janowitz suggests both the womanly tenderness and reserves of strength in the heroine Agathe. Edith Mathis is delightful, without coyness, as her flirtatious cousin Aennchen, while Peter Schreier brings a Lieder-singer's subtlety to his portrayal of the anguished Max.

Carlos Kleiber's Dresden recording caused quite a stir when it came out in 1973: rightly so, because it's performance of great vitality and subtlety. . . . When Kilian the peasant taunts Max the huntsman as a "M'sieu'", the mockery of the chorus, supported by spiky oboes, is exceptional vivid. . . . Kleiber is so good at bringing out the open strings of the stage band . . . Other orchestral delights include the clearly audible low flute and viola an Ännchen's second aria. And the singing is first-rate. Peter Schreier makes an unusually sympathetic Max, and Theo Adam a surprisingly heavyweight Kaspar. Gundula Janowitz brings a bell-like clarity to her arias, and Edith Mathis bubbles away as Ännchen. The duet, where Weber draws their characters so acutely, is charming. A noble Hermit from Franz Crass sets the seal on a riveting performance.

Eine Million Mal habe ich die Aufnahme bestimmt gehört. Bis heute, wenn mich depressive Stimmungen beschleichen oder mir Energie fehlt, ist es diese Aufnahme, die ich auflege und laut spiele. Sofort hält die Welt an, und alles Negative um mich verschwindet. Es wird wohl [die] absolute Symbiose zwischen Dirigent und Werk sein, die mich so anspricht.

Et si c'était lui l'inventeur "ex nihilo" du romantisme, avec quelques années d'avance et de prescience? La scčne de la gorge aux loups du "Freischütz" répond oui. Et Carlos Kleiber enfonce le clou. Le plus fort dans l'affaire c'est que le romantisme de Weber ne se démarque pas du classicisme, il ne s'invente pas en réaction, il assimile le romantisme littéraire et le transpose en musique, gagnant deux décennies sur ses contemporains. Vous pourrez aller voir ailleurs dans l'żuvre relativement brčve de ce génie, mais le "Freischütz" dit tout.

Dos clarísimas y magníficas opciones ... se disputan el sitio de honor. La de Kubelik en Decca ... La otra se debe a Carlos Kleiber en DG. Premiadísima desde su aparición, está edificada sobre dinámicas extremas (fortes intesos y pianos casi inaudibles) y unos tempi que van de lo más vigoroso y trepidante a lo más relajado y placentero. Atento al color y al detalle.