Financial Times, July 9, 2011
By Andrew Clark
Recorded live last summer with the Lucerne Festival and Mahler Chamber Orchestras and an immaculately tuned Arnold Schoenberg Choir, this is a “modern” Fidelio in so far as it espouses lightly pointed rhythms, transparent textures and attention to detail – but it also captures the hallowed glow of Beethoven tradition. Claudio Abbado misses the searing, spontaneous freedom of Barenboim, but he also takes fewer liberties. It’s a Fidelio of the concert hall, an impression underlined by Nina Stemme’s slow, undramatic “Abscheulicher!”. Interest for opera fans lies primarily in Jonas Kaufmann’s Florestan: his aria, beginning on a thread of sound, is as much a meditation as a cry from the depths. Christof Fischesser is the excellent Rocco, Falk Struckmann a believably sinister Don Pizarro.

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