The finest Fidelio there ever was….

The finest Fidelio there ever was….


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2017

We introduced you a while back to the overture of Klaus Tennstedt’s inimitable January 1984 performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera.

Now, an alert reader, Jürgen Irps, has come up with the complete radio broadcast of the opera.

Listen here.

Save it, treasure it, share it.

UPDATE: Hypnotised by the performance, we forgot to include the link. Apologies. It’s here.


  • Evan says:

    Norman, in your excitement about this I think you forgot to include the link to the recording. Please share, thanks!

  • Olassus says:

    It should be noted that in the same run of 7 performances under Klaus Tennstedt were Hildegard Behrens and Matti Salminen, both preferable to Eva Marton and Paul Plishka who sang in this Jan. 7 broadcast.

    • Tom in Vermont says:

      I heard Behrens in her Covent Garden debut with Vickers and Goodal.Terrific. But this is the best I’ve ever heard Marton.

      And great as Furtwangler can be, the immediacy and passion and flow here is amazing. As musical drama is WF 1950 better on the whole than this? A Tennstedt 1983 Mahler 6 in London was the greatest orchestral performance I ever heard.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    How and why is this “the finest Fidelio there ever was”? I humbly ask because I have heard better.

  • ira says:

    what about klemperer 1961 covent garden with vickers, jurinac, hotter? i remember it vividly.

    • Daniel F. says:

      Yes! Or that super-fast performance he did in Budapest in the late 40’s? Have you ever heard that? Sung in Hungarian. Probably “the best performance ever”–in Hungarian!

  • Arthur says:

    Fantastic masterpiece!