Alban Berg Wozzeck opera to libretto by the composer. Directed 2017 by Krzysztof Warlikowski at the Dutch National Opera. Stars Christopher Maltman (Wozzeck), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Marie), Frank van Aken (Drum Major), Marcel Beekman (Captain/Madman), Sir Willard White (Doctor), Jason Bridges (Andres), Ursula Hesse von den Steinen (Margret), Scott Wilde (First Apprentice), Morschi Franz (Second Apprentice), Jacob Jutte (Marie’s Son), and Richard Prada (A Soldier). Matt Albrecht conducts the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chorus of the Dutch National Opera (Chorus Master Ching-Lien Wu), and the New Amsterdam Children’s Choir (Chorus Master Eline Welle). Set and costume design by Małgorzata Szczęśniak; lighting design by Felice Ross; video design by Denis Guéguin; choreography by Claude Bardouil; dramaturgy by Christian Longchamp. Directed for TV by François Roussillon. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Below are two official clips from the Dutch National Opera. As always, François Roussillon comes up with a splendid video even under low-light conditions. We think of Maltman as opera’s ultimate tough guy; it’s astonishing to think of him playing opera’s most pathetic basket-case character. Peter Quantrill, writing in the February 2019 Gramophone at page 84 calls this “among the most beautifully played and sung accounts of record and film of Wozzeck “ which leaves behind the impression “not of cruelty but of compassion.” Wow — this has to go on the buy list!