White Shirt Monday: Absolute Classic

[Brigitte Fassbaender as “Rosenkavalier”, New York 1974. – Photo Credit: James Heffernan/MET]

Some things really can’t be improved. Like the perfect little back dress. Or the perfect white dress shirt. Or Brigitte Fassbaender as Octavian 1979 – at least that’s what I thought before I stumbled across this picture. Hm, 1974 or 1979?

Five years before the legendary Kleiber production in Munich with Popp and Jones (available on DVD), Brigitte Fassbaender gave her Octavian debut at the MET.  If DVDs could be worn out the way videotapes did, my Munich 1979 DVD would be worn out (though not as much as the 1994 Vienna one – you know the one I’m talking about, followed closely by New York 1982), but a look at the classic white-shirt-and-black above makes me wish for a 1974 DVD in addition.

Are there any favorite worn out videotapes in your closets?

8 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Absolute Classic”

  1. 1984 production with Te Kanawa and Anne Howells. It’s getting very thin now but one of my favourites as is the Jones and Fassbaender one.


    1. oh yes, that’s another nice one, though I confess that I didn’t get much further than “Te Kanawa. Thud.” the first time I watched it. Possibly also the second and third. It was on TV and I was an impressionable teenager…


    1. Oh, that’s another great one. I love the staging, Fleming’s portrayal particularly in the first act is touching and I enjoy Thielemann’st ake on the score. Damrau and Koch are great, no doubt, but wouldn’t be my personal favorite choices. The staging just might make it, though.


  2. Actually the first Kleiber rulz, I think. It was the first I saw (back in the VHS days) so perhaps my enthusiasm is sustained by the power of that first impression but the combination of my favorite production (which I will see again next week – yea!!!), Popp (by a huge margin my favorite Sophie – one of the few I can tolerate), Fassbaender (not quite my favorite Octavian but quite superb), Kleiber and the stunning Dame Gwyneth does it for me every time.


  3. Not a favorite, but a surprise: Komlosi and Whitehouse from Palermo. Picked this up in a secondhand shop (“it followed me home”) and it’s held its place on the shelves. Partly for a cast closer to the scripted age than most.


    1. I’ve “almost bought it” several times, always held back by not knowing much of the production – of the cast, I only know Komlosi whom I once heard as Preziosilla back in the early 90s (she was pretty good at it, too). So the next time this one wants to “follow me home”, I’ll know what to do, thanks!


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