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Hans Pfitzner: Palestrina

Christopher Ventris (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina), Peter Rose (Pope Pius IV), Michael Volle (Giovanni Morone), John Daszak (Bernardo Novagerio), Roland Bracht (Cardinal Christoph Madruscht), Falk Struckmann (Carlo Borromeo), Christiane Karg (Ighino), directed for stage by Christian Stückl
Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Simone Young

Requiring 38 soloists, chorus and large orchestra, Hans Pfitzner’s Palestrina is a challenging opera to stage. In Munich, the city in which it was given its world premiere in 1917, director Christian Stückl and the Bavarian State Opera met those challenges with unequivocal success. Stückl’s production infuses such colour and life into this morally and philosophically serious work that even the German tabloid Abendzeitung delightedly wrote: “Who would have thought that Pfi tzner could be such fun?” Written in a lush late-Romantic idiom, the opera tells how Palestrina, in the face of anti-musical decrees from the Church, composes his great Missa Papae Marcelli and becomes ‘‘the saviour of contrapuntal music’’. The imposing Christopher Ventris as Palestrina heads an outstanding cast.

Facts DVD Blu-ray

Item number
UPC number
Region code
Picture format
NTSC 16:9
Sound format
PCM Stereo
Dolby Digital 5.1
dts 5.1
Total running time
206 mins
Details running time
197 mins, 9 mins (Bonus)
English, French, German
Booklet notes
English, French, German
No. of discs
Making of "Palestrina"
Bonus subtitles