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VA - Wagner: The Great Operas from the Bayreuth Festival (33 CDs Box Set) (2008)

Classic, Discographies | Author: valechek | 15-06-2019, 15:58
VA - Wagner: The Great Operas from the Bayreuth Festival (33 CDs Box Set) (2008)Artist: VA
Title Of Album: Wagner: The Great Operas from the Bayreuth Festival
Year Of Release: 2008
Label: Decca
Country: EU
Genre: Classical Music, Opera
Quality: FLAC (*image+.cue, log, scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 33 CDs, 10:18:58 min
Full Size: 9,4 Gb

As part of the Wagner year 2013 celebrations Decca Classics are pleased to announce a limited edition re-press of the successful 2008 set of Wagner Operas recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival.

Only a long and detailed review could do full justice to this 33-disc collection of Wagner's 10 mature operas recorded at the Bayreuth Festival. But in the end, the verdict would be the same: these are, for the most part, distinctly mediocre performances that have only the fact that they were performed in Wagner's own theater to recommend them.

The first three operas -- Der fliegende Holl?nder, Tannh?user, and Lohengrin -- are led by Wolfgang Sawallisch in full kapellmeister mode. Though his casts are variable -- Franz Crass is a blustery but effective Dutchman, but Wolfgang Windgassen is a shallow Tannh?user and Jess Thomas is a weak-kneed Lohengrin -- Sawallisch's conducting is at best dutiful and at worst dull. Still, even Sawallisch at his worst beats Silvio Varviso at his best, and Varviso's Die Meistersinger von N?rnberg is hardly his best effort. Rambling drearily along with decent soloists but shoddy choral singing and scrappy orchestral playing, this Meistersinger may well rank near the bottom of recorded performances of the work. But even Varviso's Meistersinger is a grand night at the theater compared with James Levine's soporific reading of Parsifal. With its creeping tempos, water-logged textures, and flabby singing, Levine's account of Wagner's final opera may well rank at the bottom of recorded performances.

On an altogether higher plane are Karl B?hm's readings of the four operas from Der Ring des Nibelungen. Though his tempos are consistently on the quick side, B?hm's conducting is insightful and dramatic, and though his Ring hardly represents his best work, it is still well worth hearing by those who love either the music or the conductor. Best of all is B?hm's fiery Tristan und Isolde. Though the principals are not all they could be -- Birgit Nilsson is a bit past her prime and Windgassen is far past his -- B?hm's high-voltage leadership forces them and the Bayreuth Orchestra to give their all to a performance that ranks just below those of Furtw?ngler and Kleiber. But since both B?hm's Ring and Tristan are available separately, there is no real need for collectors to seek out this set.

"Der Fliegende Holl?nder" (recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival, August 1961) 2 CD
"Tannh?user" (recorded live at the 1962 Bayreuth Festival) 3 CD
"Lohengrin" (recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival, July 1962) 3 CD
"Tristan und Isolde" (recorded live at the 1966 Bayreuth Festival) 3 CD
"Die Meistersinger von N?rnberg" (recorded live at the 1974 Bayreuth Festival) 4 CD
"Das Rheingold" (recorded live at the 1971 Bayreuth Festival) 2 CD
"Die Walk?re" (recorded live at the 1967 Bayreuth Festival) 4 CD
"Siegfried" (recorded live at the 1971 Bayreuth Festival) 4 CD
"G?tterd?mmerung" (recorded live at the 1967 Bayreuth Festival) 4 CD
"Parsifal" (centenary production recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival, July and August 1985) 4 CD

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