Magazine article Gramophone


Magazine article Gramophone


Article excerpt

Wagner [DVD][BR]  Die Walkure Peter Seiffert ten             Siegmund Anja Harteros sop             Sieglinde AnjaKampe sop                Brunnhilde Vitalij Kowaljow bass             Wotan Christa Mayer mez                Fricka Georg Zeppenfeld bass           Hunding Alexandra Petersamer mez       Helmwige Brit-Tone Miillertz sop        Ortlinde Christina Bock mez            Waltraute Simone Schroder contr        Rossweisse Stepanka Pucalkova mez         Siegrune Katrin Wundsam mez            Grimgerde Katharina Magiera mez      Schwertleite 

Staatskapelle Dresden / Christian Thielemann

Stage director Vera Nemirova

Video director Tiziano Mancini

C Major Entertainment (F)(2)[DVD] 742808; (F) [BR] 742904 (3h 55' * NTSC * 16:9 * 1080i * DTS-HD MA5.0, DTS5.0 & PCM stereo * 0 * s)

Recorded live at the Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg, April 5-17, 2017

A bizarre concept: a 50th-anniversary celebration of Karajan's Salzburg Easter Festival by his major disciple Christian Thielemann which comprises a new production of that event's opening opera on a painstaking recreation of the original 1967 setting by Gunther Schneider-Siemssen.

Stage director Vera Nemirova (who has already created her own Ring for Frankfurt, issued on Oehms) is, of course, restricted severely by the set's Karajan-dictated stripped-down imitations of Wieland Wagner, sculpted tree and ring-shaped platform included. You may smile ironically at the thought of Karajan's posthumous reactions to her new conceits attempting to break up the potentially epic monotony of a staging in these conditions. Siegmund's Act 1 narration of his flight is upstaged by Hunding's aggressively sexual groping of Sieglinde--but the hero's reaction is to reach into the rucksack he conveniently carries for tobacco and filter papers and roll up a cigarette. Later the back wall in Act 2 is covered with a mirroring of the chalk-drawn dramatis personae of The Ring that Wotan and Brunnhilde have been making on the floor to help them understand Wotan's monologue. That, plus the addition of some ram-dressed chair carriers for Fricka and some self-sacrificing heroes for the Valkyries in Act 3, is about it for original production ideas.

A for effort for the production team--but the real interest of this release is musical. Thielemann's fourth recording of this opera assembles his strongest cast yet, one more than capable of filling the wide spaces of the Grosses Festspielhaus. …

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