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Siegfried Wagner: Complete Orchestral Works (Box Set) Box set

Price: £56.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Mar 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B000050IU2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,810 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anything Musical on 19 May 2009
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After nearly fifty years of record-collecting, I am astonished that it has taken until early 2009 to discover the orchestral works of Siegfried Wagner, son of Richard Wagner.

Is the son greater than the father?

The answer will lie very much in the ear and temperament of the listener. In style, there are similarities and differences. Richard's style was wholly his own, and with regard to the operas, the same can be said for Siegfried, but I find Siegfried's orchestral works to be an eclectic and tantalising hybrid. There is more than a hint of Bruckner and a distinct nod of respect in the direction of Brahms, yet it will be clear that Siegfried learned a good deal from his father and mentally digested all this alongside novel ideas of his own, forming a developmental path traced by these CDs.

These discs comprise examples of works from all periods of Wagner's life and the difference is nearly as great as comparing early Beethoven to late Beethoven. Siegfried Wagner died in 1930 and there is a thinly veiled hint that had he lived a further ten years or so, there may have been a foray into the second Viennese School. There is a whiff of Hindemith in the latest examples recorded here and one cannot help but wonder whether later works still may have borne his own developmental ideas on such as Berg and Webern.

However, this is idle conjecture. I am more than satisfied, enthralled in fact, by this 7-CD box-set which I consider to be very well worth the thirty-odd pounds I paid for it. I shall dip into this charming and distinctive repertoire often and will enjoy enhancing my acquaintance with these strangely neglected masterpieces.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JJA Kiefte on 4 Feb 2011
I had heard of Siegfried Wagner of course, for he is the subject of father Richard's `Siegfried Idyll`, and also in connection with his English wife Winifred, an ardent admirer and would-be girl friend of Adolf Hitler.
Siegfried seems to have been fairly successful as a composer of fairy operas (although some of his seventeen operas were not performed or published), but after his untimely death in 1930 his widow, post-mortally ashamed of Siegfried's extramarital escapades with both women and men, successfully erased his compositional legacy from the collective memory. After 1945 Siegfried's sons had their hands full trying to cover up their mother's more than passing involvement with Herr Hitler (she remained fiercely loyal to Hitler until her dying day in 1980). So it wasn't until the late eighties and early nineties that some attention was given to Siegfried's compositions. German label CPO, who have issued many fine recordings of forgotten composers, have waxed all of Siegfried's overtures and incidental orchestral music to his operas on seven CDs and a very worth while addition to my discography they form too. Just a sample from vol.3: the first track (from Herzog Wildfang) is a tremendously cheerful waltz, beautifully orchestrated, a marvelous romp from beginning to end. Feeling depressed? This is certain to brighten up your spirit! Eerie Lohengrin-like strings form the main attraction of track 4 (`Vision` from Bruder Lustig) and an impressive fanfare and march from the same opera that rivals Mussorgski's 'Porte de Kiev' precedes a wonderfully dark and sinister atmosphere in `Schwarzschwanenreich` (Empire of the Black Swan).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Every Note a Gem 4 Oct 2012
By Bruce Eder - Published on Amazon.com
Composer Siegfried Wagner (1869-1930) never really had a chance at establishing himself as a major presence, either in the concert hall or the opera house. In his own time, he had to find a way to emerge from behind the shadow of his own father, and overcome the disapproval of his mother Cosima -- who passed away only a few months before he did -- over his private life (he was bi-sexual); and in the decades after his death, the Wagner family did their best to suppress his works, believing that the family "franchise" had room for only one composer-genius in the blood-line.

This set shows vividly what a loss that combination of circumstances and others -- including the sheer weight of his father's work and the resulting impossible-to-shift center-of-gravity associated with the Wagner name -- was to the world, for it reveals Siegfried as a formidable composer in his own right, if not on the level of his father (and how many are there on THAT level?). The music throughout, which owes more stylistically to Siegfried's major teacher, Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), than it does to Richard Wagner, is mostly utterly charming and memorable more often than not. Anyone buying this set had better be prepared for immersion in late Romantic lyricism up to their necks or deeper, but there's enough variety to all of it so that one doesn't feel wearied. In fact, it's astonishing how far Wagner (who started his professional adult life as an architect) carried his inspiration and language in various overtures and other programmatic works without repeating himself -- obviously Bayreuth (where he was artistic director from 1908 until his death) occupied and sustained him, but the evidence here suggests a man who might well have preceded Erich Wolfgang Korngold into the film industry as a refuge, had sound only come to movies a decade earlier than it actually did. The set is not only comprehensive but it's a bargain as well.
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