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Tannhäuser Richard Wagner: Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele

Spas Wenkoff , Gwyneth Jones , Götz Friedrich    Exempt   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £16.36 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Tannhäuser Richard Wagner: Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele + Peter Schneider - Wagner: Lohengrin [DVD] [2008] + Parsifal: Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2002] [NTSC]
Price For All Three: £50.76

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Product details

  • Actors: Spas Wenkoff, Gwyneth Jones, Hans Sotin, Robert Schunk, Franz Mazura
  • Directors: Götz Friedrich
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Universal/Music/DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Aug 2008
  • Run Time: 188 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001A5REB2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,880 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Performances from Hans Sotin, Bernd Weikl, Robert Schunk, Franz Mazura, John Pickering, Heinz Feldhoff, Spas Wenkoff, Gwyneth Jones and the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele.

Product Description

NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and subtitles.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the Spirit of Bayreuth 31 Jan 2009
There are many videos of Bayreuth performances, but this was the first. For that reason alone, it's worth watching; fortunately it isn't the only reason.

Unlike later recordings, this one includes curtain calls. I think this was an excellent decision, since it evokes the thrill of being part of a Bayreuth audience. Only in Bayreuth will an audience remain absolutely silent until the last note has faded, and then erupt in a paroxism of emotion - good or bad. Listen carefully, and you'll hear the point where the audience begin to stamp their feet, causing the wooden structure of the Festspielhaus to resonate with a sound like thunder. They obviously liked this performance.

And why not, indeed; it's excellent.

Gwyneth Johns performs both Venus and Elizabeth, as Birgit Nilsson did, back in the sixties. There were some difficulties - her lower register wasn't quite up to the essentially mezzo part of Venus, and her diminutive stature meant that she had to stand on a box throughout act I (somewhat limiting her range of movement). That's her on the cover of the DVD - you can see the corner of the box if you look closely. However, her acting ability, stage presence and total commitment to her roles more than compensated for these minor, er, shortcomings.

Spas Wenkoff's Tannhauser was full of manic glee (although this might have been a combination of close-ups and operatic acting). Wonderful strong voice, with none of the whiny edge that I've heard in other Tannhausers.

The unbelievably young Bernd Weikl was a splendid Wolfram - a role which he was to play many times. You might like to contrast his performance here with the one in the 1994 Munich performance, with Waltraud Myer as Venus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous 30 July 2013
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Absolutely wonderful.
This version of the opera is the seventies at their best. Nudity or near nudity used so beautifully, so strikingly appropriately that you wonder at the marvel of it. Also having the same woman singing both the powerful Venus and the innocent young girl gives the misogyni that might otherwise dominate the opera a softer edge. Wagner no doubt had his difficulties, and as usual death is the only possibility of redemption. Like Tannhaüser he could not - and would not - for the life of him abstain from praising the wonder of love, and we are so privileged in being able to enjoy it in this performance, which can hardly be equalled.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good performance 21 July 2013
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The performance was good but I thought the balance between orchestra and singers did not allow the orchestral music to come through. All singers were excellent though and I am pleased to possess this DVD.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Near Perfection. 2 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase
I have one other version of Tannhauser, it is modernistic, the venusburg is inhabited by overgrown writhing caterpillers, and the strange rigid uniforms of practically all the characters detracted from the music. I had a job to work out who was who. Seeing this on my perusings, and being an ardent admirer of Gwyneth Jones. ( she does a wonderful Brunhilde ) I thought why not?
From the ballet in the beginning, beautifully choreographed, I was entranced. I have always thought that Tannhauser contains the best of Wagners themes and orchestrations, the interpretations are fantastic. Wenkoff has a most expressive voice, and a delightfully haunted look, although if Venus sang to me like she does in this production, I would have stayed in the Venusburg.
Weikl as Wolfram is an excellent tenor, he has a purity of tone which I found very pleasing. This is not to detract from the other main characters, all of whom are more than adequate.
The chorus are crisp and clear, light and shade are just right, as is the orchestra.
Costumes are in keeping, the militaristic dress of the Knights reveals the anomolies of their philosophy.
The booklet is informative with headings and timings, background information, amd act by act synopsis.
I would hesitate to try another version for fear of disappointment.
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