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  • Wagner - Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg [Levine, Heppner] [DVD] [2004] [NTSC]
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Wagner - Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg [Levine, Heppner] [DVD] [2004] [NTSC]


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Wagner - Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg [Levine, Heppner] [DVD] [2004] [NTSC] + Wagner - Tristan Und Isolde [Barenboim] [DVD] [2009] + Tannhäuser Richard Wagner: Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele
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Product details

  • Actors: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Ben Heppner, Karita Mattila, James Morris
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC, Colour, Dolby
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Chinese
  • Dubbed: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Jan. 2005
  • Run Time: 292 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002UNQ5Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,709 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

James Morris leads an all-star cast including Karita Mattila, Ben Heppner, Thomas Allen and René Pape, in this production of Wagner's comic opera, recorded live at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2001. James Levine conducts.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Simon Aiken on 2 Feb. 2005
Verified Purchase
At last, the Met's definitive version on DVD! And once again, the Met shows us that you don't have to try to be different: just follow the composer's directions. Having seen most of the Met's operas that are available on DVD (and, fortunately, many of them at the opera house too), this one is definitely my favourite. The large cast is uniformly superb, the sets are as lavish as we've come to expect, and the constant dedication to the details is mesmerising.
Highest praise to James Morris, who is privileged to be playing the most likeable role in any Wagner opera. (The ONLY likeable role?) The security of his voice in the "big bits" is matched by sensitivity throughout - his Act II monologue is a great example. He's as fine an actor as Wagner himself could have wished to see as Hans Sachs - we love this guy! Karita Mattila actually acts the age of her character (late teens), which is a rare gift for any operatic soprano. All her scenes have a special energy. As our hero, Ben Heppner easily out-sings the Walthers of the two rival productions of Meistersinger that are available on DVD. Thomas Allen avoids the popular "caricature" of Beckmesser and perhaps brings more musicality to the part than we are used to hearing. Among the smaller roles, René Pape's contribution as a rather youthful Pogner is outstanding.
The sound quality is impeccable, and they seem to have got the lighting perfect this time. (One gripe I've had with many of the Met productions on DVD is the murky lighting.) The production also benefits immensely from detailed camera work - no where more so than in the lengthy song school scene in Act I, where we seem to be treated to characterisations of all twelve Masters.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Dec. 2005
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The New York Met has produced some fine operas over the years, many of them, much to the delight of opera fans, are now available on glorious DVD. This is an example of what could be achieved with tremendous production values; a brilliant orchestra led by maestro James Levine, and a wonderful cast led by the veteran James Morris. Its a fantastic achievement all round. The lovely Karita Mattila is in fine singing voice, aided by Jill Grove as her friend Magdalene. Ben Heppner has a wonderful consistant tone as Stolzing although he may not look the part, he does sing with much passion and style. The well known Baritone Thomas Allen brings the difficult part of Beckmesser alive with much charm and humour. You cannot help feeling quite sorry for him during the climax of the opera. And of course, James Morris, who after his successful role as Wotan in the mighty Tetralogy Des Nibelungen sings the taxing role of Hans Sach with great determination, skill and much warmth. I do not think I have seen a production of Meisteringers which match Wagners production notes. I do think he would have been quite pleased with it. Picture and sound is very good indeed, especially if you have a 5:1 Surround System. A very good buy.
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Christian Hoskins on 30 Mar. 2005
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This is a glorious and moving version of this great work. I'd previously not been stirred by my CD sets conducted by Jochum and Karajan (1951). Indeed, the latter version, recorded live at Bayreuth, is so highly regarded that I wondered if my lack of appreciation related to "Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg" itself rather than the recorded performances. Levine and his collaborators have now set me right. This DVD set is such a wonderful experience that "Die Meistersinger" has elevated itself to its rightful place as one of my favourite musical works.

I use the word 'musical' deliberately because it is the music that makes this special. Throughout Acts 1 and 2, there a flow of luminous melody that I'd not really appreciated before and which underpins the unfolding story. However, it is Act 3 that brings the musical and emotional peaks - the meditative prelude, the scene with Sachs and Eva, the entry of the Meistersingers, the delivery of the Prize Song, and Walther's acceptance by Eva and the townsfolk. The Midsummer's Day motif, first heard in Pogner's address to the Meistersingers in Act 1 and at the beginning of Act 2, resounds in the orchestra at key moments like a hymn to joy.

Those used to the familiar grand delivery of the prelude to Act 1 may find it here slightly underplayed. However, this matches Levine's emphasis on warmth and humanity rather than monumentalism. This is matched by the cast - Heppner a hefty but appealing Walther, Mattila a shining Eva and Morris an avuncular Sachs. All of the other characters are memorable in the right way, and the Met provides a traditional and pleasant setting, closely following Wagner's stage directions.

I have only one quibble with this set, and that is that the English subtitles are seriously minimalist.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Morgan on 28 May 2005
I am not a paid-up member of the Richard Wagner fan club but I can honestly say this is one of the most enjoyable and uplifting operas I have ever seen - live or otherwise. Otto Schenk's production is a visual feast and thankfully this is not one of those productions hampered by hamfisted camerawork; veteran video director Brian Large chooses his close ups and long shots to perfection.
Of the singers James Morris gets the loudest cheers - and so it should be after hours on stage. His is a performance of Sachs - noble of bearing and of spirit - that must be hard to beat. And in an opera of high ideals and low comedy Thomas Allen plays a Beckmesser one can truly feel sorry for. The other parts - Mattila as Eva and Pape as Pogler - are no less enjoyable, rounding off what must be one of the most satisfying renditions of this opera in modern times.
Buy it.
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