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Wagner

René Pape Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £11.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Music

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Biography

RENÉ PAPE – A BIOGRAPHICAL TIMELINE
“René Pape is certainly one of today’s towering figures in opera, literally and figuratively: the bass’s unbeatable combination of physical stature, charisma, intensity and voice is presented with an extraordinary level of artistic integrity. His musical and dramatic intentions are motivated by intelli-gence and ... Read more in Amazon's René Pape Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 April 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000XH2BI4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind!
2. Der Augen leuchtendes Paar
3. Loge, hör! Lausche hieher!
4. "Was duftet doch der Flieder"
5. Hört, ihr Leut, und laßt euch sagen
6. "Verachtet mir die Meister nicht" - René Pape, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim, Chor Der Staatsoper Berlin, Eberhard Friedrich
7. Gott grüß' euch, liebe Männer von Brabant! - René Pape, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim, Chor Der Staatsoper Berlin, Eberhard Friedrich
8. Oh Gnade! Höchstes Heil! - Oh Herr! War es ein Fluch - René Pape, Plácido Domingo, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim
9. Und ich, ich bin's - Nicht doch! Die heilge Quelle selbst - Plácido Domingo, René Pape, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim
10. Gesegnet sei, du Reiner, durch das Reine! (Gurnemanz, Parsifal) - René Pape, Plácido Domingo, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim
11. Wie dünkt mich doch die Aue - Plácido Domingo, René Pape, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim
12. Wie Todesahnung... O du mein holder Abendstern (Wolfram)

Product Description

DGG 4776617; DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - Germania; Classica Lirica Recital

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A grave disappointment 8 May 2011
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
What has happened to René Pape? The moment I started playing this new recital album, warning bells sounded in the background. Was this the voice as I had remembered it from "Das Wunder der Heliane", with its smooth, velvety power and ringing top G flat? That cameo role was recorded as long ago as 1992 and since then Pape has ascended the ranks of bass-baritones until he is now acclaimed, according to the sticker on the front of my review copy, as "the premier basso cantante of our time" (Gramophone) and even "the greatest operatic bass in the world" (FAZ). Yet what I was hearing didn't quite justify those encomiums: a pleasant voice with some agreeable features but too often grey and underpowered. Somewhat rattled and experiencing a crisis of reviewer's confidence, I turned to first one then another in my collection of the greatest exponents of Wotan, specifically recordings of that magnificent conclusion to "Die Walküre" which Pape essays here and which demands the most extraordinary range, power and pathos from a Heldenbariton of the first rank. And I began to listen, not to one, or two, but to no fewer than ten recordings:

Friedrich Schorr (1927, conductor Blech); Marcel Journet - in French (1928, Coppola); Ferdinand Frantz (1949, Moralt and 1954, Fürtwängler); Sigurd Björling (1951, Karajan); Hans Hotter (1953, Krauss and 1958, Ludwig); George London (1961, Leinsdorf); last and definitely least, Theo Adam (1967, Böhm).

Their great, brazen voices rang out across the years and I asked myself whether Pape was really in their company. The answer is clear: not really. He has none of the heft and authority, the blooming top notes, the fullness of tone in the centre of the voice that marks out his predecessors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a marvelous recital 12 Aug 2013
By Stanley Crowe TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I'm going to disagree with Ralph Moore here -- I found this a most affecting and beautiful recital, and its greatest strengths to me were where RM saw the greatest weakness -- in the long excerpts from "Walkure" and "Parsifal." First of all, though, everything on this album is beautifully voiced -- there is literally not an ugly note or phrase on the disc. The "Meistersinger" pieces are beautifully sung, though I don't see them as giving Pape the space to create a movement of mood and feeling in the way that the "Walkure" (15+ continuous minutes) and "Parsifal" (23+ continuous minutes) sections do. You can't pack a whole Hans Sachs into one passage, and Pape sings expressively enough for the dramatic situations that Sachs finds himself in. Also, I had no quarrel with his "Tannhauser" aria -- it isn't Fischer-Dieskau or Terfel, but it works on its own terms as effectively as theirs. Wolfram's sorrow and decency find more than adequate expression. In the "Walkure" and "Parsifal" extracts not only is the singing beautiful but the expressiveness deepens as the scene goes on, and Pape's sense of what the words mean and his dynamic and tonal adjustments to communicate that meaning are masterful. Just listen to "Wie des Erlosten Leiden du gelitten/die letzte Last entnimm nun seinen Haupt!" (from "Parsifal"). The scene has built beautifully to that moment, and the change of feeling thereafter is perfectly registered. All this isn't to say that Hotter or Moll or Schorr or Adam weren't marvelous too -- at this level, comparison doesn't seem to me to be necessary. It's also good to hear Domingo, well into his 60's and with just a touch of unevenness, sing Parsifal's lines very well and expressively. Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely voice, but... 26 Feb 2012
By M. Joyce TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There's no getting away from the fact that this is a superb voice, arguably the best of its type around today and a fitting successor to the great Kurt Moll. (Although Herr Papé's voice is a notch higher than Moll's, it is blessed with the same sumptuous velvet tone and encompasses much of the same repertoire, even if the younger singer is clearly destined to undertake Wagner's great bass-baritone, as opposed to bass, roles)

This is indisputably a gorgeous basso cantante voice and, as the illuminating sleeve-notes make clear, Papé's approach to the singing of Wagner is very much a bel canto one, there is not a hint of the infamous "Bayreuth bark" here!

We are treated here to scenes from five operas. In Wotan's famous farewell to his daughter from "Die Walküre", Herr Papé gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what a significant exponent of this role he will undoubtedly become. Pogner has long been Papé's role in "Die Meistersinger", but it is clear that he has the vocal wherewithal to become a great Sachs and the excerpts here demonstrate that he can cope with ease with both the introspective and public utterances of the character. We are also given a brief snippet of the Nightwatchman's music; these are perhaps among the most beautiful few bars in all opera, but it seems a curious inclusion here. He is on familiar ground with Heinrich's address from "Lohengrin". But although one can only admire the ease and tonal beauty with which he dispatches Wolfram's song to the Evening Star from "Tannhäuser", I have to say that I prefer to hear a lyric baritone voice (Fischer-Dieskau, Prey, Allen) in this music.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A grave disappointment 4 Oct 2011
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
What has happened to René Pape? The moment I started playing this new recital album, warning bells sounded in the background. Was this the voice as I had remembered it from "Das Wunder der Heliane", with its smooth, velvety power and ringing top G flat? That cameo role was recorded as long ago as 1992 and since then Pape has ascended the ranks of bass-baritones until he is now acclaimed, according to the sticker on the front of my review copy, as "the premier basso cantante of our time" (Gramophone) and even "the greatest operatic bass in the world" (FAZ). Yet what I was hearing didn't quite justify those encomiums: a pleasant voice with some agreeable features but too often grey and underpowered. Somewhat rattled and experiencing a crisis of reviewer's confidence, I turned to first one then another in my collection of the greatest exponents of Wotan, specifically recordings of that magnificent conclusion to "Die Walküre" which Pape essays here and which demands the most extraordinary range, power and pathos from a Heldenbariton of the first rank. And I began to listen, not to one, or two, but to no fewer than ten recordings:

Friedrich Schorr (1927, conductor Blech); Marcel Journet - in French (1928, Coppola); Ferdinand Frantz (1949, Moralt and 1954, Fürtwängler); Sigurd Björling (1951, Karajan); Hans Hotter (1953, Krauss and 1958, Ludwig); George London (1961, Leinsdorf); last and definitely least, Theo Adam (1967, Böhm).

Their great, brazen voices rang out across the years and I asked myself whether Pape was really in their company. The answer is clear: not really. He has none of the heft and authority, the blooming top notes, the fullness of tone in the centre of the voice that marks out his predecessors. His tone is somewhat thin, nasal and constricted and he tends to swoop on to top notes (as in "Leb wohl"). Puzzlingly for a singer who prides himself on subtle enunciation of the text, he does not even begin to suggest the heart-breaking tenderness of Wotan's Farewell.

Now; a great deal of this might have something to do with Barenboim's lacklustre conducting. There is simply no ecstasy in his direction of the Staatskapelle Berlin, which yields in so many respects to their eminent and often incandescent predecessors. Again, I find the claims on the label blurb to be inflated. I have never found Barenboim to be a great Wagnerian and he is here at his enervated worst: conducting which is hopelessly turgid and slack; no pulse, no drama, no sense of inexorable forward momentum.

Disconcerted, I decided to try the other end of the recital: the concluding aria is "O du mein holder Abendstern" from "Tannhäuser - a showpiece, if ever there was one, for a bass-baritone to show off his legato, sustained beauty of tone and ability to colour words affectingly. Once again, my attention began to wander, this time back to Bryn Terfel's beautiful account on his Wagner recital album with Levine. No competition here, either; there is a combination of velvet and steel in Terfel's voice that leaves Pape sounding very ordinary - and once again, I don't hear anything other than a generalised melancholy in Pape's interpretation, whereas Terfel lives Wolfram.

Actually, the best things on this recital are the sandwich items: excerpts from "Die Meistersinger", "Lohengrin" and "Parsifal", especially as in the latter Domingo contributes a lovely, full-toned "reiner Tor" in much-improved German - no strain at all and consistently believable characterisation. Yet even here, Pape is no match for distinguished interpreters of Gurnemanz from the digital stereo era such as Kurt Moll or Robert Lloyd, let alone giants of the past such as Ludwig Weber, Hans Hotter et al. I suppose we should be grateful to have a singer of Pape's distinction able to tackle them in these days of a dearth of Wagnerian singers and yes, I know we cannot go on forever living in the past and that it's invidious constantly to make comparisons to Pape's disadvantage, but once you've heard what the best can do with these extraordinarily challenging and complex roles, it's impossible to get them out of your head.

This is obviously a flagship issue by DG, complete with full, interesting notes, interview and libretto, of a kind increasingly rare today and they will have a lot invested in the obligatory accompanying hype - which means that I shall be in all kinds of trouble from many different quarters for saying what I think about it. However, do bear in mind just how everything of this kind is now mercilessly promoted regardless of objectivity. Others may feel very differently about this recital; I can only tell it as I hear it and for me this CD is a give-away.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pape's pure vocalism can't help but impress 4 Oct 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
What German bass Rene Pape is famous for can be heard fully on this new recital CD. He has an astonishingly smooth vocal production from top to bottom, a strong affinity for Wagner's long lyric lines, and a compelling presence. But I can't strongly disagree with most of the points made by the lead reviewer. Compared to some illustrious predecessors, Pape is not as dramatic. I was worried about this in the singer's first solo album for DG, where a variety of Mephistopheles seemed too tame. In the opera house Pape is an impeccable king Mark in Tristan, full of compassion and wise resignation. But as a purely vocal actor he sings with too much restraint.

So Wotan's Farewell, although very well vocalized (I doubt that any rival now on stage could best him except for Terfel, and not even Terfel for pure tone), isn't moving emotionally. The same comments apply to Gurnemanz in the Good Friday scene from Parsifal - it's astonishing to hear Domingo at seventy sound so solid in a cameo as Parsifal. For the most part Daniel Barenboim provides a strong platform; I don't find him as slack as the earlier reviewer. There are finicky and fussy moments, along with some flagging tension here, but one can't deny that a major conductor is getting some fine playing from his orchestra, the Berlin Staatskapelle. Because Hans Sachs is a tender, reflective character, he suits Pape's temperament better. The "Flieder" soliloquy is satisfying, even if Pape will never stick in my mind as the most characterful Sachs. I think the lead review is right to point out that there's a lack of variety and color, which one notices more as the program proceeds.

Old-hand Wagnerites can argue the fine points forever, but singers hate to be compared to greats from the past. Some will complain that Pape's singing is too generalized, overlooking that there's vocal glory here by the standards of what we have today. Anyone new to Wagner who wants to get a feeling for the composer's greatest bass-baritone roles will certainly be impressed.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable release! 10 Oct 2011
By Hannah Banana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love Wagner, and I love Rene Pape, so this was a no brainer purchase. I do agree that he is a lot more calm or subtle in his interpretations than the legends, but after listening to the cd with the booklet (following with the words), I popped it into my car, and I could hear every word clearly on a long drive as he sang which helped with conveying the drama (I speak German). I do think his Wotan excerpt does not convey the immense sadness it should, but it is pretty decent since I believe it is a new role for him. I loved the Parsifal excerpts. This is a decent recital disc that will give some people enjoyment like myself and others not so much (if you are looking for scenery chewing singers). His excellent diction, in my opinion, makes up for any lack of drama, and I don't really think it is totally lacking. I think his personality is more reserved than other interpreters, but I think that is viable, b/c he enunciates and expresses the words well. He is a native speaker, but many native speakers do not enunciate words clearly, so I have to say I enjoyed this release very much. I think the weakest moment is O du mein holder Abendstern.
5.0 out of 5 stars a splendid recital 12 Aug 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm going to disagree with Ralph Moore here -- I found this a most affecting and beautiful recital, and its greatest strengths to me were where RM saw the greatest weakness -- in the long excerpts from "Walkure" and "Parsifal." First of all, though, everything on this album is beautifully voiced -- there is literally not an ugly note or phrase on the disc. The "Meistersinger" pieces are beautifully sung, though I don't see them as giving Pape the space to create a movement of mood and feeling in the way that the "Walkure" (15+ continuous minutes) and "Parsifal" (23+ continuous minutes) sections do. You can't pack a whole Hans Sachs into one passage, and Pape sings expressively enough for the dramatic situations that Sachs finds himself in. Also, I had no quarrel with his "Tannhauser" aria -- it isn't Fischer-Dieskau or Terfel, but it works on its own terms as effectively as theirs. Wolfram's sorrow and decency find more than adequate expression. In the "Walkure" and "Parsifal" extracts not only is the singing beautiful but the expressiveness deepens as the scene goes on, and Pape's sense of what the words mean and his dynamic and tonal adjustments to communicate that meaning are masterful. Just listen to "Wie des Erlosten Leiden du gelitten/die letzte Last entnimm nun seinen Haupt!" (from "Parsifal"). The scene has built beautifully to that moment, and the change of feeling thereafter is perfectly registered. All this isn't to say that Hotter or Moll or Schorr or Adam weren't marvelous too -- at this level, comparison doesn't seem to me to be necessary. It's also good to hear Domingo, well into his 60's and with just a touch of unevenness, sing Parsifal's lines very well and expressively.

Critical to the success of this recital is Barenboim's conducting, which is right on the money here, fully responsive to both Wagner and his soloist, and most important of all, the quality of the recorded orchestral sound is sensationally good. I'm not sure that I've heard better-accompanied Wagner singing. This is a great disc.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent singing! 11 April 2013
By James Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One of the best baritones on the Opera Stage. Great selection of Wagner's arias. Pape as Gurnemanz in PARSIFAL at the MET in March 3013 was awe inspiring and the selections here are worth savoring time and time again.
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