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Wagner: Tannhauser [DVD] [2000]


Price: £21.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
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£21.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: René Kollo, Waltraud Meier, Bernd Weikl, Claes H. Ahnsjö, Nadine Secunde
  • Format: Classical, PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, French, Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: ARTHAUS
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Sept. 2000
  • Run Time: 193 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000050YL3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,415 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Tannhauser

From Amazon.co.uk

In Richard Wagner's obsessive drama Tannhauser--with its themes of sin and repentance, cultural inhibition and artistic spontaneity, sexual excess and lost innocence--symbols sprout as profusely as dandelions on summer lawns. A lot of the symbols were put there by the composer (who also wrote the libretto), but for this production director David Alden has decided to add many more--notably in the first scene: an orgy in the love nest of the goddess Venus. The sadomasochistic visuals, reminiscent of the feverish inventions of Hieronymus Bosch, may help to explain Tannhauser's decision that he wants to go home. Like the scenery, the costumes are eclectic, ranging from modern formal evening gowns to medieval suits of armour and even, in a few choice instances, nothing at all.

The director may be trying to say too many things at once. The profusion of visual symbols shows a rich imagination, but a more clearly defined focus would have been helpful. That kind of focus is found in the acting, partly because Alden is a good director but also because he is working with seasoned performers. René Kollo as Tannhauser and Bernd Weikl as Wolfram von Eschenbach have made specialties of these roles, and even when the story strains credibility or when the music strains their voices, they give convincing portrayals, as do Waltraud Meier and Nadine Secunde and the supporting cast. Zubin Mehta's conducting is opulent if not subtle. This is an intriguing though sometimes disturbing production. --Joe McLellan, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

2.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 221b on 17 May 2007
Format: DVD
I have to completely agree with the previous reviewer - this performance is absolutely ruined by terrible camerawork and film direction. The vocal performances are all sound, Solveig Kringelborn is particularly radiant as Elisabeth; Welser-Most's conducting is somewhat erratic - it felt like the whole thing was going to grind to a halt during Act 1; but the dreadful visuals are so off-putting I almost gave up with it! Rather than just film the stage performance, the director has enforced his "vision" onto it; there are constant cuts to the singers waiting backstage, cameras focus on Seiffert's Tannhauser almost constantly even when others are singing, there are blocked views, singers' heads cut out of shot, shaky pans around the chorus, vertiginous views of the orchestra from the ceiling, random close-ups of the instruments just when you want to watch the singers - it's like the Acorn Antiques of opera films! It settles down somewhat as the opera progresses, but is so enfuriating I had to look away at times and just listen, which rather defeats the point of a DVD!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Grim, Up North on 1 Dec. 2005
Format: DVD
I rented this opera some time ago as an alternative to the puerile David Alden production. The picture and sound quality are both exemplary and the general standard of singing is high. The Zurich opera orchestra play well, though the tempi vary quite wildly. The production - another modern affair - is rather uninspiring, plenty of the usual murky greys and blacks and little in the way of genuine insight. What ruins this disc, though, is the abominable camerawork. It frequently cuts from the drama, which is bad enough, but to obscure angles like an extreme close up of a clarinettist's finger. In Act 3 during Elisabeth's final scene, the camera cuts to Seiffert waiting in the wings, giving the impression Tannhauser has witnessed her fate and making a mockery of the rest of the act.
Performances such as this (and Kollo's strained whelping on the Alden version) do modern opera productions no favours.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 July 2008
Format: DVD
Tannhauser - Wagner [2003]

I found this an involving and well sung performance, with Peter Sieffert completely immersing himself in the title role. Isabelle Kabatu as Venus and Solveig Kringelborn as Elisabeth are also convincing.

The staging is modern, minimalistic with deep vibrant colours, concentrating attention on the singers.

The filming adds an extra dimension to the production, concentrating wherever possible (that is most of the time) on close ups of Sieffert enabling us to see the drama entirely from Tannhauser's point of view. Sieffert's superb facial acting adds depth to every twist and turn, but unfortunately he perspires more than any other singer I can remember and this is emphasized in the fine close up photography.

The occasional pointless switching from the action to close ups of clarinettists and cellist's hands are absurd, perversely timed to interrupt important moments in the drama.

Fine orchestral playing under Franz Welser-Most round off a fine performance.

This production adds fascinating insights, but is too idiosyncratic to be a first choice, however is very rewarding and well worth renting.
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By ziggy_fan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
The music, singing and orchestra are great if you keep your eyes shut (which makes having the DVD pointless). I agree with previous reviewers, this is a very shabby production. I'm sure a lot of "thought" went into the staging and production, but the problem is that not only it looks bleak (and in complete contrast to the music which is everything but bleak) it confused the plot even more than it already is. Wagner subjected this opera to several revisions, to the point that it can give problems in terms of which version (or elements of) to use when it's performed. The several revisions are also a reflection of the fact that the plot is rather vacuous - if it weren't for the beautiful and majestic music, it would be rather silly. Not only the idea of "Venusberg", the spiritual and philosophical anguish of the characters is rather alien to today's audiences, but the very misplaced interpretations and "modern" setting make it even more "otherwordly". The result is that if you watch it, you start being drawn away from the music and starts getting very irritating. My advice is - just buy a CD set (complete or highlights) and you'll enjoy it a lot more!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 April 2006
Format: DVD
The overture is used as the basis for a ballet illustrating Tannhauser's disillusion and wish to leave Venusberg and is far and away the best part of this production. If only the director had decided to follow this with a ballet using Wagner's Vensuberg music and forgotten the opera all would have been well, but unfortunately he did not.

Waltraud Meier is the only singer that looks and is really involved in her part, to be fair the only one given a chance. Venus is presented as a vamp from silent film days complete with elbow length black gloves, plunging cleavage and sweeping arm movements, she is hardly the goddess of love, but is certainly sexy and looks her part.

The great sadness is Renee Kollo, at the age of fifty seven his voice is just a reminder of the fine Wagnerian tenor from the seventies. The other principal singers provide us with adequate routine performances, possibly as depressed as we are by this tawdry production.

The male costumes are either grubby old raincoats or strange light coloured garments, contrasting in time with armour breastplates for the female chorus! In Act 11 there seems to be an entirely different opera being mimed behind whoever is singing, another strange wilful self indulgence on the part of the director.

If you must sample this DVD definitely rent, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to view it twice.
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