Top critical review
37 people found this helpful
Good quality, but only fragments
on 5 October 2010
The big problem of this double CD is that 19 out of 27 tracks are just extracts of the actual recordings. While this may be acceptable for orchestral interludes in vocal parts of an opera, it is simply incomprehensible why for example the Tannhaeuser Ouverture had to be cut in half. In Wagner's score, this amazing piece of music is about 15 Minutes long - this CD only contains 7 Minutes and 35 seconds of the original recording. This is a particular problem for those who chose this CD to get a first impression of Wagner's work: if, like in the mentioned example, the beginning of a musical piece is missing, they will get an entirely wrong impression of the music. In my eyes, this CD attracts the customers with the respectable amount of featured music, but if 70 percent of the tracks are mutilated, the value is not as good as it first seemed.
Besides this huge disappointment, this CD could be a good introduction to Wagner's Orchestral Music which, for the casual listener, is much more accessible than the vocal parts of his operas. All the pieces of music on this CD are played by renowned orchestras with famous conductors. Therefore, I do not mind the fact that more than half of the recordings on this CD are from the sixties and seventies of the 20th century, as I still like the rich sound of this era.
For those who look for an introduction to Wagner's Orchestral works, I would recommend to start with a CD with less, but complete tracks on it.