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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stirring to the core
I didn't know Der Fliegende Holländer before hearing this version filmed in 1989, so my comments lack a broader perspective, but for me it is totally thrilling. Wagner was still in his twenties when he wrote it but the technique of leitmotifs that became so associated with him is very evident here, as is the dramatic power and the scale of his vocal lines. The story...
Published 9 months ago by schumann_bg

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best around
Well sung and a reasonable production. Not always photographed very well. Still waiting for the perfect Dutchman
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. O. Green


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stirring to the core, 3 Aug. 2014
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schumann_bg - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner : Der Fliegende Hollander [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I didn't know Der Fliegende Holländer before hearing this version filmed in 1989, so my comments lack a broader perspective, but for me it is totally thrilling. Wagner was still in his twenties when he wrote it but the technique of leitmotifs that became so associated with him is very evident here, as is the dramatic power and the scale of his vocal lines. The story is a fascinating legend about a ghost ship with a captain, known simply as the Dutchman, who is a ghost but not recognised as such. Franz Grundheber brings to the role all the gravitas and mystery it needs, and the extraordinary broad shoulders in some very striking padded panels, almost. He is matched by the superb Hildegard Behrens, whose voice seems to be from another element from what you usually hear: perhaps slightly metallic, but with a combination of elegance and power that is utterly unique. She had one of the most distinctive timbres on the operatic stage, as well as being able to act the role with a statuesque conviction. It is simply awe-inspiring to see them together. The opera has a striking use of the chorus, initially male, then female in act two, and only coming together in the last half-hour. Combined with the coastal setting, this foregrounding of the chorus as a way of giving immediacy to the social context is a bit like Peter Grimes, as is the mystery around the eponymous hero. These assets would be quite enough for one production, but it doesn't stop there. Matti Salminen, himself Finnish, is perfect and sonorous as Senta's father. A sort of nurse figure called Mary has a wonderful dignity and noble mien, (Anita Välkki), the steersman (Jorma Silvasti) is quite hunky in his leather outfit, and the chorus contains some lovely Finnish faces of both sexes. It is also visually magnificent in terms of the setting, using the courtyard of a Finnish castle by the sea, so that we frequently see dark water heavy with twilight doom ... it could harcly be more atmospheric, moving and exhilarating. Leif Segerstam conducts with great aplomb.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dutch man in Finland, 28 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Wagner : Der Fliegende Hollander [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
A very atmospheric production, thank god after all the ultra modern, often without pathos, when not blatantly ridiculous, productions in recent years. Savonlinna castle reminds me of the sets for Olivier's Hamlet. Behrens is here perhaps a bit beyond the age for a youthful Senta, but has such interpretative power that the rest is indeed sounding the silence. Cast, chorus and orchestra all convincing and, even more important, convinced.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Festival Treat, 13 April 2015
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M. Hollands "crazy postman" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner : Der Fliegende Hollander [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Exciting festival production, atmospheric and well cast, fairly traditional.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best around, 8 Sept. 2014
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Mrs. O. Green "Pauline Green" (Southsea Hants) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wagner : Der Fliegende Hollander [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Well sung and a reasonable production. Not always photographed very well. Still waiting for the perfect Dutchman
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great if you like live performance, 8 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Wagner : Der Fliegende Hollander [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
And I do. It's such a relief to see it staged traditionally instead of the dreaded Regietheater productions which can distract enough to ruin a performance. For me it was also interesting to see a late performance by Behrens whom I saw as Brunnhilde many years ago. It is also an insight into the Savonlinna festival as I've never been there. You have to make allowances for the changes in sound quality, but all in all thoroughly enjoyable without being electrifying.
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Wagner : Der Fliegende Hollander [DVD] [2013]
Wagner : Der Fliegende Hollander [DVD] [2013] by Savonlinna Opera Festival (DVD - 2013)
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