13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Two and a half hours of great Wagner,
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This review is from: Wagner: Orchestral Music (Audio CD)
Like most who love Wagner's music I find complete performances of his Opera's difficult to sit through, so I tend to turn to orchestral compilations. Apart from a couple of boxed sets, I have a few orchestral 'highlight' CD's and this is one of them. It probably gets played most but the music itself is so rich and sonorous that it just has to be heard through the baton of other exponents. The two other CD's I have - Maazel/BPO. and Abbado/BPO - giving me a nice 'balanced' selection.
It's important to remember these are (for the most part) 1960 recordings and the sound identifies itself to that period. There is a slight 'dryness' of tone but is otherwise perfectly acceptable and reproduces well on high-end audio equipment. Klemperer's Wagner can be both satisfying and frustrating. He is well known for his often slow tempo interpretations and this does show on some pieces. In my opinion his Meistersinger prelude is a bit heavy going and his Ride of the Valkyries cuts off too abruptly for some reason - leaving one a sense of incompleteness. On the other hand, he gives us a beautiful and intimate rendition of the Siegfried Idyll - scored for small orchestra, a tear-jerking Prelude and Liebestod and a definitive Flying Dutchman Overture. He extracts some exquisite sounds from the Philharmonia Orchestra resulting in a thoroughly recommended great value-for-money double CD.