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Lohengrin (Sawallisch, Thomas, Silja) Box set

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Oct. 2002)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Compact Opera
  • ASIN: B00006LENQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 646,289 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Vorspiel
  2. Hort! Grafen, Edle, Freie Von Brabant!
  3. Dank, Konig, Dir Dass Du Zu Richten Kamst!
  4. Seht Hin! Sie Naht, Die hart Beklagte
  5. Einsam In Truben Tagen
  6. Mich Irret Nicht Ihr Traumerischer Mut
  7. We Hier Im Gotteskampf Zu Streiten Kam
  8. Nun SeiBedankt, Mein Lieber Schwan!
  9. Zum Kampf Fur Eine Magd Zu Steh'n
  10. Nun Hort! Euch, Volk Und Delen Mach' Ich Kund
  11. Nun Horet Mich, Und Achtet Wohl
  12. Durch Gottes Sieg Is Jetzt Dein Leben Mein

Disc: 2

  1. Einleitung
  2. Erhebe Dich, Genossin Meiner Schmach!
  3. Du Wilde Seherin
  4. Euch Luften, Die Mein Klagen So Traurig Oft Erfullt
  5. Elsa! - Wer Ruft?
  6. Entweihte Gotter! Helft Jetzt Meiner Rache!
  7. Wie Kann Ich Solche Huld Dir Lohnen
  8. In Fruh'n Versammelt Uns Der Ruf
  9. Des Konig's Wort Und Will'tu' Ich Euch Kund
  10. Gesegnet Soll Sie Schreiten
  11. Zuruck Elsa!
  12. O Konig! Trugbetorte Fursten! Haltet Ein!
  13. Welch Ein Geheimnis Muss Der Held Bewarhren
  14. Mein Held, Entgegne Kuhn Dem Ungetreuen!

Disc: 3

  1. Vorspeil
  2. Treulich Gefuhrt
  3. Das Susse Lied Verhallt
  4. Frul' Ich Zu Dir So Suss Mein Herz Entbrennen
  5. Atmest Du Nicht Mit Mir Die Sussen Dufte?
  6. Hochstes Vertrau'n Hast Du Mir Schon Zu Danken
  7. Weh' Nun Ist All' Unser Gluck Dahin!
  8. Heil, Konig Heinrich!
  9. Macht Platz Dem Helden Von Brabant!
  10. In Fernem Land
  11. Mein Lieber Schwan!

Product Description

Wagner: Lohengrin / Thomas, Silja, Varnay, Sawallisch . Release Date: 01/14/2003 . Label: Decca . Catalog #: 470 592 . Spars Code: ADD . Composer: Richard Wagner . Performer: Jess Thomas, Anja Silja, Ramon Vinay, Franz Crass, ... Conductor: Wolfgang Sawallisch . Orchestra/Ensemble: Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Bayreuth Festival Chorus . Number of Discs: 3 . Recorded in: Stereo . Length: 3 Hours 16 Mins. Works on This Recording: 1. Lohengrin by Richard Wagner Performer: Jess Thomas (Tenor), Anja Silja (Soprano), Ramon Vinay (Baritone), Franz Crass (Bass), Tom Krause (Baritone), Astrid Varnay (Soprano) Conductor: Wolfgang Sawallisch Orchestra/Ensemble: Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Bayreuth Festival Chorus Period: Romantic Written: 1846-1847; Germany Date of Recording: 07/1962 Venue: Live Bayreuth Festival, Bayreuth, Germany Length: 195 Minutes 34 Secs. Language: German

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I first heard this live performance on LP thirty-five years ago and hadn't listened to it again in the interval since, so returning to it has been an interesting and nostalgic experience. Now as then, I am struck by the vehemence with which Varnay and Vinay portray the villainous couple who attempt to stitch up our heroes; for me, the stand-out performance remains Varnay's extraordinarily intense Ortrud. Her sneering, blasphemous guffaw of "Ha-ha!" is a lesson in acting in itself and her huge voice relishes the famous curse passage. Vinay's Telramund is febrile, hysterical and craven; a mass of nervous energy and bullying self-doubt. Jess Thomas, given the demands of a live performance, is not quite as sweet and poised as he is in the Kempe studio recording, but he is still very good indeed, and Silja turns in a major performance as Elsa: tender, pure and touching, despite the occasional hint of shrillness - no doubt it helped that the singer herself was only 21 at the time. Franz Crass's King Henry is a joy of firm tone and Tom Krause's Herald is a major improvement over Kempe's nasal veteran, Otto Wiener. I have given four rather five stars because of the continuous hacking from the audience, once again belying the reputation of the Bayreuth crowd for rapt attention.

This is by no means the only "Lohengrin" worth buying; the opera has been fortunate on disc and I prefer the two superb studio recordings from Kempe and Kubelik (see my review) for repeated listening; they too have spine-chilling pairs of baddies and the Elsa of both Grümmer and Janowitz is a dream in both sets.

This is also currently available as part of the 33 disc bargain Decca live Bayreuth set.
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Format: Audio CD
Thanks to the digital revolution a number of recordings from the 60:s have been reissued, often in a washed form. In the Decca series Compact Opera we have among others this very good Lohengrin. Anja Silja is not Birgit Nilsson, but very good in her part. Jess Thomas was always reliable up to the mid 60:s.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b75fab0) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b768510) out of 5 stars Elsa is a Valley Girl -- who knew? 19 Feb. 2006
By Howard Grady Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is not my primary LOHENGRIN, but this certainly is a gorgeous performance/recording of this masterpiece. Yes, you hear input from the audience, and some bumping and thumping on stage, but you get the advantages a live performance has to offer -- the energy, the edge-of-the-seat excitement that floods the house. And I really enjoy the wide-eyed girlishness of Anja Silja's Elsa; she still a virgin -- just! -- but more of this world than the next. At least that's what I get from the sound of her voice. (I really like her in Berg's LULU as well).

The rest of the cast is loaded with the experience and credentials needed to make this one of the better LOHENGRIN sets, in my opinion. Actually, the presence of Astrid Varney as Ortrud was enough for me to chance this recording. Yes, the date is late in her career, but this is Varnay! And hearing Ramon Vinay return to his original baritone range is yet another reason to grab this set. Finally, I can't decide if I prefer Jess Thomas more here or in the Kempe recording; I've decided not to decide.

Sawallisch leads the whole affair with a sure hand; the sound is rich and full. This is romantic opera at its best. I wouldn't want to be without the classic Kempe set or two others from Bayreuth, conducted by Keilberth and Jochum, though neither can match this Bayreuth issue for sheer opulence.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b768564) out of 5 stars A spectacular live Lohengrin 6 May 2010
By Spartro1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Live performances are often things that can be very hit and miss. In this case, Wolfgang Sawallisch's 1962 performance of Lohengrin from the Bayreuth Festival is definitely a hit. I got this performance as part of the Wagner: Great Operas from The Bayreuth Festival box, which I just can't say enough good things about. Anyway, this is a performance not to be missed.

Firstly, the musicians are great. Anja Silja was all of 22 years old when she made this recording, but she sounds incredible. She is also extremely good at conveying a wide range of emotions, which is a testament to her skills as an actress. James King is an incredible, otherworldly Lohengrin. He is even more alive here than in the Kempe recording. Astrid Varnay and Ramon Vinay however absolutely steal the show in this set. Varnay is the embodiment of evil as Ortrud, and she helps to make the second act absolutely delightful. Ramon Vinay is a not-so-submissive Telramund, and he sings very well. Franz Crass is a fine King Heinrich, and the Bayreuth Chorus is in find sound here, making the whole opera a veritable sound-feast. The orchestra is also very good, and the brass in particular shine.

Sound quality is never a problem here. The Bayreuth acoustic is captured very well and it all sounds very natural. Of course, there are some audience noises but never is it great enough to take away from the experience.

I would recommend this recording to those interested in a good live performance in a heartbeat. Although the conditions are not as secure such as in a studio version, this recording has a crackle of excitement that is necessary for a good performance of Wagner.

Bravi tutti!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bfab54c) out of 5 stars The Villains Steal the Show 24 April 2008
By Steven Muni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
My favorite characters in Lohengrin have always been Ortrud and Telramund. Like the bad guys often do, they have the best lines and are much more interesting than the rather sappy Lohengrin and Elsa. And Chilean bari-tenor, (back to being a baritone here) Ramon Vinay and Astrid Varnay practically steal the show of this live 1962 Bayreuth recording.

Vinay had a terrific intensity to his singing, which made him one of the greatest Otellos of all time as well as an amazing Tristan. And Varnay had no equal as a Wagnerian singing actress. Together they just tear up the stage as opera's bad couple. (They also make an incredible Tristan and Isolde in another Bayreuth live recording.)

Jess Thomas was in young, supple and glorious voice here, before a decade of heldentenor singing took its toll. He gives Lohengrin a freshness and appealing voice that is often missing on other recordings. And Anja Silja is likewise in early and splendid voice and makes Elsa as credible as is possible to be.

Wolfgang Sawallisch keeps the orchestra moving at a reasonable tempo without sacrificing richness of tone. And the sound isn't bad, considering this is a live recording. Although there's no libretto unless you download it, at the price it can't be beat. In fact, this is the Lohengrin that I listen to most frequently.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b7687ec) out of 5 stars Raw Deal 11 Nov. 2008
By Sean William Menzies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is indeed a wonderful performance. I say "wonderful performance" rather than "wonderful recording" because, though the sound is warm and full, as Bayreuth's sound usually is, it is a pure performance - stage noise, audience participation and all.

What one gets here is the audio equivalent of the 3D experience of sitting in the Festspielhaus watching a thrilling performance of LOHENGRIN with a cast of great singers who also happened to be great actors on the stage. That is a rarity even now. Any audience coughing or shuffling literally seems to sound like it's coming from far behind you in the theatre and never overrides the music.

Also, the cuts in the Grail Narration that Wagner made, to save the tenor's voice at the first ever performance, are observed here. Blasphemy to some, to others a relief that brings the work swiftly to its chilling close.

Nice set to own and cheaply priced. Though not the best Lohengrin out there, it's a visceral experience that really brings this otherworldly opera down to earth.
HASH(0x8b76878c) out of 5 stars Just listen to those amazing artists Varnay and Ramon Vinay and yoju will be ... 15 Nov. 2015
By Michael F. McMahon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just listen to those amazing artists Varnay and Ramon Vinay and yoju will be amazed - they are the best of the best. Her's was a huge pipe organ of operatic, dramatic singing. He-an musical animal-I love him in Wagner-way more than Meaestro Domingo, as good as he is!
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