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Wagner

4.9 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Feb. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00AEQYM6S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,078 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Digital Booklet: Wagner
Digital Booklet: Wagner
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Product Description

Product Description

A selection of the great Heldentenor scenes and arias coupled with the complete (and rarely recorded by the tenor voice) Wesendonck Lieder. Also includes scenes from Die Walküre, Siegfried , Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin (extended Grail Scene Gralserzählung - with its original second verse).

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have copies of almost all of Wagner operas with performances dating back to the early 1950s. I have seen most of them performed in various venues but, having just viewed amd reviewed a recent Tannhauser dvd with great disappointment it was more than a delight to hear Kauffmann's magnificent performances of an excellent and varied selection of items from Wagner's works. In fact, after I had listened to the first few excerpts I was near to tears with emotion. Wagner makes heavy demands on his tenors and to be successful the singer must have more than a powerful and well focused voice but must be capable of conveying the sense of the action in the music plus the softer and more lyrical episodes must be just as fine as the more dramatic declamations.
I have enjoyed many fine heldentenors and Domingo as well over the years but never one who seems to me to have everything! I suspect he can only improve and I look forward in the hope that he gets round to giving us a chance to hear him in complete versions of Tristan, Parsifal and Meistersinger.
This must be the best £9 I have spent in a long time!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Confronted by truly great art words fail me. Magnificent singing and a very good orchestra. It is so wonderful to hear Wagner's music actually sung instead of only declaimed or at worst shouted and barked. Listening to this CD is a moving experience.
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You can buy any operatic recital disc of the last 60 years and not find a better example for any voice in any repertory. Kaufmann sings Wagner like Bergonzi sings verdi or Callas and Scotto sing bel canto. Interpretatively he is seminal and vocally glorious. The Walkure and Siegfried excerpts are extraordinary. He sings this music like Christa Ludvig sang Mahler. Its a combination of a great operatic performance nuanced with the sensitivity of a great lieder singer. If anyone ever thought that you couldn't make a personal emotional connection with Wagner's heroic tenor roles, just listen to Kaufmann. It's inspiring, it's moving, the Siegfried is actually funny when it should be and what a voice and what a musician; dark baritonal timbre which expands and rings out reminiscent of Mario Del Monaco then the finely spun head voice of a young Di Stefano and german diction that as Hugh Canning says, 'you could take dictation from'. This is seamless integration of vocals, musical nuance, characterisation and theatre between singer and Wagner's orchestral scoring. Forget the all-too typical battle between singer and orchestra in this music - rather we have a happy symbiosis. The pre-2nd world war tradition (probably authentic to the 19th century) of singing this music with bel canto technique combined with helden-tenor heft is alive and well with JW. Except you get the distinct impression that he could sing this music for 20 years and not dry out the voice, or limit his ability to phrase italian music.

Being picky, my only slight beef on this is the ordering of the pieces.
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I could easily find this CD to be more of an irritation than anything else-yet another collection of excerpts from the finest tenor suited to Wagner in a generation, with until today no complete recording of any of the operas (I am excluding Blu-ray performances!). I`m not a fan of excerpts discs at the best of times, but with Kaufmann even the "well it's better than nothing" syndrome was beginning to wear thin. Fortunately all this is counteracted not only by my having received the new complete Gergiev Walkure to soften the blow, but this disc DOES finally contain a complete work, albeit not one intended for a tenor.
The excerpts from the operas are superb-we get the unexpurgated "In Fernem Land" from Lohengrin, a superb Rome Narration, excerpts from Rienzi and Meistersinger and snippets from Walkure and a tantalising Siegfried murmuring superbly in the forest (sorry!), all sung with the dark burnished tone and firm legato we have come to expect. As an aside, what a nonsense this makes of trying to build up Klaus Florian Vogt as a Heldentenor-I actually find his thin and feeble voiced attempts to be pathetic in comparison to Kaufmann.
The orchestra is full and rich-the former "German State Opera Berlin" Orchestra has a distinguished recording past with Wagner and beyond, with outstanding recordings under Konwitschny, Jochum, Maazel, Sinopoli and Thielemann to name but a few, and here is in magnificent form under another under employed great Wagner conductor in Scotland's own Donald Runnicles-would that the 2nd and 3rd rate recordings made by Pentatone under Janowski had used THIS orchestra and conductor as this very change would surely elevate them to first class!
The absolute GOLD of this recording is the Wesendonck Lieder performed for the first time to my hearing by a tenor.
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By Trev-R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Firstly a warning, please be aware of what you are actually buying as the selection on this CD is not just a straight forward Wagner 'hits' type selection. However if you are a Wagner fan this a very thoughtful and well put together repertoire which brings together the obvious and the rare including the Wesendock-Lieder, rarely performed by a tenor as it was originally for a soprano. On the technical side this sounds on my HiFi at least, to be a very good well engineered disc with no obvious technical issues. I haven't transferred it to my iPod yet but cannot imagine that it will sound anything other than excellent.

This disc confirms Jonas Kaufmann as the pre-eminent Wagnerian tenor of his generation, including a monumentally great "In fernem Land", probably the best I have ever heard. Kaufmann brings drama and an intense but fully focused 'dark' low timbre vocal performance, always musical and you always know he is fully connected to what he is singing, there is no going through the motions with Mr Kaufmann. His interpretations of each piece are sublime, while having weight he still has a delicate touch where required. You have to wonder if Kaufmann will follow Placido Domingo in taking on lower Wagner roles in the future.

The Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin under Donald Runnicles helps Kaufmann by demonstrating an understanding of how each aria should be delivered with great sympathy to Kaufmann's performance.

This CD will not be for everyone as it is not as popularist as some of Kaufmann's other works such as Carmen and Tosca however IMHO this could be the opera release of the year.
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