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Wagner - Opera Highlights

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Bayreuth Festival Orchestra^Berlin Opera Orchestra^Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Conductor: Karl Bhm^Claudio Abbado^Giuseppe Sinopoli^Eugen Jochum^James Levine
  • Composer: Richard Wagner
  • Audio CD (28 Aug. 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00004XN6N
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,448 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Der fliegende Hollander: Overture - Chor Und Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele
  2. Der fliegende Hollander: Johohoe! Traft ihr das Schiff im Meere an - Chor Und Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele
  3. Der fliegende Hollander: Steuermann, lass die Wacht - Chor Und Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele
  4. Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1 - Wiener Philharmoniker
  5. Lohengrin: Einsam in truben Tagen - Wiener Philharmoniker
  6. Lohengrin: Brautlied - Wiener Philharmoniker
  7. Lohengrin: In fernam Land, unnahbar euren Schritten - Wiener Philharmoniker
  8. Tannhauser: Overture - Philharmonia Orchestra
  9. Tannhauser: Dich, teure Halle, gruss ich wieder - Philharmonia Orchestra
  10. Tannhauser: Pilgerchor - Philharmonia Orchestra

Disc: 2

  1. Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Prelude to Act 1 - Chor und Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
  2. Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Was duftet doch der Flieder - Chor und Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
  3. Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Prize Song - Chor und Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
  4. Parsifal: Prelude to Act 1 - Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  5. Parsifal: Good Friday Music - Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  6. Parsifal: Du siehst, das ist nicht so - Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  7. Tristan und Isolde: Prelude to Act 1 - Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele
  8. Tristan und Isolde: Prelude to Act 3 - Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele
  9. Tristan und Isolde: Isoldes Liebestod - Orchester Der Bayreuther Festspiele

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Format: Audio CD
This CD presents highlights from Wagner's non-Ring Cycle operas and it is a very good collection too. The overture to Tannhause is magnificent, as is the closing song of Parsifal. The vocal parts are included in this CD. (I have come across ones that don't). Lovely stuff to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
i really enjoyed this item which arrived in good time. well worth it. good choice and ideal to lsten to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Either a great Introduction or a Taste of the Competition, take Your Pick. 26 Feb. 2014
By NUC MED TECH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
02-26-2014 Wht DGG has seldom given us CD deals like 2 for the price of 1, I havn't a clue, but here, some time ago, they unvieled just that, a 2 CD pack of "greastest hits" type pieces. I have the ones for Rodrigo and this one, on music of Wagner, that I will review. These sets feature highlights from the composer's discography, with a mix of overtures, preludes and Opera excerpts, not much of a booklet, and designed, either for "bargain hunters," like me or for people who want an overview of the composer himself. They do serve a nitch slice of the collecting public, and their prices, here on Amazon, are truly irresistable. I have a few on order, but will address this Wagner set now.
CD #1 contains Hollander, Lohengrin and Tannhauser, with their overtures and preludes, plus opera excerpts with and without the choruses. Cd#2 has Meistersinger Parsifal and Tristanund Isolde---No Ring pieces, as of yet.
The first up is the Dutchmanunder Karl Bohm, to me an underated and under appreciated conductor of Richard Wagner. Taped in Bayreuth in 1972, the Overture is thrilling and interesting, in it's full lengthopera version.Even if I were not a rabid Chicagoan, I'd still pefer Solti's 1972 taping of the Overture as one of his very best products, and one of music's finest all-time readings of ANYONE. But, Bohm brings to this piece something that KARL MUCK, THE CHAIN-SMOKING WAGNERIAN, ONCE SAID was "the wind blowing out of the pages into your face." Bohm is indeed stormy and wild in this eading, running a generous 10:20 with the Bayreuth forces at his command. Pardon me, as I reach for a blanket and blow into my hands while typing, (L.O.L.) Get my point? Yes, this is a terrific
stuff and next Gwyneth Jones joins the Chorus in "Johohoe! Traft ihr das Schiff..." and her deep rich and very impressive soprano is quite marvelous, considering her natural vocal range. The last excerpt is the much too brief "Steurmann," chorusof only 2:34. Again, it is Solti's CSO complete recording of this first great Wagner Opera, that packs as much, if not more punch as Bohm's but the later's is quite fine in itself. For this devotee of Sir George, I say that most of his best work came within his first 5-7 years in the Windy City, as his several grammy winners atest to, Mahler, Brahms, Wagner, etc., up to, and including that epic Mahler 8th from Vienna, while on tour.
Next is Claudio Abbado's 1994 Lohengrin with the Vienna Chorus and the VPO, plus Moll, jerusalem and Studer. Abbado's Pelude is etheral and radiant in it's glowing sheen, reverently pesented . James Levine and the Met Orchestra made a studio recording of this Pelude which is still my favorite but Abbado is nonetheless, more than beautil here, he's almost "otherworldly," in his vision and glowing performance of this luminous work. like levine, Abbado left me deeply moved, it's PPP ending is almost unbearable. Tannhauser wraps up CD #1 with the magnificent Overture, a concert staple the world over. Giuseppe Sinopoli, headed for a career in medicine, turned conductor, left this world far too early but behind were many notable recordings, not the lest this gorgeous Pilgrim tale, tsped in 1989, perghaps in DDD technology. Another Solti speciality from the 1969-1972 range was his concert versiuon of the Tannhauser Overture, blazing away on London Records. Here, is Sinopoli creating much the similar magic in 1989 with the Philharmonia Orch. and the Covent Garden Chorus. The simply stunning Cheryl Studer is our Elizabeth, but it is the Pilgrim's Chorus that steals the show, as it always does. An uncredited baritone opens this magnificent Pilgrim's Chorus with Studer and the procession onto the soundstage of the men's voices as the pilgrims is jaw-dropping in it's splendor. This is one of Wagner's greatest of triumphs and a recording marvel of unsurpassed beauty and eloquence truly one of the composer's greatest triumphs.
This CD #1 is crammed with wonderful singing, notably by the Choruses, and the three conductors get their moments in the sun, richly deserved and earned, and wet our appetite for the complete recordings, of which I own the following: Hollander under Bohm, and Solti and Lohengrin in a complete and still very serviceable VHS version, waiting for a bargain find on a good VHS player, someday, I hope. CD #2 contains these items, again lifted from their "mother" recordings: Meistersinger, Parsifal and Tristan, by, respectively Jochum, (1976), Levine (1994) and finally Bohm, again, this one from 1966 and Bayreuth.
First in line is Meistersinger, Wagner's "comic" Opera, from that incredible era when he temporarily suspended work on the Ring, to compose both it and Tristan und Isolde. This is likely the greatest feat in all of music, by ANYONE in ANY genre. Who else could of done so?? The Die Meistersinger project is from 1976 Deutschen Opern Berlin cast featureing Fischer-Diskeau, Domingo et al. along with the opening Prelude, of course. Sachs's "Was duftet doch der Flieder" with Fischer-Diskeau, my all-time choice in the baritone range, here, still in very good voice. Next, DComingo joins him and others in the "Preslied," the Prize Song. Jochum was in advanced yearsa but remained quite lyrical in his leadership, and conducts competently. Domingo, as usual, is warmly sweet in this famous aria and scene, though Solti's late 1990's re-do for London with the Chicago Symphony remains a hallmark recording, amongst a crowded field of excellent competition. I own it, and, shame on me, I've not yet studied it. But, I will, I promise. A splndid testament to Wagner and Jochum, lesser known for his opera work than in the concert halls of the world.
Wagner's final Opus is next---Parsifal, and again, we go straight to the well with Domingo plus Kurt Moll as Gurnemanz. James Levine conducts his Met forces in this 1994 DDD reading and has one of the planet's most otherworldly Preludes at the Cheavenly length of 15:18, WOW!! How long can you hold your breathe?? THAT is how this prelude needs to sound, simply "out-of-body". Incidently, DGG's Met Orchestra Wagner overtures/Preludes of a few years back is one of my top 25 disks on my shelves, much due to this Parsifal and the Lohengrin. As a veteran of many nights at the Ravinia Festival North of Chicago, I often have wondered how Levine thinks regarding faith, and if this is any indicator, which it may, or may be, he might be a man of deep and devoted beliefs. Sure sounds like it. Check out his Boston German Requiem in Super Audio, and hear for yourself.
Nun. Yet !I!I!IZ. I I.,,ui,
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Wagner. 30 May 2013
By Thomas Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
DG's late *Panorama* series could be a hit-and-miss affair. The two I especially enjoy are Rimsky-Korsakov Panorama: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky Panorama: Modest Mussorgsky, but now I have to add two more - this and Karajan's highlights from the Ring Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (highlights).

I'm a "Wagner" neophyte who only begrudingly purchased Ormandy's Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries Highlights and Szell's Wagner: Orchestral Music from Der Ring des Nibelungen Die Meistersinger - Tristan und Isolde "bleeding chunks" orchestral selections, and Eileen Farrell's "Wesendonk Songs" Wagner: Selections from Tristan und Isolde, Tannhäuser & Götterdämmerung / Wesendonck-Lieder (Royal Edition No. 100). And unlike several less than friendly Ormandy critics, I find his recording having more warm and impact than the revered Szell performances.

I own Solti 4- LP "higlights" from his Ring cycle Wagner Der Ring Des Nibelungen Highlights From the Complete Recording, but as much I prize Solti's conducting, and John Culshaw's historic production of the cycle, the London transfers were excreable. The LPs weren't the "cleanest" although not as bad as RCA "Dynagroove" fiasco, but there was noticeable break-up and distortion at the top, and pressings were not flattering to the voices. The set just didn't convince me to pursure Wagner any further.

But, doctor, something clicked and now I really want to listen and hear as much as I can - in small does, so I purchased the two Panorama sets and Solti's 2-CD highlight set (that I'm assuming is the same as the dastardly London LP set)Richard Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen -- Great Scenes (Highlights / Excerpts / Scenes on 2 CD's -- 143 minutes) [Sir Georg Solti, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Birgit Nilsson, Regine Crespin, James King, Wolfgang Windgassen, George London, Hans Hotte...] (it's much less expensive on Amazon's UK site).

My only complaint with these barebones Panorama sets is that neither offer librettos for the selections included; nor even a plot synopsis, so for someone just starting out like myself, it's make it a little tough sleding, but I look forward to getting acquainted to both releases and perhaps finding plot/act summaries on the ever-reliable internet; otherwise, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview to Wagner's non-Ring operas 27 Mar. 2006
By Daniel Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Listeners seeking an overview of Wagner's operas are well-served by this 2-cd set and its companion 2-cd set of excerpts from Karajan's performance of the 4 Ring operas. This set features excerpts from the DG operas "Der Fliegende Hollander" (Flying Dutchmman), "Lohengrin", "Tannhauser", "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg", "Parsifal", and "Tristan und Isolde". The recorded sound is superb, and the performances flow together very well, even though the works are performed by different orchestras, conductors, and singers.

This is a very enjoyable set in a crowded and competitive field. It offers almost a 50-50 split between orchestral and vocal excerpts, so those seeking primarily orchestral excerpts might be better served by the 2-cd set of overtures conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, which contains purely orchestral excerpts from these same operas as well as a few excerpts from the four Ring operas. Those listeners who value great performance and don't mind putting up with the good but dated mono sonics from the 50s may want to seek out the excellent 2-cd set of Wagner excerpts on EMI conducted by Wilhelm Furtwanger, which offers primarily orchestral excerpts except for a stunning rendition of Brunnhilde's Immolation sung by Kirsten Flagstad. Also, George Szell conducted a single disk of orchestral excerpts from the Ring that does contain the prelude from Die Meistersinger and the prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde. I purchased all of these outstanding disks before getting this Panorama set, but I am very glad that I got this set, because of the the beauty of the choral works not contained in the other sets. Also, the interpretation of the orchestral pieces is outstanding, and I was glad to add them to the others. This set was so good, it inspired me to obtain versions of the complete operas.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, good value 4 Oct. 2001
By David A. Kemp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a sensible, cost-effective way to gain a nodding if superficial acquaintance with Wagner's six most important non-Ring operas. (The four Ring operas are similarly if somewhat more generously highlighted, in the Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic recordings, on a 2-CD Deutsche Grammophon set that is a companion volume to this one, so if you buy both sets--4 CDs--you gain at least some exposure to all ten major Wagner operas.)
CD 1 of this set (64'22 in length) gives you 21'04 of Der fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman), in the Karl Bohm/Bayreuth recording (1972); 21'25 of Lohengrin, in the Claudio Abbado/Vienna Philharmonic recording (1994); and 21'53 of Tannhauser, in the Giuseppe Sinopoli/Philharmonia recording (1989). CD 2 (70'55 in length) gives you 23'15 of Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, in the Eugen Jochum/Deutschen Oper Berlin recording (1976); 25'50 of Parsifal, in the James Levine/Metropolitan Opera recording (1994); and 21'18 of Tristan und Isolde, in the Karl Bohm/Bayreuth recording (1966). All the music here is drawn, obviously, from complete opera recordings in the Deutsche Grammophon catalog.
As you would expect from a collection so various in provenance (five different conductors, five different orchestras in four countries, a widely diverse crop of singers, with recordings spread over a period of almost 30 years), there is no uniform or consistent point of view here (such as is furnished by the single conductor and orchestra typically recording the Ring cycle of operas). But this is not necessarily a problem; these, after all, are all independent, free-standing, unrelated operas, each with its own character. The performances, singing, and sound quality here are all variable, but all are at a minimum thoroughly competent and listenable, some considerably more than that.
I'm not going to try to comment individually on the diversity of conductors and orchestras represented here. Fully half of the music here is purely orchestral (two overtures and five preludes, totaling 69 minutes). There are also three choral selections, including the bridal chorus from Lohengrin containing the famous wedding music ("Here comes the bride"), and the absolutely stunning Pilgrims' chorus from Tannhauser, rousingly performed by the men of the Covent Garden Chorus (this begins softly, as from a distance, then builds to a terrific climax, then recedes to softness again). Of the soloists who sing long enough here to matter, Gwyneth Jones as Senta gives mingled pleasure and concern: she does some attractive soft singing but occasionally sounds insecure and unsteady, her voice under marginal control. Cheryl Studer is first-rate as both Elsa and Elisabeth; this is able singing, secure from top to bottom, from soft to loud. Siegfried Jerusalem as Lohengrin sings well and sensitively when singing softly or at middle voice; when he opens up, his voice becomes more problematic, and there is strain on top.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Hans Sachs), great artist though he was in his proper sphere, unfortunately kept straying out of it, as he does here: Hans Sachs, one of the greatest of baritone roles, is for a Wagnerian Heldenbariton, and this Fischer-Dieskau certainly was not. He sounds lightweight, underpowered, and somewhat fussy; sometimes he blusters, sometimes he croons, but he's no Hans Sachs (to hear what can be done with this role you have to go back to earlier recordings by Friedrich Schorr). Placido Domingo (Walther von Stolzing and Parsifal), a famously versatile and capable all-around tenor (an opera-house manager's dream who could, and would, sing just about any role), offers pleasing, sensitive singing in both roles; some have complained that he doesn't sound idiomatic in Wagner, but I'll take his secure, musicianly singing any day over what we usually get these days in Wagner tenor roles. Kurt Moll is an imposing, rich-voiced Gurnemanz.
The most memorable singing here comes from Birgit Nilsson in Isolde's Liebestod; she was the greatest Wagnerian soprano of the second half of the twentieth century (Flagstad and Traubel had seen their best days by 1950), and some would add that she was the only great Wagnerian soprano of the second half of the twentieth century. None of the other singers heard here are in her class as Wagnerians, or, indeed, in terms of basic vocal endowment. She is secure, rock solid, strong on top, commands an enormous dynamic range (she closes on a beautiful pianissimo note), and hearing her unleash her huge voice and letting it soar out over the orchestra is thrilling. This is the kind of singing that hasn't been heard since Flagstad and Traubel from anyone but Nilsson; her Liebestod reminds us of what the seemingly vanishing art of heroic Wagner singing is all about.
In a nutshell, this set is a good value and serves as a useful introduction to the Wagner non-Ring operas.
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