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A little limp in parts
on 2 September 2010
Gwyneth Jones in the Twilight of her career is just not up to Isolde...maybe 10 years before this recording, she may have been quite great both vocally as well as (...ahem....) visually. Her voice just couldn't at the time of recording this, have the kind of power the role demands and had once, although the dedication and emotions are intact.
Kollo is simply great, and I am sure there is no argument on that. The rest of the cast are quite good although as someone suggested somewhere, the role of Brangane could have been allotted to a soprano. Even so, Schwartz does a good job of the role.
What I generally dislike is the sense of balance in the recording. I have heard this one now on two or three sound systems of good quality.
The work as such, is considered generally as more dependent on the interpretation and the power of the orchestral score and how it is brought out. I am sure that in the opera house it must have sounded just gorgeous, but on the recording, it sort of automatically recedes to deep background when the singers are doing their bit. This is more so in the Act 2. Not that the orchestra should overpower the singers, but the balance is just not right. This is very evident when the orchestra plays by itself... It sounds just fantastic as Wagner should.
The overall quality though, is quite passable. I am glad it is in widescreen.