Beethoven: Symphony No. 3; Wagner: Siegfried's Rhine Journey

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3; Wagner: Siegfried's Rhine Journey

by Birgit Nilsson
     
 

Once, the release of a live "Eroica" with Georg Solti conducting the London Symphony Orchestra coupled with live recordings of excerpts from "Götterdämmerung" and "Tristan und Isolde" from the same conductor leading the Covent Garden Orchestra with soprano Birgit Nilsson would have been considered a significant addition to an important conductor's discography. But… See more details below

Overview

Once, the release of a live "Eroica" with Georg Solti conducting the London Symphony Orchestra coupled with live recordings of excerpts from "Götterdämmerung" and "Tristan und Isolde" from the same conductor leading the Covent Garden Orchestra with soprano Birgit Nilsson would have been considered a significant addition to an important conductor's discography. But since his death 1997, Solti's stock has fallen precipitously and his reputation has gone into almost complete eclipse. This is, needless to say, unfair. Solti turned in some of most exciting and most influential recordings of the second half of the twentieth century -- among them, his complete Beethoven cycle with the Chicago Symphony and his complete "Ring" cycle with the Wiener Philharmoniker -- and to forget him is to forget some of the most thrilling performances ever recorded. So for those who remember and for those who don't, here are magnificent reminders of exactly how great a conductor Solti was in his prime. His 1968 "Eroica" is fast, tough, strong, and, yes, extremely exciting. The LSO, then Solti's orchestra, responds with palpable enthusiasm to his leadership and its playing has an edge-of-the-seat quality that the conductor and the music demand. And his 1963 "Götterdämmerung" and "Tristan" excerpts are even better. Though the Covent Garden Orchestra isn't technically in the same class as either the LSO or the Wiener Philharmoniker, it plays superbly for Solti in "Siegfried's Rhine Journey" from "Götterdämmerung" and in the Prelude to Act 1 of "Tristan." Best of all is Nilsson and Solti's ecstatic account of the "Love-Death" from "Tristan." Nilsson's clarion voice is in top form, nailing her high notes with ease and soaring over the orchestra with unstoppable energy. And Solti and the Covent Garden musicians are right there with her, moving from wonder to awe to starry-eyed transcendence with her. Though the live sound here is distant and a bit dull, the quality of the performances makes these sonic shortcomings easy to forgive.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/2008
Label:
Bbc Legends
UPC:
0684911423921
catalogNumber:
4239
Rank:
183166

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ("Eroica"), Op. 55  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - John Patrick  - Georg Solti
  2. Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), opera, WWV 86d: Siegfried's Rhine Journey  - Richard Wagner  - Birgit Nilsson  -  Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden  - John Patrick  - Georg Solti
  3. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 1. Prelude  - Richard Wagner  - Birgit Nilsson  -  Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden  - John Patrick  - Georg Solti
  4. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 3. Death of Isolde  - Richard Wagner  - Birgit Nilsson  -  Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden  - John Patrick  - Georg Solti

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