Wagner: Love Duets

Wagner: Love Duets

by Deborah Voigt
     
 

Richard Wagner's music sounded dangerous to 19th-century ears. Ecstatically passionate unlike anything heard in the opera house before, it bypasses the rational mind and overwhelms the senses -- an intoxicating experience but also a rather threatening one. There's no better example of this musical power than Wagner's rapturous love scenes, and on this album, See more details below

Overview

Richard Wagner's music sounded dangerous to 19th-century ears. Ecstatically passionate unlike anything heard in the opera house before, it bypasses the rational mind and overwhelms the senses -- an intoxicating experience but also a rather threatening one. There's no better example of this musical power than Wagner's rapturous love scenes, and on this album, Plácido Domingo and Deborah Voigt give us two of the most glorious. These singers have appeared together onstage to great acclaim as the lovers (and siblings) Siegmund and Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre, and their performances here of the final scene from Siegfried and the Act II love duet from Tristan und Isolde are up to the same stellar standard. Domingo is still going strong after all these years; his Siegfried could be more youthful but lacks nothing in control and athletic vitality. Voigt has sometimes sounded stiff on record in the past, but anyone who has heard her live knows the expressive warmth and gorgeously rounded tone she's capable of, and that's exactly what she delivers here, as she moves for the first time into Wagner's heavier soprano roles of Brünnhilde and Isolde. The Tristan duet is presented with a special concert ending, prepared by the composer but apparently never before performed; for once, the scene ends happily and not with the brutal interruption of the lovers' tryst by Isolde's husband. In both scenes, Antonio Pappano stirs up splendid orchestral surges and crests from the musicians of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, providing just the right backdrop for Wagner's blissful songs of love.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard LeSueur
Operatic love duets are usually associated with Italian romantic opera, but two of the most ecstatic duets ever composed come from the pen of Richard Wagner; the final scene of "Siegfried" is certainly one of the longest love duets ever written. The Act 2 duet from "Tristan und Isolde" as recorded here features a concert ending written by Wagner which extends the duet and rounds off the scene with a closing orchestral passage. Why this authorized version has not been recorded before is a mystery, as it is much more effective as an excerpt than simply ending the scene as written in the full score. This recording starts at "O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe" so we lose the very difficult open pages. Primary interest will be in Plácido Domingo's first recording of scenes from Wagner's most heroic roles. He is certainly the most lyric Siegfried we have had on disc in many years. His German is not flawless but his ability to sing through the long phrases and keep a full rich tone throughout makes this a memorable performance. He does not plumb the depths of Tristan's character but again the singing is very good. I wish that I could be as positive about Deborah Voigt, but her voice does not convey any sense of real excitement. There is no feeling of ecstatic climax at the end of the "Siegfried" duet and the Tristan duet is simply too careful. Violeta Urmana sings Brangäne's lines in the "Tristan" duet. The conducting of Pappano is very much in the lyric style of Kempe and Kraus. This is certainly of interest for Domingo fans and those interested in Wagner's own concert ending for the "Tristan" duet.
Gramophone - John Steane
[Domingo's] is still the most beautiful voice...that we have heard on recordings of this music... He is exact and lyrical in his reading of the music...convincing in his dramatic commitment.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/15/2000
Label:
Emi Classics
UPC:
0724355700421
catalogNumber:
57004

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. Sehr langsam (orchestra)  - Richard Wagner  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano
  2. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. Heil dir, Sonne! Heil dir, Licht!  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  3. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. O wüßtest du, Lust der Welt  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  4. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. Dort seh' ich Grane, mein selig Ro  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  5. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. Heilig schied sie aus Walhall  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  6. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. Ewig war ich, ewig bin ich  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  7. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. Dich lieb' ich: o liebtest mich Du  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  8. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c: Act 3. Scene 3. Siehst du mich nicht?  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  9. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 2. Scene 2. O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  10. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 2. Scene 2. Nie-wieder-Erwachtens wahnlos...Ei  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt  - Violeta Urmana
  11. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 2. Scene 2. Lausch', Geliebter!  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  12. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 2. Scene 2. Doch uns're Liebe  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt
  13. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 2. Scene 2. So starben wir, um ungetrennt...Ha  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt  - Violeta Urmana
  14. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 2. Scene 2. Soll ich lauschen?  - Richard Wagner  - Plácido Domingo  - William S. Mann  -  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra  - Antonio Pappano  - Deborah Voigt

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