Wagner: Tannhäuserby Daniel Barenboim
This recording of Tannhäuser features some of the best Wagnerian singers in the world today. Jane Eaglen's voice is richer than most sopranos who play Elisabeth, but with that comes added passion, and the result is a more complex characterization than usual. Waltraud Meier may no longer command the voluptuous sound she once produced, but she is an experienced and sensitive Wagnerian, and her Venus still seems eminently desirable. With his nobility, intelligence, and tonal warmth, Thomas Hampson is well-nigh perfect as Wolfram von Eschenbach, and the superb young bass René Pape makes an imposing Landgrave. It must be said that Peter Seiffert is a bit too plain-sounding to be an ideal Tannhäuser -- one needs a voice that is somehow out of the ordinary, like Domingo's in the DG recording conducted by Sinopoli. But Seiffert wins one over as the drama unfolds, and the various confrontations in Act II generate considerable heat. Daniel Barenboim deserves at least partial credit for this; his conducting has a sweep and grandeur, and he thankfully does not overstate the work's rather superficial sense of spirituality, as Sinopoli does. The Staatskapelle Berlin is not as polished a band as the Bayreuth orchestra or the Berlin Philharmonic, with whom Barenboim has recorded other Wagner operas, but they play their hearts out for him. Of course, no recording of Tannhäuser is perfect, and while Solti (Decca) and Sinopoli (among the great studio versions) deserve to be heard, Barenboim's is also a worthy contender. Note: The performance is based on the Dresden version but includes the "Venusberg" scene (Act I, Scene 2) added for the Paris production in 1861.
- Release Date:
- Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70 - Richard Wagner - Daniel Barenboim - Deutschen Staatsopernchor Berlin - Jane Eaglen - Thomas Hampson - Waltraud Meier - René Pape - Alfred Reiter - Dorothea Röschmann - Peter Seiffert - Staatskapelle Berlin - Gunnar Gudbjörnsson - Hanno Muller-Brachmann
Performance CreditsDaniel Barenboim Primary Artist
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