- Lohengrin, opera, WWV 75
This Profil release is pulled together out of several performances of Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" in a production given at Cologne Philharmonic Hall, led by Semyon Bychkov, in late May to mid June 2008. While issued as a hybrid multichannel DSD three-disc set, the sound is not particularly spectacular, being a little murky and slanted toward the extremes of the spectrum; quiet passages are extremely quiet and loud ones will levitate you out of your seat. It is nonetheless a good performance of "Lohengrin," though no one in the cast is particularly well noted, and none of them turns in a performance that would tend to capture one's attention apart from the rest. Clearly this "Lohengrin" is presented with the attitude of providing an appropriate and respectful service to the work, rather than providing a showcase for a given singer. And for that it works; it is a swiftly moving, efficient performance included with the complete libretto in three languages and if one is planning on taking in a performance of "Lohengrin" and wants to become familiar with the opera beforehand, this Profil set is close to ideal. On the other hand, for those who own a "Lohengrin" or two already and know how Elsa is going to get out of the mess she's in, this set likely won't unseat any longstanding favorite recording already on the shelf. As the depth of "Lohengrin" recordings is nowhere near what it is for the operas in Wagner's "Ring" cycle or "Tristan und Isolde," Profil had a chance to bring on a genuinely competitive set; here it settles for something merely acceptable and relatively ordinary, which is still a nice offering but not likely to grab the brass ring.