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Lorin Maazel Conducts Wagner: Volume 2: Siegfried Idyll, Preludes & Overtures
Maazel, Wagner, Bpo
Lorin Maazel Conducts Wagner: Volume 2: Siegfried Idyll, Preludes & Overtures
Genre: Classical
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All Artists: Maazel, Wagner, Bpo
Title: Lorin Maazel Conducts Wagner: Volume 2: Siegfried Idyll, Preludes & Overtures
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Release Date: 10/24/2000
Genre: Classical
Styles: Opera & Classical Vocal, Forms & Genres, Symphonies, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 743216871728

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CD Reviews

Henry Chandra | Salt Lake City, Utah USA | 02/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"- With the recent of appointment of Maazel to the New York Philharmonic is another testament that this guy has one of the top handfuls of much sought after leadership on the orchestral podium. In this recording, which arrived from mail just yesterday and which I've listened to for about 6 hours already, I am constantly massaged with Sumptuous and Smooth sound of the Berliner's. I especially love Maazel's version of Meistersinger and Siegfried Idyll. The Meistersinger is just a teeny tad slow, especially in the closing bars, but, what resulted is a more romantic interpretation, almost ala, Tristan & Isolde. Maazel really stretched the decelerando, beginning 16 bars before the end, creating a greatly more romantic performance. I only wished that he would've brought the main theme back slightly faster, which would create a greater urgency and energy.I've studied this piece for many years now, under different versions of conductors and orchestras. I have the entire printed score of this long opera, still, I am amazed at the skill which Wagner weave his marvelous counterpoints. He is truly a very fluent composer, not bad considering that he is mostly self-taught. Even Lizst, who once were Wagner's teacher, admits that now the student has become a master and the master - a student. Wagner's skills as an orchestrator and composer, especially in his harmonic vocabulary superseded his former master by huge leaps and bounds. Lizst also has been hugely superseded by Wagner's mastery of counterpoint, pretty much making Lizst sound like a beginner. This Siegfried Idyll, I think is one of the best out there. I am slightly disappointed that the clarinet counterpoint in the solo horn motive is not brought forward a little more, so it's character is hidden. I also would have prefered the solo horn to be brought forward more. Otherwise, this is a great performance. Maazel injects his romanticism. But sometimes, I feel he skips some rubatos which would make his interpretations that much more delicious. Such as the opening bars, I would have it slow down as soon as the theme begins. And overall, I tend to think Maazel rushes a bit. Gotterdammerung is a fine, expectedly high performing standards. Again, listen to the strings and see if you don't want to give these guys a hug and tell them you love them. Or at least invite them for thanksgiving. Rienzi, I think this is also one of the best versions out there. The cellos carrying the melody are just warm and voluptuous. It makes you feel safe and protected, making you feel that you'd be alright if you're to jump off a bridge, because the cello section will catch you safe and sound.This recording quality is certainly one of the best. But I only willing to give it 4 stars, because I feel the performances can still be a little bit tighter, much like the Chicago Symphony is tight when under Reiner. In fact, I still really haven't found any conductor keeping as tight of an orchestra as the old Reiner's reign. Nevertheless, it does not mean it's awful or not up to standards, by all means. I think I'll give the Berliner's 4 1/2, but I can't chose that in this review. Still, tell me which recording can capture all the warmth of a wonderful orchestra's strings. When I went to Carnegie to hear the Boston Symphony under Ozawa, I was flabergasted that the strings were so warm I could feel the heat like it's a radiator. I am looking forward to DVD-Audio, and Super CDs to be more common place, which will reproduce at 96 khz, instead of 44.1. This will indeed help to improve recording resolution in magnificent ways. I know because I produce CD albums and keep up with the recording technology. The recording quality is modern, absorbing a great deal of the smoothness and richness of the famed Berlin strings. Ah, yes, if you want romanticism, then the Berlin strings are one of a handful of supreme opulence. But then again, they play on Stradivarius and Guarnerius. Still, the million dollar instruments are not being played by performing monkeys. If ever the orchestra's instrument got burned in a fire, you'd have one highly suicidal Insurance company. If all of them got burned or destroyed, you'd have many buriels. Just recently I read one Guarneri was purchased for $3.5 million by a group of investors. Frankly, I'd rather buy myself a mansion and a Porche for $3.5 million. One orchestra member that's less than a good player said to me, don't even try to audition with the Berliners unless you know all the concertos by heart and perform it pretty much as good as soloists. They are evil in their choice standards. By all means, if you ever know of a broadcast by the Berliners or by the Vienna Philharmonic, don't ever miss it. The more audience they have for the broadcast, the more they'll broadcast it. For those who saw Maazel's broadcast of the Vienna Phil performing Also Sprach, and other Strauss' tone poems, don't you think you can eat those sounds off the floor? They're that good.Sometimes, I wonder of those reviewers who think opposite of a great recording. I don't know whether they're so used to their old recordings that they're not willing to open to new interpretations, or, they're just too inflexible to hear anything other then what they're so used to. Maazel is one of the few living conductors of the past that we need to cherish. These young modern successors, often are just not up to par. Some do great, though. If you disagree with my review, then explain in detail as to why, even mention specific bars of the music. Don't just say it's mediocre or such, that's poor reviewing. Be specific. I can be even more so in this review, but it will be a full fledged essay of what's already a long review. Good luck!SkyRunWrite me if you like."