Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard [Classical] Wagner, Rafael Kubelik, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra|
Richard Wagner: Lohengrin
A much neglected fine recording
Vincent Lau | 01/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm always of the view that this is a grossly under-rated and neglected recording. Kubelik's conducting is, by any standard, masterful - the tempi are always well-chosen, the tension never sags and the build-up to the great climaxes are both natural and inexorable. He is keenly aware of the structure and beauties of the score and is able to convey them to the full. The performance of the orchestra is excellent and the choral support is also fine. The chief vocal glory of the set lies in Gundula Janowitz's Elsa. Her singing is of instrumental purity and her phrasing impeccable. If she's dramatically a bit on the cool side, her's is certainly one the best sung Elsa ever. James King copes well with the vocal demands of the title role but his voice is, as always, a bit monotonous. Gwyneth Jones is a squally Ortrud but her vocal characterisation is quite marvellous - her calls to Elsa in Act II can chill one to the marrow. Thomas Stewart is a competent Telramund who copes valiantly with this actually very demanding part and Karl Ridderbusch makes a solid and majestic King Henry. The smaller roles are generally cast from strength. It's indeed a fine performance that one shouldn't miss, in particular as the set is in mid-price."
One of the three finest recordings of Lohengrin!
RENS | Dover, NH USA | 04/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with Mr. Lau (the previous reviewer) that this magnificent performance under the direction of Raphael Kubelik is greatly under-rated and neglected. I similarly concur with Mr. Lau's evaluation of the singers, except that I find James King even more effective than he does.
Those who love this opera will want to search out and consider (and very likely purchase) two other recordings. The first is the live recording of a 1954 Bayreuth performance under the direction of Eugen Jochum on the Opera D'Oro label (very inexpensive). The mono sound is very good. For starters, look it up here on amazon.com and read the reviews! The second (and most often admired) is the 1964 EMI studio recording under the direction of Rudolph Kempe with the Vienna Philharmonic. It is available at mid-price. The stereo sound, as with the Kubelik recording, is outstanding in clarity and depth. Both the Jochum and the Kempe recordings are readily available. DG (Universal) does not make the Kubelik recording generally available in the USA, so one has to hunt it down as a special import at higher cost. It is worth the hunt and the cost.
Kubelik's other Wagner recordings have deservedly won highest praise, but they, too, are hard to find and often neglected. They are listed on amazon.com and it is worth your while seeking them out: Die Meistersinger and Parsifal were recorded in glorious stereo sound with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and with casts that cannot be bettered. They were recorded in the 1980s and each released some 15 to 20 years later on less known or in-house European labels."
A Lohengrin for the ages
Frank Bosco | sanctuary | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the Lohengrin of all time. After having listened to this performance for many years on LP, I am thrilled to have it on CD as well. James King has a voice of bronze and Janowitz is an angel as Elsa. The supporting cast is wonderful as is the orchestral playing."