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Richard Wagner: Siegfried
Richard [Classical] Wagner, Daniel Barenboim, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Richard Wagner: Siegfried
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #4


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CD Reviews

David Gottner | 04/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This rendition of Siegfried is an exciting, dynamic recording and is second only to the version put out by Solti. Barenboim's conducting of the score is excellent, and the orchestration sounds much better than it did under Solti.The cast is excellent. Tomlinson is in great form as Wotan, even better here than in his recording in Die Walkure. His changing emotions in Act III from desparation to his acceptance, and indeed joy that Siegfried & Brunnhilde will inherit the world, to his grief because the grandchild whom he loves (Siegfried) does not even know who he is, up to his challenge of Siegfried. This was the best performance of Siegfried Act III I have heard on any disk. Graham Clark gives a wonderful performance of Mime, cunning and evil (not a sympathetic reading at all.) Siegfried Jerusalem portrays his best "Siegfried" character; much better than his previous performances in the live Metropolitan opera video and in his version with Hatink. His Siegfried is more aggressive here than other notable Siegfrieds (such as Windgassen), which takes some getting used to for those who (like me) grew up with the "sensitive hero" interpretation, though Jerusalem is sensitive when the role demands it. Only Brunnhilde disappoints. Evans just does not have the vocal qualities required for Brunnhilde. The orchestra and Jerusalem drown out her voice during the duet, and she simply does not have the vocal qualities of the great Wagnerian sopranos of the past (such as Nillson), or even the current Brunnhilde, Hildegard Behrens. Her role demands a godlike powerful, yet sweet voice, which Evans does not convey (she lacks the "woman in her power" aspect), and she has an excessive vibrato. However her performance is acceptable, if not brilliant, and does not significantly diminish the performance. Also, her voice improves as she warms up during the long duet.The only faults of this recording are minor: Jerusalem misses the beat a few times during the forging song; the dragon does not roar when Siegfried awakens it, and later during the fight when Siegfried injures it (as it does under Solti); Siegfried's horn call in Act II is not as pompous as it was in Solti (which I quite liked), and the problems mentioned with Brunnhilde, above. These faults prevent is from the five star rating, but still make it an excellent CD."