Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard [Classical] Wagner, Klaus Tennstedt, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra|
Wagner: Orchestral Music from 'The Ring'
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Wagner, Tennstedt, "Tannhauser", And "The Ring"
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 11/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Denied the opportunity of taking over the Berlin Philharmonic at the end of the 1980s from Karajan because of poor health, the late Klaus Tennstedt nevertheless made a number of fine recordings with this world powerhouse during the decade, including the orchestral music from the operas of Richard Wagner.
This EMI "Encore" re-release of recordings Tennstedt and the Berlin Philharmonic made in the early 1980s focuses primarily on six orchestra excerpts from Wagner's immortal "Ring" cycle, and the overture to the composer's 1845 breakthrough opera "Tannhauser." Not surprisingly, given the Berliners' familiarity with Wagner under Karajan and Furtwangler, they perform the "Ring" excerpts, particularly the explosive "Ride Of The Valkyries" (which had its popularity with audiences boosted by its use in Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW), with incredible power under Tennstedt's direction.
Equally remarkable, however, is how they and Tennstedt also handle the "Tannhauser" overture, certainly one of Wagner's most touching and popular single orchestral pieces, with the "Pilgrims Chorus" music from the opera bookending it. This ability to be romantic and restrained is also reflected in the Magic Fire Music from "Die Walkure" that concludes this recording. This is a remarkable introduction to the music of one of the most (if not THE most) provocative and controversial composers of classical music that ever lived."
Fairly decent, but lacking greatness.
Jeffrey Lee | Asheville area, NC USA | 05/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Tennstedt's Wagner has some nicely detailed and impressive moments, though overall, I don't find myself carried away or terribly satisfied by his interpretations. There happens to be another conductor whose orchestral Wagner (not complete operas) I cut my classical teeth on, and who to this day still stands for me as a giant when it comes to revealing this music in all its glory---Otto Klemperer, whom Tennstedt cannot quite match in terms of commanding strength and grandeur. Even in many of his quieter passages, Klemperer conveys a vision of epic breadth. And where climaxes build and pinnacle, there is a sweeping presence, a sense of immense power and weight. This, I feel, is the kind of music that absolutely needs Klemperer's more massive and majestic approach. His performances of various works by Wagner with the great Philharmonia Orchestra are readily available."
An off day for a great conductor
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 08/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Klaus Tennstedt was famously insecure and erratic, a condcutor who could be incandescent in live performance but who could badly disappoint on CD--luckily, not very often. He had two outings with the Berlin Phil. in Wagner, but this is the inferior one. The brass section blats, the timpani crashes, the tempos waver, and there's a lack of depth in almost every excerpt.
Foortunately, Tennstedt made a second Wagner CD of overtures and preludes with the same orchestra that's much better. If you like everything he does, however, EMI has packaged both recordings in a bargain two-fer, now out of print but easily found on the used market."