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Wagner: Tannhäuser
Richard [Classical] Wagner, Otto Gerdes, Deutschen Opernorchester
Wagner: Tannhäuser
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #3


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A dark horse in a bright field
Birdman | Minnetonka, MN USA | 05/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With Sinopoli's, Solti's and so many other fine performances of this opera out there in both Dresden and the Paris verions, it might seem odd for a listener to rave about the present release, but it is one of the very best Tannhauser recordings I've heard. The conducting is dead-on with the score and the composer's markings. Unlike Solti's jarringly staged recording under Culshaw, the balance between orchestra and voices sounds natural here. But it's the voices that make all the difference by far . Birgit Nilsson will break your heart as Elizabeth, and she revels as Venus. Adam is a convincing Hermann and Windgassen a virile and tormented Tannhauser. At $23.99 or less for three disks, it is a steal. I would have appreciated a libretto, but the enclosed booklet provides enough information for the interested listener and libretti for this opera are available everywhere. UMG's Trio series has consistently surprised me with its value and quality, and by the number of recordings produced under its label that merit special attention. If you like your Wagner long and protracted and strident, you will hate this release. On the other hand, if you really enjoy the quieter, more lyrical side of this composer, and appreciate the way great singers can bring nuance to legendary roles, you'll love it. There are no revelations in the orchestra pit, but such a score requires very few. This release is not for purists or academicians. But those who simply love beautiful music, wonderfully executed, will love it."
Great recording
L. E. Roberts | 09/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is in short a really good recording. Gerdes' handling of the opera is very good (though his tempo in the Pilgrims' Chorus theme of the Overture is almost disturbingly fast), the orchestra is well controlled and very expressive. Birgit Nilsson, one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of the 20th Century, sings the two principle female roles - Venus and Elisabeth; Wolfgang Windgassen, who sings the role of Tannhauser, is one of the greatest Wagnerian tenors of the century. And Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who sings Wolfram, is virtually undisputed as THE baritone of the century.Highly recommend this recording."
L. E. Roberts | 11/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I disagree with the reviewer Laon. This is one of the great Tannhauser sets in the market. Yes, the Solti has the incomparable Christa Ludwig and an excellent Helga Dernesch as Elisabeth. Dernesch is wonderfully lyrical for Elisabeth. But Dernesch's voice strains and thins on the high B of Elisabeth's greeting aria. Nilsson hits the top B effortlessly. Yes, it's an unfair comparison because Nilsson is unique. I think that the Solti Tannhauser may be better as a first set, but this is definitely a Tannhauser to reckon with. You cannot easily dismiss Nilsson's Venus and Elisabeth. This is great singing no matter what people say - her voice is beautiful, full, accurate, no squally notes - we would give anything for this level of singing today. Windgassen is also marvellous as Tannhauser."