Search - Richard [Classical] Wagner, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Anne Marie Bessel :: Der Fliegende Holländer

Der Fliegende Holländer
Richard [Classical] Wagner, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Anne Marie Bessel
Der Fliegende Holländer
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #2


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Francisco J. Muñoz | Santa Cruz, Bolivia | 04/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Esta misma EXTRAORDINARIA versión de Sawallisch, ya esta disponible en Phillips, búsquela, puesto que en este sello la calidad de sonido no es bueno. CÓMPRELA EN PHILLIPS. A mi gusto la mejor versión del Holandés de Richard Wagner."
A fine recording of a LIVE performance from 1966. No libret
Craig Matteson | Ann Arbor, MI | 11/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While Wagner had written Rienzi and "The Fairies" before "The Flying Dutchman", it is this opera that still holds the stage and set the course for the rest of Wagner's career of writing heroic operas. This opera was based upon a real life experience Wagner had aboard ship in a terrific storm. It was during this trip he also heard the Norwegian tale of the damned captain doomed to sail the seas forever in his ghostly ship.

The gist of this opera is uncomplicated. The Dutchman has been cursed by the devil to sail the seas until judgment day unless he can find a woman whose love will remain faithful to him unto death. Every seven years he is allowed to go ashore to search for such a companion. The opera opens has his ship pulls into a Norwegian port. A captain named Deland has also sought harbor there to shelter from a storm. Deland knows the story of the Dutchman and has told the story countless times to his family and has designs on the Dutchman's legendary gold. The Dutchman learns that Deland has a daughter and receives his permission to woo her in exchange for his fortune. Deland readily agrees.

The daughter, Senta, is caught up in the romantic idea of saving the Dutchman from his doom, and when she meets his is drawn more strongly to him. However, a local hunter named Eric also has designs on her. The Dutchman overhears Eric's proclamations to Senta and feels betrayed. And though he actually loves Senta he declares whom he really is thinking it will drive her off. He immediately sets sail and she runs to a cliff calling to him. Proclaiming her faithfulness she throws herself into the sea. The Dutchman's ship immediately sinks and the now ghostly, but redeemed lovers are seen holding each other over the horizon.

There is more to the plot, but that is the main idea. The music is very dramatic and has the famous damnation motive that everyone recognizes immediately. The musical depiction of the sea and the elements stunned its first audiences in 1843 and holds power for us today.

This performance was recorded live in Milan in 1966 and is quite successful. Wolfgang Sawallisch conducted this performance and had already made his fame conducting opera including Wagner at Bayreuth. His abilities and understanding of this music and its drama is on full display here. Since it is a live performance the recording sound is not as lush and perfect as a studio recording would be, but there is a lot to be said for live performances and capturing all that excitement.

While the libretto is not included in this budget label, it can be purchased inexpensively and the music can be enjoyed without knowing exactly what is being said. Still, I would encourage that this not be your only version of this opera. This is very affordable and can be a good introduction or an additional view into this opera, but you will be better served with multiple perspectives."