Seattle's Wagner is Outstanding
JMB1014 | USA | 08/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most fruitful sources of controversy on this website is what is the best recording of an opera. The Seattle Symphony and the Seattle Opera have made a name for themselves with powerful productions of Wagner. Their "Ring" cycle draws opera lovers from all over the United States and the world. And happily, the Seattle productions are less about politics, and less mannered, than many others. These rcordings are excerpts, often longer than one finds on comparable CD's, from operas by Wagner. While I venture here with due regard for the safety of my own head, I will affirm that the "Liebestod" performed on this CD is my favorite. Alessandra Marc is a little more in the mezzo vein than many Isoldes and she is less inclined toward vibrato. The result is absolutely my favorite performance of what is one of the greatest moments in all of music. Listening to this in Seattle with Mount Rainier in the distance, I was genuinely moved to tears. You may not be. This is not in any way to suggest that Kirsten Flagstad is not a brilliant Isolde - or any of the other famous sopranos who have sung the part. I just love this one. I wish Wagner's "Ring" could be performed outdoors in the granite mountains of the Pacific Northwest, with the Columbia River Gorge cast as the Rhine River. And "Tristan und Isolde" likewise. I think Wagner, were he here, would be impressed with such splendor. More power to the Seattle Symphony and Opera."