Better than the Studio!
Ryan Kouroukis | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 10/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Taken from the live performance in London March 19 1968, this performance is living proof that this is an immortal masterpiece and not just another "Dutchman".
Everybody is on fire...The players on their toes, the singers staring at life and death "in the face", and Klemperer looming over as if Wagner himself! The audience could hardly contain the amount of energy they had within them, just listen to the guy that jumps for joy out of his seat right after the closing bars! If you think the EMI set is good than you ain't heard nuthin yet!
Even though it's in mono, the sound that was captured is incredible and what's most amazing is how you can hear the dramatic-through-line, which is very difficult to reproduce in a studio. The only drawback is that the booklet only has the track listings, and NOTHING ELSE!...but who cares anyway? We who are connoisseurs only care about great Art!
Esteban Molina | San Francisco | 08/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I concur completely with the other reviewer: this is a thrilling performance and should be better known. Whether it is better than the studio version which I almost bought, I can't say since I'm not familiar with it [a terrible admission, I know]; but, having heard this live version, it would be difficult to imagine a studio performance topping it. One could nit-pick: Adam starts a little unsteadily but that passes; Silja's Ballad I find a bit forced and stiff, but afterwards her voice warms up or she relaxes and is completely within the drama. The choral work alone is worth the price of admission. There seems to be some difference of opinion as to whether the performance is in mono or stereo, but if it's mono it's the most sumptuous mono you'll ever hear so no matter. I'm also very partial to the 1955 Bayreuth "Dutchman" [in stereo - yes, in 1955] now out on Testament, where Uhde is magnificent and the chorus outdo every other performance before and after; but there is something about the totality of this live Klemperer in which the sum far outweighs the up's and down's of any of the parts. The energy of the performance threatens to burst through whatever playback system one is using. Heaven only knows what it was like to be there in person. Judging from audience response, it was overwhelming. A treasure."