Excellent account of Wagner scenes
Matteo | Oakland, CA United States | 11/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To cut to the chase (and be thoroughly un-Wagnerian) this disk is marvelous. For people like me who are used to the Italian and French operatic traditions, and who'd only ever given Wagner a cursory glance, this disk will make you reconsider a true master of the form.
The selections on the album were wisely chosen for those just getting into Wagner or even just beginning their opera listening. It helps that EMI selected some of the composer's more accessible music. It certainly eased my venturing from Italian to German opera.
Qualifications aside, the music-making is first rate. Julia Varady and Peter Seiffert are each in excellent voice throughout and both bring loads of energy to these exciting pieces. The voices sound robust and bright and each has even a bit of Italianate warmth. No stereotypical Wagner shout-singing to be found here. Each finds the youth and romance in their characters and in the music. This is some of the most engrossing and exciting singing I've heard on disk in quite some time.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau does solid conducting work and elicits fine playing from the Bavarian State Orchestra and equally fine work from the Bavarian Opera Chorus.
And the price is amazing considering the quality of the disk.
Whether you're an opera afficianado or new to opera, you won't be disappointed. I found this album thoroughly satisfying and very memorable. Highly recommended!"