James Levine's is a more recent entry in the realm of Dutchman recordings, and sonically the recording is absolutely stunning, with great attention having been paid to the recording process. The casting for this Metropolitan Opera effort is also uniformly first rate, even in the less grateful roles of the hapless Erik, sung by the impressive Ben Heppner, and the scolding nurse, Mary, sung by Birgitta Svendén. Morris's brooding Dutchman is hard to match on any other available recording, and Deborah Voigt is a ravishing Senta. The chorus work is quite good, though not quite as rich as that heard in the Solti/Chicago recording. Overall, Levine does a workmanlike job of conducting these impressive forces, though there are passages in which his tempi seem to drag. This recording is a must for anyone who needs a completely up to date version of Wagner's first major opera.
Few productions in the Metropolitan Opera's repertory have been so unanimously admired as Richard Wagner's Tannhauser. The New York Times, reviewing the telecast performance of Tannhauser, observed:"One of the most gorgeous and gloriously romantic productions in the Met's repertory …the scenic designs are both breathtakingly grand and painstakingly subtle." The individual performers garnered praise from other critics: "you may just about explode with the musical excitement that conductor James Levine and his cast generate."
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.
Some have likened Herbert von Karajan's "chamber-music approach" to Wagner's Ring cycle in terms of his scaling down or deconstructing the heroic roles. This approach has less to do with dynamics per se than it does with von Karajan's masterful balancing of voices and instruments. He achieves revelations of horizontal clarity, allowing no contrapuntal strand to emerge with an unwanted accent or a miscalibrated dynamic. The texts are unusually pinpointed and distinct, although the singers don't convey the experience and dimension of Sir Georg Solti's cast on London. There are exceptions.
With its distinctive renditions of songs by DJ Shadow, My Bloody Valentine, Fleet Foxes, and more, Walt Wagner's Reworks shows how three Seattle institutions – Wagner, the city's renowned Canlis restaurant, and Sub Pop Records – have evolved over the years. When veteran pianist Wagner first landed at Canlis in 1996, he started out performing a set heavy on the Great American Songbook and the occasional pop tune. As young staff members recommended new artists and songs, Wagner's repertoire grew deeper and more varied – especially after the next generation of the Canlis family took over in 2003. Yet whether the source material was Pink Floyd, Prince, Metallica, or the Weeknd, the challenge remained the same: "To distill the vibe on a record, the very essence of a song, into solo piano playing."
The Karajan Official Remastered Edition comprises 13 box sets containing official remasterings of the finest recordings the Austrian conductor made for EMI between 1946 and 1984, which are now a jewel of the Warner Classics catalog. In this 12-CD box Karajan conducts the Philharmonia and the Berliner Philharmoniker in Austro-German repertoire symphonies, symphonic poems, operatic music and other orchestral works, from the epic to the light-hearted. Among them are rarely-released stereo versions of symphonies by Brahms and Schubert.
There are few composers who have vanished from music history to the extent of Johann Abraham Schmierer. We know very little about this composer’s origins, education, career and life journey. Some listeners, during or after hearing this recording, may well wonder why this music – despite its undeniable qualities and relatively early publication (already in 1902 in the tenth volume of Denkmäler Deutscher Tonkunst) – has not been recorded earlier. One reason is surely the fragmentary character of the collection, for six suites are obviously missing.
Wagner’s medieval romance of the Swan Knight comes to life in a lavish production by August Everding, filmed live at the Metropolitan Opera in 1986. James Levine conducts a stellar cast led by Eva Marton, Leonie Rysanek and Peter Hofmann in the title role.