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Wagner Duets
Wagner Duets (Deutsche Grammophon 480 7308)
SKU: 16206
AU $13.59

Label: Deutsche Grammophon Cat. No.: 480 7308 Medium: CD No. Discs: 2

Looking back at Tristan und Isolde twenty years after its composition, Wagner told his wife Cosima: 'My model was Romeo and Juliet - nothing but duets!' He was invoking Bellini's opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi, which he had conducted many times as a young man. Indeed, there had been much in the Italian master's legacy that had impressed the young Wagner, including the 'long, long, long melodies' that Verdi described, and the technique of melodic sequence in which a phrase is repeated with rising pitch and heightened effect. The erotic potential of such procedures is famously exploited in the 'night of love' in Act II of Tristan und Isolde. And while this might well claim to be Wagner's best-known duet, this innovative 2CD set, compiled by Australia's Wagner expert Peter Bassett (who also contributes the notes) brings together a collection of dialogues, musical conversations and duets from the major Wagner operas.

The recordings are among the finest ever made. The singers are a Who's Who of great names from the sixties, seventies and eighties - Fischer-Dieskau, Janowitz, Vickers, Thomas, Price, Kollo - with conductors like Karajan, Kleiber and Jochum directing these revelatory performances. The breadth and diversity of the emotion on this double album is matched by the generous playing times: more than two hours and forty minutes of music on a 2CD set.

'a performance with the blast of the winds and whiff of the sea' [Fliegende Hollander] Gramophone
'the chivalrous James King will impress you as being one of the purest, most unidiosyncratic Lohengrins you'll have heard' [Lohengrin] Gramophone
'Fischer-Dieskau's interpretation is as musical, as richly varied, as intelligent as one could hope for [...] The great and unexpected revelation is Domingo's Walther - he provides the most lyrically ardent Walther in any of the sets to date, seconding his conductor in his long-breathed, eloquent phrasing.' [Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg] Gramophone
'Nilsson rises to great heights... is predictably glorious in her pleading for mercy to be shown to her lover and Windgassen is equally good in his defiance and contrition' [Tannhauser] Gramophone
'Helge Dernesch is at her very peak' [Siegfried; Gotterdammerung] *** Penguin Guide
'Fischer-Dieskau and Veasey establish their characters with amazing clarity and speed' [Rheingold] Gramophone
'Vickers is a passionate Siegmund... his performance is superb ... and as he is in splendid voice the heroic moments are most exciting.' [Die Walkure] Gramophone
'Kollo matches Price's beauty of line with his own, so that for lyrical refinement their love duet is in a class of its own' [Tristan und Isolde] Gramophone

Artists: Bernd Weikl [baritone], Cheryl Studer [soprano], Gundula Janowitz [soprano], James King [tenor], Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau [baritone], Plácido Domingo [tenor], Catarina Ligendza [soprano], Birgit Nilsson [soprano], Wolfgang Windgassen [tenor], Dunja Vejzovic [mezzo-soprano], Siegmund Nimsgern [bass], Kurt Moll [bass], Peter Hofmann [tenor], Josephine Veasey [mezzo-soprano], Jon Vickers [tenor], Thomas Stewart [baritone], Regine Crespin [soprano], Helga Dernesch [soprano], Jess Thomas [tenor], Helge Brilioth [tenor], Zoltan Kelemen [bass], Karl Ridderbusch [bass], Dame Margaret Price [soprano], Rene Kollo [tenor], Brigitte Fassbaender [gcontralto], Werner Gotz [tenor].
Composers: Wagner.
Conductors: Giuseppe Sinopoli, Rafael Kubelik, Eugen Jochum, Otto Gerdes, Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber.
Orchestras: Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Berliner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden.
Tracks: CD 1

Der fliegende Hollander (Act II)
1 Wie aus der Ferne langst vergang'ner Zeiten
Lohengrin (Act III)
2 Das suBe Lied verhallt, wir sind allein
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Act III)
3 GruB Gott, mein Junker!
4 GruB Gott, mein Evchen!
Tannhauser (Act I)
5 Geliebter, sag‘, wo weilt dein Sinn? -
6 Dir tone Lob! Die Wunder sei’n gepriesen
Parsifal (Acts II and III)
7 Ach! Ach! Tiefe Nacht! Wahnsinn! Furchtbare Not!
8 Du siehst, das ist nicht so
Das Rheingold (Scene 2)
9 Wotan! Gemahl! Erwache!
Die Walkure (Act I)
10 Schlafst du, Gast?
11 Wintersturme wichen dem Wonnemond
12 Du bist der Lenz, nach dem ich verlangte
13 O suBeste Wonne! Seligstes Weib!
14 War Walse dein Vater, und bist du ein Walsung
15 Siegmund, den Walsung, siehst du, Weib!

CD 2

Die Walkure (Act III)
1 So tatest du, was so gern zu tun ich begehrt' -
2 Nicht streb', o Maid, den Mut mir zu storen -
3 Leb' wohl, du kuhnes, herrliches Kind (Wotan's Farewell)
Siegfried (Act III)
4 Ewig war ich, ewig bin ich -
5 Dich lieb' ich: o liebtest mich du! -
6 Lachend muß ich dich lieben
Gotterdammerung (Prologue and Act II)
7 Zu neuen Taten, teurer Helde
8 Mehr gabst du, Wunderfrau, als ich zu wahren weiB
9 Schlafst du, Hagen, mein Sohn?
Tristan und Isolde (Act II)
10 O sink' hernieder, Nacht der Liebe
Tristan, Isolde
11 Einsam wachend in der Nacht
12 Lausch, Geliebter! -
Isolde, Tristan
13 Doch uns're Liebe, heiBt sie nicht Tristan und - Isolde? -
Isolde, Tristan
14 So starben wir
Isolde, Tristan, Brangane
15 Rette dich, Tristan! -
Kurwenal, Tristan, Melot
16 Tatest du's wirklich? Wahnst du das?
King Mark
Medium: CD
No. of Discs: 2
SKU #: 16206
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Catalog #: 480 7308
Price: AU $13.59   

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