Author Topic: Wagner's Valhalla  (Read 378604 times)

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Offline Scion7

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2140 on: May 17, 2016, 06:53:48 AM »
Nice cover. Never heard it.  ç1975

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2141 on: May 23, 2016, 05:51:04 AM »
Listening to Böhm's Ring. While it's mostly a fine recording, I am disappointed by Gutrune's singer in Götterdämmerung. She sounds way too old and alto-ish rather than high soprano I've used to hearing.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

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Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2142 on: June 20, 2016, 07:58:33 AM »
My new top 10:

1. Rheingold
2. Siegfried
3. Tristan und Isolde
4. Parsifal
5. Götterdämmerung
6. Walküre
7. Lohengrin
8. Meistersinger
9. Holländer
10. Tannhäuser

Weird to say "top 10" when that includes most of his important musical output. I have studied his other less well-known pieces too, though.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2143 on: June 20, 2016, 10:57:58 AM »
My new top 10:

1. Rheingold
2. Siegfried
3. Tristan und Isolde
4. Parsifal
5. Götterdämmerung
6. Walküre
7. Lohengrin
8. Meistersinger
9. Holländer
10. Tannhäuser

Weird to say "top 10" when that includes most of his important musical output. I have studied his other less well-known pieces too, though.

I have a strong affinity for Das Rheingold, too. Possibly his greatest opera and there's some extraordinary music within it. Tristan und Isolde gets my vote for Wagner's second best opera.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

jlaurson

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2144 on: June 20, 2016, 12:28:56 PM »
I have a strong affinity for Das Rheingold, too. Possibly his greatest opera and there's some extraordinary music within it. Tristan und Isolde gets my vote for Wagner's second best opera.

There are elements in Wagner that might make operas other than Rheingold great, because they go further in exploring those (Wagnerian, typlical, or even extreme) elements. But as a 'conventional' opera, Rheingold is unquestionably Wagner's best and one of the best altogether. JUST as long as it needs to be (not very many operas can say that of themselves, assuming operas were to start to talk about themselves), gripping from A-Z and as you say with lots of great, memorable music. Especially love it in the Chereau production.
The Chéreau Ring Cycle - Das Rheingold - http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-das-rheingold.html

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2145 on: June 20, 2016, 12:34:55 PM »
There are elements in Wagner that might make operas other than Rheingold great, because they go further in exploring those (Wagnerian, typlical, or even extreme) elements. But as a 'conventional' opera, Rheingold is unquestionably Wagner's best and one of the best altogether. JUST as long as it needs to be (not very many operas can say that of themselves, assuming operas were to start to talk about themselves), gripping from A-Z and as you say with lots of great, memorable music. Especially love it in the Chereau production.
The Chéreau Ring Cycle - Das Rheingold - http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-das-rheingold.html


Oh yes. There is great music to be found in all of Wagner's operas. Since operas like Götterdämmerung or Parsifal are so long, there's obviously a lot more room given to create a larger soundscape and incorporate more music into the whole opera. The Forest Murmurs section in Siegfried is one of my favorite moments in music.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline AndyD.

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2146 on: June 26, 2016, 09:10:57 AM »
There are elements in Wagner that might make operas other than Rheingold great, because they go further in exploring those (Wagnerian, typlical, or even extreme) elements. But as a 'conventional' opera, Rheingold is unquestionably Wagner's best and one of the best altogether. JUST as long as it needs to be (not very many operas can say that of themselves, assuming operas were to start to talk about themselves), gripping from A-Z and as you say with lots of great, memorable music. Especially love it in the Chereau production.
The Chéreau Ring Cycle - Das Rheingold - http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/09/chreau-ring-cycle-das-rheingold.html


I adore the Chereux. I actually, really liked the Levine video as well, though the transfer is horrible.Interesting your preference for Das Rheingold; to me Gotterdammerung and Tristan und Isolde are his crowning achievements from all perspectives.

However, you'll not hear me impugning your love of Rheingold in the slightest, I'm a fellow fan :)

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2147 on: June 26, 2016, 10:30:14 PM »
I adore the Chereux. I actually, really liked the Levine video as well, though the transfer is horrible.Interesting your preference for Das Rheingold; to me Gotterdammerung and Tristan und Isolde are his crowning achievements from all perspectives.

However, you'll not hear me impugning your love of Rheingold in the slightest, I'm a fellow fan :)

Well, I think there are two (or a million) ways to look at these. Rheingold is, certainly among the Ring operas, the most conventional. It has the most straightforward plot... it is tight like only a few other operas and in that sense I'd say it's the best opera-opera of Wagner's. But Wagner strove for more, as we know... and that's what Wagnerians (rightly) love. And The best Wagner-opera Wagner wrote ... well, that's a different argument but Götterdämmerung, Tristan, and Parsifal would probably the three most likely candidates.

Offline AndyD.

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2148 on: June 27, 2016, 05:41:39 AM »
Well, I think there are two (or a million) ways to look at these. Rheingold is, certainly among the Ring operas, the most conventional. It has the most straightforward plot... it is tight like only a few other operas and in that sense I'd say it's the best opera-opera of Wagner's. But Wagner strove for more, as we know... and that's what Wagnerians (rightly) love. And The best Wagner-opera Wagner wrote ... well, that's a different argument but Götterdämmerung, Tristan, and Parsifal would probably the three most likely candidates.

I'm with you on all of this. I think Rheingold was the opera most close to the operas directly preceeding it, Lohengrin and Tannhauser. I love how the Ring features music from all stages of Wagner's compositional journey, though Parsifal I think took the more extreme end of things further than perhaps any. All are very much loved by me.

jlaurson

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2149 on: August 26, 2016, 06:56:22 AM »



Classical CD Of The Week: Bruckner Rising & Wagner Rarity


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/08/24/classical-cd-of-the-week-bruckner-rising-wagner-rarity/#178363f9c55f



If I can coax someone into leaving a comment on any of the Forbes CD of the Week reviews, I've got a voucher for the Berlin Phil's Digital Concert Hall (alas valid for only 7 days from the first concert watched) to go their way.

Offline knight66

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2150 on: September 08, 2016, 10:18:58 PM »
Box of Wagner Great Recordings 40 discs.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Wagner-Great-Recordings-Various/dp/B00A2JTEHY/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1473404118&sr=1-1&keywords=Wagner+great+recordings


I got this from Amazon for £16, although it has now suddenly increased by £10, it is still very inexpensive. It is a bit of an eccentric collection from the Sony, Eurodisc and RCA labels. All the expected works are there without the inclusion of a Tristan or Tannhauser. Certainly it is odd to make do just with excerpts of Tristan. The spine of the set is the first Janowski Ring which is very well sung and played. I have shunned him for over 40 years after being in choir for him singing the Verdi Four Sacred Pieces at a London prom. He drained all the drama out of them and he almost induced catelepsy. I am happy, though not thrilled, with his conducting here. They have included a fascinating live Karajan Parsifal, the sound is not great, but it is well worth hearing.

There is a whole bunch of excerpt discs covering Melchor to Waltraud Meier and orchestral excerpts from Maazel, Szell and Stokowski. This last disc on its own makes my outlay worthwhile. It is stupendous. He induces shivers through his thrilling music making. Difficult to analyse how he does it. The end of Rheingold is really epic and slow, but is never in danger of stalling. I recently heard Gergiev live and he bled the drama out of that part of the opera by dragging the last half hour almost to a halt. Stoky really was a magician.

Mike
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Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2151 on: September 16, 2016, 12:33:17 PM »
I answer here to Jens's post in the "Recordings you are considering" thread, as it seems more approriate:

What a magic night, huh? Which week were you? I was week 5. Never saw so many grown man cry as after act 1.
Had also been on the last night of 2008, where W.Wagner was wheeled onto stage one last time to wave goodbye.
Shortly thereafter he was no more. But I preferred Jordan's conducting over Luisi, to the extent those two events can be compared. (I was familiar with the acoustic in 2012, but had never been before 2008. Plus the four years difference... Still, in 2012 I was very impressed.)
Magic, pure magic!!!!

I attended the performance of week 1 (July 29th). It was my second time at the festival. I had been there many, many years earlier as a teenager (1979), seeing the Boulez/Chéreau Ring, Lohengrin staged by Götz Friedrich (Edo de Waart conducting), the Harry Kupfer Dutchman (under Dennis Russell Davies) and the--first--Wolfgang Wagner staging of Parsifal (Horst Stein leading).

I actually showed up at the theatre without a ticket about half an hour before the box office opened (as I had business in Nuremberg the next day), and got one of three returns they could offer  :) :) :) I was a very happy man!

Stefan Herheim's Parsifal is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in a theatre. So many allusions, so many thought-provoking ideas, and such sheer beauty on stage! Philippe Jordan gave an excellent rendition of the score (although I do recall a short moment of lack of coordination between the pit and the stage in the flowermaiden scene--but it was his debut on the Green Hill); transparent textures, good dramatic thrust, and no plodding (even if the tempi were not brisk). The singing was variable, but never poor, and I liked Detlef Roth's lyrical Amfortas and, particularly, Kwangchul Youn's superb Gurnemanz.

The "eerie" moment I referred to in my post you replied to was this: if you've seen the Hans-Jürgen Syberberg film (if you haven't, I strongly recommend it), you might recall that during the Good Friday scene, Syberberg superimposes the image of Armin Jordan conducting to the sets of the film (which were, essentially, a giant replica of Wagner's death mask). Well it was at almost the same point in the score when Herheim descended the giant mirror on the stage, permitting the audience to see itself (wasn't that breathtaking!!??) and also the pit and the conductor--the latter always hidden from the audience's view in Bayreuth. I found it a rather beautiful coincidence that you get to see father and son conducting the same moment in the score in these two different productions, so many years apart. And coincidence it must have been, because Philippe Jordan only took the baton for the staging's fifth and final run (Daniele Gatti was the original conductor). Jordan is back next year for Meistersinger (I've ordered tickets, lets see if I get them)...

Regards,
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 01:37:17 PM by ritter »
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jlaurson

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2152 on: September 16, 2016, 12:42:26 PM »
I answer to Jens post in the "Recordings you are considering" thread, as it seems more approriate:
Magic, pure magic!!!!

I attended the performance of week 1 (July 29th). It was my second time at the festival. I had been there many, many years earlier as a teenager (1979), seeing the Boulez/Chéreau Ring, Lohengrin staged by Götz Friedrich (Edo de Waart conducting), the Harry Kupfer Dutchman (under Dennis Russell Davies) and the--first--Wolfgang Wagner staging of Parsifal (Horst Stein leading).

I actually showed up at the theatre without a ticket about half an hour before the box office opened (as I had business in Nuremberg the next day), and got one of three returns they could offer  :) :) :) I was a very happy man!

Stefan Herheim's Parsifal is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in a theatre. So many allusions, so many thought-provoking ideas, and such sheer beauty on stage! Philippe Jordan gave an excellent rendition of the score (although I do recall a short moment of lack of coordination between the pit and the stage in the flowermaiden scene--but it was his debut on the Green Hill); transparent textures, good dramatic thrust, and no plodding (even if the tempi were not brisk). The singing was variable, but never poor, and I liked Detlef Roth's lyrical Amfortas and, particularly, Kwangchul Youn's superb Gurnemanz.

The "eerie" moment I referred to in my post you replied to was this: if you've seen the Hans-Jürgen Syberberg film (if you haven't, I strongly recommend it), you might recall that during the Good Friday scene, Syberberg superimposes the image of Armin Jordan conducting to the sets of the film (which were, essentially, a giant replica of Wagner's death mask). Well it was at almost the same point in the score when Herheim descended the giant mirror on the stage, permitting the audience to see itself (wasn't that breathtaking!!??) and also the pit and the conductor--the latter always hidden from the audience's view in Bayreuth. I found it a rather beautiful coincidence hat you get to see father and son conducting the same moment in the score in these two different productions, so many years apart. And coincidece it must have been, because Philippe Jordan only took the baton for the staging's fifth and final run (Daniele Gatti was the original conductor). Jordan is back next year for Meistersinger (I've ordered tickets, lets see if I get them)...

Regards,

Of course: Gatti, not Luisi! And yes, that mirror moment... that idea of: "The Future is YOU!", the passing on of the duty not to make the same mistakes by literally holding a mirror up to the audience... it was, and will likely remain, the greatest time I've had at an opera. Poor sod Herheim, though... he has to live up to this with every production -- and obviously can't. (Though I do think he's wonderful and I try to catch his productions whenever I can.) I've sadly not yet seen the Syderberg film in full, but will hope to do that before long. Also: Same story with me in 2008. Didn't have a ticket; my former teacher and I just went up on a whim, from Munich, no less... and we both got in, just actually being given tickets.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2153 on: October 21, 2016, 11:24:48 AM »
Latest on Forbes:


Die Meistersinger With Kirill Petrenko From Munich
Or: Why did Herr B. Run Amok?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/10/21/die-meistersinger-with-kirill-petrenko-from-munich/#60d00f883666


Quote
...If David Bösch’s direction was short on story, whether imposing or revealing, it succeeded in its chatty ways
and bleak-to-lively-in-10-seconds sets by Patrick Bannwart. The curtain opens to a naked black stage, scaffolding,
and archival ring binders...

Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2154 on: October 21, 2016, 01:08:04 PM »
Latest on Forbes:


Die Meistersinger With Kirill Petrenko From Munich
Or: Why did Herr B. Run Amok?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/10/21/die-meistersinger-with-kirill-petrenko-from-munich/#60d00f883666

Great review, Jens (as usual). Thanks for posting! (You might want to check the beginning of the second paragraph, though: either it's a construction that I as a non-native English speaker cannot grasp, or there's some mstake),

I still am rather upset about these Meistersinger!of  I landed in Munich on the evening Monday October 3rd (for a 3-night business trip), and hadn't checked beforehand that there was a perfomance that same afternoon starting at 4:00 pm (it being a holiday in Germany). Had I booked an earlier flight, I could have attended. You really don't get to see Meistersinger conducted by someone like Petrenko every day, do you?  Stupid, stupid me!!!! :( >:( :( >:(

IIRC, the Walter on that day was K.-F. Vogt.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 01:10:19 PM by ritter »
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2155 on: October 21, 2016, 01:17:17 PM »
Great review, Jens (as usual). Thanks for posting! (You might want to check the beginning of the second paragraph, though: either it's a construction that I as a non-native English speaker cannot grasp, or there's some mstake),

I still am rather upset about these Meistersinger!of  I landed in Munich on the evening Monday October 3rd (for a 3-night business trip), and hadn't checked beforehand that there was a perfomance that same afternoon starting at 4:00 pm (it being a holiday in Germany). Had I booked an earlier flight, I could have attended. You really don't get to see Meistersinger conducted by someone like Petrenko every day, do you?  Stupid, stupid me!!!! :( >:( :( >:(

IIRC, the Walter on that day was K.-F. Vogt.

Thanks much for the correction; a cut-n-paste deletion of the word "hand" seems to has caused the trouble. Fixed now, I hope. What a bummer about missing these Meistersingers; K.F.Vogt would have been very interesting in them... but I think he canceled that performance, too, didn't he?

Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2156 on: October 21, 2016, 01:45:05 PM »
Fixed now, I hope.
I think you still need a "need" in that sentence.  ;)

Quote
...but I think he canceled that performance, too, didn't he?
I wouldn't know. I saw his name on the theatre's webpage the morning of the performance...and never looked back ! :( Bummer indeed....
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2157 on: October 22, 2016, 02:39:33 AM »
I think you still need a "need" in that sentence.  ;)


Argh! How do entire words just disappear?!?

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2158 on: November 24, 2016, 06:05:32 AM »
Your Top 5 Parsifal Recordings

See also the poll...

Inspired by the WAYLT thread:

What 5 would you choose ahead of it?

I was just waiting for that question.  :D


1.) Kubelik


2.) Boulez


3.) Barenboim


4.) Knappertsbusch '62


5.) Kegel


Also contenders to land ahead of Karajan (although the latter is stronger in certain aspects of the work than each of these):

Thielemann, Goodall, Jaap van Zweden. Almost Levine/Bayreuth.


Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Valhalla
« Reply #2159 on: December 06, 2016, 09:08:45 AM »
My opinions about my first live Holländer... well, they're a bit mixed. While I'm often more comfortable with traditional setting (which you rarely ever see anymore with Wagner operas) I am open to any interpretation provided they are good ones. Mostly this was a great one, although I initially resisted the idea of framing Holländer as a modern artist, with no sea or ships anywhere except in the text and evoked in the score and gestures. The sea of this production was artist's (Holländer's) inner psyche. The instant I actually started to watch it, I was hooked. Except for one problem, which is a relatively major one. And that is the way the ending was interpreted. Holländer shoots himself, effective enough but after last words of Senta there is a remarkably awkward transition to one year in the future with Senta carrying on Holländer's artistic legacy. I get that it was meant to portray Senta as more than a remarkably sexist caricature of a self-sacrificing woman found in most of Wagner's earlier operas. I still think it was awkward and somewhat unsatisfying. And even in traditional interpretation of Senta she can be and has been played interestingly, for example as a case of interesting obsession-ridden girl whose obsession takes unhealthy turns and rejects Erik, relationship which could have been better suited to her and wouldn't have ended in her death. With orchestral playing and music of the production there of course was nothing wrong.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

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