Author Topic: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg  (Read 16774 times)

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Offline Alberich

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2015, 04:06:22 AM »
I have listened to many versions of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, but my favourite recording is Karajan/Staatskapelle Dresden;

Is that the one he recorded in 1970? If so, I agree 100 %. Beckmesser sounds higher than usual, but IMO it fits the character perfectly, easily the best Beckmesser I've heard. Adam is a superb Sachs and rest of the cast are top-notch as well.
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2015, 06:22:05 AM »
Is that the one he recorded in 1970? If so, I agree 100 %. Beckmesser sounds higher than usual, but IMO it fits the character perfectly, easily the best Beckmesser I've heard. Adam is a superb Sachs and rest of the cast are top-notch as well.

Sure, that one. Beckmesser doesn't sound higher than usual to me (maybe I would have said that about Sachs), anyway I agree about the rest, he wonderfully portrays the character; he and Adam are amazing in the Marker scene at the end of the second act.
Haveyou ever listened to Karajan's performance at the Bayreuth Festival 1951? It is beautiful, although the poor sound quality of the recording.
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Offline Alberich

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2015, 08:22:17 AM »
Haveyou ever listened to Karajan's performance at the Bayreuth Festival 1951? It is beautiful, although the poor sound quality of the recording.
I haven't but maybe I will some day.

Funny thing about Meistersinger with me is that even though I consider the work to be a masterpiece I actually think Walther's trial song in first act is far more beautiful than the actual Meisterlied he performs in 3rd act. The trial song just seems to have more feeling in it, more soul. Walther himself whom I consider mostly to be one of Wagner's less interesting main characters (although Sachs, far more humane creation, is probably the true main character of the opera) and pretty one-dimensional, gains much more vitality and genuineness in that scene. I'm not saying the meisterlied is a bad one, I merely prefer Walther's first song.

No offense to user Walther von Stolzing in this forum!
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Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2015, 12:46:36 PM »
I have listened to many versions of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, but my favourite recording is Karajan/Staatskapelle Dresden; in my opinion, Karajan chose a perfect tempo, always well balanced, that made the performance full of beauty, refined, but also powerful and passionate in every scene, and he was able to extract from the orchestra a wonderful clear, melodious sound (the way he handled the brass was superb), great intensity, colour and harmonic richness. The solemnity and stateliness of Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk, merged with funny moments for his only 'comedy', are very well depicted by the music. The cast is terribly good, from Adam as Sachs to Kollo as Walther; but the singer who impressed me most was Evans, who excellently portrayed the pompous and peevish Beckmesser.
Schenk's production is unbeatable, what a joy for eyes is to see the Nuremberg of the 16th century!

Indeed! Schenk's production is a joy to behold. If you seek out the Levine  operas (Verdi, Wagner etc.)from the 90s you will find that many of them have stunning stage productions. I believe that Schenk also produced the first Levine Ring which is very elaborately staged!

  marvin



 

Offline DavidA

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2015, 02:02:43 PM »
Indeed! Schenk's production is a joy to behold. If you seek out the Levine  operas (Verdi, Wagner etc.)from the 90s you will find that many of them have stunning stage productions. I believe that Schenk also produced the first Levine Ring which is very elaborately staged!

  marvin



 

The problem with Schenk's production is the huge and overweight Walther of Ben Heppner, a fine singer who looks as if he has stepped out of Falstaff. He also looks older than the Pogner. I saw the revival broadcast and the cast was slightly more believable even though the Walther was again overweight.

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2015, 02:58:03 PM »
Indeed! Schenk's production is a joy to behold. If you seek out the Levine  operas (Verdi, Wagner etc.)from the 90s you will find that many of them have stunning stage productions. I believe that Schenk also produced the first Levine Ring which is very elaborately staged!

  marvin

Yes, he was the director! Schenk's production of Levine's Ring Cycle was outstanding, the best staging I have ever seen for Wagner's Tetralogy!

The problem with Schenk's production is the huge and overweight Walther of Ben Heppner, a fine singer who looks as if he has stepped out of Falstaff. He also looks older than the Pogner. I saw the revival broadcast and the cast was slightly more believable even though the Walther was again overweight.

Maybe Heppner doesn't look like a young and handsome knight from Franconia, but he fits the character and sings so well that those physical matters don't become a great problem and you can go beyond them.
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2015, 04:02:32 PM »
Funny thing about Meistersinger with me is that even though I consider the work to be a masterpiece I actually think Walther's trial song in first act is far more beautiful than the actual Meisterlied he performs in 3rd act. The trial song just seems to have more feeling in it, more soul. Walther himself whom I consider mostly to be one of Wagner's less interesting main characters (although Sachs, far more humane creation, is probably the true main character of the opera) and pretty one-dimensional, gains much more vitality and genuineness in that scene. I'm not saying the meisterlied is a bad one, I merely prefer Walther's first song.

I understand. That's not so strange, I might say that I prefer Walther's trial song in the first act to his Meisterlied (which is definitely beautiful anyway) in the third act too. Actually, that song free-form tune he launches into, so passionate and lyrical that breaks all the Mastersingers' rules, sounds in some ways more spontaneous and lively since it doesn't have a precise, rigid scheme to follow, but the natural inspiration of the poet (as a matter of fact, Walther himself says that his teachers in music were the birds and the nature); and what does Sachs say about Walther's trial song? It is with such fire of poetry and love that daughters are seduced to adventure. While the song for the prize contest, since it has to be molded, refined into a specific form and to follow the tradition more closely both in tone and words, sounds not as overwhelming and natural as the first song.
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Offline Alberich

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2015, 03:44:59 AM »
Count me as a fan of the Schenk Meistersinger and Ring as well. Absolutely beautiful. It is more and more rare to see traditional 16th century Nürnberg sets in Meistersinger productions nowadays. More and more futuristic/symbolic sets (not that it's a bad thing, the more interpretation the better).
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2015, 01:14:08 PM »
I'm very sorry Schenk's production won't be used for the Meistersinger at the Met anymore, it will replaced with Herheim's production already staged at the Salzburg Festival; I have to read more about this particular interpretation, but I know the basic idea is that, since both Wagner and Sachs were great lovers of books and stories, and since Sachs wrote his songs and poems at a desk in his home, the music drama takes place on Sachs' desk. I have watched some scenes and it looks like you're in one of the Grimms' fairy tales : for example, in the Marker scene at the end of the 2nd act, there are the fairy tales' characters jumping and dancing around Beckmesser and Sachs, who holds in his hans a giant shoe, with Magdalena with a long pigtail in Rapunzel's style.

That's the finale of the first act, with Beckmesser marking Walther's song:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ORjbS-iE0Lk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ORjbS-iE0Lk</a>
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 03:00:34 AM by Lisztianwagner »
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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2015, 01:28:19 PM »
I'm very sorry Schenk's production won't be used for the Meistersinger at the Met anymore, it will replaced with Herheim's production already staged at the Salzburg Festival; I have to read more about this particular interpretation, 

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ORjbS-iE0Lk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ORjbS-iE0Lk</a>
I saw it on Arte TV when it was aired live from Salzburg in 2013. A stunning and beautiful staging, full of very stimulating references to German culture. The quintet has one very, very special  moment, and the transformation from Sach's workshop to the festival meadow is very cleverly handled. Herheim is a theatrical genius...his Parsifal in Bayreuth was breathaking, and this Meistersinger is another staging I'd love to experience in the theatre...
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Offline DavidA

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2015, 02:42:03 PM »
Yes, he was the director! Schenk's production of Levine's Ring Cycle was outstanding, the best staging I have ever seen for Wagner's Tetralogy!

Maybe Heppner doesn't look like a young and handsome knight from Franconia, but he fits the character and sings so well that those physical matters don't become a great problem and you can go beyond them.

Unfortunately those physical matters of a fat geriatric knight  DO become a problem as does the fact that Eva looks older than her father. If this wasn't opera it would be laughed off the stage.

Offline North Star

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #51 on: March 21, 2015, 03:12:18 PM »
If this wasn't opera it would be laughed off the stage.
That's probably true of any opera production ever.  0:)
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #52 on: March 22, 2015, 06:35:21 AM »
Unfortunately those physical matters of a fat geriatric knight  DO become a problem. If this wasn't opera it would be laughed off the stage.

I understand this point of view; but unfortunately nowadays it's not very simple to portray Walther as a young knight, because there aren't many excellent wagnerian heldentenors who can sing the role (as well as excellent wagnerian heldentenors in general), and those ones still in activity start getting old. I think if Heppner or Botha sing very well and they can do fine performances, you could even close an eye about their physical aspect.
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Offline Bill H.

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2015, 11:34:29 AM »
I happen to like the recent Glyndebourne production that's out on DVD, with Gerald Finley as a Sachs who is younger than is normally portrayed; hence the inner conflicts he has re: Eva are more telling and poignant.  While some of the other singers (Eva, even Walther toward the end) are struggling a bit with voice fatigue or whatnot, the staging and overall approach I find very enjoyable. 

Have the Kubelik, and agree that it's a gem.  I really wish he had gotten the chance to perform/record more Wagner.

Among the older recordings, my reference point is the Kempe.  I've also got the Abendroth, from the same year as the Furtwängler but better recorded (and complete), as well as the Jochum 1949 Munich performance, which is in pretty decent sound and has the added attraction a rare appearance by Hans Hotter as Sachs. 

 

Offline Alberich

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #54 on: June 06, 2015, 09:32:05 AM »
An interesting anecdote about Meistersinger: while composing act II Wagner asked Hans Richter for advice over the point in the finale of the second act where the horn takes up the melody of Beckmesser's serenade: was it possible to play it at that tempo? Richter answered yes, but it would sound very odd and nasal. Wagner was overjoyed: "Excellent, that's exactly what I wanted!"
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Offline howlingfantods

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2015, 08:55:11 AM »
Just since no one has mentioned it, I'll put in a plug for the live Bohm from Bayreuth 1968. Good stereo sound, some stage noise especially when riots and hordes of apprentices are running around but otherwise well recorded.

I prefer the Kubelik by a tiny amount (basically because of Janowitz over Jones, although Jones is also terrific), but it's pretty close.


« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 06:27:35 AM by howlingfantods »

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2015, 05:38:15 AM »
Just since no one has mentioned it, I'll put in a plug for the live Bohm from Bayreuth 1968. Good stereo sound, some stage noise especially when riots and hordes of apprentices are running around but otherwise well recorded.

The only other one I have is the Kubelik, which I prefer by a tiny amount (basically because of Janowitz over Jones, although Jones is also terrific), but it's pretty close.


I must admit that as of late I've to a certain extent fallen out with Böhm's Wagner, as I think his search for theatrical momentum at times makes the music sound feverish and lacking in detail. This was particuarly the case for the Lohengrin live from Vienna (also on Orfeo), which I only got to listen to for the first time a couple of years ago. But, I agree with you, howlingfantods, these Meistersinger are most enjoyable, and an excellent performance all around.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2015, 08:58:15 AM by ritter »
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Offline howlingfantods

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2015, 08:30:03 AM »
Ah, well, I do love the Bohm approach to Wagner. His Ring and Tristan are my favorites -- I guess I *like* my Wagner feverish :)

Nothing feverish about his Meistersinger, though. Just as warm and charming as the Kubelik, with maybe just a touch more drama.

Always wanted to hear Bohm's take on Parsifal since that's my favorite piece, but it doesn't seem like his performances were recorded or released. He led a performance at the Met in the early 60s with Vinay, Dalis, Hines and Uhde that I'd dearly love to hear, but unfortunately the Met didn't include any of their Parsifals for their historical Wagner release.

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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2015, 02:41:18 AM »
Always wanted to hear Bohm's take on Parsifal since that's my favorite piece, but it doesn't seem like his performances were recorded or released. He led a performance at the Met in the early 60s with Vinay, Dalis, Hines and Uhde that I'd dearly love to hear, but unfortunately the Met didn't include any of their Parsifals for their historical Wagner release.

Yeah, I wonder why there's no Parsifal in that Met Wagner box.  All the other Wagner operas the Met's broadcasted are included.  In any case, the Met only did three Parsifals that season, and none were broadcast.
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Re: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2016, 12:41:22 PM »
I saw it on Arte TV when it was aired live from Salzburg in 2013. A stunning and beautiful staging, full of very stimulating references to German culture. The quintet has one very, very special  moment, and the transformation from Sach's workshop to the festival meadow is very cleverly handled. Herheim is a theatrical genius...his Parsifal in Bayreuth was breathaking, and this Meistersinger is another staging I'd love to experience in the theatre...
It will be that same staging which will be used in the upcoming production at the Paris Opera which I will attend.

https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-15-16/opera/die-meistersinger-von-nurnberg

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