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Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg / Cluytens, Et Al

Release Date: 03/17/1998 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1011   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Karl Schmitt-WalterDietrich Fischer-DieskauWolfgang WindgassenAlexander Fenyves,   ... 
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival OrchestraBayreuth Festival Chorus
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 4 Hours 27 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

On the 1956 set from Bayreuth [the role of Kothner] is taken by no lesser artist than Fischer-Dieskau, who presents to the life the precise, fussy keeper of the seal, none better on any recording of the work. But there is hardly a poor performance from any singer. Windgassen, who rarely undertook Walther, sings the part with untiring freshness and life, phrasing with a long line and an innate musicality that make Walther's music for once a pleasure to hear from start to finish. Brouwenstijn is his lull-throated if not very individual Eva. Stolze's David is predictably vivid, Schmitt-Walther's pedantic, unexaggerated Beckmesser a nice change from the then-customary caricature. Greindl's Pogner is not ideally steady but imbued with eloquent Read more diction and feeling.

The clinching performance is Hotter's Sachs, profoundly satisfying in its depth of feeling, its understanding of every facet of Sachs's complex character, and he gives his two monologues a musing. interior quality that goes to the heart of the matter. Vocally, he starts a shade tired - not surprising when he was also that festivals Wotan - but, crucially, by the start of Act 2 he strikes his best form. This set would be worth hearing for him alone.

Cluytens's conducting is not on the Knappertsbusch level, rather matter-of-fact in the first two acts, much more inspired in Act 3—but in any case nothing can dim the quality here of the handpicked Bayreuth forces. Unfortunately this recording, unlike the other two, has moments of poor sound, but it is never unsatisfactory enough to mar the performance's many assets.

-- Gramophone [10/1998]
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Works on This Recording

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Karl Schmitt-Walter (Baritone), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Wolfgang Windgassen (Tenor),
Alexander Fenyves (Bass), Eugen Fuchs (Baritone), Gré Brouwenstijn (Soprano),
Gerhard Stolze (Tenor), Georgine von Milinkovic (Mezzo Soprano), Josef Traxel (Tenor),
Egmont Koch (Bass Baritone), Heinz-Günter Zimmermann (Tenor), Erich Benke (Tenor),
Josef Janko (Tenor), Josef Greindl (Bass), Hans Hotter (Bass Baritone),
Hans Habietinek (Bass), Alfons Herwig (Baritone)
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1867; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1956 
Venue:  Live  Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, Germany 
Language: German 

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