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Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg / Kubelik, Stewart

Release Date: 05/29/2001 
Label:  Myto Records   Catalog #: 92569   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Gundula JanowitzSándor KónyaThomas HemsleyFranz Crass,   ... 
Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony OrchestraBavarian Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Contractual problems prevented Rafael Kubelik's 1967 Bavarian Radio recording of Wagner's Die Meistersinger from being released until its appearance on the Calig label several years back. Here it is again, on the Italian independent label Myto. If there's a better Meistersinger on record, I've yet to hear it. The Kubelik Meistersinger exudes wonderfulness on every level. Let's start with the orchestra. Under Kubelik's magic hands, the Bavarian Radio Symphony reveals Wagner's orchestration to more vivacious, differentiated, and characterful effect than its high-tech, big-name counterparts (yes, I mean Solti/Chicago Symphony and Karajan/Dresden Staatskapelle). Just listen to the poignant oboe and clarinet commentaries as they sync up in Read more glorious chamber-like accord with the string turns throughout Sachs' "Fleder" monologue in Act 2, or the perfectly paced transitions that make Act 3 seem much shorter than it is.

The exceptional cast proves every inch worthy of its genius accompaniment. Gundula Janowitz's Eva, for instance, radiates lightness and joy with a voice as supple as a redbird, and she's got a great supporting partner in her Magdelene, played by the young Brigitte Fassbaender. Thomas Stewart's warm, focused sonority and compassionate mind-set, along with his rock-solid, unfussy musicianship add up to one of the most satisfying portrayals of Hans Sachs on disc. Then there's Sándor Konya's dryish yet totally committed Walther, who blooms best in Act 3's "Prize Song". It's nice to encounter a lighter-voiced and more earnest Beckmesser than the overtly comedic assumptions we sometimes hear: in other words Thomas Hemsley approaches this role more as Leo Bloom than Max Bialystock. For a tiny bonus, Myto throws in a handful of commercial 78s featuring great past Wagnerians Franz Völker, Lauritz Melchior, and Alexander Kipnis. My only quibble concerns the German-only libretto. If you can transcend the skimpy packaging, you'll be rewarded a thousand times over with a Meistersinger for the ages.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Gundula Janowitz (Soprano), Sándor Kónya (Tenor), Thomas Hemsley (Baritone),
Franz Crass (Bass), Gerhard Unger (Tenor), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano),
Horst Wilhelm (Tenor), Richard Kogel (Bass), Kieth Engen (Bass),
Manfred Schmidt (Tenor), Friedrich Lenz (Tenor), Peter Baillie (Tenor),
Anton Diakov (Bass), Karl [bass baritone] Kohn (Bass), Thomas Stewart (Baritone),
Dieter Slembeck (Bass), Raimund Grumbach (Bass)
Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1867; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1967 
Venue:  Live  Munich 
Language: German 

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