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Wagner: The Complete Operas / Janowski, Berlin Radio Symphony

Wagner / Rundfunkch / Rundfunk-sinfonieorch Berlin
Release Date: 09/09/2014 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 186700   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Robert Dean SmithMatti SalminenAlberto DohmenRicarda Merbeth,   ... 
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony OrchestraBerlin Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 32 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
SuperAudio CD:  $499.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In 2010, Pentatone embarked on an ambitious project: recording the ten major Richard Wagner operas with the same musical forces. Never before had a record company recorded all of Wagner's operas with the same orchestra, choir and conductor, even the same producer, within a period of two and a half years. On top of that, all of the operas, including the Ring Cycle, were recorded for the first time in multi-channel sound, utilizing Pentatone's highest technical standards. Each opera was performed only once; all the performances were recorded live, as well as all prior rehearsals of the choir and orchestra. The critical praise for the entire set of recordings was unanimous, not only for conductor Marek Janowski, but also the Read more Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the soloists who are still considered among the best of today's interpreters of Wagner. The box consists of 32 SACDs plus one DVD, which contains an interview with Marek Janowski and some Götterdämmerung fragments.

R E V I E W S:

Der fliegende Holländer
"An excellent cast was assembled for this live recording that documents a single performance at the Berlin Philharmonie on November 13, 2010. Leading the charge are Albert Dohman, highly regarded for his Wotan...and Matti Salminen, one of the world’s go-to basses for Gurnemanz, Marke, Hagan, and Hunding. Salminen sings a hearty Daland and makes the most of Wagner’s songful passages. His aria toward the end of act II has a Mozartean grace and fluidity. Dohman’s performance is equally impressive... As usual, PentaTone’s high-resolution sonics are superb..." -- Andrew Quint, FANFARE

Tannhäuser
"From the first notes of the overture in this performance (and such it is, being recorded in concert in one day), one is aware of a superior musical mind at work, the mind of conductor Marek Janowski. The phrasing is intelligent and enlivened by little rhythmic 'lifts' at key moments that keep the music moving forward. In addition, the orchestral sound as such is warm but not unduly heavy, and the texture transparent enough to hear every instrumental group in perfect sonic proportion to its neighbors... Another plus is our Tannhäuser, Robert Dean Smith, who has an ear-ravishing lyric tenor voice..." -- Lynn René Bayley, FANFARE

Lohengrin
"Marek Janowski continues to grow on me as a Wagner conductor. As usual, he moves things along smartly. The prelude to act III is suitably celebratory; the introduction to the opera’s final scene is thrilling. PentaTone, as always, presents robust, impactful sounds." -- Andrew Quint, FANFARE

Die Meistersinger
"A Meistersinger, of course, rises or falls on the merits of its Sachs, and Albert Dohman, the Wotan/Wanderer for Christian Thielemann’s superb Ring cycle on Opus Arte and the Dutchman for the first opera in PentaTone’s series, has a voice with an appealing texture that wears well. Dohman’s a true bass- baritone and there’s a satisfying mass to his instrument at the bottom of its range. 'Wahn, Wahn' is a spontaneous outpouring of a profoundly thoughtful man; we are left with the feeling that, as a friend of mine always says about the best Sachses, this is a man you want to bring home to dinner with the family." -- Andrew Quint, FANFARE

Tristan und Isolde
"I have been so critical of other recent Wagner recordings I’ve reviewed that it is an absolute pleasure to say to you: Run out and buy this Tristan... Janowski has a cast that is “with him” every step of the way, headed by the indomitable Nina Stemme as Isolde. Her voice is not to everyone’s taste: it has the same kind of vibrato, and even a little of the timbre, one heard in Astrid Varnay during her prime, and if anything Stimme is even more dramatic than Varnay... Tenor Stephen Gould sounds young, lyrical and passionate, all qualities that make for a great Tristan. There is no one he really compares to except perhaps Rudolf Laubenthal, a tenor I always thought got the short end of the critical stick once Lauritz Melchior came along..." -- Lynn René Bayley, FANFARE

Parsifal
"Janowski’s leadership throughout is authoritative but he’s especially successful with the churning, pressing chromaticism of act II, underscoring the contrast of Klingsor’s debased, overripe domain with the realm of the Grail. Act III’s Prelude is effectively paced, generating considerable tension... The American soprano Michelle DeYoung sounds aptly sleep-deprived at the beginning of act II but quickly rises to the task Klingsor has assigned, her voice plush and seductive... The big find here is Christian Elsner, a student of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who takes on the title role. His voice has a pleasing baritonal quality but also good ring on top. He gets the essence of Parsifal quite well, clueless in act I but already revealing evidence of enlightenment by the end of the middle act." -- Andrew Quint, FANFARE

Der Ring
"Janowski conducts a direct, dramatic interpretation, concerned throughout with forward movement. His clear-sighted conducting, based on textural clarity, conveys theatrical excitement from start to finish without fuss or attempts at portentous readings. Janowski sees the cycle more as the culmination of what has gone before in the nineteenth century rather than as a new art... In the title role in Siegfried Kollo gives one of his most attractive portrayals on disc, full of thoughtful diction poised on clear-cut tone... I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this Ring to anyone wanting a reasonably priced introduction to the cycle. Even at a higher level, it has much going for it in comparison with supposedly more prestigious recordings." -- Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Der fliegende Holländer by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Robert Dean Smith (Tenor), Matti Salminen (Bass), Alberto Dohmen (Baritone),
Ricarda Merbeth (Soprano), Silvia Hablowetz (Mezzo Soprano), Steve Davislim (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841/1852; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/13/2010 
Venue:  Live Philharmonie, Berlin 
2.
Lohengrin by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Susanne Resmark (Alto), Gerd Grochowski (Bass), Klaus Florian Vogt (Tenor),
Günther Groissböck (Baritone), Annette Dasch (Soprano), Markus Brück (Baritone)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: Live 11/12/2011 
Venue:  Philharmonie, Berlin 
3.
Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Bianca Reim (Soprano), Peter Sonn (Tenor), Nina Stemme (Soprano),
Martin Snell (Bass), Michael McCown (Tenor), Christian Gerhaher (Baritone),
Marina Prudenskaya (Mezzo Soprano), Sabine Puhlmann (Soprano), Wilhelm Schwinghammer (Bass),
Alberto Dohmen (Baritone), Robert Dean Smith (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Date of Recording: Live 5/5/2012 
4.
Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Arttu Kataja (Bass), Johan Reuter (Baritone), Stephen Gould (Tenor),
Kwangchul Youn (Bass), Nina Stemme (Soprano), Michelle Breedt (Mezzo Soprano),
Simon Pauly (Baritone), Clemens Bieber (Tenor), Timothy Fallon (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1859; Germany 
5.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Robert Dean Smith (Tenor), Edith Haller (Soprano), Alberto Dohmen (Baritone),
Dietrich Henschel (Baritone), Michelle Breedt (Mezzo Soprano), Georg Zeppenfeld (Bass)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1867; Germany 
6.
Parsifal by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Franz-Josef Selig (Bass), Evgeny Nikitin (Baritone), Eike Wilm Schulte (Baritone),
Michelle DeYoung (Mezzo Soprano), Christian Elsner (Tenor), Dimitry Ivashchenko (Bass)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1882; Germany 
Date of Recording: 4/8/2011 
Venue:  Live Philharmonie, Berlin 
7.
Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Marina Prudenskaja (Alto), Markus Brück (Baritone), Edith Haller (Soprano),
Susanne Resmark (Alto), Heike Wessels (Mezzo Soprano), Fionnuala McCarthy (Soprano),
Petra Lang (Mezzo Soprano), Anja Fidelia Ulrich (Soprano), Tomasz Konieczny (Bass),
Christian Elsner (Tenor), Jochen Schmeckenbecher (Baritone), Günther Groissböck (Baritone),
Timo Riihonen (Bass), Iris Vermillion (Mezzo Soprano), Kismara Pessatti (Alto),
Ricarda Merberth (Soprano), Carola Höhn (Soprano), Nicole Piccolomini (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853-1874; Germany 
Venue:   Live Philharmonie, Berlin 
Language: German 
8.
Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 
Venue:  Live Philharmonie, Berlin  
Language: German 
9.
Die Walküre by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Venue:   Live Philharmonie, Berlin 
Language: German 
10.
Siegfried by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Germany 
Venue:   Live Philharmonie, Berlin 
Language: German 
11.
Götterdämmerung by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871-1874; Germany 
Venue:   Live Philharmonie, Berlin 
Language: German 

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