This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
With a collection of titles, if the programme is well played and recorded one can only come up with the usual line of "go ahead if this is the selection you want". Three out of the four overtures here are early ones and for myself, I must say that the mellow blend of the orchestration of the Prelude to Die Meistersinger was a considerable relief after the brashness of Rienzi. But that the playing is fine cannot be denied. The Philharmonia violins sing the "Prize Song" with a softly expressive silkiness of tone that is most beautiful. The quiet blend of the wind at the start of Tannhduser is equally good to hear, while when the "Pilgrims' Hymn" returns towards the end all bombast is avoided by the soft and deft
violin figuration being so delicate that the woodwinds can also play softly, as well as quite swiftly. Maazel does allow the greatest expansiveness later on, as the music demands. Nor is there any lack of brilliance or zest in such a piece as the Dutchman Overture or in the final polacca of Rienzi; though there is a top B just before the final molts put stretto (bar 344) where violins and woodwind do take a split second to become unanimous (not such a niggling criticism as it may seem, since the note is quite long and is an important one at the top of a climax).
-- Gramophone [3/1980]
Works on This Recording
Rienzi: Overture by Richard Wagner
Written: 1840-1843; Germany
Tannhäuser: Overture by Richard Wagner
Written: 1845/1861; Germany
Notes: Version: Dresden
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