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Wagner: Highlights From Tristan Und Isolde & Tannhauser

Wagner / London So / Butt
Release Date: 03/13/2012 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 6164   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



WAGNER Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Love-Death. Tannhäuser: Overture. Die Walk?re: Magic Fire Music; Ride of the Valkyries. Das Rheingold: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla. Götterdämmerung: Siegfried’s Rhine Journey and Funeral Music Yondani Butt, cond; London SO Read more class="ARIAL12"> NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6164 (79:53)


This has been a difficult collection to review because I could never make up my mind about just what I was hearing. Are these calculated, refined performances, deliberately presented with a lighter-than-usual texture, or are they merely tentative, cautious readings using an undersized string section? Except for The Ride of the Valkyries , the tempos are on the slow side. In that particular performance, you’ll miss a few details you’re accustomed to hearing and hear some that you probably never noticed before. Were these the conductor’s choices? The Tristan Prelude is given a slow, refined treatment, building gradually to its broad climax, and the Love-Death moves in its leisurely way to a broad climax. It’s quite effective, but what I think I’m hearing is cool calculation without most of the passion beneath the smooth surface. A slower tempo imparts a dignified solemnity to the Tannhäuser Overture but I wish the strings had more power. Yondani Butt does the Dresden version … just as well since he might have done the least sensuous of Bacchanals. The excerpt called the Magic Fire Music actually begins just after Wotan has promised Brünnhilde that he’ll surround her with threatening flames. Shortly thereafter comes a small cut to the fire music itself. At this tempo, the violin configurations are too clear and make the performance sound methodical rather than magical. I recall a Stokowski rehearsal of Forest Murmurs at which he instructed half of the violins to play the music with two beats to the measure, as written, but told the others to play the same configurations at three triplets to the measure, thereby creating the sonic buzz that Stokowski (rightly, I think) believed that Wagner wanted. I like hearing the Valhalla motif at Butt’s measured pace, though I’ve heard more dynamic performances of the Entrance of the Gods . The dawn breaks slowly before Siegfried’s Rhine Journey and the seemingly undersized string section doesn’t execute its ornaments cleanly. The brief reference to the Love Duet is unhurried (he does a bit more of it than most conductors) but he’s pretty much up to standard tempo the rest of the way. I wish he had included Siegfried’s Death, but his deliberate tempo results in an imposing Funeral Music . Most conductors who perform Wagner’s music slowly also give it a certain weight and power. Butt, slow but also refined and lighter-textured, has his own take on the music and for the most part, I think it works—it certainly isn’t your average Wagner collection.


FANFARE: James Miller
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Works on This Recording

1.
Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 18 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
Tannhäuser: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 16 Minutes 26 Secs. 
3.
Die Walküre: Leb' wohl..."Farewell and Magic Fire music" by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 10 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4.
Das Rheingold: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Germany 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 7 Secs. 
5.
Götterdämmerung: Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Germany 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 12 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6.
Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Funeral Music by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Germany 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 44 Secs. 
7.
Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 

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