German Romantic Opera / Heppner, Runnicles, North German RSO

Release Date: 8/30/2012
Label: RCA
Catalog Number: RCA63239
Performer: Ben Heppner
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
Low Stock
$17.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
I began by re-programming this excellent recital into a proper order rather than the nonsensical one chosen by RCA. How could they place Wagner (his items themselves out of chronology) before Beethoven and Weber and then suddenly follow Weber with Korngold? All of which cannot detract from the beauty, reliability and musicality of every item in this pot-pourri of German opera. Heppner must now be counted among the most consistent of tenors in this kind of repertory this century. Particularly welcome is his singing of Tristan's, Siegfried's and Parsifal's music: with his secure technique and sturdy frame these roles have surely found their ideal interpreter for the first decade of the coming century. Much as I dislike bleeding chunks and the way they end in mid-air, such firmly sung and intelligently phrased readings justify the practice on this occasion.

Heppner would also be an ideal interpreter, on this evidence, of Max and Adolar in the Weber operas, the lyrical and dramatic nicely held in balance. Florestan's scena is taken from the complete recording under Sir Colin Davis. Here and in one or two places, you may find the Achilles' heel in Heppner's approach: just occasionally one would like that extra frisson less well-behaved singers such as, say, Ludwig Suthaus and Jon Vickers used to bring to their singing of this kind of music, the feeling that they were living the emotions - and which Heppner himself provides in the rapturous opulence of the Korngold, a substantial bonne houche. In the items, other than the Beethoven. Heppner is admirably partnered by Runnicles, who always makes us aware of the context and, by dint of forward movement and the maintenance of line, avoids the pseudo-profundity of much Wagner conducting these days. The recording is in all respects exemplary. Highly recommended.

-- Gramophone [1/1999]
Works on This Recording
1. Fidelio, Op. 72: Gott! welch Dunkel hier!...In des Lebens... by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1805/1814 ; Vienna, Austria
2. Rienzi: Allmächt'ger Vater, blick herab by Richard Wagner
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: Romantic
Written: 1840-1843 ; Germany
3. Der fliegende Holländer: Willst jenes Tag's by Richard Wagner
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Written: 1841/1852 ; Germany
4. Tristan und Isolde: Dünkt dich das? by Richard Wagner
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: Romantic
Written: 1859 ; Germany
5. Parsifal: Nur eine Waffe taugt by Richard Wagner
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: Romantic
Written: 1877-1882 ; Germany
6. Siegfried: Selige Öde auf sonniger Höh'n by Richard Wagner
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: Romantic
Written: 1871 ; Germany
7. Götterdämmerung: Brünnhilde, heilige Braut (Siegfried's death) by Richard Wagner
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Germany
8. Euryanthe, J 291/Op. 81: Wehen mir Lüfte Ruh' by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: Romantic
Written: 1822-1823 ; Dresden, Germany
9. Der Freischütz, J 277: Nein! Länger trag'...Durch die Wälder by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: Romantic
Written: 1817-1821 ; Dresden, Germany
10. Die tote Stadt, Op. 12: O Freund, ich werde Sie nicht wiedersehen by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer: Ben Heppner (Tenor)
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1920 ; Vienna, Austria
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