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Dame Gweneth Jones Sings Wagner

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Audio CD, February 22, 2005
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Tannhauser: Act II: Dich, teure Halle, gruss' ich wieder, "The Hall Aria" 5:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Tannhauser: Act III: Allmacht'ge Jungfrau, hor mein Flehen!, "Elisabeth's Prayer" 6:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Lohengrin, Act I: Einsam in truben Tagen, "Elsa's Dream" 5:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Tristan und Isolde: Act I: Prelude11:11Album Only
listen  5. Tristan und Isolde: Act III: Mild und leise, "Liebestod" 6:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Gotterdammerung, Act III: Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort, "Immolation Scene"19:51Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B0006SGF0U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Cultural Observer on July 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
More often than not, Wagner and Strauss operas are performed by singers who make it their primary goal to survive it to the end of these roles vocally unscathed, often sacrificing drama for vocalizing that thrills, but does not touch. I find that Gwyneth Jones offers not only that vocal thrill, but a most intelligent performance of the Olympian Wagner and Strauss roles that she excelled at during the 60's to the early 90's.

Her Brunnhilde, captured on video in the acclaimed Centennial Ring at Bayreuth, is the work of a great artist. The most amazing thing is, it is a huge voice encased in the body of a svelte, beautiful woman.

It is true that there are moments when Jones' voice isn't at its best behaviour, but no other Wagnerian soprano (and that includes singers like Nilsson, Varnay, Dernesch, Flagstad, and Traubel), were able to get into the character as much as Jones did, except maybe Martha Modl. Saying that, her voice is much more beautiful and powerful than Modl's. From her entrance in Walkure hurling her hojotohos at Wotan, to the Todesverkundigung scene, to the magnificent love duet at the end of Siegfried's act 3, and to the Immolation Scene, each one of these jewels from that Ring leave us with a feeling that we are seeing the actual character and not just a hulky diva showing off her vocal prowess. In my opinion, she is the best Brunnhilde ... period. The record companies who documented this great artist's career have also given us a taste of Jones' Senta, Venus, Elisabeth, Ortrud, Eva, Isolde, and Kundry. The best of these in my opinion, are her Kundry and Senta.

People say that Christa Ludwig gives the definitive Kundry on record. That is true if you are referring only to Kundry's soft side.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album is a terrific intro to both Wagner and dramatic soprano Gwyneth Jones. This album features the Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde- Isolde's final aria as she looms over the dead Tristan's body and prepares to join him in spirit. This aria is extremely difficult to sing, for it calls not only for a virtuoisic and powerful voice but for one that cannot be faked. The emotions are so real and transcendent because the music is. To many scholars the music is a manifestation of Isolde's unfulfilled sexual desire for Tristan, whose love was never consummated physically. More than that, it's a spiritual and metaphysical thing as well. The soprano who can master it is indeed a singer not to be reckoned with. Birgit Nilsson mastered it well, and before her Kristen Flagstad, and today's greatest interpretors other than Gwyneth Jones is Jane Eaglen.

Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung is his most famous and popular cycle of operas. Here, Dame Gwyneth expresses her heroic vocals with beauty and lustre. I love her interpretation of Sieglende in "Die Walkure" and she is phenomenal as Brunhilde in Gotterdammerung. The Immolation Scene is the best I've heard since Nilsson. Paternostro conducts with faultless technical musicianship and passion. Fans of Gwyneth Jones will also want to check out her "Gotterdammerung" on DVD. Also, her numerous recordings of other non-Wagner works such as Strauss' Salome and Cherubini's Medea. Gwyneth Jones, a British woman, with her Aryan looks and dramatic "Wagner" voice would have impressed even Wagner himself. In addition, it's great to see a Wagner soprano who is not the traditional er stereotypical "obese" soprano. But eventhough Gwyneth is thin, her lungs are made of iron and can break through walls.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This new recording (dates from 2005)is a mixture of beautiful orchestration but awful, flawed singing and as a result, you have to be a loyal, devoted fan of soprano Dame Gwyneth Jones to purchase and appreciate this CD album. It features Wagnerian soprano arias from Tannhauser, Tristan Und Isolde and Gotterdammerung. By the time of this recording, Gwyneth Jones was a seasoned, veteran dramatic soprano with several Wagnerian roles in her arsenal. Born in Wales (the Welsh are long regarded as outstanding singers)she studied voice in London and was a huge star of major opera houses like Covent Garden and even including Bayreuth, Germany where she gained notoriety as Brunhilde. She took part of the 1976 Centennial production of Ring Des Nibelungen under the direction of Chereau and baton of Boulez, which was captured on film. She was featured in the 1980's Richard Burton movie about Wagner's life. This recording has beautiful orchestration, the music to Tannhauser, Tristan and Isolde and Gotterdammerung are rich, sumptuous and darkly romantic. Conductor Roberto Paternostro (who ?) does a terrific conducting job and it's unfortunate he isn't that famous. This is the plus side of the recording. In addition, the cover and the booklet inside are beautiful. We are treated to a look back at Dame Gwyneth's career, singing Wagner, Verdi's Lady Macbeth, Cherubini's Medea, Strauss' Salome, Richard Strauss' Marschallin and Octavian, as well as the icy Turandot of Puccini's final masterpiece. We are treated to black and white photographs of her performances as Isolde and Brunhilde.

On the downside, I have never considered Gwyneth Jones a formidable Wagnerian diva. Her voice is huge, true, for my stereo and computer speakers vibrated with resonance as soon as she began singing.
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