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  • Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
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Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg


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Product Details

  • Actors: Giorgio Tozzi, Richard Cassilly, Arlene Saunders, Ernst Wiemann, Toni Blankenheim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: German, English, Spanish, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: February 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M2EBTM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,436 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Giorgio Tozzi, Toni Blankenheim, and Richard Cassilly star in this Hamburg State Opera production of the Wagner opera conducted by Leopold Ludwig.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
The visuals and mono sound quality are very fine.
Robert T. Martin
Visually this is a traditional production; the extreme care that has been taken to make the sets and costumes seem real is laudable.
J Scott Morrison
As an ensemble piece, this Meistersinger comes together beautifully.
customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By customer on March 8, 2007
Format: DVD
Wagner would approve of this 20th century example of gesamtkunstwerk - fusion of the arts. The one thing he had been missing in his panoply was the advantage of modern recording technology and cinematography. Here, though, Rolf Liebermann acts on Wagner's behalf. In this production the camera enhances this Meistersinger, functioning as a creative element, rather than just recording a staged performance. The camera brings us right into the lively activity of this enjoyable production from the Hamburg State Opera.

This lovely, traditional performance of Meistersinger is unexpectedly fine in many ways. Georgio Tozzi is outstanding as Hans Sachs, which he called his "proudest professional appearance", and watching him in this Hamburg film, one can see why. His Italianate Sachs is handsome, warm, witty and most importantly - quite beautifully sung. In fact, Tozzi's ebullient Sachs is as winning and well-sung as that of any Bayreuth sacred cow of the golden era of Wagnerian singing. What a surprise, and what a pleasure.

Not all the voices are flawless, but none are bad or painful to listen to, which can often occur in Wagner. In fact, most are quite good. Richard Cassilly does a perfectly fine job as Walther, and although his acting is a bit on the wooden side, we're grateful that he sings his part without strain or crudeness. Frankly, this is the best I've ever heard him sound. He's not my favorite heldentenor (although he's brilliant in the Hamburg Fidelio); he comes through for us here. He's a very large man and he mostly stands and sings with few expressions or gestures. But that's okay because everyone else is so animated in this Nürnberg that we can overlook Walther's (or is it Cassilly's?) self conscious and shy behavior.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 11, 2007
Format: DVD
Three years ago I raved about the qualities of a DVD of 'Meistersinger' starring Wolfgang Brendel as Sachs. I thought it was magnificent. But the present DVD -- recorded in 1970 -- trumps that one; it is better musically and much better dramatically. In fact, this is the most consistently dramatically engaging performance I've ever seen of this opera either onstage or video recording (and I've seen most of the videos and a number of staged productions here and in Europe). Indeed, I'm tempted to say it is the most engaging video production of ANY opera I've seen. Much of the credit goes to the Sachs of Giorgio Tozzi. My surprise was that I had never known he ever sang the role. He is not only the most engaging, human, natural and vocally magnificent Sachs I've ever encountered, he is surrounded by a cast who are both musically and dramatically first-rate. Much of the credit must go to the director for television, Joachim Hess, who took the stage production of the Hamburg Opera and recast it for a television studio recording. The advantage of a studio recording is that we not only get lots of closeups, which of course make the subtleties of the various portrayals all the more lifelike, but there is also sophisticated camera movement, important for a production that features so large a cast and their individual characterizations. I do wish we could be a little clearer about which master was which, but no matter: anyone knowing the opera well would immediately be able to tell Hermann Ortel, say, from Balthasar Zorn. And for others that probably doesn't matter all that much. One does notice that there are no women singers amongst the apprentices (as called for by Wagner's score); they are replaced onstage by young men no doubt for a more lifelike effect.Read more ›
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Doug Urquhart VINE VOICE on December 30, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I disgree with the other reviewers. This is by no means the best Meistersinger on DVD: I'd rate the Bayreuth, Met and Deutsch Oper Berlin performances well above it.

Some aspects of this Made-for-TV, studio performance are good - the singing is impeccable: Tozzi's Sachs, Cassily's Walter and Blankenheim's Beckmesser are particularly worth of mention. But then, in a studio environment, where an aria can be repeated until it's perfect, where the performers can rest between scenes, where bad performances can be overdubbed, it's hard to see how this could be otherwise.

So why only three stars?

Let's start with the running time. I should have smelled a rat when I saw that the whole opera runs for exactly 240 minutes (the norm is around 270). This running time has been achieved by a combination of a break-neck tempo, and some radical and inexcusable cuts.

Fortunately, the tempo sorts itself out by Act 3, but the pace through the overture and the first two acts is outrageously fast. The effect of all this scurrying about is to gloss over much of the emotional nuances of the score. Add to this the awkward mugging in the closeups, particularly in Act 1, and the effect comes closer to Punch and Judy than Richard Wagner.

As for the cuts, there are at least two:
As another reviewer has remarked, David's instruction scene has been completely removed. This is a very funny scene, and a key plot element, since it amusingly illustrates the Meistersingers' anal-retentive approach to music.
In act 3, the Girls from Furth fail to make an appearance; presumably their boat is still floating down the Pegnitz. Some splendid dance music goes away as a result.
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