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Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg [Live]

Richard Wagner , Thomas Schippers , Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus , Pilar Lorengar , James King , Theo Adam Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $20.96 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Performer: Pilar Lorengar, James King, Theo Adam
  • Orchestra: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus
  • Conductor: Thomas Schippers
  • Composer: Richard Wagner
  • Audio CD (May 3, 2011)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Sony Masterworks
  • ASIN: B004NCLKFK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,903 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Vorspiel
2. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Act I: Da zu dir der Heiland kam
3. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Verweilt! Ein Wort!
4. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Da bin ich
5. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; David! Was stehst?
6. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Mein Herr! Der Singer Meisterschlag ge=
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Will einer Selt'nes wagen
2. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Was duftet doch der Flieder
3. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Gut'n Abend, Meister!
4. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; K=F6nnt's einem Wittwer nicht gelingen=
5. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Das dacht' ich wohl=09
6. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Da ist er!=09
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Morgenlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein
2. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Ein Werbelied! Von Sachs!
3. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Das Gedicht? Hier liess ich's
4. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; So ganz boshaft doch keinen ich fand
5. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Immer schustern, das ist nicht mein Lo=
6. Die Meistersinger von N=FCrnberg; Hat man mit dem Schuhwerk nicht seine =
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

German bass-baritone Theo Adam sings the role of the generous philosopher-poet Hans Sachs in this dazzling performance of Wagner s only comedy, with Spanish soprano Pilar Lorengar as Eva and American tenor James King as the young hero Walther von Stolzing. Thomas Schippers conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus with a cast that includes the famous German character singer Benno Kusche (as the pathetic villain Beckmesser) and a host of much-admired American singers including Shirley Love (Magdalene), Loren Driscoll (David), Ezio Flagello (Pogner), Donald Gramm (Kothner) and in a small role, early in his career the Met s current Hans Sachs, James Morris (Schwarz). 3 CDs taken from the January 15, 1972 broadcast.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This compelling set was recorded in 1972, with a strong cast anchored by Theo Adam's performance as Hans Sachs and James King's turn as Walther von Stolzing. Mr. Adam sounds completely at home in the live setting, indulging his sadomasochistic side at the expense of his apprentice David (Loren Driscoll) and singing with firm, dark tone. James King's clarion tenor is an ideal fit for Walther, and the Prize Song is sung with power and grace.

It also features the appearance of soprano Pilar Lorengar in a rare Wagnerian turn as Eva, Walther's love interest. Benno Kusche is a brusque, funny Beckmesser who involves the audience in his comic acts of artistic self-destruction, drawing them to laugh out loud in the second act.

This set was made two decades before the Met installed its titles system, so the presence of audience laughter testifies to the comic brilliance of Mr. Adam and Mr. Kusche. James Morris, who would take on the role of Sachs at the Met in the 1990s, appears here as Hans Schwarz, the stocking-weaver.

A recording like this one features the choristers tramping around Ye Olde Nuremberg in the third act, and there are problems balancing the onstage brass and percussion in the final scene. But the stage noises actually add to the feel of listening to a live performance, with the benefit of audience laughter in the second act. Thomas Schippers conducts a sprightly reading of the score and the Met orchestra and chorus are generally excellent.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, warm and human.... May 29, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I love this MEISTERSINGER! When it was originally broadcast in 1972, I was participating in a family function and what to wait (rather impatiently as I remember) to get home, tune in to the Met Saturday Matinee broadcast, and listen eagerly from the end of the Sachs/Beckmesser exchanges in Act 2 to the end of the opera. I had a tape of that partial broadcast, and the warm sound and magisterial conducting by Thomas Schippers gave me a very different idea of the opera than I had understood. I was a mere 15 years, and had heard my first broadcast of TRISTAN with Nilsson, Thomas, Dalis, Dooley and Tozzi with Leinsdorf conducting the previous season ( a terrific choice for Sony should they decide to dig into the vaults more deeply into Wagner territory).

These performances allowed me to reassess my thoughts about these long masterpieces. The vibrant and very vivid characterization of every singer in this cast showed the love of conductor Schippers for this score. He lovingly and deeply details each moment with superb flow and a light touch which supports the encounter between characters in a very direct manner. The opening to Act 3 has quiet radiance, falling very gratefully on the ear without pomposity or over exaggeration of the depths of Sach's musings. I many times find this moment in particular to be very heavy handed in the work of others, so this particular version I feel is ideal in balance. There is a bounce to the orchestra that I do not find in the work of others, though others may bring different qualities to the fore with their own viewpoint. This makes the celebration in Act 3 scene 2 utterly joyful in the best sense. I played it again and again and again as a kid. And now, with the superb engineering of this set, I'll be able to do that yet again!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL--WARTS AND ALL June 10, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Contrary to the opinions of previous reviewers, I find Pilar Lorengar and James King among the very best in their roles. Although King is neither subtle nor particularly chromatic, his voice is glorious, perhaps the most beautiful sounding Walther on disc (yes, including Domingo). Lorengar IS subtle and layered, as well as beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed Schippers' reading of a score that can have serious dull passages in the hands of more nuanced conductors. I find no fault with Adam's interpretation of Sachs, but the basic sound of the voice is inconsistent with the shoemaker as "master singer." Other singers, especially Love, are fine. In conclusion, in excellent mono sound, this performance is surprisingly better than the sum of its parts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance November 22, 2011
By Volsung
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a truly great performance recaptured. It is especially memorable for me, since I was in the opera house (Family Circle) that afternoon and the recording matches my memories after all these years.

Thomas Shippers conducted with brisk tempi that brought out the operetta side of Wagner' score and this was emphasizrd by Benno Kusche's light touch as a very funny Beckmesser. James King and Pilar Lorengar made a very lyrical couple as Walter and Eva and Theo Adam sang beautifully as a dignified but still mischevious Sachs.

Because this was a live performance from the early '70's there are unfortunate cuts in the score which are even more jarring today than they were at the time. But this recording captures the performance practice of the era.

If you want a complete recording with modern sound quality there are other recordings out there. But this recording captures the excitement of a live performance with an outstanding cast and conductor.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
No doubt this would have been a very good afternoon at the Met in 1972, but by now we have a wealth of live Meistersingers from Germany and Bayreuth in particular, so what has been added by this new release? Old-timers from that era can relive their cherished experiences, but the rest of us can't buy every historical performance that floats our way (the present set is barely historical, I suppose). The first consideration is how traditional you want Wagner to be. Schippers' conducting is clean, considerate, but devoid of lived-in Wagnerian style. Happily, he gets the variable Met orchestra of that period to play well. The Met has made a deal with various online sites, however, where you can find Meistersingers from the Levine era that are performed at a much higher level, delivering real virtuosity.

And the cast? Driscoll exemplifies an irritating kind of Americanness, his David sounding not remotely German; like many character singers at the Met in the old days, he's only passable as a sing, too, with a quavery tenor that sounds worn and middle-aged, not a good fit with David's youthfulness and innocence. James King i find a blaring Walther completely without subtlety and almost without character. I can't tell the difference between Walther in love and Walther getting angry -- King simply plants his feet and unleashes a torrent of sound. No doubt that was impressive in the house, but it's not good enough for the microphone. His diction is clear, but his German in't lived-in. (I don't speak German, to be candid, but I've heard it sung for a long time and can tell Berlin form Berlitz.)

I am not a fan of Theo Adam, whose glottal, unappealing but sturdy voice ruined Karajan's stereo Meistersing from Dresden (EMI).
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