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Wagner: Lohengrin (Woldemar Nelsson) [Import, Box set]

Richard WagnerAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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The German composer Richard Wagner was born on 22nd May 1813 in Leipzig and was raised by his mother and step-father in Dresden. His step-father, Ludwig Geyer, was an actor and playwright and Wagner's first forays into the creative world were on the stage. Whilst still at school, Wagner wrote the tragic play Leubald which he decided to set to music.

Aged 14 and living in Leipzig, ... Read more in Amazon's Richard Wagner Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Import, Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: CBS Records Masterworks
  • ASIN: B0010C90VM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,914 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Live recording at the Bayreuth Festival in conjunction with UNITEL Film Production.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Darn Good Lohengrin April 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I got this Lohengrin from the local library, and I tried to get a taste of what I was in for by looking it up here on But to my dismay there were no reviews. And later, to even greater dismay on my part, I found that there is no reason for such a lack of reviews! For this is a solid Lohengrin. While Peter Hofmann is not the most vocally resplendent Lohengrin (he isn't a Konya or a Domingo), he turns is a good performance, and Karen Armstrong is a passionate Elsa who plays the part admirably. The rest of the cast is strong on the whole. But the real splendors of this set spring from the pit - Woldemar Nelsson (of whom I had never heard until I discovered this recording) leads the Beyreuth Festival orchestra in a burning account. They are a truly Wagnerian orchestra (it would be a shame if they weren't), and Nelsson brings out all the Master's colors. The energy of a live performance just pours out. Never have I heard the preludes and prominent sections played with such an intense timbre. It's amazing to hear.

Therefore, though this set doesn't match Kempe, Solti, or Leinsdorf overall, it is a strong alternate set that should not be ignored.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Lohengrin since Kubelik May 4, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I pretty much agree with the Santa Fe listener on this one although I am always slightly less moved by Ben Heppner than I would like, insofar as I find his beautiful vocalism a tad careful and uninvolving; he also has an intermittent habit of playing safe by leaning into top notes with a slightly exaggerated portamento effect. It is also true that apart from the two lead singers, there isn't so much to get excited about vocally - it is James Levine's magisterial conducting and the virtuosity of the Metropolitan Orchestra which catches the ear; time and again I catch details in the instrumentation that I had previously always missed.

It may be, too, that my enthusiasm was modified by having to pay the Royal Mail stringent HM Customs charges (£12.45 including an "£8 handling fee" - robbers!) to import this from the US into the UK, which results in this being an expensive investment.

Compensation comes with listening to the duets by Heppner and the wonderful Deborah Voigt, singing with the requisite otherworldly delicacy despite the power and amplitude of tone; this recording was made before both singers began to evince highly regrettable signs of vocal decline. The sound can be a bit variable; singers are often too far left or right or strangely disembodied when they need more central placement but I heard no distortion on my copy. The persistent cougher in the Prelude needed shooting.

Otherwise, the singing is at best ordinary. The best of the rest is Eke Wilma Schulte's strong Herald, but he is no young Bryn Terrell or Franz Crass.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Almost everything here is glorious, as beifts one of the premier Lohengrin performances on record. This is the Met broadcast of March 21, 1998, conducted by James Levine in vigorous mode (quite different from his slow-mo style in the Ring and Parsifal), giving the score more thrust and momentum than one usually hears on some classic European recordings. The first entries of the Elsa, Deborah Voigt, and the Lohengrin, Ben Heppner, are thrilling - here we have two great singers in their prime, with Voigt sounding as youthful as Anja Silja in her twenties and Heppner the model of a lyric-dramatic tenor, breathtaking in the beauty of his tone. Both are secure in every note, giving a demonstration of modern Wagner singing at its summit.

For these two alone, the performance would be a must-listen. Neither is a compelling vocal actor, but that seems like a minor concern given such sumptuous singing. Among live readings, only a couple featuring the effulgent Sandor Konya offer serious rivalry, and those sets are not in good stereo sound. Not that the sound engineering here is ideal. The voices are sometimes trapped in a single speaker; their tone changes as the singers move around the stage; there is distortion in the upper range during loud passages. Only the orchestra is really miked well, but one soon adjust. The worst passage, unfortunately, is Elsa's Dream, where Voigt is isolated in the right channel and sounds shrill. As soon as she moves into the left channel, her voice suddenly mellows. The Met chorus, singing magnificently, is sometimes too far back, resulting in muffled tone and incomprehensible pronunciation - this mars the magical choral moments before Lohengrin appears. (Erratically, in Act II the male chorus is far too dominant over the soloists.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listing problem and not a review October 23, 2012
By Paul
Format:Audio CD
The listing gives the duration of performance as 273 minutes yet the number of discs is 1. Is this a highlights recording or the full performance of the opera?
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More information February 27, 2013
By Mark
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Remember, this is a great price of a great recording. However, the packaging is very inexpensive cardboard, and, more importantly: NO libretto. This is not mentioned in the description.
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