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  • Wagner: Orchestral Music ~ Levine, The MET Orchestra
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Wagner: Orchestral Music ~ Levine, The MET Orchestra

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Audio CD, September 16, 1997
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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. Wagner: Lohengrin - Prelude To Act I 9:26Album Only
listen  2. Wagner: Die Walküre / Dritter Aufzug - The Ride Of The Valkyries 5:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Wagner: Siegfried / Zweiter Aufzug - Waldweben 8:27Album Only
listen  4. Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Concert version / Dritter Aufzug - Siegfried's Funeral March12:39Album Only
listen  5. Wagner: Tristan und Isolde - Prelude And Liebestod19:04Album Only
listen  6. Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg / Act 3 - Prelude 7:35Album Only
listen  7. Wagner: Parsifal / Act 3 - Karfreitagszauber 9:54Album Only

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Since his June 5, 1971, debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Tosca, Music Director James Levine has developed a relationship with that company that is unparalleled in its history and unique in the musical world today. He conducted the first-ever Met performances of Mozart's Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, Verdi's I Vespri ... Read more in Amazon's James Levine Store

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: The MET (Metropolitan)Orchestra
  • Conductor: James Levine
  • Composer: Richard Wagner
  • Audio CD (September 16, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0000041KY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,964 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For execution alone this CD rates 5 stars. DG has caught the MET orchestra in prime condition; everything sounds with depth and impact. Yet Levine has always tended to be an inert Wagner conductor. This is all the more strange because he is deeply devoted to the composer--after all, no other American has conducted a complete Ring cycle on disc.

I am a Levine admirer, and I'm always hoping that he will find the missing key. On this CD the Ride of the Valkyries is thrilling, and the climax of Siegfried's Funeral March hits one in the middle of the chest. Those are the only two highlights,, however. The Lohengrin Prelude is wispy and detached; the Tristan Prelude makes you think these epic lovers are going on a first date, ending with a kiss at the door.

Levine can't sustain the long line in these often slow readings. There's no soul or deep emotion to connect one paragraph to the next. All one can say, given Levine's undeniable brilliance, is that what he feels falls too far short of Wagner's endless potential. Everything here is musical and well intended, but none of it makes your heart ache.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By NUC MED TECH on June 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I have come to feel that after 35 + years of listening, that opera excerpts sound better when played by opera orchestras, to get the true sense of the composer's intent. A full symphony orchestra on the stage is always a thrill, but these works were not really intended to be played as such. There are so many excellent concert hall performances, I won't even try to enumerate them.

James Levine and his superb Met Orchestra allow us to be seated in the house, lights down and listen to these preludes and pieces from sonme of Wagner's finest works. We can almost imagine voices over the music, as indeed the maestro's balance and control of his collegues is firm and well proportioned.

The Lohengrin prelude is as glorious as I've heard and trully magical. One quibble, the double basses seem a bit too loud, but the string playing is rapturously defined. Ride of the Valkyries is the least of my favorite wagner music dispite Levine's wonderful touch. Enough of the bombast, already. Siegfried's Forrest Murmurs is sweet, gentle and delicately rendered. I've never been so impressed with this work as I am here, so I am grateful for its inclusion on this cd.

The Trauermarsch is a bit subdued for my tastes, but still eloquent and noble, as indeed Siegfried is, dispite his naivete. The climactic rhythm of the tympany is noticeable, but I would prefer a greater emphasis. Still, this is funeral music for a hero, heroicly performed.

I agree with the Santa Fe Listener, Tristan und Isolde could benefit from an increase in passion as the Orchestra seems to underestimate the intensity of the love between this man and woman. In fact, I never really appreciated this idea until I read Sant Fe's review. Thank you my friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jurgen Lawrenz on June 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Levine's Ring has not fared too well in reviews. I can only wonder what they expect, given the scarcity of top-flight Wagner singers. But at least for this album, you will get from me an enconium based on what my ears tell me, unreflected through and unprejudiced by other people's views.
I have 150 Wagner albums in my collection (yes: heard them all, more than once); and no-one is going to bowl me over with superficial glamour or pseudo-profundity. Throw a conductor's name at me and I will tell you how he deals with Wagner. But to start on the right foot, let me say from the outset that this collection is no rival to Furtwängler, Klemperer, Kempe or Karajan in Wagner excerpts. These are men born and bred in a tradition that has Wagner coursing in their bloodstream. Their glamour and profundity may almost be presupposed. But a step down that ladder, where the competition gets dense, Levine has the inestimable advantage of by far the best sound and (surprisingly perhaps) a well-acquired and brilliantly handled sense of style which, be it noted, includes sound judgement on the weight and/or translucency of the sonorities appropriate to the individual excerpts. He most likely imbibed it his apprenticeship years with Karajan. But how the Met Orchestra manage to sound so convincing, so "Germanic" in this repertoire I cannot explain. I would not expect it from the Philadelphia Orchestra (cf. the Thielemann collection), the Cleveland (Szell), nor even the Chicago (Barenboim). The fact is, the Met orchestra come pretty close to emulating the genuine article, and Levine must surely take the credit for this achievement.
And so to this album, which is an ideal confection for beginners and aficionados alike.
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