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Great Wagner Conductors [4 CD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 30, 2013
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Conductor: Eugen Jochum, WilhelmFurtwangler, Hans Knappertsbusch
  • Composer: Wilhelm Richard Wagner
  • Audio CD (April 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00B7UOODG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,048 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Philip Chase on August 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
DG has assembled historical Wagner orchestral excerpts which are breathtakingly beautiful and extremely well performed. (Of course at my advanced age I'd reasonably ask if anything recorded in 1962 or even 1951 can truly be called historical, however I smilingly admit 1939 and 1927 or 1928 fall within that category!) Briefly the choice of conductors (Furtwängler, de Sabata, Knappertsbusch, Elmendorff, and Jochum) is excellent, and a listener who is prepared to enjoy Wagner excerpts will truly enjoy the excellent and often inspirational selections.

Orchestras represented (Münchner Philharmoniker, Berlin Philharmoniker, Orchester der Staatsoper Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin, as well as Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks) exhibit top notch Wagnerian ensemble. The remastering of all the offerings are excellent, sounding as though they could be newly recorded for this DG set of 4 CDs, a well-chosen compilation.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The major flaw in this set is the selection of Knappertsbusch's 1962 studio recordings. He was a titan on the podium in live performances but his studio performances are simply dull. Beautifully played, of course, but missing is the spontaneous feeling that distinguishes his live performances. Too bad these selections couldn't have been taken from those. These do not give any idea of his way with Wagner. This is why I can't give the set 5 stars nor would anyone else who has more than an elementary knowledge of Wagner.

One definite plus to the set is what it lacks - the contemporary stick wavers on the podiums who are raved about but can't hold a candle to Knappertsbusch (live), Furtwangler, Elmendorff, Bohm, Kubelik, Leinsdorf, and others who were truly great Wagner conductors.
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