Buy New
$24.99
& FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Max Lorenz: Wagner's Mast... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Max Lorenz: Wagner's Mastersinger - Hitler's Siegfried

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
Price
New from Used from
DVD
(Jan 27, 2009)
"Please retry"
2
$24.99
$14.55

Stream Millions of Songs FREE with Amazon Prime
Get Started with Amazon Prime Stream millions of songs anytime, anywhere, included with an Amazon Prime membership. Get started
$24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Usually ships within 1 to 2 months. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Max Lorenz was at the height of his career as a heldentenor in 1941. As a homosexual with a Jewish wife in Nazi Germany, who also protected his wife s mother, he would have faced deportation. However, as Hitler s favourite tenor and a symbol of his times, he was able to survive due to the protection of Hitler and Göring. This gripping, well-researched documentary which is nominated for the FIPA festival boasts original footage of Max Lorenz, Haus Wahnfried and Hitler s visits to Bayreuth (e.g. the first coloured picture of Hitler). Includes interviews with great artists such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and René Kollo. Includes a bonus CD with previously unreleased material of Max Lorenz.

Review

In this 2008 documentary for Swiss television, producers Eric Schulz and Claus Wischmann take a fascinating look at the principal German heldentenor of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. The documentary analyzes the way the Third Reich combined its own heroic ideal and its attitude to the Wagnerian operas. It also seeks answers about Lorenz's career and complications caused by his private life. In public Lorenz was out-going, exuberantly secure, but privately he was plagued by insecurity, inhibitions and shyness. He also was married to a Jew and was homosexual, a fact that had to be hidden from Hitler. Winifred Wagner's intercession on behalf of Lorenz and his wife allowed both to continue unharassed. The episode of Lady Chichester is smilingly revealed.

Archival footage from four decades gives glimpses of Bayreuth and its Wagner Festival, the political machinations of the time, eyewitness accounts from colleagues and interviews with Lorenz. A treasure trove of photographs illustrates the story. Commentary (in German) by singers Hilde Zadek, Dietrich Fischer- Dieskau, Waldemar Kmentt, and Rene Kollo are supplemented by insights by Walter Herrmann (Lorenz's biographer), Klaus Geitel, and Michael Wessolowski, writers on music, and dancer Lieslott Tietjen. The narration is in English with subtitles for the interviews. A 74 minute CD is included of Lorenz at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires at the height of his powers (1938). From Siegfried Lorenz is heard in the complete first act and excerpts from Act 2. The sound is quite wretched sometimes, but well worth the trouble. -- American Record Guide, Charles H Parsons, May/June 2009

Max Lorenz (1901-75) was a great Wagnerian heldentenor in Nazi-era Germany--a favorite of Hitler and many of his top lieutenants. Lorenz also happened to be a homosexual with a Jewish wife (when Lorenz was brought up on charges for a dalliance with a young man, the highest authorities intervened to block the prosecution, and when the SS tried to arrest his wife and mother-in-law, Hermann Goering himself gave the order to desist). As Eric Schulz and Claus Wischmann's documentary makes clear, however, Lorenz was first and foremost an extraordinary actor-singer who practically owned the role of Siegfried in the 1930s. Combining extensive archival stills and footage together with recordings of Lorenz in his prime and excerpts from a late-in-life interview, Wagner's Mastersinger presents a remarkably thorough and insightful portrait of the life and career of Lorenz, peppered with appreciative comments from great singers--soprano Hilde Zadek, tenors Waldemar Kmentt and René Kollo, and baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau--as well as dancer Lieselott Tietjen, biographer Walter Herrmann, and writers Klaus Geitel and Michael Wessolowski. Presented in PCM stereo, the DVD is bundled with an audio CD featuring excerpts from a 1938 Buenos Aires performance of Wagner's Siegfried with Lorenz. Highly recommended. -- Video Librarian, Frank Swietek, May/June 2009

Wagner's Mastersinger: Hitler's Siegfried is the intriguing if not provocative title of The Life and Times of Max Lorenz (Medici Arts, EuroArts, 2056928 DVD+CD). Born in 1901, Max Lorenz's career is traced from choir boy to super-star in Bayreuth and elsewhere during the 1930s and beyond. Intriguing films of his Siegfried give credence to his reputation as the heldentenor of the era. Film and narration together with comments by his contemporaries describe his social life with the in-crowd in Bayreuth. His wife was Jewish and he stood with her, despite the Nazis. He was shielded by Winifred Wagner who used her influence with Hitler on his behalf. But fame is fleeting. Lorenz sang his last Tristan in Dresden in 1960. Waldemar Kmentt recalls that "After his final performance at The Vienna Opera they just let him go home as if nothing had happened. No one from the management came to give him a proper send-off. I felt deeply ashamed for the Vienna Opera." There are trailers of scenes from four Wagner music-dramas on the DVD featuring latter day heldentenors in leading roles that, perhaps unintentionally, confirm Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's summing-up, "Today you won't find anyone who could hold a candle to him. No one. Hot air, that's all." The accompanying CD contains a document of Lorenz at his best. Extensive excerpts from Siegfried are conducted by Erich Kleiber, recorded in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires on October 4, 1938 with Max Lorenz, Erich Witte, Herbert Janssen and Emanuel List -- The Wholenote, Bruce Surtees, April 29, 2009

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Max Lorenz, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Klaus Geitel, Walter Herrmann, Waldermar Kmentt
  • Directors: Eric Schulz, Claus Wischmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: German (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LKLKJS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating document that left me wanting more, more footage, more singing, background. Lorenz was a fascinating complex man who in spite of being married to a Jew and a practicing "bi-sexual" he was able to remain in Nazi Germany without any persecution to him, his wife and his mother-in-law! He was apparently caught "in flagrante" and his crimianal prosecution was announced. Obviously his presence at Bayreuth was in doubt. Winifred advised that the festival would have to close down without Lorenz; this was sufficient to provide him with protection until after the war.

Fischer-Dieskau, Hilda Zakek, Rene Kollo and Waldemar Knmett (sp?) offer their observations and it is fascinating to watch Kollo mouth the text as Lorenz sings. The author of a biography of the artist is also present to offer his observations. It is highly unlikely that this book will ever see an English translation.

Medici Arts also provice a recording the of Act I Siegfried the sound of which is poor. Would that a better memorial of his art could have been chosen. Even so I recommend this DVD for its many virtues.
1 Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
This release includes a fascinating video on the life and artistry of Max Lorenz, plus a CD of excerpts of him singing in a Buenos Aires (Teatro Colon) SIEGRIED from 1938 (under Erich Kleiber), never before released on CD, to my knowledge. Interviews with such singers as Dietrich Fiescher-Dieskau and stunning clips of Lorenz at Bayreuth are included. Highly recommended for a better understanding of a significant, but often misunderstood, artist.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
A remarkable documentary of this unusually fine Wagnerian tenor with tasty insights into the Bayreuth Festival of the War Years, including some rare footage of performances and a brief appearance by Winifred Wagner herself!!
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
He was the great Siegfried of the thirties and lasted thru the fifties. He is remembered by his friends in this video and placed in historical context of WWII Germany, and he sang thru the war. I admire him greatly and you will too, so get a copy for yourself, if you love Wagner as I do.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Verified Purchase
I would have given this item five stars were it not for the audio bonus, a live first act of Siegfried with wretched sound.
The title is also unfortunate as Lorenz is revealed as a warm human being who protected his Jewish wife and her family
as well as numerous other artists during that very difficult time. The footage of the inimitable Lorenz is accompanied
by glowing tributes from such major artists as Hilde Zadek, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Rene Kollo, and Waldemar Kmennt,
who are much more positive about Lorenz's clarion open-throated technique than many critics of his recordings have been.
Personally, I find his true tenor voice better suited to roles such as Tristan than such famous Wagnerians as Melchior and
Vinay with their baritonal quality. The documentary includes a death scene from Otello with piano accompaniment sung by
an aged Lorenz that is unforgettably heartbreaking. With a few notable exceptions, we have had to settle in recent years for
tenors better suited to Tamino attempting to get through Siegfried. Lorenz reminds us of what a true Heldentenor sounds like.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Forums