- Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
- Number of Discs: 3
- Format: Import
- Label: Angel Records
- ASIN: B000002S18
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews
This live performance from Bayreuth, 1961, is superbly, subtly conducted and has some great singing. Bumbry is marvellous as Venus, and de los Angeles and Fischer-Dieskau are excellent as Elisabeth and Wolfram. Windgassen as Tannhaeuser is quite good, though he emphasizes the choppiness of the lines that Wagner gives him. (He does not have a lot of competition in the discography.) The minor roles are well done. The recorded sound is very good, though not excellent.
Incidentally, for Amazon's attention, this recording does not come up among the hundred or so that are retrieved when you search with "Wagner" and "Tannhaeuser."
1961 live performance from the Bayreuth Festival.
Decent live-recorded mono. Voices and orchestra are fairly evenly balanced. There is some variation in the pick-up of the singers as they roam over the stage, changing their relationships with the microphones, but this serves to provide a certain feel of authenticity to the piece. As I have noted before with regard to live mono recordings, compulsive audiophiles who measure quality by the clarity of the fourth bassoon or the third viola, should turn away right now. This is not for you. You will hear neither here (nor, for that matter, would you be likely to hear them in any real theater or concert hall.) Some not terribly disturbing stage noises are present, as is the occasional voice of a prompter. There are some coughs, but the Bayreuth audience was generally well-disciplined. For those willing to listen to this set with a little goodwill, the sound is perfectly acceptable.
This performance is an amalgam of Wagner's Dresden Version of 1845 and his Paris version of 1861, in essentially the form adopted for the Vienna production of 1875.
Disk 1: Overture; Act I, tracks 2-13. Disk 2: Act II, tracks 1-18. Disk 3: Act III, tracks 1-12.
No libretto. Short essay on the opera. Short summary of the plot by Act. Track listing that identifies the main character singing but does not provide timings.Read more ›
This one derives from Berlin in the 1960s. It gives the opera in its original 1845 "Dresden" version. Thus the so-called "Venusburg Music" which Wagner interpolated in 1861 for a Paris production is not here. Those who favour the "don't sew a new patch onto an old wineskin" maxim, will believe that Wagner's original plan to have the overture conclude with a spectacular reprise of the "Pilgrim's Chorus" from the full weight of brass instruments and swirling strings is the better option.
Franz Konwitschny was chosen as conductor for this recording. His long experience in German opera, especially Wagner, and his overall grasp of structure, whether phrasing the delicate woodwind passages before Wolfram's Act 3 aria or balancing the massive forces involved in the Act 2 finale, justify the choice. Insights into the opera's underlying representation of man struggle to choose between conflicting values are glimpsed as Konwitschny shapes the performance. The orchestra and chorus come from the Berlin State Opera, and their work is especially fine.
As for the principal singers, well, there's an array of great German artists here. The matchless Elisabeth Gr'mmer is the Elisabeth. "An angel has come down from the sky," sing the knights and minstrels, and you'll not want to disagree. Matchless also is Gottlob Frick, as her uncle, the Landgraf. His deep bass voice with its gleaming resonance commands attention.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have five Tannhauser recordings and I saw the current production at Bayreuth last summer. I wish I would have listened to this recording before my pilgrimage to Bayreuth. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Paul Hagstrom
I started out with Die Valerie a few years ago and wanted to hear more from Wagner, this is it, and there is a lot more to get.Published on August 11, 2013 by Dave
this may not be the definitive performance of this opera, but it is great and I love the original overture which was why I bought it.Published on March 21, 2013 by Beverley R. Enright
Heinrich Heine had provided Wagner with the inspiration for "Der fliegende Holländer" and Wagner drew on the same source for the plot of "Tannhäuser". Read morePublished on December 9, 2008 by Gregory E. Foster
Very much worth hearing are these excerpts preserved from the 1930 Bayreuth cast, cond. by the distinguished K. Elmendorff. Read morePublished on May 14, 2008 by Janet Buyers
Interestingly, while one can often speak of "ideal casts" where bel canto is concerned, and probably not a stone has been left unturned in the search for those superlative nights... Read morePublished on April 25, 2008 by Bertrand Stclair
The voices just weren't up to the job. The orchestra did not tone down its volume, so the singers, already at the top of their range, had to sing at the top of their voices as... Read morePublished on August 29, 2006 by W. Winkler
To me, Tannhaeuser is the most underrated of Wagner's operas. It marks a tremendous advance over The Flying Dutchman in its dramatic and musical deliniations, while avoiding the... Read morePublished on December 24, 2005 by Ralph J. Steinberg Lover of German Music
The lp set was my introduction to this opera when I was a teenager. I couldn't afford the four-record set when it came out, but the Chicago Public Library had a monophonic copy,... Read morePublished on June 4, 2003 by Howard Grady Brown