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Wagner's Tannhäuser: Complete Opera Box set

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, April 2, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This vividly recorded new Tannhäuser has much to recommend it. Daniel Barenboim's leadership not only keeps things moving so that the somewhat stilted drama actually takes wing, he elicits some of the most beautiful playing ever from the Berlin State Opera forces: lush strings; pointed, crisp brass; reedy, articulate winds. Thomas Hampson's Wolfram is sensitive and handsomely sung, if on a slightly small scale; Rene Pape is by far the most impressive Landgraf on disc; and the supporting cast is topnotch. Peter Seiffert sings the title role as well as anyone alive today could, but the natural youth and brightness of his voice do not particularly suit the character and his torment. Jane Eaglen's Elisabeth is correctly pure and simple, and equally well sung. Waltraud Meier uses her unimpressive voice well as Venus, underscoring the character's incredible sensuality with her intelligent use of the text. While this set has its excitements, better still is the one led by Sinopoli (with Domingo and Cheryl Studer) or the even older Solti recording (out of print) with Christa Ludwig as the finest Venus available and a very strong cast. --Robert Levine

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Ouvertüre
  2. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Naht Euch dem Strande!
  3. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Geliebter, sag, wo weilt dein Sinn?
  4. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Dir töne Lob
  5. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Dank deiner Huld!
  6. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Geliebter, komm! Sieh dort die Grotte
  7. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Stets soll nur dir mein Lied ertönen
  8. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Zieh hin, Wahnbetörter
  9. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Nein! Mein Stolz soll dir den Jammer sparen
  10. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Frau Holda kam aus dem Berg hervor
  11. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Zu dir wall ich, mein Jesus Christ
  12. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Wer ist der dort im brünstigen Gebete
  13. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Als du im kühnen Sange uns bestrittest

Disc: 2

  1. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Dich, teure Halle, grüß ich wieder
  2. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Dort ist sie; nahe dich ihr ungestört!
  3. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Den Gott der Liebe sollst du preisen
  4. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Dich treff ich hier in dieser Halle
  5. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Dich treff ich hier in dieser Halle
  6. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Freudig begrüßen wir die edle Halle
  7. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Gar viel und schön ward hier in dieser Halle
  8. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Blick' ich umher in diesem edlen Kreise
  9. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Auch ich darf mich so glücklich nennen
  10. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Den Bronnen, den uns Wolfram nannte
  11. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: O Walther, der du also sangest
  12. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Heraus zum Kampfe mit uns allen!
  13. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: O Himmel, laß dich jetzt erflehen
  14. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Ha, der Verruchte!
  15. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Der Unglücksel'ge, den gefangen
  16. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Ein furchtbares Verbrechen ward begangen
  17. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Versammelt sind aus meinen Landen

Disc: 3

  1. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Tannhäusers Pilgerfahrt
  2. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Wohl wußt' ich hier sie im Gebet zu finden
  3. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Beglückt darf nun dich, o Heimat, ich schauen
  4. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Allmächt'ge Jungfrau, hör mein Flehen!
  5. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Wie Todesahnung Dämmerung deckt die Lande
  6. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: O du, mein holder Abendstern
  7. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Ich hörte Harfenschlag
  8. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Inbrunst im Herzen
  9. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Dahin zog's mich, wo ich der Wonn und Lust
  10. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Willkommen, ungetreuer Mann!
  11. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Heil! Der Gnade Wunder Heil!


Product Details

  • Performer: Richard Wagner, Daniel Barenboim, Jane Eaglen, Peter Seiffert, Berlin State Opera Chorus, et al.
  • Audio CD (April 2, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: 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: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00005UW19
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,735 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When the DG/Sinopoli recording of this work appeared, listeners rejoiced at the beauty and purity of Domingo's singing in the notoriously difficult title role. Here, Peter Seiffert does even better: not only does he have a bright and beautiful voice along with the requisite technique to cope with the part, but he is also a native German with fine dramatic insight, and the combination is simply more satisfying that Domingo's admirable but generalized intensity. In fact, one probably needs to go back to Melchior to hear better singing in this part. Even though Barenboim's conducting exhibits many extremes of tempo, his concentration generally holds things together well. Seiffert's colleagues are all admirable, even if they do not surpass their finest competitors in previous recordings. As Elisabeth, Eaglen does a commendable job in a role that isn't ideal for her, lightening her tone to convey youth and purity, but she is not ideally steady. Meier's Venus, though not especially rich in tone, is predictably compelling. It will come as no surprise that Pape is an impressive Landgraf: one of the best, yielding only to Frick, who can be heard under both Konwitschny (EMI) and Karajan (DG). As Wolfram, Thomas Hampson demonstrates his ever-expanding repertoire and growing richness of voice. His performance here is somewhat in the mold of Fischer-Dieskau (for Konwitschny), both in terms of the slimness of his timbre and his occasionally mannered delivery; a fuller sound and a more natural delivery, such as one finds with Waechter (for Karajan and Sawallisch) or Weikl (for Haitink and Davis on video) are more satisfying. The recorded sound is excellent (distinctly better than Sinopoli's). Barenboim's orchestra and chorus perform admirably, with even more security and splendor than in his earlier Lohengrin. The minor parts are all well taken, too, all of which adds up to a very satisfying performance.
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Format: Audio CD
as barenboim's wagner cycle draws to its close, here comes one of the most satisfying tannhauser's to be put on disc! the orchestral details are phenomenal and yes, even if barenboim can be slow in the furtwangler mode he never looses the overview on where he is heading to. the sound is spectacular and the final chorus uplifts you in a way it seldom happens on disc!
most of the singers fit barenboims view like a glove and most of them are 'germanic' in origin, hence there is (mainly) good diction and attention to the meaning of the text. peter seiffert must rank as one of the most successful tannhausers in a long time, his sound is beautiful while he is expressive and in the end the tormented broken figure that tannhauser becomes. while he hasn't quite the domingo-bloom in his voice (but then domingo's german is so unidiomatic and, beautifully as he sings, his portrayal under sinopoli is painted in water colors - whereas seiffert's is a person of flesh and blood) and sometimes here is a hint of unevenness when he puts pressure on his voice (but never obtusively so), his is an interpretation that shines like a star!
none of the other men needs to fear to be outshone though, as they hold up their ends to build quite the strongest male trio all around! next to seiffert there is hampson's hypersensitive wolfram (and his 'abendstern' aria in the last act just grips you by the throat), although an american, his diciton is crystal clear - his wolfram is very much in the dietrich fischer-dieskau mode ... and i think that is praise in itself. rene pape is probably the best of all landgrafs (and no, i am not forgetting kurt moll under haitink!), his every utterance full of meaning and his voice just a gem! so were it only for the men this set would get 6 out of 5 stars!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this recording having previously been won over by the Sinopoli set, gloriously cast with Domingo and Studer utterly affecting and involving in the lead roles, with Agnes Baltsa a predictably fiery, Southern European Venus. I did wonder what I might make of this set, therefore, with its cast of American/English/German singers. Would it lack the sensuality of the Sinopoli, or descend into religiose Parsifal-ness? (No disrespect to Parsifal - it's just not the same kind of piece).
Of course not. Barenboim is by now a supremely experienced and intelligent Wagner conductor, and he straddles the split personalities of this piece with ease, telling the story with a grip on the broader architecture whilst giving the individual scenes their own personalities. The Venusberg music is as sexy and languid as one could wish, whilst the Wartburg is all splendour and ceremony. the second act builds up a fine head of steam and the Rome Narration is gripping. The orchestral playing is absolutely beautiful, refined and phrased with suoreme care and attention to detail, and to my ear Barenboim's grip on pacing is superb. The (large-sounding) chorus, afforded so many marvellous opportunities in this piece, are excellent.
Barenboim picks soloists very much of "his" team, and has a good rapport with them. Seiffert is thrilling, sounding youthful and ardent and tackling the taxing vocal lines - with their cruel excursions ever higher - without trouble. Rene Pape, popping up as the Landgrave/Marke/Heinrich all over the place, is for a good reason the Bass of choice nowadays for this repertoire. The tone is rock-solid, his German clear and idiomatic and his phrasing generous and expressive. The same could be said of Hampson, whose finely focused baritone is most welcome as Wolfram.
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