Studio recording in stereo from
|Conductor: Daniel Barenboim|
|Siegfried|| ||Siegfried Jerusalem|
Günter von Kannen
|Erda|| ||Birgitta Svendén|
|Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele||
Review by Graham Clark|
This recording is the definition of "revolutionary". Before I go
into the music, let me say a word about the video. This performance
was recorded and video-taped at Bayrueth during Harry Kupfer's
long-running production. The costumes are straight from a bad
thriller movie, and the sets look like something out of a Sci-Fi
film. Add those laser-light sound effects, and you get a, to say
the least, very futuristic production.
The music does not do much to compensate for the zany staging.
Barenboim's tempi are, to put it mildly, unconventional. The
Bayreuth orchestra plays fairly well, but at times they seem to
be challenged by Barenboim's new conducting style (with somewhat
uneven tempi). A consolation is the generally fine singing.
Jerusalem is as always a satisfactory Siegfried, but seems outsung
dramatically by Graham Clark (no relation to yours truly) as Mime.
Tomlinson and Philip Kang as the Wanderer and Fafner are also good,
but the latter lacks dramatic ability. Look instead to the Erda of
Svedén, and the glowing Brünnhilde of
Anne Evans, if you want to be impressed.
Unless you are a lover of modern art, and like the Wanderer's broken
sunglasses and portayal of Mime as a mechanic, avoid the video of
this production. The CD is a better musical experiance, although note
that the sound effects leave something to be desired. The approach to
the music in Siegfried is more conventional than in the rest of the
operas. For those wishing to sample Barenboim's "Ring", I say go for
This review is from the now closed Wagner on the Web and it is published
without the author's consent. I haven't been able to get in touch with him.
If the author reads this, please contact me as soon as possible. If you
don't want it here, I'll take it of the site immediately.