Studio recording in stereo
May 14-28, 1994
Conductor: Colin Davis
König Heinrich Jan-Hendrik Rootering
Lohengrin Ben Heppner
Elsa Sharon Sweet
Telramund Sergei Leiferkus
Ortrud Eva Marton
Der Heerrufer Bryn Terfel
Ein Edle Anton Rosner
Ein Edle Heinrich Weber
Ein Edle Dankwart Siegele
Ein Edle Jürgen Weiss
Chor und Sinfonieorchester des
Bayerischen Rundfunks
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
RCA, 0 9026 62646 2 3 CDs DDD
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Review by Peter Bochkov

I saw the name of Ben Heppner in the cast of new Met's production of Lohengrin. Recently I've bought a fine Met's Siegfried on video and I thought Levine's choice of the title role was at the same level. In addition I saw names of sir Colin Davis, Eva Marton and Sergei Leiferkus at the cover of the set. That's why I bought this recording.

At first I was disappointed because the singing was weak. Ben Heppner can't be compared not only with the greatest Lohengrins of the past, but with modern singers either. His voice lacks dramatic power of Jess Thomas and lyrical attractiveness of Sándor Kónya. I didn't expect Sergei Leiferkus to appear as Telramund. I was used to admire him as Onegin, Rangoni & Jago. And here he confirmed his fine reputation of dramatic baritone.

Eva Marton is good as Ortrud but inexpressive in comparison with Varnay or Waltraud Meier. Sharon Sweet is a nice, vulnerable Elsa with sympathetic voice. Sir Colin Davis is one of my most favorite conductors especially after listening to his Bohema and Peter Grimes. Although at this very set his conduction is skilled and impressive, it lacks of Kempe's radiance.

Unfortunally I can't assume this recording among his greatest achievments. This is a professional recording, but in my opinion it lacks of true Wagnerian passion and sense of holiness. A Spirit of Holy Grail and the pathos of pagan gods were lost. I'll be glad if somebody objects with me. But frankly speaking I wouldn't advise buying this recording - neither experienced Wagnerian nor beginners.

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.