Well-performed and well-recorded excerpts of Wagner
Review on the Wagner CD (audaud.com)
WAGNER: Opera Excerpts = Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – Prelude; Siegfried Idyll; Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung; Siegfried’s Funeral March; Götterdämmerung Immolation scene
Petra Lang, sop./Budapest Festival Orch. /Ivan Fischer – Channel Classics (Distr. by Harmonia mundi)
This crisp-sounding SACD is what I would deem a Wagnerian sampler, with selections from some of the great instrumental portions of operas the composer produced during his relatively long and productive musical life.
We get selections from Die Meistersinger, The Siegfried Idyll for chamber orchestra, and three selections from Götterdámmerung. The performances by the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer are excellent, played with a precision that this sometimes difficult music lacks. Soprano Petra Long is a seasoned Wagner performer, and her skills are well highlighted in the Immolation Scene from Götterdámerrung.
The recording is up to the usual Channel Classic standards. There is a fine sense of the recording venue, the Palace of Arts in Budapest. Listening to the front channels alone, there is an excellent recreation of acoustics. The surround channels provide some additional ambience. I found the listening experience highly satisfying both from an audiophile and musical perspective.
This recording excels in both the musicianship on offer, and the fine and realistic recording; an excellent sampler for some of Wagner’s most emotional music.