Friday, March 14, 2014

Wagner Tannhauser Colin Davis I have always wanted to hear Colin Davis perform a wagner opera. I definitely did not look forward to anyone interpreting Der Ring Des Nibelungen trilogy because, try as anyone might, they will be insipid when compared with Solti. Tannhauser is one opera I wanted to try out Colin Davis and I was not disappointed. It was electrifying from the very first strains of the overture. Colin Davis has the definitive performance on record for Berlioz's Les Troyens and for Mozart's Die Zauberflote. No conductor has done a better job than him on these two operas. This is the Paris Version which was revised fifteen years after the Dresden original. The Venusberg music is soul stirring. Davis is superb in his reading. My personal favourite is Zubin Mehta and the Munchen Oper. When I saw it on the DVD, the Venusberg scenes look supernatural. The singers have also done a great job. Spas Wenkoff has done admirably as Tannhauser. He is dramatic and also has a good voice. Bernd Weikl is also an excellent Wolfram. Gwyneth Jones is the scene stealer as both Elizabeth and Venus. She looks like an accomplished film actress when going through her parts. After Zubin Mehta, this may be the Tannhauser to listen to.

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