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  Exton -
  Wagner: Orchestral Works I - Edo de Waart
  Wagner: Orchestral Works I

Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland
Edo de Waart (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 1

Review by beardawgs February 26, 2004 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
If you’re buying only one Wagner SACD this year, buy this one! Total timing is amazing 80 minutes (no LF channel thou) and it has on it all important Wagner’s overtures, starting with the Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin and Tannhauser to Tristan, Meistersinger and Parsifal. All of that plus prelude to 3rd act of Lohengrin and Liebestod.

The more I listen to this one the more I like it. De Waart is in the class of some of the greatest Wagnerians ever, and comparing him to Abbado would be a dead heat. Abbado offers more dramatic unity in his reading of Parsifal overture (unfortunately only on redbook) but that’s just me trying really hard to find something and separate those two fantastic conductors. De Waart’s Parsifal has better recording, of course, and the silent bits sound surreally still and quiet. When the music dies, the listener dies with it, I was holding my breath every time until the new ppp entry. Mesmerizing.

IMO, the slow music works better, Parsifal, Tristan and Lohengrin – de Waart builds up his crescendos slowly and steadily, and when he reaches the climax everything explodes. Wide DSD dynamic range helps, of course, and I would recommend that this disc should be played at higher levels than usual, as even at louder passages the orchestra can sound a bit distant. The recording has natural depth, even with the LF channel missing the bass is firm and solid, orchestral sound is compact, warm and transparent just enough for this kind of music. If I have any complaints, those are (as ever with us) discrete back channels, comparing to Abbado/Terfel SACD on DG or Varviso on RQR Pentatone. But, once you immerse yourself in de Waart’s music world, the experience is fantastic.

A word of warning, if you listen to Lohengrin overture at high levels program your player to play just that track – it is followed with fff prelude for the 3rd act and there is no pause in between. I really needed substantial amount of time for my emotions to die out with the music, and the disc is not providing any relaxation – with such a long playing time, I reckon they had to pack the tracks tight.

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Works: 6  

Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer, WWV 63
Richard Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, WWV 96
Richard Wagner - Lohengrin, WWV 75
Richard Wagner - Parsifal, WWV 111
Richard Wagner - Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg, WWV 70
Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90