frown upon another “bleeding chunk” collection of music from
Wagner’s ring cycle, but I would invite them to put away
their possible indignation and run, not walk to the nearest
record shop and add this splendid disc to their collections.
Ben Heppner, who is perhaps the world’s leading heldentenor,
has never been in better form than in these magnificent recordings.
And, true to form, the Staatskappelle Dresden proves itself
to be one of the world’s truly great orchestras. How marvelous
it is that this wonderful organization is getting ever more
I cannot remember
when I have heard such clear, focused and truly gorgeous
singing from any big name singer than what I heard in this
recording. Ben Heppner has ample power, and yet he never
sacrifices beauty of tone for the sake of sheer volume. We
are captivated by his utter command of the music from the
very first note. Amongst the stand-outs is the breathtaking
rendition of Winterstürme, as Heppner makes this grand
arioso sound as easy as a Schubert song. The sword forging
song (Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!) is a thrill a note as Heppner
rips through the music with youthful agility.
provide us with two splendid orchestral interludes with Siegfried’s
Rhein Journey and the ever powerful Trauermarsch.
Peter Schneider paces the works beautifully and the sonorous
sound of the orchestra is simply a marvel to hear.
joins in to sing Mime in two scenes from Siegfried and
delivers first rate performances. The program notes are perfect
in their brief but clear summary of the convoluted plot line,
making the listening experience that much more engaging as
it is so easy to follow the story.
This is a coup
for Mr. Heppner, a disc deserving of any number of awards.
I cannot speak highly enough of this superb accomplishment.
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